There is an illness going around my school right now. I think more than 1/2 of the teachers caught it. Some of the symptoms include insomnia, headaches, and some of them have had stomach aches. Yes, they have "testing fever"! The kids? The kids have droopy eyes, blank stares and are feeling sluggish. You guessed right...the kids have hit the wall with "test prep boredom".
Hello Literacy Land Friends! I'm Deniece from This Little Piggy Reads. Today I'm going to relieve some of the stress that comes along with state testing by sharing a few tips to engage students during test prep.
I'm very competitive and so are most children. They love playing games, so incorporate learning games. Create heterogeneous groups and let them use white boards (yes, it does increase engagement).
ClassTools is a great website that allows you to create a QR Code Scavenger Hunt.
SCOOT is a fun game that gets kids up & moving. You can put test prep Q's (eg: task cards) at each desk in the classroom. Give students an answer sheet and have them move every 2 minutes. ClassTools also has a huge timer that would work for this game!
If you're at a school where you have to use test prep workbook days, then I would suggest using testing buddies. I would make the students work alone and then after they are finished allow them to collaborate with their buddy. Just be sure to set ground rules that students can't simply tell each other the answer/s.
Finally, I would highly suggest little breaks. Last year, I tried using Minute to Win It games and they were a hit!! Kids won peppermints and they were super psyched! Shhh....peppermints help get the brain going.
Now that we've taken care of the kids, let's move on to you, the teacher. I would suggest to keep Excedrin in your purse during testing season, keep track of your data and make your copies early (just in case the copy machine gets overloaded & stops working). Personally, I would highly suggest a pedicure, a new haircut and making sure you keep a plug-in with a pleasant smell in your classroom! The last one might sound strange, but it does make a difference when you feel like you live in your classroom.