Tuesday, February 7, 2012


If you are in a grade-level that has state assessments, I'm sure you have your own set of strategies for test taking. In the past, we have taken the TAKS test, but this year we are switching to a new test called STAAR. I have been studying up like crazy on the test and our new set of state standards (TEKS) so that my kids will be prepared for everything. In light of the new test, I decided that it was time for some type of new test-taking strategy. We've used acronyms like FISH and NURSE in the past for reading, but I wanted something fresh.

I teach to the test...no, not like tons of test prep passages, just a few. I DO teach the standards that will be on our test, but I try to teach the standards with good literature. SO, I wanted our new test taking strategies to include elements that apply to good reading in general. I use CAFE reading strategies and lots of Tanny McGregor lessons, so I wanted our test taking strategies to reflect all of that.

I saw an idea on Pinterest for a test taking strategy poster that was in the shape of a video-game controller. Unfortunately, I never pinned it, and now I can't find it. But whoever had this idea first, THANK YOU!

So, some teachers and myself decided how we wanted our game-controller to look, so all our tested grades can use it. One of our fabulous Title I teachers helped us put it on an actual controller. We decided to create an acronym with the word GAMER to fit the whole video game controller thing. The kids love it! It sits on their desk and they "press" the buttons as we talk about some of these strategies in our work. The kids have definitely enjoyed this. We printed this and cut it in half for the students.

(This starts out small, but if you clip it will enlarge!)
Controller Desktop


  1. Casey:
    This is great.
    Some of my boys would be drooling to get their hands on these!
    Thanks SO much for sharing this.

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  2. This is awesome! Newest follower! Great blog! :)