About the Assessments of Reading, Writing and Mathematics, Primary Division (Grades 1–3) and Junior Division (Grades 4–6)
* The primary-division assessment tests the reading, writing and mathematics skills students are expected to have learned by the end of Grade 3.
* The junior-division assessment tests the reading, writing and mathematics skills students are expected to have learned by the end of Grade 6.
* The testing takes place during a two-week period in late May and early June. Each school determines its exact testing dates during this period.
These are the first two assessments in Ontario’s province-wide testing program. They provide important information about your child’s achievement in relation to the provincial standard.
How can I support my child in writing the tests?
The best way to support your child in writing the tests is by supporting his or her success at school throughout the year. You can use the test materials released at www.eqao.com to help your child become familiar with the format of the provincial tests and the types of questions asked.
Supporting Reading and Writing Opportunities at Home
- As an adult demonstrate the benefits of reading a variety of materials such as newspapers, magazines, books, articles on the internet and talk about what you are reading with others.
- Set aside a regular time and quiet place for daily reading with your child.
- Encourage your child to select a variety of reading materials to share with you and ask why this material was chosen.
- Make observations about the cover and what the story or concept might be and how it relates to your world.
- Take a ‘picture walk’ through the text and ask questions that you are curious about as well as engaging your child in asking questions.
- Begin reading the text and stop along the way to linger over an idea presented by the author. Talk about your ideas with one another.
- Ask: What is the author trying to tell us and why? How does this relate to our world?
- Place a book mark in the book to return to the next time with a question written on it.
- Encourage your child to write a question.
- Mark on the calendar a book date with your child to revisit an old friend or to visit the library.
- Have your child create a ‘Best Books to Read’ list with you.
- Write a letter to the author encouraging a new ending to the selection.
- Look for poetry and non-fiction materials to read together.
- Begin to ask yourself, ‘How does this poem make me feel? What might the author be trying to communicate? How did this selection touch me and why?
Reading is Understanding
Following the ‘picture or text feature walk’, spend some time setting the stage for what exciting possibilities of what you are going to read about together. Understanding the conditions or context of when, where, what and how the piece was written provides your child with an opportunity to ‘set the record straight’ for what they are understanding.
As you read a selection together, decide which facts are important and what is just an interesting detail.
Encourage your child to make predictions about what might occur next. Have your child explain their thinking. Question their way of thinking and model your thoughts as well.
Demonstrate how to connect what is in the selection with what you might be visualizing in your mind to help you better understand the selection. Talk about this with your child and paint an oral picture of your thinking. Let your child read between the lines.’
Have your child write about their inferences and share them with you. Encourage your child to include key words and phrases from your questions. For example, ‘I noticed that...because…’ or I realized that…because…’
Write notes about what you are reading. Note taking is an acquired skill and needs support over time.
Responding to Text
Reading and writing together is a wonderful opportunity to learn together. Upon reading a selection or text together, create a graffiti wall or poster on paper. Talk about your ideas together. What do the single words and pictures mean to us? What are we trying to communicate to each other?
When reading a challenging text, encourage your child to draw conclusions. Ask: What was the overall message I got from the selection? What did I think about the selection? What’s my opinion? Make statements such as, ‘I read …therefore I think…’
Submitted by Rose Walton - Learning Coordinator JK-2, Thames Valley District School Board