Monday, May 26, 2014

Gearing up for Testing Season

What's a four letter word that (sometimes) makes students and staff cringe?  T-E-S-T!  Especially when we're talking about end of the year state testing which drives up everyone's anxiety levels.  Each year I try to do a lesson/activity and staff treat to ease some testing worries on both ends.  This year is no different. Here's what we're doing at my school:

-For Students:
  • For my 3rd graders (1st timers taking a state test) we did our Testing Survival Kit lesson which is always a hit.
  • For our EOG school pep rally there were 3 different team events.  During these events students in grades 3-5 are chosen to participate in the event prior to the pep rally.  Students chosen are super excited when chosen, it's like they won the jackpot!  Here are the 3 events we did:
-Dizzy Bat Scramble:  Teams of 5 have to each jump 10 times with a jump rope, go over and under the "obstacles", spin with the bat 6 times and when all of the team has finished put together a puzzle.

Dizzy Bat relay

-Watermelon Relay:  Teams of 5 have to eat as much watermelon (without using their hands).

Watermelon fun, I loved how another student held another student's hair while she ate the watermelon!

-Water Toss: Teams of 4 each have water buckets, the first person dips their bucket in the water then "tosses" the water to the next person to "catch".  The last person on the team pours the water into a larger team bucket.  The team that fills their team bucket first is the winner.

A common theme that we reiterated about each of the games is that you have to take your time, concentrate and do your best...just like on the test!  To close out the pep rally the younger students in grades K-2 each do a cheer to pump up the students taking the test.  It's quite creative to see what they come up with.

 I even got mentioned by my principal via twitter, whoot whoot (I have on my comfy clothes because not only did we have a pep rally, but earlier that day was field day so wearing a skirt wasn't the best choice, yoga pants are pretty awesome too).

-For staff
  • As in previous years, there will be a daily testing treat with a fun saying on it.  Click here to see my previous post about this.
  • I saw this "it's Crunch Time" sign with Crunch candy bars on Pinterest.  I put this in the staff mail room.
  • To relieve some testing stress, I asked some parents at our school that teach yoga if they could come in a do a class for staff after school.  I really enjoy yoga and feel so relaxed after each class.  
Don't we look so relaxed after our yoga class?  It was so awesome!

The madness of testing can be tamed to some degree and I appreciate other school counselors sharing cool and fun ways to pump up staff and students for state testing.

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