The Woodcock-Johnson IV is unique. All of the work is presented within a flip chart or a workbook. Both the chart and workbook contain work from preschool through college-level. Students begin with work that they will find a little easy. From there, the student progresses until the work is too difficult. Due to its unique structure, the WJ-IV has no practice book available that will help students prepare for testing. Consistent instruction over the course of the previous school year is your child’s best preparation for the WJ-IV, which measures academic achievement from year-to-year. Below are some suggestions that will support your child’s academic growth and thus support his/her academic achievement.
For children who are apprehensive about testing, you may visit our Facebook page to see a picture of your consultant. Assure your child that the Woodcock-Johnson IV will help you know how you can best help your child learn. You cannot pass or fail this test! It is good feedback for mom and dad to know how to proceed with instructional choices.
Get a good night’s sleep and eat a nice healthy meal before testing. Plan something fun to do together once testing is completed.
• Build your child’s auditory memory through games, singing, memorizing scripture, poetry, finger plays, and learning the Pledge of Allegiance. These particular items are not included on the test. Being able to listen carefully, remember short statements, discern the difference in sounds, and have a good auditory memory will help your child in all of the tasks presented.
• Have a vocabulary rich home. Talk about, name, and describe household items. Many times children know the use of an item but do not know its name.
• Keep reading time fun. Discuss what you read.
• Beginning readers should use a good phonics based reading and language arts program. Children who are confidently blending three letter words can also begin learning Dolch sight words. Our local libraries have a great selection of interesting books for beginning readers.
• Count as you play together. Join sets and talk about how many more. Take away from sets and discuss how many less. Sometimes write these math stories down.
• Play store together and discuss the value of the coins. Sometimes make sales receipts and play shopping lists for each other.
• Have fun preparing snacks and lunch together. Discuss time, quantities, and fractional parts.
• Play games in which you are adding or subtracting. Help your child become confident in adding to or taking from a given set. Introduce them to the signs and symbols and problems presented vertically and horizontally.
• If your child understands the basics of adding and subtracting, help them to start memorizing their basic facts. Even young children can begin memorizing math facts set to music or a rhyme without the aid of their fingers or special counters.
• Review whatever concepts have been introduced in math this year. Some math programs focus mainly on only one operation like addition in their beginning book. In that situation, you may want to go ahead and introduce the subtraction symbol and practice working simple subtraction problems. Children who have been adding and subtracting should practice doing timed drills of the basic facts. Being fluent with these basic facts will allow children to pour their energy into solving real life problems that involve math skills instead of using their energy and attention in performing simple calculations.
• Remember that the math sections on the Woodcock-Johnson are not limited to basic addition and subtraction. If your child has been confidently solving problems that traditionally would be given in the second grade and above, they will have the opportunity to answer those problems too.
• Share with your child that you will be meeting with a teacher to complete their yearly test. Encourage them that this will not determine if they are going to pass or fail. Many children find this work fun. They will read, write sentences, and work math problems similar to what they have been doing at home. You will be nearby.
• Talk about the main theme of the stories or passages that you read. Reading comprehension involves more than being able to retell a story and remembering specific facts. Predict outcomes, discuss decisions made by the characters, rewrite the ending, place yourself in the story and talk about what role you would have played.
• Practice reading fluently. Read aloud together. Have your child read aloud to younger children too. Have fun writing and performing puppet shows, TV commercials, or radio spots. All of these activities will help your child read more smoothly, quickly, and confidently. Some families also like to use the Abeka Read and Think workbooks. These workbooks contain short timed reading activities.
• Read fiction and nonfiction works.
• Practice writing complete sentences that include descriptive words, including your prompt in a response, and using appropriate punctuation. Give your child written activities that do not require neatness. Sometimes children put most of their effort into their letter formation instead of into the thoroughness of the sentence.
• Have a vocabulary rich home.
• Practice doing timed math drills. Include addition, subtraction, and multiplication basic facts on the same page. Children who have not begun learning their multiplication facts will only need to practice addition and subtraction facts. See how many they can do in 3 minutes. Keep track of their results and chart their progress.
• Review the basic concepts that you have covered in math so far. Review borrowing and carrying. Sometimes children who have been working hard on learning their multiplication and division facts do not recognize when they need to borrow or carry.
• Review math word problem strategies. What words let you know that you will need to add, subtract, multiply, or divide.
• Discuss and develop a mental picture of fractional parts.
You will find the previous suggestions helpful. At this age children will begin to do activities that involve more comprehension and abstract thought. Here are a few suggestions.
• Read and discuss material from many sources. Include reading and discussing newspaper and magazine articles, text book assignments, and pieces of fiction. Talk about the point of view, biases, facts presented, vocabulary, sequence of events, characters, and predict actions and events.
• Plan on using a good vocabulary program. If you have not used a structured vocabulary program this school year you should plan on beginning to use one during your next school year.
• Continue to read aloud. Choose a great work that you would like to read as a family. Take turns reading it aloud.
• Encourage your child to use vivid details in their writing. Provide them with activities in which they have to mimic a writer’s style. This will help them move away from writing a simple sentence. Children at this age should be able to write more than a simple descriptive sentence.
• Have your child do some timed writing activities. This could be brainstorming, writing as many sentences about a funny picture as you can think of in 1 minute, see how many sentences you can write with this week’s spelling or vocabulary words in 5 minutes, or a short timed essay. The goal is to write as many complete and interesting sentences as you can in a specified amount of time. Chart their progress. This task involves fluency, comprehension, good word choices, and punctuation. Beautiful penmanship is not required.
• Review all of the concepts that you have covered in math. If your child has reached pre-algebra it is wise to still go back and review long division. Sometimes children become careless when multiplying and dividing because they have not been asked to do that in a long time. All children should feel confident working with fractions, decimals, percents, negative numbers, and solving for an unknown. If your child has not been introduced to these concepts, please focus on reviewing what they have been working on. Then if time allows, introduce them to basic operations with fractions and decimals.
• Calculators will not be used.
- You may find some of the tips for middle school students helpful.
- Continue all of the good practices that you have been implementing. Read fiction and nonfiction material. Continue with a strong vocabulary and writing program.
- The best advice for older students is for them to review what they have learned in math from the eighth grade to the present. They will not be able to use a calculator. Review basic math formulas. Sometimes once a student is doing pre-calculus or calculus they forget the basics that they learned in pre-algebra and algebra. Normally a quick review is all they need.