While the first inclination may be to roast marshmallows over a giant bonfire of test prep materials, open flames may not be the best option. Testing can be a physically, emotionally, and intellectually exhausting process. After all the rigors of mind and body, letting students know their hard work did not go unnoticed is great way to mark the end of testing season. These 3 post-testing celebrations are the perfect way to tell students and teachers, Job well done!
Academic Field Day - This celebration day could be created by students, teachers, and/or parents. A great chance to get the whole school involved, set events by grade level, or design the activity for your own classroom. Take the typical field day events and add an academic twist. This allows students to use all that info even after the tests are done! Events can be catered to indoor or outdoor play. Team and solo events can be created and ideas can run the gamut depending on your area(s) of study:
- Put notecards, blocks, or players with events, presidents, alphabetized words, numbers (equation answers), etc. in the proper order.
- Toss the beanbag on the square that holds the correct answer to a given question/problem.
- Conversion relay with a problem such as how many cups are in 3 pints. Use spoons or other small scoops to transfer water from a start bucket to a clear container with numerical measurement markers. First contestant/team to the correct number line wins.
- Create a seaworthy boat out of a bin of recycled materials in an allotted timeframe and test it out in a baby pool or bin of water. Add small weights as a contest to see whose can hold more.
- Hop through a series of rings or other marked spaces while counting by a predetermined number and share the final answer at the end (g., 7 rings while counting by 3= 21).
Piñata Fun - Taking out a few testing frustrations with the swing of a bat can do wonders for students (and adults) of any age. If the weather is nice, and students like to get crafty (and a little messy), making the piñatas can be an added bit of fun. If your district hasn’t gone paperless, students would really get a kick out of upcycling their test prep material to make piñatas like this simple balloon style shared by Family Crafts. Label each piñata with an A, B, C, or D to replicate multiple choice answers and let the kids really make their mark! Ask parents or PTA to provide the piñata fillers.
Superhero Day - Students and teachers can feel like they have to garner all their super powers to make it through testing. From preparing and studying to simply sitting still and focusing, a lot of reserves are called upon for a successful testing season. Let everyone know their achievements are truly superhero worthy by having a post-testing Superhero Day. Some fun super hero ideas: dress as your favorite hero, make superhero masks, create superhero bookmarks (marker could be used instead of paint), design superhero certificates for students, and focus the day’s activities on a superhero theme in all subjects. Since a superhero’s work is never done, this is a great way to let students know there is still more learning to come even after testing.
Taking the time to acknowledge all the hard work and efforts that students put into testing allows them to feel a sense of accomplishment and experience some just rewards. Whether it’s a full day or a single activity, recognizing an academic milestone is time well spent. Making it through another year of testing is cause for celebration, and these 3 ideas offer the special pat on the back that students deserve.
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