Thursday, April 12, 2012

Show What They Know

We are taking the CRCT (Criterion Reference Competency Test) this week and next. This is the test that the state of Georgia uses at the end of each year to determine if students have mastered what they should in order to move to the next grade. Third graders must pass the reading portion and fifth graders must pass reading and math. Needless to say, there is  a lot of stress placed on teachers and students alike.

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.
Download my card free.

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!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Liz! We're in the middle of our state testing (sigh)...We share the same views of testing 8-9 year olds...But I won't go there. I wanted to say THANKS for sharing the cute videos that you used to pump up your kids. We did some FUN things for our kiddos this year too last Friday to pump them up for testing and "take the edge off" a little. Check out the details on my blog! Am your newest follower! :-) Happy to have found your blog! It's CUTE, CUTE, CUTE!!! Michelle