This week is test week!
Test weeks are a time when I have days built in for review before test day, and a day to go back over the test after it is graded. This flexible week can also allow for a catch-up day if needed more than review.
This week we will be reviewing, testing, and goal setting! Make the review fun and the memories will stick! Unit Test reviews are just as important throughout the year as those end of the year reviews. The goal is not to memorize for the test, but to refresh their memory and help make those memories permanent.
To make my life easier, I plan each each with the same structure. Students like the routine and it helps them know what to expect for each day of the week.
Test Prep and Review
Monday – Tuesday
Review using games and activities for the test.
Ideas for review games:
Kids learn so many new technical vocabulary terms in Science, and they need to know these words well to maneuver through a challenging test. I started playing Science Says in 2009, and it worked so well that I stayed with it. I originally used it as a brain break sort of activity, but the results that came from it were phenomenal. It quickly became a review staple. When I saw my students making motions for vocabulary words while working through test questions, my teacher heart was full of joy for student success! They were using the Science Says movements while reading their test questions to help themselves remember what those words meant. This was a simple, yet powerful tool. I put a set of these together to make the movements of Science Says easier to track through the weeks.
Give each student a dry erase board and call out a diagram. They can show you their diagrams when time is up and demonstrate how much of this concept diagram they can remember. This helps practice for a brain dump or showing thinking on a Science test. Modify this for any students using supplemental aids on testing by giving them a folder of these diagrams to fill in rather than completely draw from memory. Laminate these for repeated use with dry erase markers.
Having students practice filling in these diagrams will work wonders for helping build their memory of each concept. This can be build skills for a test brain dump and work well as a supplemental aid on a test.
I started this activity to help the accommodated test takers because they could use unlabeled diagrams on the test. I had a class activity in which I would call out a diagram and each student had to draw it from memory. It was a fun game we even played with dry erase boards and dry erase markers on desks. It ended up helping the entire class, not just the accommodated test takers! And the kids loved to play it. For your accommodated test takers, you can have a set of these diagrams printed and laminated for them to use dry erase markers and fill in blanks during the quick draw games. Click the image below to grab the complete set of diagrams!
Four Square Review Game
Label each corner of the room A-D. These will represent the answer choices for practice test questions. You will ask a practice test question and students will choose the corner they think is the correct answer. You will have students copy other students, but they will still be participating and hearing the information.
Review Question Quick Draws
Give each student a dry erase board and call out a practice test question. They can show you their answer when time is up. This will work like the Four Square game, but with more independent thinking.
Administer the test. Remind students of the test strategies you want them to use. Have a plan for early finishers to read or free write after they finish.
Your school may have a unit test prepared for you to give your students. If not, you can use one of my unit tests which is a multiple choice test written to prepare students for the STAAR test throughout the year. This is a 20 question Student Assessment for a unit on Matter and Energy, Answer Key, and an Annotated Test with explanations to use when going back over the test with students!
A fun, but effective alternative to a unit test is a Unit Recap activity in place of a test.
Unit Recap ideas:
- All About _______ poster
- All About _______ writing
* Give students a list of words or topics to guide their unit recap writing.
Test Revisit and Goal Setting
Thursday – Friday
You made it! The weekend is near!! Thursday and Friday are simple days. I grade tests without marking the correct answer so we can go back over them and have in depth discussions over each question and answer. On Thursday, students use a pen or colored pencil to review the test when we go over it as a class. They write down the explanations we have for each test question. This is an opportunity to think out loud and model test taking strategies and thinking through a question. This is also an additional teach/reteach opportunity.
My annotated Test with explanationshttps://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Elementary-Ali-Teachers-Workstation/Category/Unit-Test-314102 make going back over the test with students a breeze! You can see this example from a Life Science Test.
This is also a great time for a quick goal setting session! These are a great way to help students take ownership in their learning! Have students make goals prior to taking each test, and review their actual progress after taking each test.
I hope this gives you some good ideas for a whole week of learning. My goal is to provide you with engaging lessons that are ready to go each week so you can spend far less time planning and prepping, and far more time spoiling yourself **because you deserve it!** Enjoy your weekend!!
RECOMMENDED RESOURCES FOR TEACHING SCIENCE
To make your teacher life even easier, I have put my lesson activities and materials into easy to use files. This saves all the time we spend scrolling and collecting lesson resources. Just print and add simple lab supplies! Or, go digital for NO PREP! No making copies, and the lab is virtual – Talk about saving your sanity.
4th & 5th Grade
20 question Student Assessment for a unit on Matter and Energy, Answer Key, and an Annotated Test with explanations to use when going back over the test with students!
Highly Rated by Districts and Teachers
2nd – Middle School
This is a fun activity for students to think creatively about a math or science topic/ term while showing you what they know. I love that this is open ended so students can pull from everything they have learned and show you what they took from it. This makes a great formative assessment or a summative assessment for any grade level.
- Highly Rated by Districts and Teachers
- (5 Star Rating)
Here is the lesson plan link again. And, don’t forget to join the Science Newsletter so you never miss a planned week of learning!