1. Have a positive attitude! Your students are like sponges. They constantly draw upon the energy you release, whether it be positive or negative. Be excited about the tests! Even if you don't agree with the tests, they are coming and there is nothing you can do about it. Why not make a rough situation better? I like to offer incentives for my students that will help them stay on task and have a great attitude.
2. The word "test" is sometimes enough to put anyone over the edge. Instead, try calling the test the "Show What You Know" test. This is truly what these tests are all about, right? It's not so much answering every question correctly, but answering a few more correct than what they would have at the beginning of the year.
3. Be physically active! There is A LOT of sitting around during testing season. You and your students need to get the wiggles out before...during...and after the test. Try taking a walk around the playground, dancing to a "Go Noodle" segment, or even standing up/sitting down a few times in the classroom. Stretch! This simple physical action will release oxygen to the brain and get those thinking caps ready to go.
4. Have something for your fast finishers. This one is tricky! You definitely don't want your students to just become "click monsters" or "bubble artists" just so that they can get to those fun, fast finisher activities. Have a conversation with your students about the importance of them doing all they can to do their very best. If it takes longer than some of the other students, it's okay! They are just showing MORE of what they know. >5. Keep it all in perspective! Be kind and understanding to your students during testing season. High-stakes testing can bring out the worst in us all, so be aware of your actions. The stress you are feeling is also being felt by the majority of your students.
5. Put the FUN back into test reviews! No one likes to study for a test, but if you add an element of fun and excitement, it can make a world of difference. I have a terrific test prep bundle available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store called exactly that..."Terrific Test Prep Bundle". In the bundle, you will find interactive PowerPoint game boards, award certificates, posters, and activities! Feel free to check it out. I would also encourage you to explore Kahoot! This is a super fun way to engage your students in test review. Believe me! Your students will NOT want to stop playing.
6. Smile! If the whole world just smiled a little more...it would be a much nicer place to live!