Testing season is almost upon us. I know that sentence can cause many teachers to get a pit in their stomachs. If that’s you, you aren’t alone! Test prep season can be challenging and at times overwhelming. There’s a lot of pressure and many things are unknown. But, by focusing on the right things during standardized test prep, you can lower the pressure and get realistic about what can be accomplished.
To make the most of test prep season, I’ve compiled a list of helpful resources and activities that you can use to identify student weak points, fill the gaps, and make reviews low-pressure.
#1 Diagnose Student Gaps
One of the things that makes standardized test prep overwhelming is the range of academic needs within any given classroom. It’s important to diagnose the gaps each student has and make a plan to address them. You could accomplish this by combing through all of your assessment data for the year, but I have a resource that can make it much easier!
The 5th Grade Math Test Prep Assessment is no-prep and includes every single 5th grade math standard. It’s a quick and simple way to identify the standards students need support with based on their answers and their confidence rating. You’ll be able to take the data you’ve gathered through this assessment and make a plan for how to tackle the review in a way that will best serve all of your students.
#2 Math Flip Book
Once you’ve diagnosed what students need and made a plan for your standardized test prep, you’ll want to find resources that make reviewing as pain-free as possible. The 5th Grade Spiral Math Review Flip Book does just that! Plus, it covers every single standard for 5th grade.
The flip book is perfect for standardized test prep because it comes all packaged in one easy-to-find book. No need to cut and paste into an interactive notebook and keep up with review sheets.
There are three versions available so you can choose the one that suits your students’ needs. The basic version has space for students to take notes, the fill-in-the-blank version is perfect for guided note-taking, and the complete version is pretty much a ready-made study guide!
#3 Math Board Games
I don’t know about your class, but my students seem to always forget they’re working when a game is involved! 5th Grade Math Board Games make everything so much fun, even standardized test prep.
The way I like to use this is by having every student play a game, but I choose the topic that they most need to practice. This is an easy way to compromise between math review and having some fun. The 5th Grade Math Board Games are super easy, low-prep board games covering topics like order of operations, number patterns, and algebraic expressions. You’ll have 45 different games to choose from! Just print the board and use any object (manipulatives work great!) as game pieces.
#4 Key Words
Being able to identify and understand keywords is a critical component of standardized test prep. We all want our students to be able to read a problem or a set of instructions and understand exactly what they need to do. This skill takes tons of practice, but it doesn’t have to be boring.
The Math Vocabulary Sort covers 35 keywords for math operations. You can use these for test prep by printing out a set for each student and having practice sorting them into the operations. Or, students could glue them into interactive notebooks and use them as a study guide! There are tons of possibilities to practice keywords with this resource.
#5 Spin and Answer Games
Another game that’s fun to incorporate into standardized test prep are these Spin and Answer Games. The games cover thirteen topics, including volume, decimals, and powers of ten. These games are engaging and super low-prep. All you need to add is a paper clip and brad for the spinner!
Similar to the math board games, you can assign students different board games based on skills they need to review. Or have them ready to go in your room for stations, early-finisher activities, morning work, and more.
#6 Matching Puzzles
If you have students that like playing games but prefer to work on their own (or you’re looking for a quiet review activity), these 5th Grade Matching Puzzles are just the thing. Puzzles are a great way to add a hands-on element and engaging practice during standardized test prep. The matching puzzles resource has a puzzle for all 5th grade standards, with 29 sets containing 20 problems each.
Students will match together problems and answers, equivalent fractions, exponents, algebraic expressions, and much more. They can also glue them into their interactive notebooks for an easy review later.
#7 Differentiated Around the Room
Inevitably, when you go to make your review plan, you’ll find common standards that every student needs help with. But maybe the extent to which each student needs help is different. That is the trickiest part of standardized test prep review.
Doing an Around the Room Differentiated Math Review can solve the problem of trying to meet every students’ needs. And will majorly cut down on the overwhelm of planning. Each skill set inside the differentiated review includes six levels of problems. Those levels are represented by shapes.
For a student who is really struggling, they will only solve the equation inside the circles, for example. While a student who needs to be challenged might solve the equations inside the triangles. They are still working on the same skill but at a different levels.
I saved this doozy for last because let’s face it – measurement conversions are often the hardest! Despite this being a super challenging concept, I have a Measurement Conversion Resource that will simplify your standardized test prep review.
This measurement conversion activity can be made into a test review packet that you slowly work on leading up to the exam, or you can break it down into smaller activities. You can meet in small groups to solve the problems or let students try them independently. It’s up to you!
One of the most important things to remember during standardized test prep is that students can and should have fun! Let students know that this test is just a way to prove what they’ve learned this year. It’s a time to brag about themselves and show off how hard they’ve worked all year long! You can have fun with math games, get creative with reviewing fractions, and use all of these tips to create a test prep environment that is engaging and encouraging!