I remember when our state tests became computerized and we were all stressing about this brand new thing called TEI (technology-enhanced items). The first year or two was rough while we tried to figure out what TEI questions actually looked like and how we’d teach students to answer them. Fast forward to now, and they’re pretty common on end-of-year state tests. They aren’t so scary anymore, especially if your students are practicing them all year long. However, it can be hard to find online practice questions that give kids targeted practice using those kinds of skills. On the blog today, I wanted to share some of my favorite resources for practicing TEI skills in the classroom. These will all work whether you have students using an interactive whiteboard, laptops, tablets, or other devices. (Be sure to read all the way through for some freebies!)
This is definitely the one I’m most excited about. On the Boom Learning™ website, students can complete digital task cards using TEI skills like selecting “hot spot” answers and moving objects. You can differentiate for your students by assigning different card “decks” to different kids. And the best part is that the cards are self-checking, so students get immediate feedback about their answers (and you can view their progress as they go). Every teacher I’ve talked to about these say that their students LOVE the interactive piece. And they love that it’s paperless and low-prep!
The video below shows an example of some types of questions students can practice on the Boom website. (These are from one of my 4th grade math SOL review decks.)
You can set up a free or paid Boom account through the Boom Learning website. If you purchase a Boom cards set on Teachers Pay Teachers, you get a free 3-month trial membership. You can buy decks that are already made and ready to go, or you can create your own!
If you’re interested in checking out Boom, start with these two free Boom card sets I’ve created!
If your school uses G Suite for Education™, Google Slides™ is a great way to help students practice TEI skills like drag and drop, selecting an answer choice, highlighting text, and creating bar graphs. You can create a set of practice questions and share it with your students through the sharing buttons or Google Classroom™.
The picture below shows an example slide where students have to click and drag to change the heights of the bars in the bar graph to display the data in the table.
Students can also practice answering multiple choice questions and choosing answers from drop-down menus in Google Forms™. One tip I have is to include some questions that require more than one correct answer, since students will probably see that on the state tests.
I like the websites below for targeted TEI question practice. Most of these are aligned to the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs), but would be helpful for anyone looking for some TEI practice in 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade.
- IXL Learning: Reading (subscription-based, but you should be able to click on questions)
- IXL Learning: Math (subscription-based, but you should be able to click on questions)
- Interactive Assessment
- SOL Pass (requires a subscription, but a trial option is available)
- Jefferson Lab (uses released test questions)
- TestNav (this link is actually for downloadable software)
If you know of more helpful TEI practice resources, please let me know in the comments so I can add them to my list. I hope you’re able to use some of these resources! Lots of exposure to TEI questions throughout the year will really help students feel confident about seeing these types of items on those end-of-year tests!
P.S. You can grab a free set of TEI skills posters here! These are helpful to display to remind students of some of the types of TEI questions they’ll see!