Brace yourselves, testing season is upon us! While test season can be a time of frantic anxiety where teachers are reflecting on the math skills they taught. Students are trying to remember all those sweet number skills. Administration and teachers alike are praying, hoping, and pleading the learning stuck. It is a daunting time of year for everyone. But you can take some of those worries away with these 6 math test prep tips!
Tip #1: Scoot on Over Anxiety
Scoot is a fun, interactive game that gets students up and moving (unlike testing). This is a great way for students to review what they need in order to do well on the math portion of the test.
A great part of Scoot, is you make it work for exactly the content you need (rounding numbers, story problems, multiplication, etc.). By mixing it up, you are giving the students a “test-like” experience with a variety of skills being used which adds to the math test prep.
Tip #2: Morning Motivation
Sometimes sitting down and reviewing isn’t what will get the juices flowing, but a quick morning motivator might. A morning motivator is a math problem that you can do quickly and focuses on a specific skill. You don’t want to get into a long lesson, but you do want the opportunity to fix any misconceptions.
A great way to incorporate this is to use it as a bell ringer before you get into the math lesson. It doesn’t even have to be what you’re working on right now, but maybe a skill students need in order to complete the task.
Tip #3: Test Prep in Groups
Math test prep doesn’t have to be a lone battle. When students struggle with math, it might be best to have them work in groups. If students get the opportunity to work in groups, they can help each other out.
You can teach various skills in math centers and then let students work on them together with a color by math or other activity. This not only gives you a chance to individualize the instruction, but it gives students the opportunity to collaborate with one another.
Use this freebie to get your students together and working!
Tip #4: Spiral Back and Review
This is a tip that I have given over and over again, but spiral review is one of the best ways to reinforce past skills. Reinforcing past skills is a big step in test prep because students are going to be tested on everything that we have done and therefore they need to be prepared.
With spiral review, you can teach it exclusively as an intentional instruction or it can be done in groups. Either way, it is an incredibly useful tool to use in the classroom.
Tip #5: Add Some Art to Math Test Prep
Many students struggle with math and are resistant to it. One way you can help them become less resistant is by adding a fun element like coloring to your math test prep. When you give students the opportunity to color code by math, you can easily see any faulty logic quickly and they can catch their mistakes as well.
Therefore, this is a great self-teaching tool and will hopefully insight questions that students may have. Not only can this be great for a self-check, it can be used as a morning motivator or bell ringer. All you need to do is hit print and get those colors ready.
Tip #6: Use All Your Time
We all know your time is valuable and you’re not going to be able to spend all your time test prepping for math; therefore, you need to use all the time you can. First, you can do is to have a fun little math game ready for early finishers. This can be something that you have on hand in a folder for students who get done early or for students who just need some extra practice.
Testing season is one of the hardest seasons of the year. It comes with the sun and the warmth which makes kids antsy. Helping students with math test prep is a great way to ensure those little wiggle worms show what they truly know on the test. While you may be bracing yourself for the storm, take a deep breath and know it will all be OK.