Test Motivators

Standardized testing is always stressful, for teachers and students.  In Indiana, our students take the ISTEP+ test.  Our school really makes a big deal about it and works hard to motivate the students to do their best.  We don't start standardized testing until 3rd grade, but the whole school gets involved.  Every adult signs up to "motivate" 3-4 students.  Every morning of the test, we place an encouraging note on their desk.  Here are the notes and items I have placed this week.

I put the note above on their desks along with a glow stick bracelet.

This one came with a clementine orange, of course.

This one will work with any type of candy.

I left a pencil with the note above.
Click HERE to download all of the above for free.

Our school uses a military type theme to get the students excited about taking ISTEP.  The 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders prepare cadences that they do for the entire school every morning of the test.  The principal calls them all down to the gym for roll call, leads them in exercises and then each grade level performs their cadence.  It is really cool to watch.  Afterwards, the teachers line up in the hall to form a tunnel for the students to go through.  They give them high fives as they head to their classrooms to get ready for the test.
Each student also gets a military themed shirt to wear during the test.  You can see the shirts and the cadences in the videos below.

This is our music teacher singing his song that he wrote about ISTEP.

What do you do at your school to motivate kids for standardized testing?


  1. These are great ideas for motivating the kids for the stressful test! We had a big assembly this year with the theme of Wipeout for Wipeout the Test. Teachers had an obstacle course to go through.
    Conversations in Literacy

  2. Jodi . . . these are such great ideas. We do a whole big adopt a class thing during testing. The non-testing classrooms adopt testing classrooms and do little things for them throughout the week. . . it's pretty cool. We also do the "Walk of Winners." On the first day of the test we pump music and have all of the little kids line up and cheer for the testing kids as they come in from the pre-school recess. I always have to wear my dark sunglasses (sniff . . . sniff). Thanks for sharing. I am a following ya!

    Kelley Dolling
    Teacher Idea Factory

  3. ABSOLUTELY LOVE the military theme!!! Kudos to your admin for motivating in a respectful and honored way!!!! Wish I could say the same for my school....

  4. Wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing!

  5. I love these! Thanks for sharing. I love visiting your blog!


    Lohren Nolan

  6. For the past 3 years I have done something special for the 3rd 4th and 5th graders. This year I had my first graders paint good luck rocks to attach to a Dr Seuss qoute. They also will get a piece of candy with a wore to encourage them for the test.

  7. These little motivators are sweet and thoughtful! Thank you for sharing! My students will love these! And as a parent, my heart would melt if my child brought one of these home from their teacher. :)

  8. I mentioned you on my blog! I am using the "glow" one with my kids tomorrow!


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