Has end-of-year testing snuck up on you?! Don’t fret . . . let me show you what I do to get through the “busy season” in just a few quick . . . bags(?)
Truthfully, testing season is a dreaded time around the upper elementary hallways of our school. The students become overwhelmed while the eerie sounds of silence creep in. You can cut the tension with a knife. If you’ve ever conducted testing, you know what I mean . . . and I’m sure you’re getting goosebumps just thinking about it.
For years now, I have tried to express my level of faith and belief in my students, no matter how hard they try. Some years it’s amazing and other years (like pandemic driven years) it’s been filled with anxiety. So, I decided to bring back some “old school” treats that I used during my first year(s) of teaching: Treat Bags for each day of testing.
- Bags (I chose one for each day we tested = 4)
- Testing signs (print those here)
- Treats of choice (I chose two whole class treats and two individual treats)
- Stapler or tape
- Lots of praise and motivation
I started by printing the signs and taping them to each bag. I made sure to purposely consider each treat for each day. For example, day one was yard games I picked up from the Target Dollar Spot. There were three games in total, which means this was a whole class incentive. I explained after the class opened this bag that there would be two whole class treats and two individual treats.
After the signs were taped on, I placed the treats inside. Afterward, I stapled up the bags where no peeking was even possible! I hid all bags until day 1 of testing. I placed the first bag on a table that morning. I had a student read the sign aloud to the class and let them guess what they thought was inside. I reminded them how important it was to try their very best because they would REALLY want what was inside (especially on the days they were getting their own personal treats).
In the end, after opening all four bags, the students were overjoyed. Here’s a breakdown of what I included:
Day 1: Yard games from the Dollar Spot at Target (checkers, chess, and a target game)
Day 2: Sidewalk chalk
Day 3: Individual bubbles
Day 4: BlowPops and Silly String (I had one can I used to spray the class . . . we had to celebrate THE END!)
I would really love to know what “treats” you’re using to motivate your students during testing season. Please feel free to comment below.