The Big Week is Here!

Today I am linking up with Mrs. Laffin's Laughings and her A Peek at my Week!
I'll be honest.  I'm just not too sure how I feel about this upcoming week.  My students are taking our state reading assessment.  A large part of me feels nervous, hoping that my students will do well and (above all) try their hardest. I also realize that how well they do on the test is somewhat out of my control, unfortunately.  As teachers, we recognize that what happens in a child's life outside of school in the 24 hours before testing can have a huge impact on test performance.  Another large part of me feels exhausted.  We've been working with this one week in mind all year long.  I feel like I've just run a marathon and have no energy left, yet I know I tried my best to prepare my students.  And, I have to admit, there's another part of me that thinks, State tests means the end of the year is in sight!!  Summer, here we come!

Since I am an ELL teacher, I will be providing accommodations for some of my English Language Learners.  I cannot read the passages to my students, but I am allowed to read the questions and answer choices.  I will be providing accommodations for the third graders each morning (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday), and for the fourth graders each afternoon.

We have been going through several practice passages the last few weeks, but in an effort not to burn out our students too much, we found time to do some creative activities, too!  First of all, we made our owl craftivity.
Part of this activity includes brainstorming good test-taking strategies as a large group while I write them on an anchor chart.  I used the Test Prep Posters by One Extra Degree with my students, and they came in very handy when making our anchor chart.
I also won a set of Melissa Cloud's "Keep Calm" test prep poster bundle that came in very handy.  (I really like these because they are short and to the point!)
After taking a break for a few days to do the craftivity, we tackled two final practice passages.  These are the two I wrote myself that come in my Owl Test Prep Bundle.
This passage in nonfiction.
This passage is fiction.
I'm curious... are a lot of you starting state tests this week, or do you still have more weeks to prepare?  If you're starting soon, too, GOOD LUCK! 


  1. I wrote a very similar post and linked up too! LOL
    We start our ELA testing the first week of April, so I am doing some last minute practice this week. I'm also taking down EVERY SINGLE ITEM off my classroom walls. We are not allowed to have anything up during testing that might "help" students on the test. UGGGGG
    Have a great week!
    Coffee Cups and Lesson Plans

  2. Good luck! Remember those strategies are good for teacher to remember too! We just finished our state writing test last week! (Our other test aren't until May) So I know how stressful and tiring the week can be! Best of luck to your kiddos! I know they'll do amazing!!
    A Tall Drink of Water

  3. Good luck with your testing! We had round one, the writing proficiency, two weeks ago, while round two, the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, is later in April. When we return from Spring Break I'll be using your test prep craftivity with my kiddos! Can't wait... for the craftivity, that is... not the test!


  4. Good luck! We will have a full week before our ELA tests begin, so it is serious in our room this week!

  5. I really, really love all the resources you included in this post. Thank you!! We just took our state wide Writing test this past week. The students will take their Reading, Civics, Science, and Math tests in late May and early June.

  6. Good luck Deb to your students and you. You can do it! Our state tests start April 30th. All the snow days gave us an extra week, huge relief since we need all the time we can get! I will be thinking about you!

  7. Good luck Deb to your students and you. You can do it! Our state tests start April 30th. All the snow days gave us an extra week, huge relief since we need all the time we can get! I will be thinking about you!

  8. Good luck to you and your students---this week will be stressful but it seems like you have helped to prep your students so well. This year was our last year with the current state test.... we always have to take it in October.... it's heartbreaking, because they are just coming to us we feel and then we're testing. Sending positive thoughts!!!
    Mrs. Bentin's Blackboard

  9. Oh my! Good luck! I'm sure your students will do well because they have you as their teacher. Our provincial tests take place end of May/early June. However, since I teach in a private school, we completed ours in October.

  10. Good luck to you and your students! I know they will do well because they have had such a great teacher prepare them so well!!! :) We start testing in May, but this year, they don't "count" because we only just started working on Common Core this year. I think it was the governor who is giving Californians a year to get used to the new testing format. They will have to take the tests on the computer. YIKES! I forsee many many many technical difficulties. Our school site decided to collect unused laptop computers from various classrooms and set up a "lab" to take our classes in and take the test there. Good think it is just a practice year! Taking the test on the computer is going to be crazy enough, and then there are the new common core standards!!! Whew!

  11. Hi Deb,

    Here in Wisconsin, we actually had our state testing in the fall--major bummer (because the kiddos are still fighting their summer brain syndrome). Next year, we will switch to spring testing with the new Smarter Balance test. Best of luck to you this week!

    BTW -- I also wanted to let you know that you are coming up as a "no reply blogger." :)

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

    1. Ugh. I hate that no-reply blogger thing. Actually, I think it was Deb who alerted me to the fact that I was a no-reply blogger. Might have been a good thing, in a way, because I was able to connect with her via email. You'll have to let me know if I'm still a no-reply blogger. I tried so hard to fix it, according to some directions. I'm not sure if it ever worked out. :( The Google+ thing messes everything up.

  12. Thanks so much for posting about my test prep posters. I just happened to be visiting your blog because I'm posting about your figurative language craftivities, so I was linking to your shop and blog. Hope on over to take a look at what we've done. My kiddos absolutely love all of your activities and learn so much from them. Thanks so much. We are doing basketball tomorrow since the Final Four games are on Saturday! Can't wait to share what they've done with them.

    A Teaspoon of Teaching