That 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade prep season can really be quite stressful, but it doesn’t need to be. With a thoughtful, fun approach, your students will feel motivated to revisit older concepts and practice necessary skills in order to be more successful on standardized tests.
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5th Grade Test Prep Review Ideas:
All week long, students earned raffle tickets for correct answers on random 5th grade test prep review problems. It was amazing how hard students worked to make sure they had the correct answer so they might possibly earn a raffle ticket! At the end of the week, there was a drawing for the prizes. The first name drawn won first choice of prizes. Once all students had one prize, I kept drawing until all the prizes were gone. I had a classroom FULL of happy students! PLUS, I was more than happy, knowing we had done a great job revisiting so many concepts.
Another way to easily review concepts is to use task cards. I downloaded a variety of task cards onto my classroom computer, and then used my Smartboard to enlarge and display them one by one for my class.
Each time a new card was displayed, I had students work out a solution on their own dry erase boards. I varied this; sometimes students worked in groups, and sometimes they worked independently. When I saw students having trouble, we would all stop and I would review that particular concept on the Smartboard.
The key to a long-term review is to keep it varied. One way we did this was to play tic-tac-toe in pairs. When I put a new task card on the Smartboard, every student worked the solution independently. Then, I revealed the answer. If students had it correct (their partners helped out here), they took a turn with their partner on the tic-tac-toe board. If they missed it, they did not take a turn.
We also added occasional bean bag games, dice games, and other activities to keep a change of pace. When students got a test prep task card question right, they earned a chance to play one of these games.
Set up several centers around your classroom. Have each center focus on a different skill. The activities at each center can be simple stacks of task cards, review worksheets, games, or even flashcards. Divide your class into groups of 3-4 and have them rotate around to each center.
When students begin testing this week, I will give them one more boost. Wintergreen Lifesavers!
Once upon a time, I read that a study had been done to prove that the smell of Wintergreen increases brain activity. I really have no idea if this is actually valid, but I’ll take the chance that it is. Every student gets 2 Wintergreen Lifesavers to have during each section of the assessment. When I tell them that the candies will help wake up their brains, they raise their eyebrows a bit, but then open the wrapper and take a long sniff. Every. Single. Time. So cute! So stock up on your Wintergreen Lifesavers now.
You’ve Got This!
You’ve done a tremendous job covering concepts and teaching your students all year. Above all else, please keep in mind that a test score does not define you as an educator, nor does it define who your students are. Just do the best you can. You’ve got this!
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