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Eighth Graders Help Third Graders Prepare for MCAS

Who better to ask for help in preparing for a test than someone who has taken it in the past?
Lafayette School social studies teachers Marena MacLaughlin and Paul Erickson smartly and effectively turned this premise into a tremendously successful Service Learning Project for eighth graders, who helped third graders prepare to take the MCAS assessment exam for the first time earlier this month.
The experience has been enjoyable and helpful to both sets of students. The third graders benefit from working with older students they look up to, while the eighth graders have embraced the responsibility of helping youngsters prepare for a test that is unfamiliar, even a little intimidating.
In addition to working with the students on reading, comprehension, and vocabulary, the eighth graders wrote good luck cards to every third grader containing helpful advice on how to prepare for test day.
While the MCAS testing is complete, the students continue to work together regularly, and the eighth graders have been hard at work preparing literacy materials for the students to take home with them this summer.
In the photo gallery below, Lafayette students are pictured working on materials for the third graders, as well as reading with students in third-grade classes.
A very similar effort was undertaken by eighth graders at the Whittier School. Under the direction of social studies teacher Lisa Yendriga-Norberg, eighth graders created review games and activities to help third graders prepare for MCAS by reviewing and reinforcing important ideas and concepts.
The students devised Pizza Fractions, Multiplication Soccer, Night Before the Test and the Morning of the Test Matching, Math Monopoly, ELA Memory, and Growth Mindset Book Marks. They tested the games, revised them, and then shared them with the young students.
The third graders wrote nice “thank you” letters to Ms. Yendriga-Norberg’s students, some of which are included the photo gallery that accompanies this post.

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