Seriously, how did it go so fast? Here we are almost to the end of the year! I am enjoying the Spring weather and looking forward to lazy days of Summer … BUT … we have to get through all this testing first!
Sometimes reviewing for and prepping for our end of year tests can be so stressful and at times a bit boring! But let’s take a step back and try to make it fun! Here are a some tips to help us make Test Prep Successful without stressing us out too much!
Tip 1: Prioritize areas of need – I don’t know where you are, but here in Texas we have SO MUCH to teach in a school year! When it comes time to review and get ready for testing you have so many objectives to review that it can be overwhelming! So take some time to sit down and reflect on what your students need to review the most. For me it is different every year with each group of students. Once you know what your students need the most, make sure that those skills are reviewed more than others. After prioritizing you should review all skills at least a bit, but make sure you spend a little extra time on areas of need.
Tip 2: Use student strengths to build confidence. So after you reflect on which key objectives and skills you need to review, spend some time reflecting on what your students are really good at! Review these skills (less than priority skills, but still review) to keep them fresh in your student’s minds and also to build confidence! If the students can see what they are good at, they will not be as stressed about what they still need to practice. I like to encourage my students by pointing out skills they found difficult at the beginning of the year and have now mastered! I say things like “Wow! Remember how hard ___ was at the beginning of the year and look how great you are with it now!” or “You have learned so much! You are so ready to ACE this on your test!.”
Tip 3: Make it fun! Realistically you can’t make every second of every day fun, but do what you can when you can. When students are having fun they are more engaged in learning! Play games, set up scavenger hunts, play music or decorate your classroom like the circus! Anything to keep your class from feeling so bogged down by the stress of “The Test”.Realistically you can’t make every second of every day fun, but do what you can when you can. When students are having fun they are more engaged in learning! Play games, set up scavenger hunts, play music or decorate your classroom like the circus! Anything to keep your class from feeling so bogged down by the stress of “The Test”.
Tip 4: Smile and Relax! This might not sound like a test taking tip, but trust me on this one! When your students see you all super stressed out, they feel it! Smile and relax! Help them to learn how to relax too! There is a balance between working hard and relaxing! You are the leader and can help them find this balance! If you can’t be relaxed, try to act relaxed! Maybe some yoga? Or a funny cat video on YouTube?
Tip 5: Add movement! This sort of goes with the 4 tips above, but take some breaks to move around! If kids are in their seats too long they get sleepy and bored! Play multiplication games with a beach ball, take a walk around your hallway, do jumping jacks … scavenger hunts are good for movement too!