I am not going to even get started on my feelings about the injustices of basing a child's pass or fail on one test given on one day where any one thing could have thrown the child off for the whole day. What I am going to do is share some tips and great videos we found to pump our kids up for the test.
One thing I do to motivate my students is to give them a ticket the day before the test. The ticket has my "Fab Five" test taking strategies:
1. Read Carefully
2. Circle key words
3. Prove it!
4. Take your time
5. Check, check, check...and check again
Each day students have the chance to get 2 stickers (1 for each section of the test). If they use our strategies, they get a sticker. If they don't, they get...nothing. One the final day of the test, we have a celebration in the afternoon. There is a movie, popcorn, dessert, and coke. They get the following for their stickers:
6 Stickers=Just the movie
7 Stickers=Movie and popcorn
8 Stickers=Movie, popcorn, and coke
9-10 Stickers=Movie, popcorn, coke, and dessert
Not getting a sticker one time, does amazing things for motivating a student to change their tune about not doing their best.
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These helped to calm them down and actually get pumped up for the test.
I play these before school starts as students are coming in. They sing along and enjoy the lyrics, which help them to remember test taking tips. Then after the morning announcements and a trip to the bathroom, we mediate and calm our nerves with a visualization video. I found a great one on Youtube and you can see it below. After the video, the students are calm, focused, motivated, and ready to Show What They Know!