Test Prep Plan

Okay friends, I know this topic is getting old quick. AND that test prep season has really just begun for those of us in Texas ,and we are already ready to throw all the practice sheets out the window. I am here to help! 

Last week I talked about how I am systematically collecting data each day to see what my students still need more help with. I hope that post was helpful, but if you are anything like me you are left with the question, "Fantastic, but what now?"
I am here today to share my plan for exactly that.
Small disclaimer: This is the first year with our new math TEKS, and none of us know at all how they are going to be tested. I personally am choosing to spend my time on the readiness standards to give my students what I think will be the most bang for our buck.

This is the order I am covering each standard and the amount of time spent on each.
Place Value-2 days
Relating Decimals to Fractions-1 Day
Comparing Fractions-1 Day
Adding and Subtracting Fractions-1 Day
Addition and Subtraction-2 Days
Multiplication and Division-2 Days
Data-2 Days
Strip Diagrams and Equations-2 Days
Input-Output Tables and Number Patterns-2 Days
Perimeter and Area-2 Days
Geometry-2 Days
Measuring Angles-2 Days
This leaves one day right before the test to play review games with all the standards.

Each day we are completing the Test Smash review of course. This little puppy has provided such nice structure and predictability to our day, and I am just in love with it. As much as you can with test prep anyway.

Then, we take this data and split into groups. I have three groups.

The first are my students that have mastered a skill. These friends are given independent tasks and become my "Topic Experts." I give them a little name tag/blank label that I scrawled on in Sharpie that says they are in expert in a given topic. If one of my students needs help they know that these friends are the first ones they go to.

The second group are my almost there kiddos. These are my students that sometimes get it and sometimes don't. They are working mostly in partners, and with me.

The third group are my low babies that will be with me, or really close by, most of the time.

Now onto what we are doing! I am using these Big Ten resources as stations for each of the topics. Each resource has 10 activities for that standard. My favorite part is that they are entirely in black and white, so I just print them to our copier.
After printing them off I am using laminated pockets for each station. I cannot sing the praises of these precious pockets high enough! They are amazing! These babies are dry erase, and durable. I have a ton of them, because I use them for EVERYTHING! By using these pockets, I only make one copy of each station and have students do their work in dry erase marker right on the pocket.
 I love that they are durable enough for me to throw everything I need for an activity in there. As you can see above and below I put the cards in a baggie and place them in there along with a marker and an eraser.
 I then place each set of ten activities in their own container so that they are easy for me to grab when it is time to use them.
I am using these for everything! My first group (students that have mastered the content) will complete the activities independently or in partners. My second group will work on the activities in partners with help from me and my first group content experts. Finally, my third group with complete the activities with me in small group.

The fabulous thing about this flexible grouping is that students may be in a different group each day depending on the content we are covering. Someone who is an expert in place value may be with me in small group for measuring angles. I love the flexibility that this allows for me to work with exactly who I need to while making sure that everyone in the room is engaged and learning.


  1. I love the mistakes cards- do you have those for purchase that aren't a bundle? What grade level are they? I teach 5th and we have done this with problems they have solved on test papers. Would love to have a set of cards like that!

    1. Hi Michelle,
      Thank you for your interest. Right now I only have them available within the big 10 resources, but may create some independent activities in the future. Thank you again!


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