Testing Freebie

March is almost over and that means one thing...testing is in the horizon! I'm not exactly a fan of standardized testing but I do like to find ways to encourage kids and brighten their day. This post includes some ideas you can incorporate to make testing a little less stressful. This post contains Amazon affiliate links for your convenience.

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!
 When the child opens the front, they will be greeted with this encouraging note.

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.
Fun labels for testing! Awesome freebie in this post!
You can find these labels HERE.

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:

Any one of these gifts are sure to brighten a teacher's day :-) 

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!

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Classroom Library, Presidents, and Shopping Finds!

Happy Friday! Linking up with Doodlebugs for Five for Friday!

1. How often do you organize your library? I try to have the kids clean it out every couple of weeks.  It was looking like a complete mess so I knew it was time to put the kids to work :-D

Classroom Library

2. Don't you love it when you think you are done with grading and then find new stacks of papers to grade? This mug says it all.

3. We have been learning about presidents and used Babbling Abby's anchor chart resource to create this one! This was my first attempt at lettering an anchor chart.
Presidents' Day Anchor Chart

4. I felt like I hit the jackpot this week when I found all these books at Goodwill. Most were hardcovers and in perfect condition! $37 for all these beautiful books!
Picture Book Nook

5. Do you love Rae Dunn? I've been shopping for RD for months and can't ever find anything in stores. So when I walked into one of my favorite local shops and found this, I kind of freaked!
The shop owner said she was cleaned out by the time we got there, so now I'm awaiting the next shipment!

That's it for me! What have you been up to lately? Please link up for Five for Friday to share your week!

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Newsletters, Flexible Seating, and Smart Water

Hello! Time for some Five for Friday

1. I swear the second half of the year FLIES by! It didn't hit me that it was March until I was filling out our newsletters and calendars! 
Newsletters that are easy to edit and read! Great for parent communication!

2. I saw these stability chairs on Amazon and I just had to get one to try it out. The kids loved it! I'm a little jealous that I can't use it :-D
I love these stability chairs for flexible seating! The colors are perfect!
You can use my affiliate link HERE to check these out

3. One of my favorite times of the day is Read-to-Self time. Its such a joy to see my kids reading and loving it.
Read to self time in action!

4. These little books are too cute for words! I saw them at Lakeshore.
These little notebooks are perfect for Read Across America!

 5. We had two full days of testing this week and I wanted to give my kids a little encouragement before the test! These water bottle labels quickly transform all water into "smart" water :-)
These Smart Waters are so fun! Great way to motivate and hydrate our little learners before testing!

What have you been up to? Make sure to link up with Five for Friday and share with us!

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