Saturday, March 1, 2014

Five for Fraturday: Testing Week Fun!

My school is officially D.O.N.E. with standardized testing!!! Our testing comes super early in the year, but it's so nice that it's over and I can just teach for the next three months! Since my kiddos worked so hard all morning, we spent most of our afternoons relaxing. (I did squeeze in one educational actvity, though!)

Here are five things from my week:
As a last minute review before testing, we made human timelines of the events leading up to the revolution. I typed full page signs for enough events to split my students into even groups. Each group had 5 minutes to put themselves in chronological order - without speaking! This was amazingly tough for them to accomplish, but fun for me to watch all of their facial expressions and frantic pointing. They were having a little trouble, so I gave them 2 minutes to look at the timelines we had created in their notebooks (You can get it in my TPT store HERE). Again, they weren't allowed to talk. I found that this made everyone work at it, instead of relying on the natural leaders to do all the work. Once the 2 minutes were up, they were allowed to try one more time to get in order in their groups. After looking over the timeline, they did MUCH better! Here are my winners - they were the first group to line up in the correct order.

If you have to cover up everything useful on your walls, you might as well at least cover it with some testing encouragement! My students decorated bulletin board paper with motivational sayings, and I added one more special one the morning before the test.

We finished our baseball theme with some "Game Day" promises. Each student looked through our playbook of testing strategies and chose one they struggle with to promise to work on this week.

In keeping with the baseball theme we did last week, I sent baseballs home to the parents (one for each day of testing), and asked them to write encouraging notes on them for their students. I added a new note every morning, and by the end of the week, their desks were covered with encouragement! I only had a couple of parents not return the notes, and I just wrote notes for those kids myself.

We spent most of our afternoons doing art projects from the fabulous Jen Runde's blog. Her "I am" project was my absolute favorite. The kids loved getting to color the entire page and then write with sharpies over it. I loved getting them to brag about themselves a little bit. We all know fifth graders are right on the edge of the years of zero self-confidence, so I loved this way to get them thinking positively about themselves. I'm going to get them laminated next week and let them take them home after a few weeks in the hallway. (And apparently I forgot to take pictures of them, so I'll take some next week to share!)

Well, that's it for my week. Hope you all are relaxing and having a wonderful weekend! I'm off to start my very first Project Life album! (I'm sure I'll post about it soon!)


  1. I LOVE the idea of having parents write encouraging notes to kiddos during test time! I am pinning that idea!
    Diving Into 2nd Grade

  2. Lots of great ideas here! I'm so jealous of all of the art that Jen does with her class, although I'm glad that I don't have to teach art!

  3. I love your timelines. I always think it is fun to give students the added challenge of not being able to talk when they are working on an activity.

    Thank you!
    Fit to be Fourth


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