It’s our favorite time of year… after spring break where there is everything from end-of-the-year performances, parties, teacher appreciation week, and those dreaded reading tests. Throw in spring sports, more sunshine in the evenings, and it’s almost impossible not to be dreaming of those summer days with no routine or schedule.
However you feel about these end-of-the-year reading tests, we all want our kids to do well. It may only be one assessment to grade the entire year, so let’s set up your kids for success. These tests may be individual to your school or a statewide end-of-year assessment. Your child’s teacher should share what assessments they will complete by the end of the year.
We want them to show us what they know and do the best they can, so here are 3 tips to help prepare your kids for end-of-the-year reading tests.
Stick to the routine.
I know how difficult this is at the end of the year, but TRY to stick to your bedtime and morning routines. You may not know the exact date of an individual assessment, but if it is a whole-class test, you should know that date ahead of time.
Some ideas to keep constant the day of the test:
Bedtime: A good night’s sleep is so important! You don’t want your child nodding off while reading a passage. Go to bed early if possible!
Breakfast: Make it a healthy one! Grab some extra fruit or something to eat in the car. You want your child focused on the test, not on when lunch time is, so try to fill their bellies!
How they get to school: You may want to spend extra time that morning with your child and drive them to school when they usually take the bus. Don’t! Let them arrive how they usually arrive so everything is routine.
If your child does have an off morning, let their teacher know. A simple conversation with her may help calm their nerves and get them back on track to having a great day!
2. Talk about it.
Kids are just like us- they feel nervous when it comes to something new. They may also not care about the tests because it’s not important to them. A simple conversation on how they are feeling about the test can help! Explain that while it’s important, this one single test does not define who they are. It is important though and they need to try their best!
Let them tell you how they’re feeling- try not to give them the feelings by saying, “Are you feeling nervous about tomorrow’s big test?” Instead, keep questions open-ended:
“How are you feeling about tomorrow’s test?”
“Do you have any questions about it? “
“Tell me more about the test.”
Your child’s teacher should already have answered all of their questions, but they might open up to you a bit more. If you don’t have an answer, be honest with your child, and ask their teacher. Having a conversation is an easy way to talk about those fears and reassure your child to simply try their best.
Keep reading aloud that chapter book. Listen to Audible in the car. (If you’re looking for ways to sneak in more reading, read this post). Snuggle up and read the night before the test! One of my favorite books to read before a test is (affiliate link) Dr. Seuss’s Hooray for Diffendoofer Day! In this silly story, the teacher at Diffendoofer School must prove her students were taught to think- or they’ll get sent to the dreaded Flobbertown (sound familiar?!).
You can easily make the connection to state tests with this story. It is a little silly and can help you explain how reading CAN be fun. Remind them that tomorrow they’re just showing their teacher what they know about reading.
Remember to have those conversations as you read! Sometimes, it’s easier to ask how the characters in the book you are reading are feeling about the test. It may give more insight to how your child truly feels if they can talk about the character’s feeling over their own feelings. Are you looking for more ways to talk about books? Download my comprehension bookmark here!
Hopefully these tips help you prepare your kids for those end-of-the-year reading tests! I’d love to know which one helped you most in the comments.