We are back to link up with our girl Joanne at Head Over Heels for Teaching for:
At the beginning of March we blogged about some bulletin boards we had created to get ready for testing and to boost the feeling of community and the self-esteems of our students (click here for that post).
Stacia used her baseball themed bulletin board to promote the "team spirit" to get ready for testing along with her sticker charts for motivation for good behavior and work completion.
I wrote about my pot of gold. This was about the time that my students were starting to pick at each other and also the time that I could tell some of my students were feeling a little overwhelmed with the curriculum. So, I told them they they were my gold because they are why I come to school everyday and they are very important to me.
I gave them a character traits chart and a list of every student in the class. They brainstormed independently words for each person in our class. Then, I put each student's gold coin up on the document camera and every student called out the character trait that they had written for that person. It was so awesome to see the student's face when they got to hear all of those sweet words that described them. I know some of my bloggy friends saw it and did it a little different- I think they used it with scoot, which is also a cute way to do it (scoot-cute- it rhymes...SQUIRREL...sorry!!) :O)
Anyway, I'm revisiting this now because, yes, that pot of gold is still outside my door. I had told my students that I would take it down and glue the coins to their desk before the state test came around because I wanted them to be reminded of how wonderful they are. They really loved having it outside the classroom because it's where we lined up every day and they would just look at it and look at it...it was so sweet. Plus, they got to see other kids looking at it (they were totally jealous! ;O)) and teachers would stop to say how much they liked it. So, it's still there, but Monday I am going to take it down and put their coins on their desks, since the test is only a week away. Sigh. One week. Anyway, we'll just pretend that's not looming, k?
I know you can't do a pot of gold now...but you could do something similar to pump them up...if not a gold coin, maybe a gold star?
I also wanted to tell you about the testing treats that we will be using when the testing starts (which we are still denying is right around the corner, right? It's still spring break afterall...) ;O)
We used these treats last year for our class and they loved them. It all comes from Jessica at The Polka-Dotted Teacher and it's all FREE (I've linked it below on the button)!!
We did a different treat than Jessica put on here for Monday. It was "You're a Smart Cookie" with a pack of the snack sized cookies, but then we did the rest of the treats just as Jessica has on her freebie. (Isn't her freebie amazing?? So sweet of her to share that!! Thanks Jessica!!)
It is a little pricey to get all of these treats for your students, and especially since I have 30 in my class this year, I knew I didn't want to have to buy them all on my own. I sent an SOS out to my parents to see if anyone was willing to donate some of the items for us. But, I think they are just adorable, so I am sure I will work it out either way.
What do you do to get ready for testing? How do you keep the pressure from coming down on your students? I'd love to hear your ideas!!