Test Prep season is officially upon us! Try not to get too stressed out about preparing your upper elementary students for state testing. You’ve worked hard all year laying the foundations of each skill. Now it’s time to have some fun and allow your kids to “show what they know”. Also – let’s be honest…one test does not define your students and it certainly doesn’t define you as a teacher.
Here are 4 ways to make your test prep simple and easy:
- Assign short mixed reviews daily
- Use online sites for independent or competitive review
- Incorporate fun review games!
- Provide positive affirmations to your students (head to the positive affirmations section of this post for FREE printable Testing Treat Tags)
I still think it’s important to give your kids practice questions that will be similar to those included on standardized tests. It’s not always glamorous, but that’s okay because testing isn’t glamorous. The key is to give them a small number of questions at a time. I like to provide them with anywhere from 5-10 questions, each targeting a different skill.
I’ve used a Math Test Prep Pack and ELA Test Prep Pack for several years. I would give the kids 1 page each day (6 questions) for anywhere from 2-4 weeks leading up to testing. If there are only 2 weeks until the test, I’d send one page home as homework in addition to the one used in class.
Best Online Sites for Review
- Quizizz (this one is my favorite!) – click here for more on Quizizz
- Jeopardy Labs
- Study Island
Find some really fun games to help you review or create your own!
Some games I created for review:
ELA Example: when I taught ELA, I created a fun impromptu game to practice reference skills. This game took very little prep, but the kids loved it! It was a two-team competition to practice using a dictionary to find the definition, pronunciation, part of speech, etc. of various words. It also helped them practice ABC order to find the words.
Math Examples: I used Task Tents™ to review various skills throughout the year as well as prior to assessments. While it’s not technically a “game”, students are able to work with a partner and compete to see who answers the most questions correctly.
Social Studies/Science Example: I created a game called, “Who Am I? What Am I? Where Am I?” to review people, places, and things in Science and Social Studies. This is another team competition where students have to read from a list of clues about the term on the card, then their teammates have to guess the answer. If their team answers incorrectly, the other team has an opportunity to steal.
Leading up to the test, I let my students decorate our bulletin board with inspiring messages. We even took pictures posing like Rosie the Riveter and did a “We Can do It!” theme.
On each test day (after the test), I gave the kids a small card with a piece of candy attached to it with a sweet message. They definitely looked forward to their daily treat (and I looked forward to the leftovers! 😂).
Do you want a FREE printable copy of the testing treat tags?
Click here to get your downloadable PDF.
The Bottom Line About Testing
You may not have any control over standardized testing. You can, however, make the best of it by implementing some of the tips above. And remember – this test does NOT define you as a teacher.