Exciting lesson ideas, classroom strategies, book lists, videos, and reproducibles in a daily blog by teachers


I live in New York

I teach third grade

I am an almost-digital-native and Ms. Frizzle wannabe


I live in New Jersey

I teach sixth grade literacy

I am passionate about my students becoming lifelong readers and writers


I live in New York

I teach K-5

I am a proud supporter of American public education and a tech integrationist


I live in Michigan

I teach second grade

I am a Tweet loving, technology integrating, mom of two with a passion for classroom design!


I live in Nevada

I teach PreK-K

I am a loving, enthusiastic teacher whose goal is to make learning exciting for every child


I live in Michigan

I teach third grade

I am seriously addicted to all things technology in my teaching


I live in California

I teach second and third grades

I am an eager educator, on the hunt to find the brilliance in all


I live in North Carolina

I teach kindergarten

I am a kindergarten teacher who takes creating a fun, engaging classroom seriously


I live in Illinois

I teach fourth grade

I am a theme-weaving, bargain-hunting, creative public educator

Test Prep With Pizzazz: Part 1

By Alycia Zimmerman on March 19, 2014
  • Grades: 3–5

Test prep can quickly suck the life out of the most vivacious classroom. Not only are we teachers combatting testing jitters, (both our students' jitters and our own!) practicing for standardized exams feels nothing like our normal inquiry-driven, project-based units.

Last year, I shared a game plan for battling the "Test Prep Blues," including some of the “games” that make the practice work more palatable. In the video below, I demonstrate how I use “Table Team Challenges” to add some competitive and social spice to what would otherwise be simply stupefying test preparation. Mobile users can access the Table Team Challenges video here.

What are your test prep tricks to help combat the glassy-eyed doldrums? Please share your suggestions in the comments section below! And stay tuned for another "Test Prep With Pizzazz" tip next week!

If you want updates on my future blog posts, please follow me on Facebook or Twitter!

Comments (8)

This is great! I will try it with my middle school students : )


Can't wait to try this with my class, test prep has been grueling for them. I'm thinking this will really spice things up. Thanks for sharing.

You're most welcome, Denise! I find that it really helps when I'm overwhelmingly upbeat and don't let any of my own anxiety show through. I don't even say "Good luck" to the kiddos before testing. I say instead, "Work hard and have fun!" And you'd be amazed by how many of my students finish the test and report "That was fun." For real! It's all in the salesmanship. Anyway, thanks for your comment, and best of luck!!!

Great concept. I have been doing this with my HS US history classes! I just call it Team Trivia but we are doing the same things! Looks like your kids enjoy it!

Wow, my third graders will feel SO grown-up when I tell them that a high school class is doing the same-ish thing! :) Thanks for sharing, Scott! It sounds like you make US history practice a lot of fun.

Got it to work - thanks! Great ideas!

I don't think the videos work on iOS devices, unfortunately - maybe that was the problem? Either way, I'm glad it started working for you, Heather, and that you liked the idea. Best of luck with your test prep!

The video didn't work :(

Post a Comment
(Please sign in to leave a comment. Privacy Policy)
Back to Top