It’s the end of the year; holiday time is almost there, but just not quite yet! However, it seems that many students have already mentally gone on holiday, allowing the poor behavior to begin accelerating and brains shutting down. At this time of the year, it seems like all you can do is hold on tight and wait till the scary ride of making it those last few days is over.
What if I said that there is an activity that will surely engage your students and keep them learning valuable skills right to the end of the year? An activity that is practically self-checking (yay minimal marking) is easy prep, and will help keep your rising stress levels down during those last few tiring days? An activity where a complete set is FREE to try (with others in the range available for purchase if you wish)?
If you are still interested, you may like to try the Math Mystery: Case of The Super Bad Superhero! I’ve provided links at the end of this post to download the product for FREE! It is a FULL math mystery that will get your students calculating, thinking and probably competing to solve the case first!
FULL STAR REVIEWS . . .
Anne . W June 2, 2017
“I loved how this preview was all grades, I was able to differentiate for all of my students. It's the end of the year, and EVERY single one of my students were actively engaged in this. Thanks!”
Andrea C. May 17, 2017
“I can't even begin to tell you how excited my 2's and 3's were over this math "assignment." This is just so awesome and what a fantastic way to present a review to kids. They were so excited to be able to not just "know" about what they were learning, but to appreciate that they were cracking a case!!! I am off to buy the next one. Thank you! Also, thank you for making a free sample of your work so fantastic - it made me excited to purchase more! There is tremendous value in what you have created.”
Pam D. May 16, 2017
“My first graders love this. It is fun to see them so engrossed in finding the Bad Superhero. I will be getting the rest of them at my grade level. So much more fun than a drill type worksheet!!”
Liz F.May 11, 2017
“Super Cute! My students loved solving the mystery. They were so excited with each math problem because it helped them with the clue.”
Try it out and make the end of the year fun but still educational. CLICK below to download the file. It will be a compressed ZIP file with multiple levels of the activity and an MP4 file that has a fun video hook to introduce the activity.
My Sunny Resort
ICE CREAM TRUCK
You may also be interested in this Summer themed Math Mystery: Case of The Mathattan Meltdown
Available in my TPT store, this math mystery is available for Grades 1-6 (or choose a level that suits the needs of the user best!) Skills and math difficulty is outlined in the product description of each grade level. Click on the cover image to find out more.
Erin D. May, 11 2017 "My students love these and stay engaged with the math concepts they are learning!"
Teri H. September, 12 2016 "Kid tested and kid approved!"
Rachel M. May, 21 2017 "The kids LOVED these! Made for the perfect activity during the last week of school. They were engaged and excited to figure out the next clue. Thank you!"
Jacquelyn B. May, 5 2017 "This particular mystery was a perfect year-end review assessment - the students enjoyed it despite it being a graded assignment! Math Mysteries have become a number one favorite of my 3rd graders!"
It's no secret that exercise helps get the mind focused and releases those beautiful feel good hormones we all desperately need when life feels a little tough. Because of this, getting some exercise as a class around test time will certainly help keep those stress levels down. Do a class workout (I usually pick two students to be the personal trainers for the session), play a sport, do some yoga, or follow a dance video on YouTube to get moving and relaxation levels improving!
2. Meditate & breathe
Carry out some meditation exercises with your students before the test. There are plenty of meditation audio videos available on YouTube. Plus, you can use meditation to help teach students breathing techniques to help calm nerves.
3. Teach positive self-talk
You could do this in conjunction with meditation by inviting students to close their eyes and imagine feeling calm and confident when taking the test. Here's a quick example - 'Some questions may seem like large monsters to begin with, but with a few deep breaths you read the question again and find it starts to shrink . . . you read it again to find it is starting to make sense . . . you read yet another time to find that it's just a cute bunny, you may need to take a look one more time and then finally you'll know what to do.'
4. Play games and do fun activities for review
Making test review time fun will help keep the stress levels down. You could easily do this by incorporating games into your review lessons or you may like to try a math mystery, project or quest to keep them working hard whilst also keeping it exciting and fun.
CLICK HERE to find a large range of Math Mysteries, Projects and Quests.
5. Have healthy easy snacks available for your students
Explain to your students what the snacks are for and set some guidelines to keep it all in check. Point out that you have chosen these snacks to help keep minds fresh and energized to deal with testing. It is for help and not a party.
Some good food examples include: air-popped popcorn, apple slices, plain crackers, orange wedges and bread sticks. (Keep it high carbohydrate but low salt and fat. I recommend nothing too exciting so that it doesn't distract the students and will be seen as a source of nourishment rather than fun.)
6. Make sure students are comfortable
Check to see if all students have adequate seating and desk space to take their desk. Ensure lighting is appropriate in all areas of the room. Keep windows open, make sure the lights work well in the classroom.
Freezing or sweating during the test is a massive distraction and will reduce concentration. So, make sure the temperature is just right for everyone.
7. Encourage & Reassure
Before a test, I like to:
- Remind my students that I believe in them,
- Tell them that the best they can do is to try their best,
- Assure them that while these tests are important, they are not life threatening or the end of it all.
I also like to tell students not to discuss the test afterwards. Students talking about questions and sharing answers has a tendency to cause more unnecessary doubt and stress than ever! If possible, follow up a test with a fun activity or game to help students move forward from the test.
I hope these tips help ease the stress faced during testing time. I wish you all the best of luck and calmness!
A 21st century School Teacher, Mother, and Wife.