Powered by Blogger.

10 Test Prep Games to Engage Your Upper Elementary Class

Do you feel like you’ve used all of the test prep games in your arsenal so much that they don’t truly engage your upper elementary students anymore? Are you preparing for state testing and need some fresh ideas for state testing prep? Well, teacher friend, am I glad to see you! I popped over to my local Dollar Tree the other day to gather ideas for you that are cost-effective and will engage your learners as they prepare for state testing as well as any other tests in your class. Keep reading to discover new test prep activities your students will love!

Are you ready to take your test prep games to the next level?

One of the Best ELA & Math Test Prep Games

When I walked into my local dollar store, the first thing that caught my eye was a whole aisle of Easter eggs! It’s currently springtime when I’m writing this, so this is not much of a surprise. There were all kinds of plastic, fillable Easter eggs (including ones shaped like balls and seashells!), and I thought of how much I love using these in my test prep games - 4th grade, 3rd grade, and 5th grade students all love.


There are several ways to use these eggs for your state testing prep, but the basic steps are to print out test review questions, cut them up, and put them inside the plastic eggs. Then, you hide them somewhere, and your students have to find them! I love making it a scavenger hunt, where kids are in teams, and they each have a color of Easter egg to look for. The papers inside the eggs have their review questions and include a clue to where the following eggs are around the school. Students must solve the test prep problems and then move on to find the next egg!


You can also do one big egg hunt outside where you hide the eggs, and everyone goes to find one, solve the review question inside, and get another one. The third test prep game I use Easter eggs for is as an escape room of sorts. Kids have to find and solve eggs in a particular order, and when they solve all of the test review questions, they unlock a prize!

ELA test prep games
Use Easter Eggs for ELA Test Prep Games like scavenger hunts!

Math Test Prep Games

Turn the pool noodles into a math test prep game to review equivalent fractions! Use a serrated knife to chop up some pool noodles into pieces so your students can make equivalent fractions with them, and put them in an open space in your classroom. Give your students a math test review problem where they have to solve and then find the equivalent fractions, or even work with the fractions to add or subtract them! You can also make your questions word problems, as I know that’s always a tricky area for students. 


Another one of my favorite test prep games 5th grade is Bingo! I found this bingo game set at the dollar store and thought about how you could create math problems where the answers were the numbers you called, so the students have to solve the math problems to see if they get a bingo! Ex: “I 520,000 divided by 10,000!” You can use this strategy with any math test prep you’re doing to help your students review math skills before state testing.

math test prep games
Use pool noodles and bingo for math test prep games.

Standardized Test Prep Games for Any Subject

I love using gift bags and tissue paper to bring some hype to my standardized test prep! Grab a bunch of these bags and put tissue paper in them. You can also put a prize in each bag, or each bag can have the next review question the students have to answer. Showing them a bunch of presents will get them excited to see what’s inside. You could also put a question and a piece of a puzzle in each bag so that once all of the questions are answered, they create a puzzle to show them their prize (extra recess, Quizziz game, etc.). One other way to use these is as a countdown to finishing state testing. Every day after their tests, someone from the class gets to unwrap the activity you do together.


You can also play a test prep game where students earn tickets for correct answers. At the end of the game, you draw a few tickets, and the students who have those tickets get a prize! This is an excellent option for test prep games that aren’t points-based.

test prep games 4th grade
Add hype to make standardized test prep games 4th grade more engaging!

Shaving Cream is a Must for Your State Testing Prep!

Shaving cream isn’t necessarily a test prep GAME, but it’s one of the easiest ways to engage your students! Spray a bit of shaving cream on each of their desks and let them play with it for a bit before you do your test prep. Then, have students answer your test prep questions by drawing with their fingers in the shaving cream! This test prep activity works great for math, spelling, or grammar.


Small Group Test Prep Games

Another of my fun test prep games is using these games in the toy section of the Dollar Tree! These can be used in small groups or as a class, and you can use them to review for any test! I usually make the rules to include that students must answer a question before they can have a turn at the game. If you pick up the ring toss for your 3rd grade test prep games (or any other grade for that matter), your students can keep track of how many times they land the ring on the target, and whoever has the most landed rings is the winner.

3rd grade test prep games
Use these for 5th, 4th, and 3rd grade test prep games in small groups!

Test Prep Games for the Classroom That Students Love

Have you seen the ball popper toys? I found bunnies for Easter, but they have them frequently at the Dollar Tree and in Bullseye’s Playground at Target. Students can have a bank of review questions, and each time they finish one, they get to either make a basket with their ball popper or see how far they can get the ball to fly, and they can earn points based on that! This tool can work for so many test prep games - 4th grade and other elementary grades love them! Kids always love a challenge, right?

