Preparation for TCAP begins

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Elementary school students and teachers are preparing for the biggest test of the year, the TCAP exams.

The Transitional Colorado Assessment Program is a standardized state-wide test measuring 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders in math, reading, writing and science.

Working hard and being proud of their effort is the first thing educators suggest.

But the real preparation started on the first day of school.

"You prepare them all year, you teach them the curriculum, you give them just academic tests along the way, filling the holes that they may have, supporting the places that they need a little extra work," said Laura Stewart, a 5th grade teacher at Lincoln Orchard Mesa Elementary School.

And the early preparation happens at home too; and teachers say it should continue through testing.

"Read to the kids every night, or have them read every night. Do math facts, 15-20 minutes every night. Math is really good for their brains, helps them get that problem solving going," said Stewart.

But parents can take some steps now to help their kids be ready for TCAP.

"For parents we really encourage them to have their kids go to bed at a decent hour at night, not too much in the video game area, it does nothing for stimulating the problem solving of the brain. And then make sure they eat the right foods because nutrition is huge for brain growth," said Stewart.

Once kids show up at school, their teachers will guide them through the multiple one-hour tests; helping them be successful test-takers.

"Of course there's the preparation of becoming familiar with the testing format, the types of questions they're likely to see, how to manage your time so you're not running out of time at the end of the class," said Meri Nofzinger, Lincoln Orchard Mesa Elementary School Principal.

School officials also suggest parents not put too much emphasis on this test for their children.

They should know how important it is, but teachers don't want their students to be too anxious when it comes to testing time.

Another tip for parents, make sure your children are healthy next week.

School officials say when kids call in sick and have to make up the test later; they are pulled out of class and will miss more instruction time.

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