How I make State Testing a little less stressful

A note of encouragement can go a long way! I believe there is tremendous power in encouragement, and the rapport it builds with students is incredible. Every student should be offered a handwritten note on several occasions throughout the year. These ready to print seasonal, testing, and punny notes make that much easier!

A few years ago, I  made the terrifying leap from teaching kindergarten to teaching a 3rd/4th grade blend. Now, if you've ever been proposed with the idea of jumping grades like that, you will empathize with my initial response of, "Yeah...thanks for thinking I was talented enough to do that, but I'm going to have to pass..."

After the idea of moving grades finally sunk in, I dove in head first without looking back. Turns out, it was a desperately needed change that helped reignite my teaching heart that was feeling weary, but that's another story.

The year went as well as you could have imagined, considering I was hired by my new school just 6 days before classes started and it was a mad scramble to move out of my old school, set up a new classroom, learn a new curriculum, learn a new culture (I went from private to public school) and prepare for a whole new class of 31 darlings who I was sure would be taller than me (some were)...

That is, until the spring came and I could no longer pretend that we didn't have to complete state testing. By the way, whoever decided that 8 year olds should take high stakes, computer based tests, needs to spend a week in an underfunded, overcrowded classroom of 8 year olds, that has no heat or air conditioning, and only tiny pencils left... but I digress...
 
So here I was, a nervous wreck of a teacher trying my best to cram every last minute fact into my kids brains and trying not to let them know how terribly nervous I was for them (and for me!). And on DAY ONE, I had three 3rd grade students cry. I taught the low reading group and they could barely read the instructions, let alone answer the questions. It was too hard. ... and after I was done comforting them and alone in my classroom, I bawled like a baby and overate on any chocolate I could find stashed in my desk. 
I had to stop. I had to stop for me. I had to stop for them. So I decided I was going to take the opposite approach and be the biggest cheerleader on the field (since I couldn't be a coach or a player...). I thought of puns. I walked down the isles of JoAnn's and Target. I found treats. I made notes. I decided that each day of the test my students were going to get a little something-something that reduced the seriousness of it, because 8 year olds should not be so stressed about something as arbitrary as a test! Here are a few of the things we had during the weeks of testing.

A note of encouragement can go a long way! I believe there is tremendous power in encouragement, and the rapport it builds with students is incredible. Every student should be offered a handwritten note on several occasions throughout the year. These ready to print seasonal, testing, and punny notes make that much easier!

A note of encouragement can go a long way! I believe there is tremendous power in encouragement, and the rapport it builds with students is incredible. Every student should be offered a handwritten note on several occasions throughout the year. These ready to print seasonal, testing, and punny notes make that much easier!

A note of encouragement can go a long way! I believe there is tremendous power in encouragement, and the rapport it builds with students is incredible. Every student should be offered a handwritten note on several occasions throughout the year. These ready to print seasonal, testing, and punny notes make that much easier!
A note of encouragement can go a long way! I believe there is tremendous power in encouragement, and the rapport it builds with students is incredible. Every student should be offered a handwritten note on several occasions throughout the year. These ready to print seasonal, testing, and punny notes make that much easier!
And in case you were wondering, yes I did let them wear that mustache and pirates patch while they were testing, because it made them feel relaxed. And when kids are relaxed, they are going to do better work!
A note of encouragement can go a long way! I believe there is tremendous power in encouragement, and the rapport it builds with students is incredible. Every student should be offered a handwritten note on several occasions throughout the year. These ready to print seasonal, testing, and punny notes make that much easier!
My absolute favorite comment of that first year of state testing came from one of my 4th grade boys. When our principal asked him how testing was going, he responded with something like, "Oh, it's going great! Mrs. Bates has a new treat for us each day, and it's exciting to come in and see what it is!"

If we haaaaave to do the testing, we might as well make the day something to look forward to! You can click the link below to check out my notes. What do you do to get students excited to come to school on testing days?



 

 

 

 

 

GRAB THESE NOTES HERE:

FULL SET: 

A note of encouragement can go a long way! I believe there is tremendous power in encouragement, and the rapport it builds with students is incredible. Every student should be offered a handwritten note on several occasions throughout the year. These ready to print seasonal, testing, and punny notes make that much easier!

FREEBIE:  

A note of encouragement can go a long way! I believe there is tremendous power in encouragement, and the rapport it builds with students is incredible. Every student should be offered a handwritten note on several occasions throughout the year. These ready to print seasonal, testing, and punny notes make that much easier!

OR PIN FOR LATER: 

A note of encouragement can go a long way! I believe there is tremendous power in encouragement, and the rapport it builds with students is incredible. Every student should be offered a handwritten note on several occasions throughout the year. These ready to print seasonal, testing, and punny notes make that much easier!

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