It’s testing season here, and to me that only means one thing. Stress. Stress for our teachers. Our principals. Our parents. But most of all, stress for our students.
The very first year of my teaching career there were no tests. I mean, we had created our own formative and summative assessments that we used to plan and drive future instruction. But there were no county/state/national tests that our students had to take. It changed the following year, and in that one year all of our stress levels rose.
There is much speculation where I live that testing will be thinned down. I’ll believe it when I see it. But for the here and now I have some suggestions to make testing season just a little bit easier!
I Am Enough
“We are all here for a purpose. We are more than enough. We just need to believe it.”
What a beautiful reminder from author Grace Byers in her book, I Am Enough’. Don’t let that it is picture book prevent you from sharing with your upper elementary students. This is an empowering book for ALL students.
A little sweet reminder that you have faith in your students goes a long way during testing season. Buy a box or bag of donuts and put one or two small ones in a baggie. Download the free tags when you join our newsletter and leave this treat on the desk to greet your students on test morning.
Reminding your students that they are more than a test score is so important. As a class brainstorm a list of positive character traits that you attribute to one another. Then have students select several and write sentences about how they demonstrate each character trait. When they hand in the assignment, be sure to write a comment on each paper: “I love your boldness,” “Your generosity of spirit is so special,” “You were so kind when Justin joined our class and you were the first person to make him feel that he belonged”.
More Than a Test Score
This report card activity from Teachers Pay Teachers takes the above character activity one step further. Students fill in an official looking report card that only lists their wonderful character traits.
Display the report cards along with character trait words to make an uplifting reminder for students and staff alike. Put it in the hallway for all to see!
We’re in this Together
Support your coworkers. Be the shoulder to cry on, the person who has ibuprofen and the sounding board. Show them how much they mean to you with this PayDay candy bar treat label.