Several years ago, my first principal decided that we should start something called testing buddies. The idea is pretty simple. You pair up two classrooms, an upper and lower grade classroom, and designate them buddies. The younger children write letters to the upper grade buddies to give them some motivation. We always wrote letters and the kids loved them.
I decided to mix it up a couple years ago and created some brochures to give to our buddy class instead. Well...the reaction was overwhelmingly positive. The kids adored their letters! Even kept them out while they were testing! Want to try these? They are in my store for FREE!
This is how they work. You can copy them on white and have the kids color them. Short on time? Color them on some neon Astrobrights and you are good to go!
The kids then write three ways to rock a test. I have my kids brainstorm some ideas as a class before hand. They usually involve something like "Try your best" "Eat a good breakfast" "Read the questions carefully" "Take your time" etc. I then hand these out and the kids write their own advice and draw a picture.
When they are done, there is one last quote on the back to give our buddies a little boost in confidence.
We are giving our new friends their notes on Monday and my kids are beyond excited to see their reactions.
I often get asked about what kind of paper I use. I absolutely recommend Astrobrights. The colors are so bright and beautiful! You can check out my favorite packs:
We all know that staying hydrated is so important! We will also be delivering these water bottles to our buddies! My kids love these so much and they suggested that we give these to our new friends.
Last but not least, I pick up a couple of fun teacher items too! I teach second grade and we have minimal standardized testing. The upper grade teachers have double the testing time. I like to find any way to make their day less stressful too! Teacher goodies seem to do the trick.
Here are some of my favorite teacher gifts:
I hope that you'll be able to use some of these ideas! Feel free to share your tips and tricks for easing testing stress!