There are two facts about state testing:
- You have to take them and prepare your students.
- It does not have to be boring.
When many people look at state testing I believe that they think of the big booklets with reading passages and questions that take up a ton of time and are not engaging for the kids.
But I am here to tell you in order to get GREAT test scores you NEED to engage your kiddos in the test prep!
I am going to share with you 5 different ways that you can ENGAGE your kids in RIGOROUS test prep that they will love!
Test Prep Olympics
The Test Prep Olympics happen over a period of time to prepare your students for test prep.
- Either each class is on a team or a set of students is on a team and you assign them a country.
- Each week you focus on one test prep skill (like restating the question) and you pick two or three students that work very hard and show improvement on the skill.
- On Friday, these students compete in an Olympic competition to win silver, bronze, or gold.
- Then, at the end of the time, you announce a winner with a closing ceremony.
Watch the video below to understand it more! Or jump over to this blog post to read more about it and grab a freebie.
Test Prep Carnival
Throw a test prep carnival! All you need is games of some sort. These can be real carnival games or they can be board games! Whatever works for you!
Students read rigorous passages that relate to a carnival and then answer question
s that are testing aligned. They answer both multiple choice and extended response questions.
Each question correctly answered earns them tickets. These tickets can then be used to play in the carnival.
My suggestion is to do one or two reading challenges a day for a week and then have the carnival on a Friday. Really hype it up and get your students excited about earning tickets.
Work Hard, Play Hard
This idea I borrowed from the amazing Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher!
Basically, you give your students a task that they must complete related to test prep. So, maybe you want them to read a close read and answer questions. That task is their “work hard”.
If they complete that task correctly and with effort, they get to do a “play hard”.
These can be things like 10 minutes of computer time, 10-minute nap (they love this), board game, free art time, etc.
This promotes the kids to really focus and work hard on the test prep task so they can do the play hard.
These two tools are AMAZING! They are highly engaging quiz tools that are used on the computer.
You prepare questions and students answer the questions in a game-like format on the computer. The kids LOVE it!
Kahoot is played with the smartboard with the full class and Quizlet is played at each individual computer. Both are great!
The best part is both tools have a HUGE library of questions already prepared for you for free. So, it takes less than 5 minutes to set the entire thing up!
Fun Review Games
During test prep season we play review games at least once a week. I rotate through the following games:
1. Left, Right, Center- Review Style!
2. Steal Your Shoes
3. Life-Size Board Game
5. Let’s Show Our Talents!
These are simple, no prep games that you can use with any subject!
Want one of these games for FREE?!!? Well, I want to give you Left, Right, Center to play in your classroom!
Sign up below and the game will be emailed to you!
I hope these five simple, but engaging test prep activities get you excited to help your kiddos prepare for these tests in a FUN way! Comment below with other ideas you have!