My first year of teaching, I finished up my 5th grade science test prep week with a science lock-in. I drove 45 minutes home after the Friday night science lock-in event we put on. And then, I sat in my driveway and cried for a while before going in the house. This was my first time to experience that dreaded STAAR teat season and I was exhausted and overwhelmed.
After that year, I found new ways to make test prep more fun for me and my students. I developed a system that got me TEKS mastery results without making me cry.
This week, I finally collected all my favorite tips, ideas, and resources and put them into a Test Prep Planning Guide. (Which I am giving you for FREE!!)
My main goal for my new Test Prep Planning Guide is to show you how you can incorporate useful test prep from day one of the school year so test prep can be more efficient and more effective.
I want you to see students mastering their standards and feeling confident going into the big test day.
For this blog post I wanted to give you 3 quick ideas of how you can start incorporating test prep into your normal days right away! There are more details in the guide (PLUS tons of ideas for test prep including boot camp and science nights) , so make sure you download it.
- Unit Tests
Unit tests are a perfect opportunity for learning the test format and practicing test taking strategies. Plus, this gives them all year to practice and perfect these skills. For this to work, you should plan your unit tests to mock the format, style, and language of the state test.
- Science Diagrams
Science diagrams are usually my anchor chart for each week of learning. They are also perfect supplemental aides for the STAAR test. From week one you can add these diagrams to your spiral review for the year. These diagrams make for a simple and visual memory of each concept for your students. Students can even draw diagrams on test scratch paper to help them remember the details or process of a concept.
- Science Says
Kids learn so many new technical vocabulary terms in Science, and they need to know these words well to maneuver through a challenging test.
Science Says is a fun game that you can play as a class at the end of the day, end of the week, any spare time we have left over, fun Fridays, in groups during stations, and the list can go on and on.
I hope these ideas help you easily incorporate test prep all year long and save you from having to crash course everything the last few weeks before the big test. Save those weeks for fun review events!
Don’t forget to grab the full guide so you can have my school year test prep plan, tips, and ideas for an easier test season!