Create a Room Transformation to Play Fun Test Prep Games

I love using dollar store decorations to create a room transformation, and it doesn’t have to be crazy! I saw these island decorations and items and instantly thought of how you could make an island or Hawaiian-themed transformation to play your standardized test prep games. Kids could wear summery outfits, and you can hang up these inflatable palm trees and flower paper cutouts around your room. 


You could have challenges set up like “Reading on the Beach,” where they sit on a beach towel to practice their reading test questions, and “Sand Castle Math,” where they get a cup or some building tool for each correct answer they get in the math task cards to build a castle as high as they can. Kids can also wear sunglasses for added engagement, and I highly recommend playing ocean waves in the background for a peaceful test prep day!

test prep games 5th grade
Create a room transformation for a whole day of test prep games 5th grade!

Need More Test Prep Games Ideas?

Check out these articles for other fun test prep games for your upper elementary testing season!

36 Awesome Test Prep Review Ideas!

A Game-Based Approach to Test Prep

Engaging Test Prep Ideas


Food for thought: don’t forget to prepare your students for state testing mentally and emotionally. This time of year can be taxing for them, and they may be feeling anxious about state testing. So while preparing them with test prep games is super important, preparing their minds and hearts is just as important! Watch this video for strategies to prepare your upper elementary students for state testing.


My Top 13 February Favorites

I love sharing my favorite discoveries or long-time loves on Instagram, so I thought I would share my February Favorites with you too! This month has flown by and has been filled with negative temperatures, work events, and preparation for my new brand and website! I can’t wait to share it with you! As we wrap up this month, here are the things I’m currently loving! Click any of the links to get these items yourself (some of them are affiliate links, which means I make a small commission off of your purchase, but it doesn’t cost you anything extra!). And make sure to share what you’re loving in the comments!

february-favorites
What are your February favorites? Keep reading for the details on my favorite things this month!

Lifestyle February Favorites

In 2019, my word for the year was CULTIVATE. So, when I found this book collection from Jonathon & Melissa Helser and the Cageless Birds, I was pumped! It’s designed to help you connect with and build your relationship with the Holy Spirit. There are a lot of journal prompts, Scriptures, and beautiful art pieces (writing, poetry, drawings, photographs), and it speaks to my soul every time I open the book!


Well, as it does, life got away from me, and I didn’t continue with the rest of the books in the collection. As I started 2021, I was reminded of them and jumped back in with the second volume called The Clarity Winter Brings. It is perfect, not just for the time of year but also for the season of life I’m currently in. I believe God brings things to the surface when we need them most, and this definitely happened with this book. It’s what my heart and soul needed. You can find the whole Cultivate set here. It’s not your regular devotional, and I love it so much!


I’ve heard great things about these Micron pens for years, but I just finally got myself a pack this year. I’ve loved it for taking sermon notes and writing in my journal! It’s thick enough to be super versatile but not as thick as a marker or brush pen. Highly recommended!

february-lifestyle-favorites


I am chronically indecisive when it comes to purchasing anything over $40. So, I’ve been putting off getting some wireless earbuds since they’ve come out. Mainly because I have some over-the-ear wireless headphones that still work well. But when I started working out at my gym when other people were also exercising, those headphones didn’t work as well (not to mention my ears got sweaty! haha!). I finally decided to try this pair of wireless earbuds from Amazon. They aren’t AirPods, but they also aren’t the cheapest of the bunch. They’ve worked well so far, and I love popping them in as I walk out the door and listening to my audiobooks before I start my workout.


I wasn’t going to include this in my February favorites roundup because I’m not finished with it, but I just had to! I started listening to Jen Hatmaker’s newest book Fierce, Free, and Full of Fire this week, and I am obsessed with it! I was quite literally crying this morning as I listened to Chapter 3 - I’m not a super emotional person, so you know it has to be good. Must must must read!! Jen reads the audiobook, which just makes it even better! I look forward to working out because I get to listen to the audiobook on my walk to and from the gym each morning. 



One of my FAVORITE people to follow and connect with on Instagram is Jess Golz @teachergolz. I’ve been following her for years, and I love love love her realness, hand-lettering (#golz!), beauty & plant recommendations, and just her whole aesthetic! She also lives in the Midwest, so I feel like we need to meet IRL. She has a small business where she sells stickers, sticky notes, banners, and more with her art on them. She recently started selling “Bevvie Hugs,” and as soon as she announced when they were going to launch, I set three alarms on my phone so I wouldn’t miss out. I was able to purchase this set, and I’m in love! Her stunning art is screen printed on them, and they come in this pack of three sizes. I love the black with blues and purples, and they just make me so stinking happy! So go follow Jess so you can get your hands on these the next time she launches them!

