Are your students preparing for standardized testing in Elementary School? Use these tips and strategies to ensure a smooth, stress-less testing season.
Standardized testing can be a stressful time for all those involved. Whether you are a parent, teacher, or student that is preparing to take the big assessment, the common factor is stress. Hopefully after reading these strategies, the stress level will be reduced.
Build confidence in students. Make sure that you are practicing specific skills, questions, and answers and other testing strategies. Use fun, effective platforms such as:
I personally use each of these platforms to check for understanding, or review content. I highly recommend implementing these for review. Teachers are create their own review or choose one that has already been created.
However, you must be confident in your efforts and dedication you displayed throughout the school year. Stay calm and follow these simple standardized test strategies…
Get students pumped up for testing and get your whole school involved. Invite your principal and other faculty members to collaborate and design a cute testing shirt. Choose a common shirt color so students can join the fun! Ask students to wear coordinating shirt colors! At my school, each grade level wears a color.
Suggestions for testing shirts for students could be, “We are READY, for this TEST”, “We will ROCK this test” (with musical images), “You can DO it, just DO your BEST” but be creative! Ask your students about their opinions and use what they tell you and brainstorm! Check out Pinterest or Etsy if you are looking for ideas but remember to keep your students mindful. Students can use this shirt as a keepsake and wear it again throughout the school year.
Testing treats are sure to get your students pumped about doing their best! Check out these fun printable testing treats! Add the item listed on each treat page to the student's desk in the morning before they arrive. Trust me…they will love it!
Don’t OVERDO IT! Review with students but make reviewing content as engaging as possible. Create a pre-test for students. After students have taken the pre-test, analyze the data and target specific skills with those students. For your struggling learners, especially target the concepts they are showing signs of difficulty. Ask for help… maybe another teacher could offer the content in such a way students would understand better. Ask your instructional coach or RTI support person. Don’t allow your pride to get in the way, because you as a teacher need to do whatever it takes to get your struggling learners the help they need.
Do your homework! If you are preparing for state testing, make sure you visiting the testing website for more information. I know in the state of Georgia, the DOE provides useful information about state testing. The state of Georgia provides:
Ask questions and get involved! Ask your child's teacher what you can do to prepare and make preparing for standardized testing in elementary as painless as possible. Teachers, get parents involved and send home lots of information regarding test preparation, test-taking strategies, and how they can help at home with test preparation. The majority of parents enjoy helping in the classroom but most do not because they don't know how! Provide parents with information on how and what they can help with. So, encourage parent involvement and explain to parents how much of an impact they will make in their child's testing experience.
Reassure parents to GENTLY encourage students at home and do not overly stress kids out over the test. Obviously, this can have more negative benefits than positive.
Use as many testing resources as you can find for your students to review with. Students need to see testing materials and questions ask in different ways! This is huge in my opinion. For example, if your students are taking the Georgia Milestones in Math, offer the same concepts with different questions. For example, if you are teaching multiplication, ask students what 5 x 5 = ___. Also, ask using words, solve, 5 x __ = 25, then solve a word problem, then explain (in words) how they solved the problem. Encourage students to use Math Vocabulary words. Instead of students responding 5 times, 5 is 25, encourage students to respond, “The factor 5 multiplied by 5 equals a product of 25.”
Good Luck! I pray for much success this testing season!