End of year testing can be stressful on both the student and the teacher. The emphasis on those few days often creates tension that can be felt throughout the school. In an attempt to get that stress under control, I developed a R.E.L.A.X. and C.H.I.L.L. way of dealing with this time of year.
Review with students so they are familiar with the types of questions they might see. Try looking for free material instead of paying money online. There are many free test prep lesson in the ClassFlow’s Marketplace.
Enjoy the fact that you don’t have to make any extensive lesson plans on testing days. There is nothing wrong with reviewing using The Magic School Bus or other resources.
Let students chew gum before the test (studies have proven it to help) or give students something to look forward to after testing.
Active monitoring doesn’t have to be tedious. Look at these 17 ideas from We Are Teachers.
Xerox these complicated dot-to-dots to keep finished students busy. Don’t overwhelm them with silent reading (they just spent the last hour or more reading…lets give their brains a break).
Calisthenics beforehand gets blood flowing and pumping (pick a fun song that kids can get into). Consider some brain break activities to wake up early morning brain cells.
Have granola bars or some item of food on hand for kids who missed breakfast.
Invent last minute questions designed to make students feel successful and help them feel confident going into the test.
Lobby your team, or principal, for extra recess (everyone will appreciate it!).
And as always remember…
Love what you do! Your attitude affects theirs.
What are your favorite strategies for relaxing and chilling through end of year testing?