It is so hard NOT to get overwhelmed, especially the last month or so of school! Tutoring, Test Prep, Review, Reteaching, Lesson Planning, Grading....the list goes on and on! I always feel overwhelmed the last few months of school trying to "fit everything in" and with assessments. It is so hard not to feel overwhelmed especially with students taking standardized tests. I always want my students to do their best and remember everything I've taught them. This year, I'm doing my best to follow my own tips and ones shared with me over the years. Read below on some tips and resources I always try to remember.
Yes, just relax. I try this and am not always successful, yet, when I feel overwhelmed when teaching and when at home from a long day, I remind myself to "just relax". I want to promote a calm, relaxed environment and not let my students feel the "stress of the test" also as much as possible. There are so many students I see that do get stressed and overwhelmed by standardized tests regardless of what grade they are in. Even when I took my state teaching exams my stomach was in knots. For this reason, I remind myself to "RELAX". It is great to take time in class, when teaching, and at home to just relax!
2. Have Fun.
Have some fun! Whether you play a game with students, do yoga, an energizing brain break, or just share brain teasers with your students, remember to have some fun also! Use stations, games, and more to review with students! Below are just a few ideas you may like for math review and test prep that are useful in breaking up the day or week of review. There are times I enjoy having a math game day while using review problems in stations or skill builders in a station. Not only, is it a great relief to have fun at school, but also, at home too! Take time with your family or friends to have fun even if it's for an hour or two. Play a board game, watch a movie, visit a friend you haven't seen in awhile...just take time to enjoy those around you and have fun!
Have students write inspirational notes to each other the last month of school. Currently, my students write "nice notes" to a selected person each day and it is delivered that day in an envelope to the person the students write to. This year I'm implementing "Share Your Inspiration" with my students. At the end of May and through the first week of June, students will share their "Inspiration". Allow students to write an inspiration note to class mates and themselves to assist them with feeling overwhelmed with testing. Let students share their thoughts, strategies, and inspiration to help other students get through testing the last few weeks of school. Students may make inspirational posters, letters, notes, save favorite songs, and more. This is a great way for teachers to also learn from the students on how they handle tests, discuss their feelings about any standardized tests, and what they say helps them stay calm. I personally let them know this is just one of many tests they take through their lifetime, it doesn't say who they are, just what they know and can do on that day with that subject. Along with these 3 tips, I always review testing strategies as well with students and share with students my strategies, since I also get nervous taking tests.
There are numerous strategies and resources for educators on testing and test prep. Whether you have days of review, a problem a day, practice tests, or more, I hope these 3 simple tips help you and your learners!
Certified K-6, 6-9 math, and 6-9 science
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