Yes, you read that correctly. As a follow up to last week’s We Built a Fort Today post, I’m sharing what our grade level did to combat the state test stress.
This year, third grade decided to turn our pass/fail reading test that will decide whether or not our students promote to fourth grade into a happy day for everyone. We wanted our students to CELEBRATE their hard work and feel confident going into the test instead of being nervous and dreading it. The plan?
Happy Day shirts with our school motto on the back were sold to staff members. Students were encouraged to wear yellow that day. Don’t worry, be happy was definitely at the forefront!
Fourth graders who took the test last year and our school’s spirit committee made posters to hang from the ceiling in the third grade hallway in the days leading up to the test.
Balloons and banners greeted students as they arrived at school. We had all of our staff members line the hallway to literally scream, shout, cheer, and applaud as the third graders walked into school that morning.
We handed out happy stickers and bookmarks in our classroom before the test so everyone could wear their happy and have some yellow on.
The super talented and fun teacher next door rewrote the YMCA song with lyrics about the IREAD test. Our grade level recorded us singing the song, and I created PowerPoint to show in our classrooms right before the test. I removed our student’s pictures so that I could share it here and it lost the cute font in conversion, but you get the point. 🙂 Thanks to Mel at Graphics from the Pond for her adorable clip art. My students thought they were so funny mixed in with our pictures!
When the tests were over, we celebrated with happy face cookies during lunch!
And then in the afternoon, we had a little grade level party. We took what is typically a stressful day in third grade and turned it into a celebration. How about THAT?! Many thanks to my wonderful coworkers who made it possible! =)
What a wonderful idea! Looks like you all had a great time. I bet your test scores are much better since the kids went into it stress-free.
Fingers crossed! 😉
What a great idea! It's so stressful for teachers and students alike when high stakes testing comes around. I think ALL schools should employ this idea and make testing days into happy days!
It definitely worked for us, so I had to share it. Hope it sparks some inspiration!
Love the theme and especially the cookies! 🙂
Yes, the cookies were definitely favorites. 😉
What a wonderful idea and love the theme!! We take ours in 3 weeks!
Awesome!! I love how y'all turned it into a celebration instead of stress and worry! Great outlook!
A Tall Drink of Water
Thanks! I think the kiddos appreciated it. 🙂
Love the IREAD song!
Love all of the ideas! What a great idea to teach the kids the chance to celebrate their learning instead of stressing about scores. I can't wait to share your ideas at school!
I'm Not Your Grandpa, I'm Your Teacher
I hope it sparks some inspiration! It was as great day, for sure.
It sounds like your school tried really hard to make a stressful day spent taking mandatory tests less stressful. Kudos to you all, and I mean that sincerely. It's a sad commentary, though, that you even have to go through all of that because of a test, and that there is that much pressure and big stakes attached to a test that 8 year olds take. I'm glad that my own children are grown, because if I had children that age, I would opt them out of all tests or homeschool them. There's a growing grassroots movement to change all of this, and for me, it can't come soon enough.
I totally hear you. <3
This post actually brought tears to my eyes. Such a cool thing for your school to do for the kids! I bet they felt so good walking into school and tackling that test!
They certainly did. I was happy to share it just for comments like that. It's a great day when we pull together!
What an awesome idea! I'm sure your kids loved it! I love that your building was involved; I love to cheer on "my kids" who have moved on.
Beautiful and creative ideas! I love that your whole school came together to make it a good experience. Thanks for sharing!