How to Make Benchmark Assessment Testing Fun

It's that time of year again!  The crazy busy whirlwind called benchmark assessment testing. I love seeing the growth that each student has made, but getting it all done can be a challenge.

What if I told you there was a way to spend a large chunk of time testing AND have your students do something productive at the same time?  I know, sounds doubtful, but it isn't.  Let me introduce you to something my grade level has done for the past two years - Read-In Day.  Cue up some happy music. Each of the awesome teachers that I teach with puts his/her own spin on the Read-In Day.  This makes it a little more fun.   

Here's the basics:
1.  Schedule a Read-In Day during the testing window. Bonus points for a Friday!
2.  Have your students wear comfy cozy clothes and bring in lots of books to read.  
3.  Allow them to read while you assess.

My class has specials first thing in the morning.  When they come back I explain the way the day will work.  I start by introducing the Read & Roll structure.  Each student will get a copy of the directions and I display it on the board.

Students are allowed to read anywhere they would like in the room. (We have a lot of flexible seating options and they are used to moving around the room.) 

They read and when the timer goes off they find a friend, the dice roll, and talking about books begin. Letting them get up, find a friend, and chat serves as a movement break.  But, more importantly, they talk about books and I love listening in.  It gives me another opportunity to informally check their understanding.  

The students read fiction and nonfiction texts throughout the day.  We use a nonfiction Read & Roll, too.  I also like to sprinkle in some fun surprises throughout the day to make reading fun.  These bracelets were a hit!  We shut off all of the lights and read in the dark.

Read-In Day is one of my favorite days! If you would like to check out my Read & Roll activity click here.   

How do you make testing fun in your classroom?


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