Math tests are an important part of any upper elementary curriculum. These tests help measure student progress and provide valuable insights into their understanding of math concepts. However, preparing for standardized math tests can be challenging for both students and teachers. In this blog post, I will give you 10 tips and ideas for math test prep in upper elementary classrooms to help your students feel more confident and prepared for their upcoming tests. 📝
*This post contains affiliate links to Amazon for your convenience. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, which do not cost any extra for you. Please see the full disclosure here.*
Math Test Prep in Upper Elementary
Encouraging your students to engage in math test prep for state testing in elementary school can be challenging. Start by explaining the importance of tests and testing. Students may not fully understand the importance of the state test, so it’s essential to explain why it matters. Let them know that the test helps their teacher understand where they may need extra help.
Once students understand the importance of the testing, be sure to provide positive reinforcement as they practice for and take the tests. Recognize students’ efforts and progress in their test prep, such as giving out small rewards or public recognition. These small things can make a world of difference to students as they prepare for state testing. 🤗
Use these tips and ideas for math test prep for kids as you prepare for state testing this year!
#1 Start Early & Make a Study Plan 📆
Beginning math test prep at least a week before the exam is essential, so students have enough time to cover all the topics. Then, it would help if you created a study plan outlining which topics students need to study and allocating specific times for each. This way, you won’t forget to review anything!
#2 Utilize Practice Tests
Give your students practice tests that simulate the actual test experience. This will help them become familiar with the types of questions and the format of the test. In addition, by reviewing the test content, you will ensure that your students are familiar with the content covered on the test, so nothing comes as a surprise when they are writing their tests.
#3 Teach Test-taking strategies
Teach your students test-taking strategies, such as how to read and interpret questions, how to eliminate incorrect answers, and how to manage their time effectively during the test. Then, teach students how to break down complex math problems into smaller, more manageable parts to help them approach the problem more systematically.
#4 Incorporate Math Games 🎲
Use math games to make learning fun and engaging. Games can also help students practice math concepts that will be covered on the test in a less formal setting. For example, you can use a game show format or turn any board game or card game into a math game.
Include these NO PREP hands-on math match-up games to provide your students with targeted and engaging practice of various math skills. With these matching games, your students will practice multiplication, division, fractions, and decimals.
My students love playing these math match-up games! You can check out the video below to see how to implement these math games in your classroom.
In this blog post about math supplies for teachers, I provide some lively interactive games you can purchase for your classroom.
#5 Make Useful Anchor charts
Create anchor charts highlighting important math concepts, formulas, and problem-solving strategies. Use these charts to review with your students regularly. Some states allow you to leave these anchor charts up during testing if they were used during your regular classroom teaching throughout the year. Be sure to check out the standardized testing rules for your state!
#6 Utilize Technology 💻 📱
Utilize technology such as tablets, laptops, or interactive whiteboards to enhance lessons and provide interactive activities. Students love interacting with technology daily, so including this as part of your math test prep can be a great motivator to complete more practice.
Technology Math Test Prep Ideas
- Kahoot: Using Kahoot in your classroom for math test prep can help students by engaging them in a fun and interactive way. Plus, it provides instant feedback to help them identify areas where they need more practice.
- Math Websites: Using math websites for kids, like IXL, Khan Academy, or Prodigy, you can engage even your reluctant learners to practice their math skills. These interactive websites give students instant feedback, making them the perfect addition to your math test prep!
- Math Apps: Giving students free time on a tablet to play math games on math apps can help them hone their math skills. Some students need extra practice with times tables or number bonds, so let them review this in a fun way with a math app! Check out my blog post about incorporating technology in your math classroom through free math apps for kids.
- Digital Mystery Pictures: Using digital mystery picture activities in your classroom for math test prep can help students by providing a fun and engaging way to practice math skills while also allowing them to visualize concepts in a unique way. Additionally, these activities can be tailored to individual student needs, helping them to focus on areas where they may need more support. Try out the digital mystery pictures below!
#7 Encourage Collaborative Learning and Peer Tutoring 👧👦
Encourage students to work in pairs or small groups to solve math problems, which promotes peer learning. In addition, peer tutoring can be an effective way for students to learn from one another and reinforce their understanding of math concepts.
#8 Set up Fun and Engaging Math Centers
Using math centers in your classroom for math test prep can help students by providing various hands-on activities and resources. Math centers help to engage students with math concepts while allowing them to work at their own pace and level. Additionally, math centers can promote collaboration and peer learning!
Try including these color-by-code worksheets in your math centers! Students love coloring, so these will be a hit as students practice for their math state testing this year.
Check out my blog post about hands-on math centers for more math center ideas!
#9 Incorporate Task Cards
Tasks cards are a versatile tool for math test prep with your upper elementary students. Task cards cover a wide range of skills, and you can even differentiate them to support the needs of all your students.
Fun ways to use Task Cards for Math Test Prep
- Scavenger Hunt: You can cut up the task cards and hide them around your classroom for students to find and solve.
- Math Scoot: Set up the task cards on different desks in your classroom. Give students a recording sheet and have them move around the classroom, solving the questions on the task cards.
- Math Centers: You could have students work in pairs to solve the questions on the task cards in your math centers.
- Board Games: You can incorporate any set of task cards into fun board games for your students.
- Digital Task Cards: use the digital task cards below to give your students an interactive approach to solving task cards!
Check out these task cards that you can use for your math test prep!
#10 Communicate with Parents 👨👩👧👦
Keep parents informed about their child’s progress in math class and provide them with resources to help support their child’s learning at home. In addition, encourage parents to review math concepts with their children and offer them opportunities to practice math skills outside school.
Standardized math tests can be daunting for students and teachers. Luckily, you can implement these tips and ideas to help students feel more confident and prepared for their upcoming exams. Remember to start early, review previously learned concepts, utilize technology, include games, encourage collaborative learning, and practice, practice, practice!
With these strategies in place, your students will be ready to tackle any math test that comes their way. Good luck!