When state testing is on the horizon, we may find ourselves trying to squeeze in all of the testing strategies and knowledge that we think students will need before the big day. However, test prep can become boring and repetitive for students. That’s why coming up with engaging testing review ideas is so important.
Check out some fun state testing review ideas that are guaranteed to make your students excited about testing season!
Motivational Testing Tags & Bulletin Board Kit
Encourage students during testing season by giving them a cute-themed testing snack and displaying a motivational bulletin board!
Check out these fun ways to motivate students during testing season!
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Incorporate Movement During Review Activities
Research has shown that incorporating movement during the school day has many benefits for students such as better focus, retention, and overall improvement in behaviors. Think about how many hours a day students spend sitting at a desk. Giving students the opportunity to move around during activities will instantly increase engagement! Here are some ideas on how you can incorporate movement while reviewing important standards and skills before state testing.
- Snowball Toss – Print review questions on different pieces of paper. To play, give each student their own piece of paper. Then, have students crumple up their paper into a ball. Once the music starts playing, students will toss their snowballs around the room. When the music stops, each student should have a snowball in their hand.
Choose a student at random to bring their snowball review question up to the board to read. Display the question and have all students solve the problem on their mini whiteboards. Debrief the question as a whole class and play another round of Snowball Toss!
- Musical Chairs – This is a fun twist on musical chairs that is perfect for helping students practice multiplication, addition, and other computational problems. To prepare, print off math review sheets and place one on each student’s desk. To play, turn on the music and allow students to dance their way around the room. Once the music stops, have them sit at the desk they are closest to and solve the next blank problem on the review sheet on that desk.
Spice Up Traditional Review Worksheets
There’s nothing wrong with worksheets, but with a couple of simple steps, we can make them more interactive for students! Simply grab your review worksheet and cut it up into strips. You can also print each question onto an individual slip of paper if that’s easier. No matter how you go about it, students will love this twist on the traditional review worksheet!
- Word Problems Riddle Review Game – To prepare for this game, write a riddle on the board for students to see. Then, print word problems onto different colored strips of paper (I use AstroBrights)
Give each student a slip with question #1. Have students solve the first word problem and bring their strip of paper to you to be checked. If students answer correctly, they will earn a letter for solving the riddle’s answer. They will also receive their next slip with question #2. Students will continue solving word problems to gather all of the letters, unscramble and solve the riddle.
- Magic Word – This is a fun take on your usual Scoot activity. Students will collect letters to help them solve them magic word. To set up, place multiple choice questions around the room. Instead of using traditional answer choices (A, B, C, D), change the letters to create a magic word or phrase. As students scoot around the room answering each question, they will list the letters on their response sheets. By the end of the Scoot, they’ll unscramble the letters to discover a fun word or phrase.
Make Debriefing Assessments Fun
During test-prep season, I often like to debrief assessments with students. This helps me see their thinking, while also helping them understand their mistakes. To do this, we check previous tests together and “solve” each question as a class. If we’re looking at a passage, we go back to the text and find text evidence to support our answers. I will say, debriefing is not a class favorite, but it’s such a powerful way to help students during test-prep season. Here are some fun things you can do to spice up the way you debrief assessments with students.
- Use stickers to highlight text evidence – Stickers are an instant engagement tool in my classroom, so they’re perfect for debriefing! Give each student a sheet of small star stickers. They can use them to put a star next to the text evidence that supports the answers as you’re debriefing. This pack of star stickers includes 1,620 stickers for under $7!
- Grab a microphone – Choose participants to use the microphone to read aloud each question and the answer choices in an animated voice. This brings excitement to any lesson! This microphone from Amazon was a class favorite.
Task Card Review Games
I love using task cards to review important skills and standards, but sometimes the activities can feel repetitive. Here are some ways to change up the way you use task cards in your classroom during testing season.
- Create charts with different answer choices
If you’re using multiple choice task cards at a center, you can create individual charts to represent each of the multiple choice options (A, B, C, D). If the answer to the task card question is “A,” students will stick the task card under the “A” chart. You can use tape or velcro to do this.
If your students are solving text structure task cards, write out the different text structures on separate charts. Students will determine the text structure on the task card and stick it on the correct chart.
- Task Card Relay Race – Why not add a little movement when having your class complete task cards by turning the activity into a relay race? To play, place a bucket for each team at the front of the room. Then, give each team a set of task cards. Teams will solve the question, run to the front of the room, and toss their task card into the bucket. The first team to drop the card with the correct answer gains a point.
Elapsed Time Task Cards
Try these FREE Elapsed Time task cards in your math centers. Check out some fun ways to use task cards with your students below!
Reviewing Testing Strategies in a Fun Way
We all know the importance of reviewing testing strategies during test-prep season. We want our students to go back to the text, underline their answers, use the CUBES strategy during math, and do all the things to help them improve their test scores. Here are some fun ways you can bring awareness to those testing strategies!
- Jeopardy Game to review testing strategies – This is one of my favorite testing review ideas! Create a jeopardy game focused on important testing strategies! You can add questions such as: What does the CUBES strategy help you do? What should you do before answering a comprehension question? Check out this blank Jeopardy template that you can edit and your own questions!
- Classroom door with testing strategies – The testing season is a perfect time to change up your classroom decor. Consider having each student write a testing strategy on a star to add to your classroom door. Students can check out the strategies that other students shared and may even learn a new strategy to try out.
- Make test review shirts – Making test review shirts can be a fun way to help students prepare for testing. To do this, have students design shirts with different testing strategies written on them. Turn it into a school-wide fun by hosting a testing strategy day where every student wears their shirt to celebrate.
Incorporate a Classroom Transformation
Classroom transformations are a fun way for students to have a change in scenery while completing meaningful, hands-on activities that enhance learning. Classroom transformations are perfect for the testing season because they provide students with targeted review activities. Check out some of my favorite classroom transformations below!
- Test Prep Boot Camp Classroom Transformation
- Text Feature Surgery Classroom Transformation
- Fraction Ice Cream Classroom Transformation
I hope that these testing review ideas help make test prep fun and engaging for your students this year! Comment below to share what testing review ideas make this season fun in your classroom.
*Looking for ways to encourage students before the testing season? Check out these tips!