Let's rewind to about twelve years ago when the testing frenzy began in my state. I had been teaching for almost seven years, and had never experienced anything like it. State test scores were the focus. Teachers were so stressed, that they started putting more pressure on the students and stressed them out as well!
Not much has changed over a decade later. There are still teachers and students who stress out about "the test". Some teachers' salaries are even tied to the test! I can't wrap my head around that one! I decided a few years ago that the madness needed to end. I realized that I needed to put my energy into teaching students so they have the tools they need to be successful on any test or assignment. Instead, I have chosen to celebrate my students' learning. Now "the test" is something they look forward to instead of dreading. I tell them that they have already done all of the hard work, now it's just a matter of showing off what they know!
Each day of testing, I surprise them with a little treat. Yesterday morning was the first day of our state testing. The students were greeted by the sign below on the door. Click on the picture to grab your own copy!
This year, on the first day of the "Big Test", I decided I would give them a Test Taking Survival Kit. Inside they found a granola bar, bookmark, class money, a homework pass, and a pencil. In the past, I would pass out these items on different days of the test.
On the other days of testing, they will get either get a pack of "Smart Cookies" or a Smartie candy. Each day I give them a ticket if they are on task, taking their time, and doing their best. At the end of each day of testing, I raffle off a "Smart Bar"- a Hershey bar with a Smart Bar wrapper. The students love this, and I believe it helps to alleviate testing stress for them.
Click on the picture below to see the entire file.
I believe that changing my attitude about the test and creating a celebration of my class's learning has helped to alleviate testing stress in my classroom!
If you can use this pack in your classroom, leave me a comment, and I will randomly choose a winner after our giveaway is over!
I'm also going to use some of the coupons from this adorable Freebie pack created by Arisbeth from Sailing into Second. She includes a few non-candy treats as well! I love the "You're O "fish" ally done with testing! This pack is sure to motivate and alleviate test stress!
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