Thursday, April 19, 2012

Testing lesson for 1st time testers

Testing time is fast approaching which made an easy choice for our monthly counselor classroom visits.   We've been focusing on test taking tips, calming anxiety & doing your best.  Third graders at my school will experience state end of grade testing (EOG's) for the 1st time.  I can only imagine the pressure that these poor students are enduring.  Many moons ago when I was their age we took the California Achievement Test (CAT).  All my teacher (who was fantastic by the way) talked about was this CAT test and for a while I thought that the test was about actual cats!  The test was so talked up that pretty much every one in the class was a nervous wreck.  We certainly don't want our students to feel this way going into the test. 

I got ideas from counselor blogs from Danielle, Tabitha & Pinterest on test taking tips and did a combo on all three.  We started our lesson by reading the book Testing Miss Malarkey which I found a free e-book copy online.  Click here to download.  We used the iPad to show the book on the Promethan board  (using iPad VGA adapter) while we read the story (we also had students to volunteer to read, which they really liked).  After the story, we discussed test taking tips and strategies (most of the tips the teachers have been saying all year).  We then began to discuss ways to relax when taking the test and not letting the test get the best of them.  From here we had the students write one worry they had about taking the EOG's for the 1st time (we told them not to write their names on the index cards) and put all the cards in a box.  The box was called the EOG's worry box (thanks Tabitha for sharing your idea).  The idea was to allow students to see their worries about the test "go away".   We pulled some of the cards from the worry box and helped by offering suggestions on how to deal with the worry (in a general way).   After the relaxation and worry box activity, we handed out "parting gifts" which included us saying that they were smartie pants and handed out smarties candy and we gave out book marks with test taking strategies.  To download the book marks (free) click here (you will have to create an account but it takes no time. 

To make my worry box, I used an empty cereal box and covered it using wrapping paper.

Cereal box & wrapping paper

 I typed the words "EOG worry box" in Word using Chalkduster font, size 72 with a green font text color.  I used a ruler to measure what to trim while cutting.

Printed copy of Worry Box labels.  I used a ruler to measure what to trim.

Worry box labels cut out

I then printed and glued the words onto the box using mod podge.  I also painted a layer of the mod podge over the entire box.  Total cost for the project = $0, I already had all of the items!  Here's the finished product!

Here are some of the worries from the worry box

Let the testing season begin.  What ideas or lessons do you use when sharing testing tips/strategies with your students?

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