Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Beating Test Prep Burnout

It is that time of year when the kids are shutting down.  They are tired of hearing the words STAAR test....and I'm tired of saying them! I am always looking for fun ways to get the students involved, but also prepare them for the test.  We have 10 days left until the BIG day and my students think it is summer already! I know, scary right?? Here is something that I do to try and mix things up. Instead of running 20 copies of skill and drill sheets I only run 5.  I cut them apart and paperclip each question together.  I put them in a basket that is ready to go at anytime. Sometimes I even use them when I have an extra five minutes.
My room is already divided into tables. So I can easily have a game with 5 teams.  My students love this.  Each team gets a white board and a marker....they can also write directly on the question. I pass out the same question face down to each table. When I say go, they turn the question over and one designated student reads the problem.  They then work as a team to try and be the first table to solve it correctly.  When they are finished, they shout "BUCKS" (our school mascot is the Buckaroos)!!! I walk around to each group to see who has solved it correctly. The team that is first gets a point for being first and then they all receive another point for getting it correct. We keep a tally on the board and the team with the most points at the end of game time gets a prize(sticker, eraser, pencil, etc).
This keeps my kids from test prep burnout and cuts down on the amount of paper I am using in my classroom.