February 28, 2015

Spark Student Motivation: High Stakes Testing

I'm linking up with Head Over Heels Teaching for her every Saturday linky: Spark Student Motivation Saturdays!

If you haven't ever had a chance to check out her linky.....you must!  Joanne always has some great bloggers link up with some pretty awesome tips to motivate your kiddos! :)

The motivation I am sharing today, is a way to give your students little extra push for those super fun high stakes tests! :)

As we all know, high stakes testing can be very stressful for all parties involved (students, parents AND teachers)!  Now......here in the state of Kansas it seems extra stressful because we have a jacked (for lack of a better word) up assessment system.

Originally the Kansas State Board of Education had voted to assess students using the Smarter Balanced consortium assessments.....however that decision was reversed a little over a year ago.  In lieu of that reversal, the Kansas State Board of Education opted to contract with Kansas University's Center for Education and Evaluation (CETE) to develop common core assessments.  In case you want to read more about this, check out this article from the Topeka Capital- Journal.   The CETE assessments were rolled out last year.....with a MULTITUDE of issues.....in fact some school districts flat out refused to give the assessments!  Read more about that from this article from the Lawrence Journal World. 

Sooooooo......despite the stress.......despite the political craziness.......despite the technology flops......I choose to encourage my kiddos with tasty treat each day!

When my students come in the class, sitting on their desk is a small treat that matches a clever little tasty treat tag.  This small gesture isn't much.....but it makes the kids smile and gets them excited about days that are normally stressful!  Some of my kids save there little notes....just to look at them when they need a little extra push!  So cute! 

I have 15 different sayings that I use....which all use a different treat.  I try to switch it up each year....so I don't get repeats.  The saying I use are:

  • It's crunch time. Show what you know! (Crunch bar)
  • Best of luck on your test! (bag of lucky charms)
  • Shine like a star! (Starburst)
  • We are cheering you on to success!  (bag of Cheerios)
  • Go the Extra mile! (Extra gum)
  • Rock the test! (pop rocks)
  • Razzle-Dazzle us with what you have learned! (Razzles)
  • You were mint to pass this test! (peppermints)
  • Be a nerd and ace this test! (Nerds)
  • Blow the test up! (Blow Pops)
  • Get fired up for the test! (Fireballs)
  • You are on a roll, keep up the good work! (Tootsie Rolls, or Rolos)
  • Best of luck smarty pants! (Smarties)
  • Skor the best on the test! (Skor)
  • You are ofishally ready for the test! (Sweedish fish)
These tags are pretty easy to use---that's why I love them.  All I do is print out the tags, cut them up and place a little piece of candy on their desk!  Easy Peasy my  friends!


  1. I think so many states are having these same issues, as if we didn't stress out enough during testing! We get to take a brand new test this year and have no idea what to expect. Your kids are lucky to have you! Those cute little cards are sure to motivate them and get them excited! Thanks for sharing Katie and linking up! :) Good luck on your state testing!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  2. I'm also in Kansas, and I dread, dread, dread this year's assessments. I have little faith it will be any better. I'm very nervous about the math performance and the on-demand writing...not because I don't think students are prepared, but I'm afraid that the technology won't work again. We participated in the first "break KITE day" and it was a disaster.

  3. UGH! State testing is the worst! Our first round is coming up in the beginning of April and then we test again in mid May. I did something similar with my students last year. It made me smile when so many kept the sayings. Many taped them to their desk so they could see them each day.

    Quinnessential Lessons

  4. State testing is so stressful on everyone. This is a cute way to encourage your students to do their best and to relieve some of the stress!
    Conversations in Literacy