Beauty February Favorites

My skin gets SO DRY, especially in winter. I’ve been keeping this Weleda cream at my desk and use it multiple times a day to keep my hands moisturized. It’s been a lifesaver, especially when we’re washing hands more. The scent is unique, but I like it a lot, and it feels like a dream! I will be repurchasing after I run out!


Last year around this time (helloooo midwest winter), I experienced some skin problems on my face because my skin was super dry, but I couldn’t find something that worked to help it. Someone recommended Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate, and I went all-in with Kiehl’s. I got a little gift set with the ultra facial cream, avocado eye cream, and this serum, and my skin was so very happy! I’ve been using all three for most of the year, and my skin is clear, bright, and nourished. If I had to choose just one, I would have to choose the Midnight Recovery Concentrate serum. I use it every night before bed, and it is magical! Well worth the price tag.


Now, let’s talk hair. I am blessed to have A LOT of hair - it’s one of my favorite things about my body. However, styling takes forever and a day! So I usually have to choose either curling it or blowdrying it, and I love my hair curled, so I go with that. I’ve been experimenting with different leave-in conditioners and products to help my hair look its best, even when it’s air-dried. I’m so pleased with this Odele air dry styler! My hair feels soft and ready to go after using it instead of how it usually feels (dry and tangled) if I don’t use anything on it when I get out of the shower.


Speaking of shower products, I finally got one of these scalp scrubbers, and they are worth the hype! I looove having my hair played with and getting it washed at the salon, and this scrubber is the next best thing. I apply my shampoo to my hair, and then I use this scrubber to work it in and scrub my scalp. It helps get rid of any build-up, and it feels so good!


I tried the viral Sky High mascara this month too, and I am OBSESSED. My lashes have never looked this good! I always go with waterproof mascara because my eyes are sensitive and get watery sometimes. With this mascara, my lashes are lengthened and voluminous. I’ve already purchased a back-up, just in case it somehow gets discontinued!


Home February Favorites

I have taken a page from Jess Golz’s book (she’s the one who inspired me to share monthly favorites, too), and I am choosing my favorite houseplant of the month to share with you! This month, it is my golden pothos, Ruthie! Gahhh, she’s a beauty! I purchased her from Ikea last Fall. Her growth started slow, but she’s finally vining and is growing like a weed! I just started propagating her too. She hangs in this beautiful macrame planter next to my desk, and I love how she brings life to the space.



I purchased this desk riser this month because I wanted to stand and work throughout the day now that I’m working from home. It was perfect timing because work was heavy this month! I love that I can easily switch from sitting to standing with the pull of a lever. I also appreciate that it raises my screen just a bit even when I’m sitting, making for better posture and less back & neck strain.


As I said, it was a busy work month! Whenever I know that stress will be added to my life for a season, I try to take away some stress. I knew going into the month that I wanted to order some sort of meal service, so I didn’t have to worry about grocery shopping and cooking. I had heard A LOT about Eat to Evolve on Instagram, and I thought that I’d give it a try. I’ve NEVER loved a meal service more than I love Evolve! The food is SO fresh (it’s cooked over the weekend and shipped out on Monday) and really good for you. They cater to a host of diets and food needs (gluten-free, paleo, keto, Whole30, etc.). 


In fact, as I write this post, I’m chowing down on some grilled chicken and green beans with roasted garlic ranch. It’s one of my favorite meals! I also am obsessed with the Taco Bowl, New Orleans Chicken and Shrimp, and Carne Asada. I 100% recommend that you give it a try, especially during this busy season of teaching, parent-teacher conferences, and state testing (eww!). You can get 15% off your first order by using the code GYPSYTEACHER at checkout or clicking here



Sending you a giant coffee cheers for reading all the way through this post! Let me know if you have any of these same favorites or what you’re loving right now! March is gonna be a great month, and I can’t wait for you to see what’s all in store! Here’s something I’m FOREVER loving: classroom community! If it’s a struggle for you right now, download my free Classroom Community Planner to get tips and an action plan. Don't forget to start with the heart!

10 Unique Boho Teacher Gift Ideas for Christmas

Are you on the hunt for some unique teacher gift ideas for Christmas or the holiday season? Well, my friend, you’ve come to the right place! I love finding fun and beautiful gifts to make your gifting and wishlisting even easier! I would say that I have a bohemian style, which has become more popular this year. Rainbows, macrame, and effortless greenery and florals make this style, and my heart soar! If you have a boho teacher in your life or you love this style as much as I do, let’s find you some beautiful boho teacher Christmas gift ideas!

