Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tried it Tuesday: Test Prep Review That Isn't Uber Boring

Yeah, we have our state testing next week, meaning this week is a whirlwind of reviewing strategies and concepts I want fresh in my friends' minds. So, I'm here with you to share some test prep activities we are doing in room 19 this week.. and a FREEBIE!

To begin, we made an interactive notebook foldable to review our reading strategies. I attempted to create this on powerpoint, but with the margins being funny, it never folded correctly. After about an hour I resorted to using the ol' sharpie. As you can see, the copier slightly cut off the "Rock That Test!", but my kids got the point. 

After reviewing these strategies we then specifically applied them to a reading selection. I walked around the entire time monitoring to make sure they actually read the questions first and went back and found their answers in the text. It's amazing how well they do when they re-read to find answers! ;)

For motivation, because let's face it, practicing this is not super fun, I awarded bunny money. This is a freebie my friend from Inspired Owl's Corner shared in her store. 

My kids know they get to buy special prizes with their special bunny money, and this seriously motivates them. Motivation... not bribery! ;)

Today we went on to review more, through a fun game of jeopardy! I made 5 different categories: 
1. Vocabulary
2. Antonyms/Synonyms
3-5: Reading passages from our county's book series

I thought this was a GREAT idea because students were still reading passages, but then answered the questions that were on the game show. We of course read the questions first, since that's one of our test-taking strategies! The kids could choose the vocab and antonym/synonym questions in any order they pleased, but once they chose a passage, we went ahead and read the passage, and answered all the questions for that passage so it was fresh. They answered individually on white boards, and each received a tally for getting it correct. The person who picked the question got 2 tallies if they were correct, since it was "their question."

I LOVED how all the students were going back in the text to find their answers. They were underlining and writing question numbers like crazy. Such a happy teacher moment!

For Wednesday and Thursday we're going to practice mock testing sessions that are pretty real to life. My 3rd graders haven't experienced this yet, so their seats will be moved and everything in the room will be covered. We're going to practice doing absolutely nothing when we're done testing, because that isn't a concept they get yet. :) 

Then on Friday we're going to get pumped up by rocking out with this craft. 

They'll do a little writing piece putting together everything we've practiced this week to tell how they're going to "rock the test!"

Because my kids responded so well to ELA jeopardy, I created a review math version as well! 

Click on the picture if you'd like a copy for yourself! It's a facebook fan freebie! Like my page and then click on Fan Freebies!

Good luck to all my fellow testers out there!

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  1. We have our test prep coming up the week after Spring Break! I haven't been looking forward to it. Thanks for some ideas to make it not quite as painful!!
    A Tall Drink of Water

  2. Love the foldable and the game idea! I might need to definitely do the foldable tomorrow. We are doing NO test prep on Friday. We are going to snack all day...relax and read AND have a water balloon fight. This.can.not.get.over.fast.enough.for.me!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  3. Our assessments were back in the beginning of February. Yeah, I know...that totally makes sense. I used this sign for my door during our Iowa Assessments.
    Good Luck!
    The Journey of a Beginning Teacher

  4. We are testing this week (started today). I love the review ideas! I am trying to keep things low-stress in the afternoons, may have to play a few review games!

  5. I love Your Name Popped Up! So cute! Thank you for sharing the wonderful Math Jeopardy game too! My kiddos will have so much fun with it! I have Tiffany Gannon's adorable unit too. We made the rock star crafts for our parent volunteer breakfast, and now they are on my windows to promote "The Test"! Thank you for sharing Bunny Money and I'm glad you could use it! :)

  6. I love the foldable and the Jeopardy games!

  7. We finished our ELA state tests before spring break (on break finally!) but math tests are the week after we come back. I totally agree with you on the practice mock testing sessions. I do a shortened version with the writing because so many of my 4th graders are used to having all the time they need. This year, they had 70 minutes for three reading passages, five short response questions, and an extended response. Many still didn't finish but the practice session helped I'm sure! Thank you for the freebie Jeopardy game! I added the Rockin' Out the Test resource to my wish list too!
    Fourth Grade Flipper