Digital Skills: Developing Online Assessment Skills in Everyday Classroom Activities Western Reserve Public Media
The Language of Standardized Tests
Students learn the 50 critical words used on standardized tests in a fast-paced station rotation. Unlike traditional stations, these stations move quickly (5-7 minutes). Students may not get through all the words in the time allotted in a single station. However, students will work with all the words by the end of the rotation. Depending on general ability of class, focus on 10-15 words per station rotation/lesson. The materials in this lesson focus on these 10 words: analyze, delineate, describe, infer, paraphrase, support, trace, evaluate, locate, organize.
I can:
  • Define 10+ critical words often used on standardized tests.

  • Apply 10+ critical words to my school work.

  • Use 10+ critical words in my speech and writing.

Tech Skills:
  • Navigating to a site

  • Taking an online quiz

  • Using QR codes

  • Keyboarding and editing skills

  • Mouse skills

Materials and Resources:

50 Critical Words Slides

Digital Timer from

Quizlet (See below for initial quiz)

QR code generator and reader

Station Directions to adapt and print

Frayer Model Template to use online or print

Grade Level:
  • 6th Grade (Can be adapted for other grade levels)
Subject Area:
  • ELA (Vocabulary and Standardized Tests)


Activity 1:

Preparing for Station Rotation

    1. Set up the stations listed below; use 2 of each station in large classes and adapt rotation so students only complete each station once.

    2. There are no teacher-led stations so that you can monitor students.

    3. These stations can also be used for whole class instruction.

    4. Determine number of stations and time need per station for your class length. Plan to move students through stations quickly. Remind them that this is about recognizing and learning the words, not memorizing.


Activity 2:

Whole Group Introduction/Discussion

    1. Ask students: Have you ever read a question on a test that you did not understand?

    2. Discuss importance of AIR and MAP, as well as types of questions asked on these tests.

    3. Explain focus of lesson on 10 of the 50 most used words on standardized tests.

    4. Share directions for each station aloud to the whole class and in writing at the station.

      A timer is strongly recommended.

      Have a signal word, such as “freeze,” before you direct movement to the next station.

Station Descriptions:

    Station 1
    (5-10 minutes)

    Description: Quizlet Directions to print

    Type: Independent Technology Station

    Materials: Use this quizlet or create your own

    Station 2
    (5-10 minutes)

    Description: QR Codes Speed Round Directions to print

    Type: Collaborative Technology Station

    Materials: QR Codes and QR Scanner

    Station 3
    (5-10 minutes)

    Description: Question or Sentence Writing Directions to print

    Type: Collaborative

    Materials: Paper and pencil/pen OR Google Docs OR Google Forms

    Station 4
    (5-10 minutes)

    Description: Frayer Model Directions to print

    Type: Independent

    Materials: Frayer Model Template Copies and Markers


Practice Activities:

  • Whole class review: Teacher says definition; students “shout” word as group.

  • Individual review: Students line up at door; teacher says defintion; students must answer correctly to leave room or go to the end of line for another opportunity. (Keep this fast and casual; this is not a competition.)


L.6.6 Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.

Supplementary Resources:

Top 10 Terms Students Need to Know to Be Successful on Standardized Tests

8 Strategies for Teaching Academic Language
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