Our 3rd grade state testing (FL) start next week. One of the teachers in my building gave out a little goody to each child every day of testing. Does anyone have cute little ideas for small gifts to give the kids? The only one I can remember is to give them smarties (the candy) with a little tag that says "You're a smartie, do your best on the test" or something like that. Anyone have any more ideas? I tried searching the web today, and didn't find anything. I'll have to look more tonight. Thanks to all.
For our state testing, we give out a little something each morning. The smarties we take out of the packs and put into little cups with lids and call them "Test Vitamins". We put a little sticker on the cups that says something like, "Take before testing to boost brain power." (You can be creative and word it like a prescription.) We also give out, on another day, a breakfast bar and juice box. Another day might be a trail mix we have put together and call it Brain Food. We also do the little goodie bag (I usually do this the first day ) with things like a toothpick to remind you to pick the correct answers, an eraser to remind you everyone makes mistakes, a snack size Nestle "Crunch" bar to remind you that you will crunch the test, etc. I can't remember them all but if you want them, you can email me at school at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send them to you. We always type up a little list to go in the baggie to explain each one. I think it helps boost their spirits to get a little surprise each day before testing begins. Another one was a pencil with a special note or homework pass attached. Hope this helps!
I teach in Florida too and I am giving my class paperclip angels with a good luck penny in it. I found the paperclip angels on a site called craftsayings.com. (look in the archives for the directions) I then put a shiny penny in each angel. I found a good luck penny poem and changed it to fit FCAT. The paperclip angels holding the pennies will be on their desks when they arrive Monday. The poem goes like this:
A Good Luck Penny
A student needs some good luck
to make it through FCAT day....
With reading passages and math problems too
And little time to play....
So, I found this good luck penny
I found it just for you....
I hope it helps you to remember
Try your best and I'll be proud of you!
We also made stress relieving squeeze balls yesterday. They used a balloon and filled it with birdseed. You could also fill it with cornstarch or sand. They'll be able to keep them in their desks during testing to help them relax a little.
In California we have the STAR test. A couple of years ago I found some star-shaped pearlescent glass 'stones' like the ones used to decorate gardens, aquariums, or vases. I gave one to each of my students, letting them know that they were already 'stars' because they had worked hard all school year to get ready for this test.
I explained that this star had no magical powers and wouldn't make them smarter or give them luck, but it represented all the time and energy they had put into their learning. They could leave it on their desks or hold on to it to remind them to believe in themselves, to 'trust their brains', and not to let themselves give up... because this was their time to 'shine like the stars'!
For (cheap) state testing ideas, here's what our school does here in Oklahoma:
1. Have high school students write personalized, motivational messages on neon paper to each student who is testing. (Naturally, someone needs to proof them first). We also have the parents do the same thing. The kids are surprised right before state testing begins when we give them personalized notes!
2. Have a "testing pep rally" for only the students/teachers who are involved in testing. High school cheerleaders do a cheer, and since local businesses/people donate inexpensive prizes or cash, we draw names for prizes. Only the kids who attended ALL days of testing are eligible. It can be as simple as a box of krispy kreme donuts, or a 6-pack of Mountain Dew, or a $5 bill, or a basketball, etc. THe kids go NUTS for the testing rally, and our attendance on testing days has gone way up.