Studying with a Buddy Makes Test Prep Fun!

I’ve never been one to spend months teaching test prep strategies, but I also feel we’re doing kids a disservice if we don’t prepare them in some way for state testing. A teacher once told me that she considers testing to be a genre, just like fables, science fiction, or poetry. That’s just how she presented it to her students, too. She shares strategies to put her students at ease so they feel confident and competent about being able to “show what they know.”

When I was teaching, I felt the same way. I wanted to be sure that my students were ready to tackle any test and give it their best. So I came up with a strategy that I call Buddy Test Prep that’s both fun for students as well as highly effective. I only used it for a week or two before our state tests, but it definitely produced results! You can download this free resource from my TpT store during the spring, or from my subscriber freebies page any time of the year.

For the Buddy Test Prep activity, students follow a specific set of steps, first working alone, then with a partner, and finally with the class. They use a special color-coding system to show whether each answer is their own work or was arrived at with the help of a partner. To make the 3 steps easy to follow, I created a set of student directions (below) that you can display for the class using a document camera or interactive whiteboard. I also included a half-sheet recording form for your convenience.

If you are going to spend a week or more every year practicing test prep strategies, why not make it fun for you and your students?