One of the best ways to prepare students for testing is through spiral review and quality instruction over time. However, right before the big test there are a lot of fun test prep activities you can do in the classroom to review!
Here are a few of my test prep favorites:
Use task cards in various ways, such as Quiz, Quiz, Trade, Tic-Tac-Toe, Scavenger Hunts, and more. You can also set up test prep (task cards, games, learning puzzles, sorts, etc.) in stations around the room for students to practice a variety of concepts. Click HERE for my favorite sets. 🙂
Place a big squirt of shaving cream on each desk, ask a question and have the kids write the answer in the shaving cream. They think that it’s super fun and it makes the room smell great! (You can get shaving cream at the 99cent Store. Also, make sure to allow plenty of time for clean up.) Another fun & quicker way to have students use their desktops is to allow them write answers to questions on right on their desks using dry erase markers.
Game Show Format
Create a review game in the style of popular game shows like Jeopardy or Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.
Students use their text books to write a review question. Then they crumple the paper up into a ‘snowball’ and have a one-minute snowball fight. At the end of the minute, everyone grabs the closest snowball, solves the problem, and finds the person who wrote it to see if they got it correct. After a few minutes, student crumple up the “snowballs” and do it again!
Four Corners is a fun indoor recess game, but it also works really well for multiple choice review questions. Label each corner of the classroom with a letter, and have students move to the corner that corresponds to the correct answer for multiple-choice questions. For example, kids sit at their seats until I ask a question and give the four possible answers, then they move to the corner that they think represents the correct answer.
Put a task card on each desk. Students start in their own seat and record the answer to the problem in front of them on their recording sheet. The teacher says “scoot” after 30 seconds. Students rotate to the next desk, and record answer to the new problem. When their recording sheets are full the game is over.
Have students stand up or perform a jumping jack to indicate their answer to questions with only two options.
A Twist on a Classic
Add questions or task cards to popular board games like Sorry, Trouble, Hi Ho Cheery-O, Connect Four, or Jenga.
Teach Test Taking Strategies
This test prep strategies poster hits on the top 10 test taking skills. It was designed to arm students with the tools necessary to help themselves reduce anxiety, stress, or nerves. There are two versions: a single page students can keep in their notebooks and four pages that you can print and tape together to form a large classroom poster. These come in color or black & white.
The single page document includes two versions. One version is completed with the notes, and the other has room for students to take the notes themselves.
Create a whiteboard drawing, PowerPoint slide, or use an online template to play test prep football, baseball, or soccer. When teams answer correctly, they move a certain amount across the field or to a new base. If sports isn’t a big draw for your class you could simply have students work in small teams to discuss answers and write them down on a shared whiteboard while you track points on the board.
It’s really important to make sure that you have quality test prep resources.
Here are my favorites for test prep or any time: