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Testing Treats and Motivators

Compiled By: Risa

This is a collection of activities, ideas and printables that teachers can use with their students as encouragement before they take their 'high-stakes' tests.

non-candy motivator
Posted by: Risa

I saved this idea posted on ProTeacher by jenn 3rd on 03-29-2006

i give my students a small bag of cookies and give them a paper that says: Remember, you are a SMART cookie
S- stay focused
M- mark the right choice
A- always do your best
R- recheck your work
T- take your time

I put the information into an MS Word table which, when cut apart, results in 8 messages about the size of a business card. (I don't remember if I saw someone else's idea to switch the title to "Don't forget to use your SMARTs" or if it was jenn 3rd's original idea that I read in another post but, in this case, I didn't include any reference to 'smart cookie'.)

I would guess you could give these with just about anything, if you don't want to give any kind of food item. Hope it helps! Good luck on your tests! :s) (I'm GLAD ours are done! Whew!!)

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Songs for fifth
Posted by: Susan Teacher

Nope...I am going to use them for my fifth graders. I am also making a bulletin board to motivate them, too. I am going to have them write test tips, poems about tests, feelings about the tests, etc. to decorate it. I bought some pompom type leis from Target and put around an orange background. Then I cut out different colored construction paper 3s and 4s (that's what NC scores are expected) with die cut machince and put those all around. It's cute even without any words! I will be glad to send a picture if someone wants! :-) Happy testing!

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Ask parents-write encouraging words-Eng. note
Posted by: Risa

This may be too late to implement, but then again, maybe not for those who still need suggestions. I just recalled that I had great success this year, when I wrote this attached letter to the parents (and family members) asking them to write an encouraging letter/message/note to my student which would be kept in a sealed envelope until the morning of our first state test. Parents wrote them and sent them in the week before.

With the letter to parents, I allowed my students to select a page from among the various types of stationery papers I had. They also decorated the outside of a plain white envelope. So, clipped together were: The parent letter, a sheet of stationery and a decorated envelope.

It was amazing to see the faces of my students as they read their parents loving words of encouragement and support! In many cases, students asked for messages from grandparents, siblings, as well as from parents. I think one student even asked the neighbor to write a few words! LOL! I asked permission from random students if I could read their pages and some of them brought me to tears! (There were a few students who did not return a message by the first day of testing, but once the others saw what they were missing, they brought in their notes the following morning.) Now that we're finished with testing, I told my students to save that page and refer to it whenever they are feeling a bit down and want to feel encouraged.

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Ask parents-write encouragement-Span. note
Posted by: Risa

This is a Spanish version of the parent note for those who come from Spanish speaking families. (Since I work in a Spanish-speaking community, we are required to have all parent memos translated to Spanish.)

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test slogans
Posted by: MrsM

We recently had our spirit week. I put ours here, plus two ideas from the past:

Hats off to you! (wear hats)
Shine on the test. (sunglasses)
Get plenty of rest for the test. (pj day)
Sock it to the test. (socks)
Wear clothing with numbers (in honor of taking the Math portion)
Wear clothing with words (in honor of the Comm. Arts portion)
Wear clothing with animals or weather (Science portion)

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Test Prep-Candy Messages-Mounds
Posted by: Risa

I've taken some of the ideas shared on PT or on other listservs (and even made up some of these) according to the candies I've happened to find for little treats to give my students before the stress-filled state tests. For the past few years, I made some pages of very simple cards to give to my students with their little treats each morning before the testing starts. (Our state testing starts next week. So far, we haven't been told we are forbidden to give them anything, so I'm not going to ask... and I'm not gonna tell, either! LOL!) If it's not allowed at school, you might choose to give these to your own children (pack them in their lunch as a surprise) before they head off to school for their state tests.

