Testing season is upon us, and I wanted to share a lesson on helping students learn skills that will help them feel calm and confident before and during a test. I could easily go on a tangent about the validity and relevance of the tests our students take, but instead, I’ll just give you support for helping our students succeed in the current system for which we are working. My goal in this lesson is to help students review test-taking, time management, organizational, and study skills to improve academic achievement.
I found this online game of Study skills Jeopardy to play with students that covers the most pertinent topics and has literally had kids screaming with excitement to play and share their answers. Students are allowed to “study” before the game begins, but they can’t write down their answers, they have to draw them! Research has shown that drawing concepts helps students retain information because they must integrate their learning into existing neural pathways—which means the information will be retained much longer. I let students keep the answer sheet they created during the game, but they have to give back the answer sheet with words on it. Because they know I’m letting them keep the drawing answer sheet, they are motivated to get it done and don’t even realize that I’ve tricked them into learning. (Insert maniacal laugh here.)
I tell students that they are competing as a class against the other classes in their grade level and then I select and ask the Jeopardy game questions quickly instead of letting them pick what section of questions they will ask. Allowing them to choose questions one at a time like in the actual game of Jeopardy takes an excruciatingly long time.
Testing can be anxiety producing for a lot of students, but they tend to feed off of our energy, and they will remain calm as long as we are relaxed. I shared this article with parents and teachers to help students prepare for exam. I hope your students enjoy this lesson as much as my students did!