Testing, however, does not need to keep you from teaching. In fact, this is a great opportunity to try a new idea you had or to play with the way in which you and your students interact with the curriculum. Here are just a few tips for keeping the learning alive during testing:
1. Turn everyday games into live action. Games are a great way to work with content without students thinking it’s work. Even better, live action games get students moving and expending energy as they think. Whether you want to focus on vocabulary or practice asking and answering questions there’s a game for you.
Human Tic-Tac-Toe: Set up a tic-tac-toe board on the ground and divide the class into two teams (X and O). Students answer a question (or ask a question about a vocabulary word) in order to move into the correct space. You can do this as a class or get multiple games going to get more students involved. Provide each group with a stack of pictures, words, definitions, etc. to work from so they can continue to play after one team wins.
Flyswatter: Everyone loves a chance to hit the target, but the way it’s traditionally played doesn’t keep the whole class involved. Change this game around by printing multiple sets of pictures of your vocabulary list and place the pictures all around the room – on the tables, floor, walls, etc. Divide the class into multiple teams (if you have 3 of each picture, make 5 teams, for example) and give each student a number. Call the number and call a word. Students with the number called find the word around the room. The students that find the pictures get a point for their team. Make sure to set some ground rules, though: walk don’t run, only one student per picture, play in silence, you have to give a sentence for each picture to get a point, etc.
4. Make them move. Right after finishing a test, it can be a lot to ask students to sit still for another 30 minutes; especially at the elementary level. To keep it Spanish focused, however, I didn’t want to take them out to the playground to run around. Instead, we moved all the tables to the side and did some kid-friendly workouts in Spanish. You can search YouTube and find some great stuff – just make sure to watch it first of course!
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