Preparing the classroom for the Big Test

As you guys already know, tomorrow marks a big day for my 3rd graders. Tomorrow will be their first out of four days of state testing. They will test in the areas of Reading and Mathematics and will be asked to remain focused for 70 minutes each day. Unfortunately, many of my kids have been fighting the flu. Just this past week I had 2 students miss more than 4 days of school and a handful of others were present each day but sniffled and coughed through the day. I hope and pray that those that missed last week were able to recuperate and will be feeling much better by tomorrow. Please keep us all in your prayers! For the last 2 weeks, aside from practice tests and Crunch time review activities, we’ve been focusing on motivation and affirmations.  The last step we had left to complete was… PREPARATION! So how exactly did we prepare? The first thing we did was to take the motivational posters students colored and illustrated and display them around the room. Slide6 Slide7 The bulletin board we took down to display our Motivational Mottos was our Daily 5 board or “The FACE of a Super Reader” board. Take a look below at the before and after pictures to see what our board looks like now.Slide5 The next bulletin board we created is one of my favorites…           take a look! Slide1 Here’s a few close ups. And in case you’re wondering, FCAT is the name of our state test. Slide4Slide2Next, we tackled our figurative language posters. Throughout the school year, students had been adding post it notes with examples of different types of language that they had encountered while reading…. Those came down too! Slide8Our Super Words came down as well… Slide10  Theme posters (compliments of Beth Newingham) were covered with more motivational posters and the explanation cards students wrote after reading books that they felt fell under particular themes, were also removed from the cabinets. Slide9It’s always a sad time for me when I have to take this down for testing because I absolutely love looking around the classroom and seeing evidence of the authentic learning that has been going on in the classroom. Thank goodness I have my students Motivational Motto’s and our We’re Going to Blow the FCAT Out of the Water board. They bring a smile to my face every time I look at them!  Slide12 Our last step was to clean out our desks and make sure there were no loose papers or mini distractions lurking inside of them. We also wiped them down with wipees to remove glue and pencil marks. Lastly, ALL of the desks were separated from their groups and placed in rows with students sitting in every other seat for testing. It is my LEAST favorite arrangement, but since my kiddos are required to sit 3 feet apart… I will make do. Thank goodness they only need to remain like this for 4 days So there you have it… we are now ready for testing to begin. What is YOUR least favorite part of test preparation? Good luck… to all my fellow teachers in Florida and those in other states who are also preparing for the big day! Happy testing, Melissa :0)

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  • Reply
    Eclectic Educating
    April 15, 2013 at 12:16 am

    Thank you for sharing the great motivational ideas. I really love all your suggestions. Our state tests are the week after next. I think I can squeeze some of your ideas in.

    Eclectic Educating

  • Reply
    Mrs. Cooper
    February 9, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    Do you have any tips on the motivational posters? I would love to do these with my kiddos! Did you just let them get creative?

  • Reply
    5 Things You Need To Do Before Testing Begins - More Time 2 Teach
    April 11, 2018 at 11:21 pm

    […] ago I used to take everything down from my walls or cabinets. It was such a pain and I absolutely hated it! My […]

    • Reply
      April 30, 2019 at 9:35 am

      We were just told at our school EVERYTHING off the walls including motivational posters and classroom rules…what???

      • Reply
        May 14, 2019 at 8:31 pm

        Oh wow!!!! That’s so sad… I mean there’s nothing better than looking up during testing and seeing positive words of encouragement!

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