Testing has become this huge weight in the education world. Our students feel more and more pressure each year. When testing is happening in your school you can walk around and feel the tension in the air. Teachers are freaking out and so are the students. You are part of the education world, you know the stress that testing brings. But why?! Why do we get all of these feelings? Why do we stress our students and ourselves out?
Here are some tips and tricks for reducing the stress and making test taking (as well as test prep) just a little bit easier. When it comes down to it, you know your students best- no matter what the test says!
Get them active. This should be a no-brainer, but I have to plan some active learning opportunities into my test-prep lessons. Scoot is a great way to get some task cards into your lessons and get your students up and moving. Simply place the task cards around the room, give students a recording page and have them scoot from one card to the next. You can have them go in a specific order or have them bounce around and work on any of them. Either way, they are up and moving. You could also do a step forward/step back review activity. Place a tape line down the center of your classroom. Have all students stand on the line. Ask a true/false question. If they think the answer is true they step forward. If they think it is false, they step back. I recommend reading the question, giving some think time and then call out "step". That way everyone is stepping at the same time.
Work in some brain breaks. Kids' brains get tired. There are tons of different ways to add in some brain breaks. Have them answer 3 questions and then do x amount of jumping jacks. You could also complete some test-review and then have a 3 minute dance party! After their brains get a chance to reset you will have some uber focused students. GoNoodle is a great website that offers TONS of brain breaks for your classroom.
Relax. Set up a calm atmosphere and try not to stress out (especially not in front of your students). You have been teaching all year long and now it is time for your students to Show What They Know. They are ready. They will do their best. Testing will be over soon. It will be okay.
How do you test prep? I would love to hear some new ideas to switch it up this year! Pin the image below to save this post for later.