Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Preparing for "The Big Test"

Hello friends.  It's that wonderful time of year again - standardized testing season! My kiddos started theirs when we got back from Spring Break.  They had two "regular" days before the testing began so I wanted to find a way to boost their confidence before the big day. 

I searched for test taking strategies on Pinterest to see if I could find any ideas and I came across this anchor chart. When the kids came in Monday morning, we made our own version of the anchor chart and hung it up.

Next, I had the kids make their own mini versions so they could keep it with them.  I laminated them for durability and bonus - they make great book marks, too!

I didn't want to add to their stress by assigning strenuous homework.  So instead, I created this form for them to fill out. I wanted them to really reflect on what makes them so special.  I wanted them to see themselves how I see them - wonderful, kind, caring, funny and amazing!  I gave them 2 days to work on it and it was due Wednesday morning (the day of the big test).  They really enjoyed working on this.  One of them even thanked me for assigning it!

Lastly, when the big day finally arrived, I surprised them with some fun gift boxes for a little motivation.

I got the idea from this pin, then I went ahead and created my own labels and put my own little spin on it.  

I went to Party City and picked up some adorable gift boxes. They came in so many different colors! I settled on these four.

Here's a closer look at what was inside.  I got those awesome pencils from Office Depot and I had just received a bunch of free book coupons from Scholastic, so it worked out perfectly!

The kids were so excited about the gift boxes.  I honestly thought that they would just bring them home and forget about them.  But I was pleasantly surprised when many of them brought them back every day of testing.  That really put a smile on my face.  

I hope you've found many of these ideas useful.  Head on over to my Teachers Pay Teachers page and download the "I Rocked This Test!" bundle which includes the "10 Reasons Why I'm Awesome" worksheet, the "Smarty Pants" labels, the "RELAX" testing strategies poster as well as some mini "RELAX" bookmarks for your students and much, much more!

How do you motivate your students before a big test?  I'd love to hear about it in the comments. 

Thanks for stopping by!