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iStock_000003621931Small.jpgThis is a two part series on getting ready for end of year testing. Today we will focus on preparation and tips, next week will we focus on some of my favorite after testing activities.

When you think of year end testing, it seems too far away to think about.  However, the testing window will be opening soon. Just this week, our district assessment team announced our testing dates.  Aaaugh….

Also, depending on your state, additional tests may also be required before the end of the school year.  So what are the best tips or strategies to get your students prepared for these upcoming tests? Here’s my top 5…

1.Communicate with Parents-  Let parents know testing dates to encourage attendance, good sleep, and breakfast routines. 

2.Typing Skills– It is not enough for students to master content they need to be proficient in their technology skills as well. Encourage your students to type at least 10-15 minutes a day. This will help them to be confident with their technology skills!

3.Relaxation Techniques– I remember when I was in 5th grade, we practiced deep breathing before we took our tests.  These techniques will help calm students who suffer from testing anxiety as well as your other students.

4.Take Practice Tests– Take time to encourage testing strategies including writing. Show a variety of writing examples. This will help students to “grade” others and improve their writing and problem solving skills as well.

5. Have some fun and read The Big Test. This is my favorite pre-testing read a-loud!

From the publisher, “Mrs. Hartwell is preparing her class to take the Big Test. Knowing they have studied and are well-prepared, she helps the students practice how to sit quietly, fill in the bubbles, and follow the directions. She even instructs them on proper morning-of-the-test nutrition. As her students grow increasingly anxious about the Big Test, Mrs. Hartwell realizes she has to teach the most valuable test-taking skill of all: learning to relax!”

See you back next week as we talk about after testing activities.  Please leave a comment and share with us your favorite way to get ready for the big end of year tests? 

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