The Progression

April 2016

Simple Ways to Motivate and Inspire During Testing

It's testing season! Here are some easy and inexpensive ways to motivate your students the week of DCAs and state testing:


1. Wear Your Smartie Pants! Grab a pair of white pants at your local Goodwill store. Put a piece of cardboard through the legs. Sharpies DO bleed. They can be washed inside out in cold water and worn again. Wear them on Friday when testing is over and hand out SMARTIES!


2. Write inspirational notes to each student on their desks for them to read Monday morning or each day as they walk in.


3. Have each student create a "contract notecard". Each student is given a notecard and write something similar to the following:

I will:

  1. work the entire time.
  2. follow directions.
  3. Read everything on the test and answer all questions.
  4. quietly read a book when I'm finished.

If I do these things, I will.... (earn _______, do well on the test, etc.)

Student signs and dates.


4. This one would probably work better for upper grades. Give each student a post it note and their pretest score. Tell them them have to grow 20 points. If they can add with two-digit numbers, let them figure out their goal for the post test. They have their goal posted to their desk during the test.


5. Title an anchor chart "What we should for the test". Have students write their ideas on post-its and put on the anchor chart. Then, share whole class. If it has nothing on it that they will be tested on, it may stay up during testing!

Let's Rock These Tests!

Make Test Review Engaging!

Test Prep Gallery Walk-Get your students up and moving!

  1. Write 6 Math practice problems on 6 different chart papers.
  2. Divide students into groups.
  3. Have each student fold their paper into 4 sections. This will give them a total of 8 sections front and back. 6 sections are to work the problem. The last two are for reflection-Which problem was the easiest and why? Which problem was the most difficult and why?
  4. On cue, students walk to each problem and solve on their paper. They must justify their answer with pictures, explanations, etc.
  5. After they have solved all problems, strategically assign a group to a certain problem to solve on the chart by assigning a problem that they had solved correctly.
  6. Give the group about 5 minutes to show all their work on the chart.
  7. Then groups rotate again to each completed problem to check their work. They could add further justification to the chart if needed or more precise language.


Four Corners Multiple Choice

  1. Hang construction paper labeled A-D in the four corners of your room.
  2. Read a practice question aloud.
  3. Put on some soft or upbeat music.
  4. Students think until music stops.
  5. They then go to the corner that has their answer choice.
  6. Discuss the correct answer
  7. Repeat with a new question.


Table Wars

  1. Each table works as a team and receives one whiteboard.
  2. The teammates have to discuss the question asked and agree on the answer together.
  3. Call out "Ready, aim, fire your answer!"
  4. One member of the each team holds up their whiteboard.
  5. Teams get points for correct answers.
  6. Discuss and repeat.