School testing season is upon us. Beat the test prep blues with these creative tips and activities that will help make preparing for tests an engaging and productive activity. As an added bonus, many of these activities include downloadable handouts to help minimize prep time. Click the titles below to discover more.
This twist on the classic game show allows for a lot of flexibility on what topics you want to cover: English, math, science, etc. This test prep idea includes an energy-burning bean bag toss.
Another modification on a traditional game, Vocabulary Bingo is a fun way to reinforce definitions. Let students select from a range of vocabulary words to include on their Bingo sheets, and “call” each word by reading the definition or citing an example of the term.
This is a great group review activity that gets students up and moving and gives them a chance to critique each other’s work. Students are broken into groups and asked to answer a series of questions that are written out on sheets of paper posted around the classroom. Each group must justify their answers with written explanations, pictures, or equations. The groups take turns presenting their answers to the rest of the class, and students are given the chance to compare their work to the correct answer.
This activity is fantastic not only for review, but also because it reinforces good test-taking habits. Students work in groups and are asked to solve problems. They must complete the following questions as part of the exercise: “The question is asking me…”; “The topic/skill of the question is….”; “I already know ….”; and “The answer is … because …” The class then reviews as a group to discuss the correct answers.
One way to make test prep more engaging is to incorporate a theme into your activities. This example uses a baseball theme which begins by having students write down their “spring training goals,” a.ka. what they need to work on during training (test prep time) in order to be successful on game day (also known as test day).
Use Jenga to add a little dexterity challenge to test review. Students take turns selecting a question to answer. Each person in the group must answer the question and record the answer. The person whose turn it is must prove their answer is correct to the other members of the group. If the answer is proven correct, the person whose turn it is may move a Jenga piece.
In this game, students complete a worksheet of problems. Once complete, they hand the paper to their teacher to check their work. Once all the questions are answered correctly, the student earns points by “shooting” their worksheet into a trash can. This activity works well with individuals, partners, or small groups.
As you ramp up for testing season, remember that this is most likely a stressful time for your students as well as yourself. When the testing does begin, encourage your students to get a good night’s sleep the night before and to eat a healthy breakfast on testing day. Also, help your students relax right before the test with calming exercises and lots of encouragement.
Have something to add? We’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.