Just in case there are a few schools out there where you might still be able to give edible treats, I'm posting these pages to share. If I get time... or find some other treats later, I'll add whatever I make. Knowing that we each have different fonts on our computers, I changed my own pages to basic fonts that most computers might have like Times, Comic Sans, Verdana, and Tahoma. (Remember, they're very plain, but you can dress them up with color and add more flair using your own computer's more decorative fonts once you have them downloaded.)

MOUNDS candy-It's time to show off the MOUNDS of learning inside your head!

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Test Prep-Candy messages-2-Smarties
Posted by: Risa

SMARTIES-Have some SMARTIES to Super-Energize your brain cells and help you to do your best!

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Test Prep-Candy Message 4-Snickers
Posted by: Risa

SNICKERS-No time for SNICKERS yet! You're almost finished with testing!

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Posted by: abbylane8

I have done "wash out the TAKS" and hung it on a water bottle
I also did "CRUNCH the TAKS" with a crunch bar
Other candy bars I have used are 100 grand "You are 100 GRAND".
My all time favorite that is not food is the magic pencil. My kids loved it and I think they really believed the pencil was magic! I gave them a pencil with the tag taped to it. Apparently you can't dothis anymore on test day in Texas. I don't teach a TAKS grade anymore. I would just give it to them the day before.

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Any type of gum
Posted by: PrivateEyes

"CHEWS" your answers carefully on the SOLS

EXTRA gum: Work EXTRA hard to make the best choice on the SOLS.

I usually start giving these out at the end of the day starting the five days before the tests start and then every night before the next test, so I usually end up doing 9 or 10 of them.

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Here's what I use...
Posted by: lisakae2

Hope these help...

Cheerios - Cheering you to success or I'm CHEERing you on
Super Bubble Gum - I know you will do a SUPER job
Lucky Charms - Good LUCK today on your test
Starburst - You are a STAR or Shine like a STAR today
Licorice Twists - Don't let the test TWIST your mind
Hershey Hugs - A HUG from me to you to do the best that you can do

I am actually getting ready to present a workshop on this very topic. I am trying to come up with some HEALTHY treats with sayings for those schools who now have strict mandates on the sugar content of what they give the kids. Let me know if you get any more replies that I could use. Good luck!

I have so far...

Oranges - ORANGE you glad the tests are almost over????
Raisins - Keep RAISIN your head high...(still working on this one)
Pretzel Twists - (same as licorice above)

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Maybe these are what you wanted?
Posted by: Risa

Right after I left the previous post, I searched my files and found these. They were gathered from a variety of online sources and/or groups.

Day 1-Gum with a note that says: Blow the top off the test!
Day 2-Snickers-Let's not have any Snickers, just do your best!
Day 3-Starburst Candy- For a burst of energy to do a fantastic job
Day 4-Success all the way to the Milky Way
Day 5-Hugs and Kisses for putting forth your best effort!
Be a “smartie” and ACE this test! (smarties)
Blow the TOP off this test! (bubble gum)
A BURST of energy to do AWESOME! (starburst)
“KISS” your worries goodbye. Do great! (Hershey's kiss)
Don’t SNICKER !! Do your best! (mini Snickers)

1 pack of Smarties Candies - to boost your test taking brain power
1 pencil -- to help you record the knowledge you have learned
1 sticker -- to help you stick with the task at hand
1 eraser -- to use when you check over your work
1 Hershey's Hug -- for all the hard work you put into the test
1 highlighter -- to highlight all your success
1 pencil grip -- to get a grip on the task at hand


1 night of restful sleep
1 nutritious breakfast
1 positive attitude

Improved Test-taking Skills
Good Grades

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Fun stuff
Posted by: kathy

I went to the dollar tree and bought visors (3/1.00) They are our "wiser visors." They decorated them with stickers etc. They only wear them during a test and chant, "Before I test, I put on my visor, for when I do, I feel much wiser." Then they snap fingers two times and throw hands in the air and say "WOO!"

I also have a hangman type thing on the board that will spell out ICE CREAM. Each test that no child skips a question earns them one letter.

Finally, I gave them all a small blue post it note. They put it on the stop sign, that way they really know when to stop. Red notes would probably be even better, but the note itself signals them.


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long list
Posted by: phoebe611

I subscribe to several e-mail newletters of a thought or quote of the day. I give these to my kids or use them on a bulletin board with Notable Quotables. I hope you can use some. I do have lots more, but they are probably more for life in general than success and testing.

If you don't have the time to do something right, where are you going to find the time to fix it?!

"Every student can learn. Just not on the same day or in the same way." ~~ George Evans

You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try. - Beverly Sills

"The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing." ~~ John Powell (1834 - 1902)

When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.

-Franklin D. Roosevelt

For you and me, today is all we have; tomorrow is a mirage that may never become a reality. – Louis L’Amour

I discovered I always have choices, and sometimes it’s only a choice of attitude. – Judith M. Knowlton

Decisions determine destiny. – Federick Speakman

Affirmations: I'm not sure of the book(s) these came from so I can't give you the author, sorry.
Remember, you can if you think you can.

The biggest mistake you can make is to be afraid of making one.

Act, don’t react.

Expect positive outcomes every day.

Determine what success really means to you.

Believe in yourself.

Refuse to be discouraged.

Always find the best in people.

Don’t be afraid to be yourself.

Resist the temptation to judge others.

You alter your life when you alter your attitude.

Believe in your own brilliance.

Life is a reflection of your attitude.

Dare to aim high.

Attitude is the mind’s paint brush. It can color any situation.

Keep your mind filled with thoughts of peace, hope, courage, and happiness.

Do more for the world than the world does for you.

Be thankful for each day. Count your blessings instead of your problems.

Never believe you don’t have what it takes.

Inspire others by your positive example.

Be forgiving toward others.

Always expect the unexpected.

Invest in yourself. That’s where you’ll receive the best interest.

Attitudes are contagious. Is yours worth catching?

Help yourself by helping others.

Take pride in your work.

Conquer the negative; explore the positive.

When life hands you a lemon, make lemonade.

It’s not where you are, it’s where you go.

If you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.

You were born for greatness.

Your attitude determines your altitude.

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.

Look for the sunshine behind every dark cloud.

If you want to see the rainbow, you must be willing to put up with the rain.

Ability x Effort = Results

All things are possible to him who believeth. – Mark 9:23

As a man thinks within himself, so he is. – Proverbs

Believe in yourself and your abilities.

The best way to be somebody is just to be yourself.

The best approach to a problem is the try-angle.

Aim for perfection – half right is always half wrong.

IQ is less important to a person’s education than I will.

It isn’t how high in life you go that counts but how you got there.

Of all things you wear, your smile is the most important.

Plan ahead – it was not raining when Noah built the ark.

The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.

Do or do not. There is no try. – Yoda

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars. – Les Brown

Never give up and never give in. – Hubert H. Humphrey

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. – Dr. Seuss

Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So . . . get on your way. – Dr. Seuss

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go. – Dr. Seuss

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Test Taking Survival Kit
Posted by: KcK

I do a test taking survival kit I dont have access to the file right now,,, but here is the gist:

1 Peppermint for every test.... to boost your brain power!
1 Eraser... to get rid of those brain freezes (what I call mistakes in my room)
2 Pencils... to record all the knowledge you have learned
1 stick of gum for each test... to remind you to stick with it!
1 highlighter... for highlighting of course!
1 Hershey's Hug.. for all your hard work!

I also put the word out to the staff and ask for volunteers to adopt my kids the week of testing. Each day every student gets a little note from their person encouraging them. Some years I have a different person write to each child each day and some years I have the same person do it, but it is a secret santa kind of thing... then after testing the kids find out who adopted them. That is easier and more fun for the kids although they do like getting a different person each day too. :D

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