Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Calming Down: The LEAP’s Not So Bad

I found a ton of stuff on the LEAP test on Louisiana’s DOE site from a sample practice test to lesson plans to overviews. We started at the beginning with the practice test.

At first poor Jojo freaked out worse than I did. Let’s just say tears were involved.  So I walked her step by step through the first few reading comprehension problems. It was obvious that the anxiety was more from not knowing how to take a standardized test rather than not knowing the answers.

We spent about a half hour going over the first 5 questions. I talked her through things like process of elimination, educated guess, and figuring out what the question really wants to know. Then she breezed through the rest of the language arts part, minus the writing section.

She surprised me on the editing section where I thought she needed a bit more help. Nope, she talked herself through the entire section:

“No, that’s present tense and it should be past.”

“No comma needed there since they should be separate sentences.”

“Okay, that’s possessive when it shouldn’t be.”

And she got the entire section right. Of course her success only reinforces my theory that if you read enough good literature then you pick up on good grammar along the way, but that theory is for another post.

Math may be a bit trickier, but I think we can work through it. There were more problems that she didn’t know how to do. Then we had to stop because I couldn’t find a working calculator (my elves, aka Bobo & Ebby, have run off with all of them).

A couple of hours later at the library check-out, I was informed that all 8 of the LEAP test prep books I wanted to check out were reserved for the reference section and that they had none on the shelf for normal usage. At least I knew what was out there in regards to LEAP test prep, but good, goodly, moogly, are these books expensive.

One unexpected trip to Barnes & Nobles later, I found the two I needed but I had to look all over the education aisles to find them. I never figured why the test prep books were not in the test prep section.

Since the sample test from the DOE website was not the full length, we may start tomorrow going over another sample test in language arts. I’ll get Jojo comfortable first in what she feels that she’s good at and then work on math once we get a calculator.


  1. You know: Maybe LEAP isn't for this monkey a test in English or Math -- it is a test for taking standardized tests.
    Like Math and English, it is a skill she will find useful.

  2. I'm positive that's what it is - a fear of test taking. Thankfully it is a skill and can be learned, even if learning it isn't pleasant. I just don't believe in limiting options because something seems difficult.