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Fun Test Prep- 5 Easy Ideas

Fun test prep that is rigorous can sometimes be difficult to find. Is this the way your students look at you when you start your test prep?

OH NO! This is not what you want to deal with for the next several weeks of reviewing for the state test. I want to share with you FIVE FUN  test prep ideas that have worked well with my students. Hopefully you won’t see this look again.

1.  Scavenger Hunt with Task Cards

Task cards are one of the easiest ways to review for a test. Buy some task cards that are rigorous enough for your state test. In Texas we take the STAAR test. I have bought these awesome task cards from Watson Works ! They are perfect for reviewing all the TEKS we have learned this year. Click on the picture below to check them out.

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With your task cards you can hide them around the classroom or school and have the students go look for each card. My students love doing this! They take a clipboard and work with a buddy going around working out each task card together.

2.  Egg Hunt

You can also use those same task cards and fold them up and put in a plastic egg. If they are too large you can shrink them on the copier. Another idea is to take a reading passage and cut out the questions. You can take the questions and put them in an egg. The students can read the passage and then answer the questions they find in the egg. I like doing this activity outside because it gets the kids outside and moving. I let them work together with a buddy to make it more fun. This was a math test prep scavenger hunt. This was definitely one of my FAVORITE days! We got to go outside, everybody was working, and there wasn’t any fighting. They thought I was a rock star! LOL

3.  Buddy Passages

Another fun test prep idea is done during my small group time. The other students are doing a buddy passages with a partner. They are given markers, an enlarged passage, and enlarged questions already cut out. The kids read each question and show their strategies on the question with one color of marker and then go to the passage and underline with the same color where they found that answer in the passage. They then put the question next to where they found the answer in the passage.

Even with inferencing questions (which we call brain questions) there is usually somewhere in the text that gave them a clue to that answer. With the questions that they can not go back to the text to find the answer, such as author’s purpose, they put the question above the passage. Even though they are still doing a passage, they have fun because they are working with a buddy, they get to use markers, and the paper is huge!

4.  Jenga Review

Using the game Jenga is another way to make the boring test questions fun. I have used this with math review. First I number the Jenga pieces and have a math assessment with that many questions. Next the students are put in teams and 2 students come up at a time to pick a number. Whatever number they pick, I then give them that test question. If they get it right, their team gets a point. If they tower falls, then the game is over and the team with the most points win. There are many ways to use Jenga for test review. Check out Pinterest for more ideas.

 

5.  Jeopardy Review Game

The last fun test prep we do is a Jeopardy style review game. I split the kids into teams of two again and they play against each other answering questions. I have one for reading, math, and writing. They enjoy playing the game and sometimes get very competitive.

If you are interested in these games just click on the pictures below.

 

 

 

 

 

I hope some of these ideas help in making your test prep a little more fun for your kids and bearable for you!

 

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Camp Write Along

It’s that time of the year! Writing test time. Ugh! In Texas the 4th graders have to take the Writing STAAR test. So now it is time to start reviewing for the test. One of the traditions at our school is Camp Write Along. The kids that have been at our school for a while always look forward to it. It really is helpful and you can definitely see a huge growth in the student’s writing.

camp write alongThis is what my room looked like after it was transformed into a campground. There was a tent, cave, campfire, dining area, and teacher table. The kids would rotate through the different areas of the classroom in groups of 4-5 kids.

Camp Write Along lasted 4 days. The kids spend 2 days writing an expository and 2 days working on revising and editing. I’m going to walk you through each day to explain what our camp looked like.

Camp Write Along Day 1- Expository Writing

On the first day of camp all the students meet in the cafeteria to listen to the Camp Coach. He describes the rules of the camp and lets the campers know what they can and cannot due while camping. NO shoes, NO jackets, NO food, and NO restrooms allowed at camp! We sing songs and the students have mail call. Each day they get letters from other students in the school and family members telling them good luck at camp. The Camp Coach then tells the students their prompt for the day- Write about how you are going to survive camp.

After we get back to the classroom  campground the students leave their shoes outside the door and get to writing. I have them divided up into groups and have them rotate through the different areas of camp. If not, they all would want to stay in the tent. They stay at the site for 20 minutes and then rotate to the next site. Each group also comes to the back table to work with me on their writing.

camp write along

Camp Write Along Day 2 & 3- Editing and Revising

Each day we meet in the cafeteria for roll call. We sing songs and listen to the Camp Counselors explain to us the importance of surviving camp. The kids get their mail and then we go back to our campground. On these days they have STAAR test prep pages to practice editing and revising. I continue to meet with them in groups to discuss their answers. We turn off the lights and they work with flashlights. We have trail mix each day. It’s a very laid back atmosphere and the kids LOVE it. The Camp Coach comes around regularly to make sure everyone is following the rules. They have to hide their snacks when he comes in.

writing at camp

Camp Write Along Day 4- Expository Writing

The last day of camp is always the best for the kids. During the morning meeting they learn about how to survive a BEAR ATTACK. They are given the rules and told what they should do if they see a bear while camping. Well of course, wouldn’t you know a bear shows up! He reeks havoc on the place. Furniture gets thrown, confetti eggs get tossed on kids, and shoes get thrown all over the cafeteria. He even throws a bucket of water on one of the kids. It’s definitely and adventure. The kids then learn they will have to write about how to survive if you run into a bear while camping.

camp write along bear

Camp Write Along is always the kid’s favorite memory from 4th grade. I know I was really stressed about the kid’s writing abilities. After the week of camp, the kids really seemed to grow. It was like everything I had taught them finally clicked. It was a lot of work but, I definitely enjoyed it. It was a fun way to prepare the 4th graders for the STAAR writing test.

Also, can I just say I REALLY miss my kids from last year! They were the most amazing class. I taught them for 2 years and we were definitely a family.

camp

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Test Prep Giveaway

test prep giveaway

It’s that time of the year! TESTING SEASON. I don’t know about you, but I need all the help I can get preparing my kids for the STAAR test.

I have teamed up with some great TEXAS teachers to bring you a giveaway for WRITING, SCIENCE, MATH and READING!  We’re also giving away a TPT GIFT CARD!

To get started, just find the subject area below that you are interested in and enter the giveaway. Don’t forget to enter for the TPT GIFT CARD at the bottom. Enter as many subject areas as you would like. The winner will be announced Wednesday, March 1st.

Reading Tools:

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Writing Tools:

writing giveaway
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Math Tools:

math giveaway
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Science Tools:

science giveaway
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Giftcard:

test prep giveaway
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Good luck!

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