Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher: Test Prep: Welcome to Spring Training!

Test Prep: Welcome to Spring Training!

I don't know any teacher who is a big fan of standardized testing. However, they are a fact of life. So when life gives you lemon- make lemon aid! That is exactly what I do with test prep. I make it FUN!

In fact, we don't call it test prep in my classroom. We call it spring training!

First thing when they come back from Spring Break, we read this poem: What if school were more like baseball? I ask the kids if they would like it is school was more like baseball. Of course they say "YES!" And I respond, "Then lets make it more like baseball! But we have to get ready for the big games (test days) with lots of batting practice."

We start by setting some spring training goals...

These goals can be very helpful to me as a teacher!

Since I teach third grade, it is the first year of standardized testing for my students. They need some instruction in how to be good test takers. So we make a a game day playbook! 

I teach them a few tips at a time and display these cute posters as I teach the tip.

The students have mini versions of each poster that they glue into their play book. Then they write about what it means and how they will use that tip on game day.

I carry the sports test prep theme into our math centers. For the two weeks right before testing, they will be working on these task cards.

I also play an interactive baseball math review game with them once a week. They LOVE this! A student comes up to bat. They are given a review question and if they get it right and can prove why it is right, they run to first base. If they get it wrong, their team gets an out. The game is a hit (pun intended!) and it gets them out of their seats. 

The day before testing, each kid makes a promise. I encourage them to make a promise that is going to help them individually. So my little guy who has 48 tardies- I will encourage him to make a promise to be on time ever day of testing. My little diva who always finishes everything first will be encouraged to make a promise to slow down and check her answers. We make this fun craft with them,

After school, I hang these on our classroom door with a sign that says "Mrs. Sears' class is going to hit it out of the park!" As the students come in on game day- I have them reread their promise.

After game day, we celebrate!!! I bring in hot dogs and cracker jacks and we watch the movie Everyone's Hero. It is an adorable movie with a really sweet message. 

You can grab all of these materials in my Game Day Test Prep and Game Day Task Card Units.

What do you do to make test prep fun and meaningful?