5 Stress Free Activities for After High-Stakes Testing in 5th Grade!

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Wahoo!  Testing is done, but you still have 3 more hours of school!  What do you do now?  Here are 5 stress-free activities to keep your 5th graders engaged and learning post testing.

Do your students get a half-day schedule on testing days? We could only dream, right?!?! High-stakes testing is very draining for all parties involved and yet after several hours of asking our students to try their best and give it their all, they are then asked to continue learning for the remainder of the day. This always has made me nutty as a teacher because kids don't want to do anything that involves "learning" and frankly, I don't blame them! So what do you do? Below are five no-stress, engaging activities where students ARE learning, but also having fun in fifth grade!

 1. Research 

One of my favorite post-testing activities is research!  Kids love researching things that are of interest to them.  In fifth grade, one of the standards covers state history and this is a prime time to capitalize on this by having students work collaboratively to research a state and different components of a state report.  I usually have them write (in advance) to the different state tourism departments and they get in the mail a big envelope full of goodies for them to help with their research.  Then utilizing the Internet and library books on each state.  I usually have them generate a research question instead of just listing facts that can be found in 10 minutes.  An example is, When choosing your next vacation destination, should you go to Rhode Island or New Hampshire?

 2. Art 

Patty from Deep Space Sparkle has a TON of ideas and resources for you to find your inner artist.  Art is often times is skipped over when pressed for time or lack of resources, so I try to incorporate a bunch of it at the end of the year after testing.  It is stress-reliever to a lot of kids to get to do something where they get to express themselves creatively. Patty has lessons by grade level and here is the link to the fifth grade lessons she has.  Some are free and others are for a small fee.

 3. Play Writing/Acting

Reader's theater is a great option to practice fluency.  I like to have students practice in small groups a reader's theater script and then perform it for the class.  Another idea that is ALWAYS a hit is to have students collaboratively write their own play and then perform it for the class.  I like to bring in things from the beginning of the year like fairy tales and imaginative narratives and have them use that as the base for their play.

 4. Rock-Paper-Scissors Rally

 This whole class game will get kids up and moving and really will help boast students' self-esteem and the overall moral of your class.  We have done it in staff meetings too!  A lot of fun!
This whole class game will get your students energized and can be done mid-testing and post-testing to release some stress.

 5. Promotion Activities

This is a great time to start thinking about and planning for end-of-the year activities like promotion.  I always have all of my students write a promotion speech, even if we only select one or two to actually present in front of all the parents.  Each student reflects on their time in elementary school and composes a speech.  Then students practice their delivery of their speech to their peers.  Students finally vote on which speeches should be given to the parents.  I have a great step-by-step resource you can use to help you with this process. You can find it here.

This resource is everything you need to teach your fifth graders how to write a promotion speech.  I usually start these post testing.

How do you pass the time after testing?  Comment below!

by Lisa Prins

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