Is anyone else stressing out about standardized testing? The Education blogosphere is buzzing with opinions about standardized testing as the season of bubble answer documents, #2 pencils and “Shh, We’re Testing” signs is upon us. Regardless of your take on state tests, as teachers we still want our students to do their best, and we certainly don’t want them to be anxious. There are a few things that I do with my kids that help relieve the testing jitters:
We Can Do It! Bulletin Board.
I bought this Rosie the Riveter poster in college and I’ve had it up in my classroom forever. A few years ago I started making “I can do it” posters with my kids’ pictures! I snagged a piece of yellow butcher paper as a background and took a picture of all my kids making a “tough” face and showing off their muscles. Oh my goodness they are so funny:
I created a “I Can Do It” template and inserted all the pictures and printed them out:
Want the template? Okey, dokey, here you go! We Can Do It Template (PowerPoint). We made a grade-level bulletin board in the hallway of our “We Can Do It” pictures:
Super fun and the kids LOVED it! Isn’t that the message you want your kids to remember? I CAN DO IT!
Don’t Worry, Be Happy
I know whenever my students hear the song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” they will think of me! Each day of testing, right before we get started I have the kids take some deep breaths, think about their goals and then we rock out to “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”. I mean there is singing, snapping, dancing, and a lot of “Ooooooo, ooooo, ooo, ooooooooooooo’s”. I talk to my kids about how they are ready for the test, to do their best and NOT WORRY. It creates such a positive, fun atmosphere! Warning: You and your students will be singing this under your breath for weeks!
And that goes for teachers too! Testing is stressful for you too, remember what a privilege and blessing it is to teach! Don’t worry, Be Happy!