You loved the six test prep tips from teachers on Instagram we shared last month, so we’re back with more Insta-spiration. But before we get to it, take a moment to follow our Instagram account to make sure you don’t miss the classroom ideas we share daily.
…Ok, now let’s jump in!
Whether you’re in the middle of summative state testing, or preparing for your next MAP Growth benchmark assessment, these ideas will help you calm your students’ jitters and rock the upcoming test(s).
1) Create a visually motivating environment
Do you find yourself covering your beautiful anchor charts and bulletin boards with butcher paper (or needing to take them down) during state testing? You’ll love this uplifting alternative from @fantasticallyfourth. She snagged these growth mindset coloring sheets from @tothesquareinch and asked students to color them in for homework. “Best homework EVER, I was told,” she shares. She used the final pieces to cover any 8.5” x 11” posters in her room. The best part: “Now anywhere [students] look during testing, they’re reminded that they can do it!”
2) Recap specific growth mindset strategies
In addition to covering your room with growth mindset visual reminders, you can take it a step further by reviewing specific strategies students already have in their growth mindset toolkit. We especially love these two anchor charts from @teachandtransform. She says “Sometimes a good mantra is all you need to get started when you’re feeling stuck” and these charts are sure to help your students develop some mantras to remember on test day.
3) Get help from families
Double the encouragement by getting families on board. Check out two fun options for implementing this idea below. @mrs2ndgrade asks family members to write encouraging letters to motivate students to do their best on their MAP Growth assessments. Notice the personal touch of the post-it note with her bitmoji at the bottom of every note as well.
@teach4summer has them do the same thing for each day of state testing. She sends home a top secret manila envelope with a card for each day. She gushes, “Some parents decorate them with stickers and drawings to make them even more personalized! Parents then send them back to me in the secret envelope so their child does not see them until testing. I put them on their desk each morning. It’s a great positive way to start the day/testing sessions.”
4) Ask students to share their best test-taking tips
It’s one thing for us to remind students to use their best test-taking tips. But it can be so much more impactful to have them share their favorite tips with one another, as @caitscoolschool does. Can you spot several sassy answers in the mix?
5) Celebrate effort
We know our students are more than a score. We can reinforce that mentality by celebrating their tenacity and perseverance above all. What that looks like will depend on the grade level you teach, but for the younger grades, you may enjoy these punny snack ideas: “You’re o-FISH-ally done with MAP testing!” (from @teachinggifted) and “high five to testing” (from @indycollegeprep).
Do you have other ideas you’d like to share? Connect with us on Instagram or Twitter and tag @NWEA. And if you haven’t seen our Pinterest page yet, follow us there for more inspiration.