Tuesday, March 15, 2016

5 Tips to Help Testing Go Smoother

 It's that time of year when testing seems to consume our days at school.  If you are like most teachers, this can be a really stressful time.  I thought I'd share some tips on how to make testing days a little less stressful.  Of course, there are some things we can’t change, and high-stakes testing seems to be one of them.  So, we have to make the best of the time we have to keep our students and ourselves sane.

Tip #1
Make test prep FUN!

Our students no doubt feel drained getting prepared for tests.  There are long passages, tons of multiple choice questions, and lots of problem solving and writing.  To make things fun for student, we can consider making some changes in the way we prep for test.  Here are some fun games your students can play to help retain information and have fun.

Trivia- Student love to show you how much they know.  Trivia, like jeopardy is a fun way to test their knowledge. 

Question Toss-Have a ball? Pass it around.  Ask a question and then throw a beach ball or basketball to a student to have them answer the question.  Kids love catch, so this is sure to be a hit!

Quiz-Quiz-Trade-Make some flash cards of what you are studying or reviewing.  Use the stand up-hands up-pair up to get students to find a partner.  One partner holds up the flash card to show the other partner the question.  The partner answers the question They switch roles and continue until it is time to find another partner. Encourage your students to praise each other when the answer is correct.
Tip #2
Get parents involved.

Students love when their parents are involved in their learning.  Getting your students’ parents involved is a great way to build community and let your parents know what is happening at school and in the classroom.  Parents love to know what’s going on and most are willing to help.  I liked to send home note to parents to let them know what we’d be doing during the week and what they could do to help their child.  Parents are appreciative of open communication.

Tip #3
Inspire and motivate students!

Our students love feeling like we care about them.  During test time it is important to let them know even more!  To show them we care we can leave small notes that inspire and encourage them.  You can write them on the desk (with a dry erase marker), type up a cute note, or even give them a card that they can cherish.  Have fun with it! 
Tip #4
Provide healthy snacks!

Kids love to eat! Sometime breakfast isn’t enough, or it wears off quickly.  Make sure your students have a healthy snack to eat during breaks.  This helps them stay focused and alert during testing.  Sometimes your district will provide snacks.  If not, send a simple letter to parents to ask for donations during test time.  Your kids will love you for being so thoughtful!

Tip #5
Rally the troops!

Get all of the teachers in your school involved in showing support for the student and teachers that are testing.  Teachers in testing grades really carry a lot of weight throughout the year and especially during testing time.  This year the second grade team at my school rallied around the 3rd and 4th grade teachers to show support and appreciation for all they do.  They provided snack and lunch for them each day of testing.  The teachers loved it!  What a way to be a team!  Show some support to those administering the test, or get your building involved in sharing the love!

I hope these tips helped.  Thanks for stopping by!


  1. These are great tips! My son's class starts testing next month and we are going to give the teacher funds to get snacks for the kids. Thanks for the idea!

  2. These are great tips! My son's class starts testing next month and we are going to give the teacher funds to get snacks for the kids. Thanks for the idea!