Test Prep 180: Tackling Text Features

We have been spending a lot of time reviewing for The TEST lately.  One of the areas I have been focusing on with my class are text features.  These little areas in text are so easy to skip over when reading.  How many times have you seen a timeline or a diagram and just passed over it?  The only problem with all of that is that often times, vital comprehension information is contained within them.  So I have been spending a great deal of time in class helping the students to use these features when reading.

We begin each week with a different text feature.  After diagramming each feature, we look for examples in our text books of them.  We have been creating on-going foldables with these examples.  Inside the flap, the students list the uses of the text feature.
using foldables   test prep    text features on CST
The students have a few of these by now.  4 text features can fit on one page.  To make this, take one piece of white paper and fold in half.  Then glue that to the top of a second sheet of paper.  The foldable is on top with extra writing space on the bottom.

teachinginroom6.blogspot.com  education  language arts  test prep
Sorry this is so blurry, but you can see that when you open the flap, the uses for the text feature is written.
We also have been creating a text feature "book".  I use the term loosely, as it really isn't much of a book. It is more of a collection of pages we are binding together.  On the pages the students paste an example of the text feature, write a description, and list its uses.

Finally, we look at samples of the text feature on the released test questions (always have to bring it back to The TEST)  I guide the students into seeing how this feature is useful in helping them to answer the questions posed on The TEST.  We go through our normal showing evidence routine, but this time focusing on using the text feature as part of the evidence gathering.

Eventually, all three of these parts are going to be put together in a huge "superbook", but that isn't for a bit.  I will post pictures when it is complete.

We have one week until our TEST.  I am hoping that all of these test preparations have worked.  Fingers crossed!!


  1. Hi Stephanie:
    This looks GREAT!
    I wish I could spend a day in your room. I know I would learn so much.
    The Test starts in our room on Tuesday. And I will be so happy when it is over. Isn't it funny how The Test takes over our lives?
    I am sending you Good luck wishes for testing...
    And thanks for all you offer your BlogReaders!

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  2. Stephanie, Thank you so much for linking us up! LOVE your text feature activities. I'll share you blog on our FB and Twitter accounts! We work to better connect teaching and testing! Rachel- Fisher Reyna Education!


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