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State Testing– a few things to think about…

It’s that time again! Time for testing… meh. It can be easy to get down in the dumps about testing this week, but I thought I’d share some ideas for keeping a little pep in your step– and your students’.

  • Be Positive— Remember, what we feel is what is real. Middle school students are emotional beings. This week, be sure to think about the “vibes” you are putting off to your students. We all know that our students repeat the things they have heard at home or from their friends, sometimes to the point of being annoying (ex. “That outfit is so ratchet!”), but we often don’t think about how they repeat our words, too. Talk positively about the test and schedule this week.
  • Show the Love— Try to show students how much you care about them this week.
    • Give compliments freely, have your team line up and high-five students on their way in the door, or use some butcher paper to make a “red carpet” for students to walk down.
    • Try putting positive notes on desks (find all kinds of free ones on Teachers Pay Teachers or write in Expo marker right on the desk).
    • Have students write positive notes of encouragement to each other.
    • Post motivational quotes or play motivational music between class periods and especially before testing.
  • Be Active— Students need movement to stay focused… and so do you! Be an active proctor, lead students through brain breaks, and add movement to your classroom lesson plans when possible. There are tons of resources online, like,  for getting kiddos up and out of their seats for short breaks– you’ll be amazed at how much easier it is for them to focus when they’ve got their blood moving.
  • Take Care of Yourself & Each Other— We tell our kiddos every year to get plenty of sleep, have a good breakfast, etc. But do we follow through with that ourselves? Be sure that you are taking care of yourself this week. It seems as though the plague is ravaging our building at the moment– wash your hands, stay home if you’re sick, and take care of yourself. Also, remember that students might not be feeling their best but are at school to take the test anyway. Try to pick your battles and let some of the little things go this week. Don’t forget that we teach middle school– nothing ever goes as planned!

I’d love to hear what you do in your classroom to pump students up for “the big test”. What are your go-tos for getting kids moving? Or what do you say to make this week easier?



Instructional coach and former art teacher on the hunt for tips, tricks, strategies, and knowledge to pass along.

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