It's that time of year; state testing! The days leading up to state tests can feel stressful for students. As teachers, we want to encourage our students to be motivated to do their best on a test but hopefully eliminate as much stress as possible. Use these FIVE easy motivational test prep activities to introduce a little bit of excitement to your class as you prepare for the big day!
#1: Start with a Growth Mindset!
The best way to get rid of testing jitters is to talk to your students about the test so they know what to expect but more importantly to let them that it is one test in the continuum of many more in their lives. It is only one of many indicators of how well they will succeed in the future.
The main goal is to do their personal best! By promoting a growth mindset your students will feel encouraged that they are ready for the test!
The best way to do this? Encouraging phrases and ideas that the students can hold on to and repeat to themselves during testing!
Ten motivational slides include correlating journal pages! You can:
- Share the motivational slide
- Discuss as a class
- Have students journal their own thoughts (journal pages included)
- Follow up with a positive note
The Growth Mindset Slides, Journals, and Positive Notes Resource is the perfect way to kick off testing! Click here to check them out!
#2 Involve the Parents (FREE letter!)
This is the perfect opportunity to involve parents with a growth mindset. Give your students' parents notice ahead of time and let them know the testing dates. Give them ideas on what they can do on the days leading up to testing that will help their child! Lastly, give them ideas on how they can encourage their child to have a growth mindset. You can find a FREE parent letter in the blog's resource library. Not a member? Sign up here!
#3 Decorate Your Classroom
During testing, you probably have to take down or cover up all the academic posters and charts you have. So now is the perfect time to decorate with motivational banners that encourage students to have a growth mindset. Make it extra special by adding a few balloons or streamers. After all, our students get to shine and show off everything they know!
These motivational testing banners have three options!
- Write-In Banners
- Coloring Banners
- Ready-Made Banners
Will the coloring banners might seem a little elementary; having students color is a perfect motivational test prep activity because it gives their brains a break. Coloring is fun and can help calm students' anxiety.
Now on testing day, when students look around the room, the colorful banners with positive messages will help encourage them to keep going and try their best! Click here to see the Growth Mindset Motivational Banners
#4 Positive Testing Videos
Youtube is a great resource with videos you can share with students.
5 Tips for Coping with Test Anxiety (for kids!)
The Mindset of a Champion (Ted Talk by a 5th Grader)
#5 Pajama Day on Testing Day
Let your students wear their PJs on testing day! Your students will LOVE this idea! It's a fun way to distract students a little bit before the test. Coming to school in pajamas on the testing day will guarantee that they are dressed comfortably too!
I hope these motivational test prep activities will help create a classroom environment where students feel ready and motivated. Above all, cheer them on, praise them, and let them know that their success isn't defined by one test.