With state testing quickly approaching, the last thing on teachers’ minds is what to do with students who finish their tests before the rest of the class. I so clearly remember the octopus-arm skills required of me during the last 40 minutes of a testing block: take three students’ tests at once, sign another one out to the restroom, “shush” someone who was bored (and loud), count the tests…and that’s only half of it.
After testing, some kids will be content reading quietly, but many others will need something that uses their brain in a different way. Check out some of our favorite ways to engage students who finish testing early that are relatively low-lift for teachers to set up and monitor (and that you can use year after year)!
- Create a “Bingo” card with various, high-interest quiet activities that students can complete. Give students the option to work on the activities in class and at home, and maybe even for a day after testing is over (so that students don’t rush through the test in order to have time to work on them). Allow students to turn in their completed work and Bingo card for extra credit, an opportunity to have lunch with you, or the option to pick a school-appropriate song to be played in class.
- Let older students design their own school. Provide guidelines for what the project must include, and then let students use their critical thinking and creativity to design away! After testing is over, students can present their projects to their classmates.
- Have students create a Facebook page for an important character from your subject area, or provide students a list of people to choose from. Feel free to use or modify this template to provide students a fun, creative way to apply their knowledge of someone else and their perspective!
What are some of your favorite post-testing activities to engage your students?
Nina Tinsley is the Director of Operations and Outreach at OneTeacher and is a former middle school and high school teacher.