Polk County students will take the FCAT between April 16 and April 27, 2012. Since that only gives them and their teachers two more weeks to prepare, finding ways to reinforce what they've learned is important. Depending on text books and worksheets is not always the most effective teaching method.
Adapting FCAT review material to include visual (using the sense of sight), auditory (using the sense of hearing), tactile (using the sense of touch), and kinesthetic (using physical activity) learning opportunities will increase every student's chance of doing well on the test. Learning activities that grab kids' attention by using drawings, posters, photos, and videos will engage visual learners. Singing songs, reciting raps or rhymes, and participating in discussions will help auditory learners. Tactile learners may benefit most from handling geometric shapes or other manipulatives like blocks (http://www.mathatube.com/glo-manipulatives.html). Kinesthetic learners may learn and memorize information best if it's taught in the context of a dance or while they play a hand clapping game.
Visual and Auditory Ways to Review
DVDs or VHS tapes can be checked out cost free from the public library. The children's section of most libraries will include numerous educational videos that address almost every subject taught in school. The resources that can be checked out from the library start with pre-school topics and continue through the highest levels of education. The Lakeland Public Library has an excellent assortment of educational videos and other resouces (http://www.examiner.com/parenting-in-tampa-bay/free-entertainment-a...).
Leap Frog has produced a series of DVDs that are excellent introductions for elementary language and math skills. Visit their homepage and click the words "Also Available" to see a selection of DVDs: http://www.leapfrogdvds.com/. The animated School House Rock videos that aired on Saturday morning television in the 1970s are now available on DVD (http://www.retrojunk.com/details_tvshows/295-school-house-rock/). These animated shorts are excellent review tools for kids in elementary, middle, and even high school. They address language, math, history, science, and more. The song lyrics and tunes in these videos tend to stick in the heads of anyone that watches them. Kids learn while enjoying themselves.
Online computer games are useful for self-directed learning. Parents and teachers can supplement classwork and homework with online activities. Click this link for a list of educational websites that includes online learning games. - http://www.examiner.com/parenting-in-tampa-bay/website-links-that-c...
Tactile Ways to Review
Use manipulatives. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematical_manipulative
Blocks, tiles, cubes, spinners, and even pennies are examples of manipulative that can be used to teach math skills. Tactile learners benefit from being able to handle objects while they learn. Click this About.com link to view a variety of manipulatives that help reinforce math skills. - http://math.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/XJ&zTi=1&sdn=math&c...
View a short video about using manipulatives to teach math: http://www.mathatube.com/article-math-tips-1.html
Click this link to see how kids can learn money skills in a fun way at home: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AfIcDDlbcQ
Kinesthetic Ways to Review
Some people learn by doing. Acting out plays, building models, and measuring ingredients for a recipe are all examples of kinesthetic learning activities. Many students have to pair their thoughts with actions in order for concepts to stick with them. Hands-on experiments or even reciting facts while they clap or jump rope may be helpful learning methods for kinesthetic learners. An example of this type of learning can be seen in the movie, Akeelah and the Bee. KeKe Palmer remembers how to spell difficult words by associating them with rope jumping rhythms. See an example here: http://www.spike.com/video-clips/b8hxdb/akeelah-and-the-bee-akeelah....
For more kinesthetic learning ideas click this link: http://www.learningabledkids.com/multi_sensory_training/Page24-kine...
Textbook learning is, and probably always will be, used in classrooms. Textbooks and worksheets are necessary tools for teaching and measuring learning. But when parents and teachers supplement textbook lessons with visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic learning activities kids are more likely to remember what they're taught.