Boho Teacher Gift Guide: Unique Christmas Gifts for Teachers 

Beautiful Gift Ideas for Teacher on Christmas to Make Her Swoon

These foolproof Christmas gift ideas for a teacher will give her all the heart eyes! We are always on the hunt for a bag that we can use to carry our teacher things to and from school that is both stylish and functional. I love this canvas backpack because it will hold up to the daily teacher life, and it has beautiful boho features like the detail down the middle and straps!

I am forever looking for hair ties during recess or those days where I need to pull my hair into a messy bun. Especially on the days when I want to look cute and do my hair, but then end up sweating because of all the things on my to-do list as a teacher. You feel me? These scrunchies have a romantic velvet feel with the blush and mauve color, so they’re not only helpful for holding your hair out of your face, but they also look so cute on your wrist and in your hair! These are great Christmas gift ideas for teacher friends.

I don’t think that it is possible to have too many cute travel mugs, do you?! Somehow, I always end up with a desk FULL of beverages by the end of the day/week. Coffee, water, my breakfast smoothie, and usually something else during the day! Travel mugs are useful, which makes them one o the best teacher gift ideas for Christmas. This Steel Mill & Co Insulated Thermal Mug is gorgeous with the woodland florals and greenery design. It’ll keep your teacher fuel cold or hot (depending on what you prefer), and it’ll match your boho teacher vibe!

Snag one of these Christmas gift ideas for a teacher and make her day!

Home and Classroom Decor Christmas Gift Ideas for a Teacher

I recently moved into a new apartment and have loved finding cute bohemian elements to add to my decor! These decor pieces are good teacher gift ideas for Christmas because your teacher friend can use them in her home or classroom! The first one is this Moroccan leather floor pouf. Isn’t it just stunning?! I love the warm tones in the leather and white details. This would be a fun flexible seating spot in your classroom or make a cute floor pillow for your living room.

I got this pack of battery-operated remote-controlled fairy lights, and I am in LOVE! You can bend the wire however you’d like and wrap it around things in your home or classroom. There are several settings, and I love being able to turn them on with the touch of a button! This four-pack will give the teacher in your life easy ways to make her classroom or home feel cozy and magical any time of year.

This next teacher Christmas gift idea is something unique and beautiful! I absolutely love this stunning macrame wall hanging! It looks like it was handmade, and it will bring such a cozy touch to any space with the texture and cream color. I love when our classrooms look like home, and this macrame tapestry will do the trick! I’ve been macrame-obsessed this year, and if you’re a boho teacher, you probably have been too.

Candles are always good Christmas gift ideas for your child’s teacher! I love this Fir Firewood candle from Anthropologie because it sets the mood and lifts my spirits even in the cold, long winter months. Not to mention, the design is stunning and will look beautiful set out on your coffee table or in your home!

Best teacher gift ideas for Christmas - Cozy Boho Decor!

Christmas Gift Ideas for Teacher Coworkers: Casual Friday Style!

Does your school let you wear teacher tees on Friday? It’s such a fun way to end the week, and it feels like we’re able to let loose a bit! I found some fun boho teacher Christmas gift ideas, easy enough to purchase and send to your favorite teacher or teacher coworker! It all started with this Boho Rainbow Teacher Tee. If you can’t tell, I’m feeling the olive green vibes right now and loving it! These tees are so cute, and a teacher creates them. This is a great way to look cute and shop small!

And, let’s pair it with this beautiful kimono for a boho flair! Kimonos are my jam - I love that they are flouncy and feminine but comfortable to wear and keep me covered. This boho duster kimono will go great with that tee shirt but can also be worn with so many other outfits! I love the mix of patterns and beautiful golden color. This is one of my favorite Christmas gift ideas for teacher wife!

And look how cute these boho rainbow keychains are! Hello, inexpensive teacher gift ideas for Christmas that will make your teacher smile! Wear them on your lanyard as part of your casual Friday teacher style, or add them to your keychain, backpack, or teacher pen pouch. They would also make great Christmas gift ideas for teacher friends!


I hope these teacher Christmas gift ideas help you purchase something special for the amazing teachers in your life! If you are a teacher who loves the boho style, make sure to share this blog post, so your loved ones have some gift ideas for you and pin it for years to come! Some of the links included are affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission for your purchase without charging you more money. It’s a little way to spread Christmas cheer this holiday season! Here’s a look at all of the Christmas gift ideas for teachers again with links below!