#starringthesixers,  academics,  goals,  sixth graders,  standardized test,  summer,  teacher,  teachers,  testing

It’s Testing Season!

I am pretty darn sure that no teacher ever said the above words in relation to standardized testing. Standardized test days are not typically considered to be fun. They’re tedious and long and stressful. These tests can take up to 3 or 4 hours, during which all students have to remain quiet. It’s quite the opposite of fun.

At my school (and I’m pretty sure this is relatively standard across the board) being in a testing environment means teachers have to be constantly, actively monitoring. No cell phone, no computer, no sitting in one corner of the room reading a book when you’re out of sight of the window. Just three or more hours of walking up and down the aisles, making sure students are working and not talking – easier said than done – and trying not to be bored to tears.

With that in mind, I’ve created a handy list here of five ideas to help you maintain your sanity while you pace and monitor. Hopefully, these help!

1. Set a step goal. Try to get as many steps as possible on a testing day. Sometimes, it’s fun to vary your type of steps (I’ve been known to practice my ski steps on a testing day) or to see how many small steps equal a large step. Anything to keep it entertaining, right?

2. Lesson plan. I know, I know…who wants to be lesson planning here at the end of the year? Nobody! But if you’ve got a good memory and need something to entertain yourself, try planning out the last few weeks of the year in your head. You never know what kind of great ideas might come up! Keep a pen handy to take notes on your hand if you need to. This is where I came up with my idea for dioramas last year! 

3. Play silly games. I like to think “what type of dog would so-and-so be? Would he/she be a Golden Retriever, silly and playful and loyal? Would he/she be a German Shepherd, fiercely protective and smart?” Little mental games like this keep you entertained and can help pass the time.

4. Make up a story. Imagine you get swept off by a prince or you get discovered and end up in Hollywood. Last year, I came up with a whole story about my book getting published and my getting a book deal and even a husband. I passed the time really well that day! 

5. Plan out your summer. Planning to take a trip? Think about all the little things you’ll need to accomplish before you go. Decide where you’ll go to eat or shop. What will you pack? Maybe bring a stack of sticky notes with you and take notes as you walk.  That way, you’re still monitoring but you are also keeping track of your big plans!

Testing can be tough but, it can also be fun. Don’t let it get to you! You can do this! 

What are some tips and suggestions you have for teachers trying to pass the time during testing? Any time-tested strategies that are your go-to? I’d love to hear them! Sound off in the comments. 

For now, that’s a wrap!