Test Prep for your Classroom

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Test prep activities for your classroom do not have to be tedious and boring. There are many great resources for test prep including resources guides, games, and critical thinking activities. While you have been planning for the big testing days all year long, you are most likely stepping into high gear now and really focusing on getting ready. Whether you are preparing students for statewide standardized tests, quarterly reading and math assessments, or an end of the unit quiz, preparing for the tests is a worthwhile classroom activity. One of the most important part of test taking is learning test taking strategies. Test prep activities can introduce testing taking skills like learning tips for answering multiple choice questions and open ended questions. There are also many great resources that introduce various brainstorming strategies for writing essay responses. Great test prep material does not replace quality teaching throughout the year, but the right resources can be a great springboard.
Once you choose what materials you want to use in your classroom, you need to find time to incorporate these activities into your daily routine. Most of these activities are short and easy to add to your day. Try a multiple choice practice page as a warm-up task when the students come into the classroom at the beginning of the day or after lunch. Another idea would be to add a game that focuses on test taking strategies into a center or small group activity. If you know of several students who would benefit from certain activities, pull them and work with them while the remainder of the class is doing an independent assignment. Again by concentrating on test taking skills in addition to the subjects being tested, students will gain important life-long skills.
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