The end of the school year can sometimes feel like a race where the finish line just keeps moving further and further away. There is so much to wrap up at the end of the year. Then you throw in reviews and state test prep and that marathon that you were struggling with turns into a full-blown triathlon! Guiding your students through science state test prep activities and review doesn’t have to be exhausting though.
There are many ways you can ensure you are reviewing everything that your students might see on the science segment of the test, helping them master any science concepts they struggle with and building their confidence. Students can easily check out and become bored with typical review practices so here are some ways to spice up your science state test review plans and get students excited to bring their best selves to testing day.
You can offer practice science tests to your students, but they may not help them strengthen areas or relearn material that they need extra support with. They also might not keep your students engaged. There are lots of fun, unique activities, and review practices that will help support your students while keeping them interested.
There are many concepts and areas of 4th and 5th-grade level science that state testing will cover. Differentiating review strategies and instruction methods will help you support students at all learning levels. Using things like interactive games, flipbooks, and partner work breaks up the monotony of traditional review and practice tests. It’s also a great way to give students multiple formats for review and reach all types of learners in your class.
Whole Group Test Prep Strategies
Use Game Play to Review
Playing games in a whole group setting is a great way to review science concepts and vocabulary while encouraging the students to enjoy some friendly camaraderie with their classmates. There are so many ways to play games with your entire class. Here are a few ways to use these games as science test prep activities.
Kahoot is used by many educators, so I’m sure you’re familiar with this platform. If not, it’s a fantastic learning platform that offers pre-made trivia games and quizzes. You can also create your own “kahoots” with whatever material you’d like your students to review.
Game-play as a whole group can be easily set up using one screen for the questions and individual devices for students to submit answers. Scores are shown on the big screen in real-time and students can compete against each other or on teams. You can also set it up so they can play on their own time just on their devices.
Consider taking practice questions from the science portion of your state test and create a few Kahoots. You can group similar topics or question types together or create Kahoots with a variety of materials and formats. Don’t forget to remind students that these questions will be similar to what they see on the state test. Encourage them to ask questions about topics they need more support with or about the format of questions. Doing this in the whole group setting will allow the entire class to hear the questions and answers.
This website allows you to create Jeopardy-style games with your own questions. You can create the entire game board using review questions and play with the whole class. There is no interactive component to this game, other than the scorekeeping. Students will choose a question box, read the answer, and then provide the question, just like the television game show.
You could have a lot of fun with this game by adding game buzzers like these or using an app on tablets so students can “buzz” in to answer. Another variation would be to give teams paper or whiteboards and have them all answer each question so they get as much review practice as possible.
Playing Jeopardy is a great review activity because you can create categories based on standards or topics that you want to review. This will help you get a better idea of areas in which your students need more review or support.
Individual Test Prep Strategies
Whole group science state test prep will allow you to review a large amount of information with the entire class and give you an opportunity to see which students need additional review in certain areas. Once you know where you need to differentiate instruction for certain students, you can use individual test prep strategies to focus on students’ specific review needs.
These activities are great ways to review science for state test prep on an individual basis.
Flip books are a great way to review materials and provide students with a great, physical study aid that they can use in the classroom and at home. You can easily create flip books from scratch or grab a template online. I’ve created a resource that includes 25 5th grade science topics all in one review flip book!
Students will benefit from the hands-on creation of creating the flip book and may retain more information using this review method.
If you’ve created flip books for different topics throughout the year, be sure to pull those back out at review time. If you didn’t create flip books for each unit or topic, don’t fret! You can easily go back and pull the key concepts or ideas and help your students create flip books with that information. If you’d rather have an easy print-and-go option that covers all of the 5th-grade science materials, be sure to grab my 5th-grade science test prep review flip book!
Boom Cards are a great tool for individual practice. Similar to task cards, Boom Cards are a digital, interactive game that quizzes students on specific skills and provides instant feedback to both the student and teacher. Boom is accessible from any device, so students can review using them while on their individual devices, at the classroom computer, or while distance learning.
If you have a Boom account, you can create, purchase, or choose free Boom Cards and assign them to students as an entire class or individually. This is another way to differentiate your test prep and help students focus on areas they need the most support.
Partner and Small Group Strategies
Utilizing partners or small groups for your science state test prep gives you the opportunity to group students by level, by topic area, or in variated groups to encourage peer teaching. Here are some ways you can organize small groups or partners for reviewing science for state testing.
I use board games so often in my classroom and reviewing for the state test is no different. Board games provide a fun, engaging activity for students where they may forget they are learning or reviewing. I have several science board game resources that would be ideal for state test review.
Consider creating science review centers or rotations and assigning a different board game to each station. You can choose games for each of the science topics that you want to review. Students can rotate through the different board games, playing each with partners or in small groups. At each station, they can earn points based on how they placed in the board game. Once everyone has rotated through all the stations, tally up the points for a board game tournament winner!
Another great tool for individual or partner science review is puzzles. Students love puzzles and they make a great review activity. These 5th-grade science vocabulary puzzles are a great way for students to brush up and practice vocabulary terms for the test.
You can print these puzzle pieces on colored cardstock and laminate to reuse year after year or for multiple classes.
These types of review activities are great to create for each student and send home for additional end of year test review, too!
These are just a few unique ways to review for the science portion of a state test. These strategies can be personalized to your class, students, or state requirements for testing. The key to successful state test prep is building confidence in your students and helping them show up feeling prepared and ready to do their best. I hope these tips help you do just that for your students!