5 Ways to PREPARE and MOTIVATE your students for testing

Slide3 Although many teachers (myself included) disagree with the amount of pressure surrounding high stakes testing, one thing is for certain… these tests are here to STAY! So what can you do to prepare and motivate your own class? Just keep on reading and I’ll share with you a few ideas that I’ve used with my own 3rd graders. I believe that each of these resources have helped to motivate and calm those pesky pre-test jitters. 1. THINKING MAPS– Break students up into groups and have them brainstorm everything they’ve learned this year in regards to reading or math. (Those are the two subject areas my students test in). What I LOVE about this activity is that it jogs children’s memories, helps them realize exactly how much information they actually DO know/have learned, and is a great self esteem booster as well. Watch your children beam with pride as they turn in their “busy” thinking maps highlighting everything they “know”. Take a look at some maps my students created this year… Slide8 Slide9 2. Read Aloud– Read a few funny and kid friendly stories that help students realize that they are not the only ones that worry or suffer anxiety, especially before the BIG TEST! I think it’s important to get our kiddos to laugh and smile at a time when many of them are suffering the dreaded butterflies in the stomach syndrome. Here are a few books that I absolutely adore for this time of the year… Read Aloud JPEGTesting Read Alouds JPEG 3. Motivating Mottos– During this time of year, many children begin to doubt their abilities and all too often we begin to hear “I can’t…”, “I don’t remember”, or “I don’t know how!” Why not turn that negativity around and have children illustrate positive phrases. Then post them up around the classroom during testing days to remind your students that they ARE super readers and that they CAN succeed! Slide5Slide7 Slide1Slide2 4. Write About It– Students spends way too much time talking and thinking about what might happen if they DON’T pass the “Big Test”. Why not have them turn that negativity around by having them write about what happened the day that they DID PASS. Slide3 5. Love Notes– This last idea is one of my favorites… Every year, right before testing, I send home a Top Secret envelope with instructions for parents and loved ones to write words of encouragement for their children. If we test for 4 days then I include 4 different note cards for parents to decorate and personalize. I even include a sheet with sample phrases that they can get ideas from. Then on each morning of testing, before students arrive, I place their love notes on their desks. As they walk in, I get to sit back and watch the magic happen… My kiddos faces beam with joy as they read and share how much their loved ones believe in them. Take  a peak… Slide2 Slide20 Slide11 Slide13 Slide14 Slide17 Slide12 Slide15 I hope you find these tips useful with your own students and that they help bring a little bit of sunshine to your own classroom during those dreaded testing days. If you have any other tips or ideas that you’ve found to be beneficial with your own class I’d love to hear about them. I’m always on the look out for new ways to motivate my babies. Good luck and happy testing! Signature

Previous Story
Next Story

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    April 17, 2014 at 1:13 am

    These are great ideas. I am going to steal the "love notes." Quick question… Do you always get these back from parents? I also had my fourth graders write notes to third graders telling them how they felt last year taking the ISTEP for the first time. They also share a good test taking strategy with them. I am new to blogging. Loved reading and looking at yours! Fastpaced4thgrade

  • Reply
    Alison Rose
    April 17, 2014 at 1:16 am

    Love all the ideas! Pinned! Thank you so much! I haven't heard of some of these books, so I will definitely be picking them up for next year!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.