Slow & Steady - A Testing Freebie!

I hope the weather warmed up a bit this weekend for you!  It felt like spring around here and I am loving it!!  Of course, with warm weather comes an urge to go shopping for spring clothes!

Thank goodness for the Loft!  And, that they love teachers!  They had the entire store 30% off this weekend and our local Loft held a "thank you" for teachers Saturday morning where they gave an EXTRA 15% off!  Plus, they were giving away their savings cards!  S-C-O-R-E!!  Then, we headed to the outlets today.  Thank goodness for a husband who loves to shop as much as I do!! :)

A little retail therapy always helps!  What else will help this girl feel good is if my kiddos do well on their MAP testing tomorrow!

My students have made so much growth in reading this year, it just always makes me nervous if they're actually going to take their time and do their best on this one test, which is the measure of my teaching!!

We wrapped up our Fable genre not long ago and my kiddos FINALLY made a great connection between the lessons in the fables and how they could apply those lessons to their lives.

You see, at first, when they read a fable {for instance, The Tortoise and the Hare}, they had a tough time applying the lessons to their life.  They knew the lesson was "slow and steady wins the race."  But, when I asked them to tell how that lesson could help them, they all wanted to say "when I run in a race."  When I asked, "How often do you run in races?" They realized....they don't!

During this time, we were also just beginning addition with regrouping.  They got this concept pretty quickly, but you know how it is....their work was filled with careless mistakes!!  One day, I decided I wanted to drive my point home.  I gave them a benchmark before giving them our first actual quiz.  Because I knew they were going to rush through, not check their work, and do poorly because of carelessness.  Sure enough, the scores were horrible.

I sat them down as a class and asked them to raise their hand if they thought they made 100.  18 of 19 students raised their hands!!  {And, 18 of 19 did understand this concept!!}

Then, I told them I was going to read the grades aloud {of course, the grades were not tied to names}.  I read them aloud....U, U, U, B, C, U, D, U, and so on.....their little mouths DROPPED to the FLOOR!  I asked, "What grade did you hear most often?"  They unanimously said, "U."

I explained to them that I KNEW they all understood this concept and I KNEW they could do so much better, but they did not take their time and check over their work {even though the teacher had asked them to over and over and over and over.}

We talked about what it meant to check their work.  Because truly, I don't think they understand this fully at this age.  Then, I gave their benchmarks back and had them redo them {note...there was no reteaching}.

I graded them again, sat them down and read aloud the scores.....A, A, B, A, A, C, B, A, A, A, C, A, A, and so on.....I asked them which grade they heard most often.  "A" they replied.  They truly realized the importance of checking their work and working carefully.

Well, one day, when we were talking about the fables, a student made the connection of "working slow and steady" while doing math {or any school work for that matter} to make sure they didn't have careless mistakes!!  YES! YES! YES!

So, now my kiddos are always talking about being a slow and steady turtle to do their best work and NO ONE wants to be the first to finish {or else they're seen as the "speedy hare" and that is a very bad thing in our room now!} 

This connection has been a gem in our classroom.  So, with our first session of MAP testing tomorrow, I made up these little "Testing Turtles" to give to my students {a shout out to my brilliant teaching buddy, Kristen for the idea!}

We usually give our kids a "goal card" to take with them to the computer lab for testing, so I added that to the back of the turtle.  I'm hoping by having their goal card in the shape of the turtle, they'll see it while they're testing and it will be a reminder to go "slow and steady" and take their time to do their very best on the test!

I'm going to have them on their desks in the morning with a little blueberry muffin....just in case someone missed breakfast!   Hope you can find a use for them, too - click the pics above to download your copy!
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday


  1. We have ITBS testing this week, too. It's so frustrating when you see that they are done in less than half the time allotted for the test. I don't know if my fifth graders would find the turtles too kiddish, but maybe I'll adapt to get the point across :)

    Fifth in the Middle

  2. Suuuuper cute! Isn't it hard to get them to understand they need to SLOW DOWN because there's no prize for the first one done?!?

    Stacia and I have already been discussing our shopping cart for can't beat that deal!!

    Have a great week!
    Collaboration Cuties

  3. Don't you just love when they make those connections? It's really started to click for my 2nd graders the past few weeks. I get so excited and they are excited to make connections and apply it to their life.

    I love the turtles! What a great reminder to go slow and steady.

    All the Dots

  4. Isn't it so hard to get them to understand that about checking their work??? I don't understand, honestly, why my kiddos feel like they can just "do it" and turn it in. I have them write at the top of the page now that they checked their work and sign their initials. And when I come across a problem (or an entire PAGE) without an answer, I call them over and ask them if they are sure they checked it?? I show them what their grade would have been if they had answered it. It has made those kids actually slow down and check their work the next times... of course, I can't prove the other ones actually checked it, but I hope they are.......
    ideas by jivey

  5. Great connection to the fable, and adorable tortoise. :)

  6. Love your turtles! I teach 3rd, 4th, and 5th AIG, but I still like to do 'cute.' I think my students like it also. I am going to use your turtle so thank you so much! Pam
    Visit me at Teaching By The Sea

  7. I LOOOOOOOVE this! We will be doing the MAP test at the end of April/beginning of May. This will be perfect!
    Diving Into 2nd Grade

  8. Is there a printable copy of the turtle?


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