Test preparation in 3rd grade and above is a part of the game of teaching. Preparing students for the test is a part of the job, but it doesn’t have to be boring. It can be highly engaging and highly impactful if you want! One great way to make test prep in 3rd grade and above fun is by hosting a test prep carnival!
What is a test prep carnival?
A test prep carnival is a way to get students to prepare for your state testing, without boring them.
Students will read highly rigorous passages and answer test prep questions in order to earn tickets to the carnival.
The carnival can be whatever you want it to be! You can grab carnival games from this Amazon list here!
Or you could just play board games!
You could even use your gym for an hour and set up different games, like races, basketball, etc. The options are endless!
All you need is test prep worksheets or packets, some games, and some tickets. Put a ticket amount on each question and if the student answers it correctly they get the ticket. If not, you teach on the spot!
Why is it successful for test preparation in 3rd & 4th grade?
Students work SUPER HARD to earn the tickets to the carnival. They want to play the games, so their motivation is high. When their motivation is high, they will work extremely hard on the problems you give them. This means that they will be learning more because they are giving it their best effort.
Also, when kids are enjoying themselves in the prep for the test, they will have a better attitude for the test. When students are exhausted from test preparation, they will carry that exhaustion into test taking.
Need more test prep in 3rd grade ideas? Head to this post!
What do you need for the test prep carnival?
This is 100% up to you.
Or you can create your own test prep packet and use that with tickets you buy or print!
For the actual carnival, you can get as creative as you want. You could have your school buy carnival games and set up a real carnival or you can just play board games.
Here are some easy ideas that cost hardly anything:
- Grab the duck- fill a bucket with water and allow students to pick a duck. Whatever color is on the bottom tells them the prize they win. Prizes could be a homework pass, free computer time, etc.
- Target- Print a target and tape it to the wall. Have students throw a ball of tape at the target.
- Pin the Tale- Put a target or animal on the wall and blindfold the kids. Have them pin the tale on it. If they hit the target, they win a prize.
- Cake Walk- Put a number on each table. Play music and when the music stops the student sitting at the number that you call wins a treat.
- Musical Chairs
- Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament
Tips and Tricks for the Test Prep Carnival in 3rd and 4th grade!
- Ask parents if anyone has carnival type games at home you could borrow.
- Don’t tell the kids the games that will be played until the day of the carnival. The suspense will keep them working even harder during the test prep time. If they know the games, and decide they don’t like said games, the test prep is a fail.
- You could do this for weeks. They could be earning tickets for an entire month and the carnival is at the end of the month.
- Integrate! You can do this for test prep in any subject! They could earn tickets in math test prep and reading!