Linky, Test Prep, Test Prep, Test Prep, & Owl Pellets! - Ideas By Jivey: For the Classroom

Linky, Test Prep, Test Prep, Test Prep, & Owl Pellets!

Finally Friday!!! Time to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching and Teaching Maddeness!


#1: In light of recent events, Joanne at Head Over Heels for Teaching, Amanda and Stacia at Collaboration Cuties, and I are getting together to host an uplifting linky!
This Peace, Hope, Love, and Kindness linky party will be a place for you to link up whenever you have heartwarming stories, lessons you've done with your class about peace, hope, love, or kindness, or even random acts of kindness. When the world seems to be falling apart around us, we will have a webpage to visit to get a pick-me-up! We hope this linky will not only lift our spirits and remind us that there is so much good around us, but also will be an encouragement to us to be the good we want to see in the world. As teachers, we have such a powerful role in shaping the future...let's share our ideas so we can make the world a better place TOGETHER!

So here's our idea- how awesome would it be for us to flood all the bloggy newsfeeds with uplifting posts? Let's all try to post for Peace, Hope, Love, and Kindness this Thursday! Then, you can come back anytime after that and link up as often as you'd like. Need some ideas? You know that awesome teacher friend that you wish you could show a little more appreciation...? Surprise them with Starbucks or breakfast one morning! Or maybe you have a child in your class who went out of their way to make someone else feel special...... share that heartwarming story with us! We're teachers- you know we eat it up! :o) Or perhaps you've done a lesson (or are going to do a lesson) that helps students find peace, hope, or love... or maybe a character-building activity about kindness. The options are limitless, really! We hope you'll join us this Thursday! Come back to any one of our blogs to link up!

#2: Oh, my poor poor kids. We have our big state test next week, so we have had "BOOTCAMP" this week. I try to make test prep and test review as much fun as I can, but I mean, really... there's only so much you can do. Providing variety is really about all you can do. So we used the student response clickers, which they think is so awesome!

We also played Math Review "Scoot"- I cut up past math assessments and took one or two from each type of question, then put them around the room on the desks (which you'll see are already separated... and walls are bare... booooo!!). They were not allowed to sit- it was a good way to keep them up and moving AND reviewing math problems.

#3: One thing I'm excited about for my kiddos next week is their testing treats!! I got these little gems from Jessica at The Polka Dotted Teacher for FREE! If you haven't done your testing yet, go snatch them up! :) Mine got the Smarties already so they would be "ready," and then they'll get one each day next week to match the test we are taking!

#4: Even though we're reviewing like CRAZY, I tried to help them destress a bit about the test. (It is very stressful- they have to pass all 5 content areas to pass 4th grade!!) I got some GREAT ideas from blogs last week and decided to do them in my room!! The first thing we did were testing tips acrostics with our name, which I stole from Sabra at Teaching With a Touch of Twang.

I hung them in the hall so any student walking by can be reminded, as well as our own class! I'm also going to make them stop and read one on their way in the classroom each morning next week.

We also did an activity that I read about from Suntan and Lesson Plans! I had the students write down all their worries about the test on a colored sheet of paper. We talked about how these are negative thoughts, and we should only think positive thoughts to do our best. I told them to cut their papers up into very small pieces. They thought that was the best thing ever!! I had them put all the pieces into this bag:
...and I told them now, they got rid of their worries, they shouldn't think about them anymore! I will leave the bag on the board all week next week as a reminder for them to have positive thoughts... and then we just MIGHT throw it like confetti on Friday when testing is over! :)

#5: So, we haven't actually been killing ourselves with test prep ALL week- we took a break yesterday to dissect owl pellets! The kids absolutely LOOOOOOVED it! It was the first time I had ever done it with my class, and I really enjoyed it, too!! All the kids got to wear "lab coats" as we dissected in our science lab. :) They said they felt like real scientists!

The one holding the three rodent heads- yeah... he decided to name his "family of mice that the owl had eaten." Boys.... (shaking my head)

All of this went right along with our ecosystems and adaptations unit perfectly, as well as our unit with Arrowhawk since they are both birds of prey. (Check that post out here if you missed it!) The company we ordered the pellets from sent a great informational book, too. I made copies of the possible animals' skeletons from that book for the students to try to determine what animals their owl ate.

We also completed a worksheet as we went along- this is my Friday Freebie! Click the picture below, or get it here!

WHEW! Thanks for hanging with me for this super long post! Happy WEEKEND!!!

P.S. Don't forget! Today's the last day to enter my 300 Follower Giveaway!!!


  1. My kiddos and I will be doing Owl pellets next week when I take them to camp. Every year it seems like my girls enjoy it more than the boys...the boys tend to get grossed out by it. Thanks for the freebie!
    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  2. I love "scoot!" I have been doing it a lot with my kiddos during this year, during math for the most part! They love it and it works out so well! I think it's one of those activities when they forget that they are learning/doing work for awhile! Good luck to you and your kiddos on the state testing!

  3. That's great that you bring owl pellets into the classroom - I've only ever done them at our local conservation area on field trips. All the best on the tests next week. The rip up your worries is a great idea! Speaking of great ideas your new linky sounds great - it will be uplifting to read about positive experiences and lessons. Thanks for sharing all of this.

  4. Oh I love your bag of worries! I need to do that next year! Also OWL PELLETS! LOVE, LOVE! Good luck with testing!


  5. Good luck on your test next week! I looooove the idea of the shreds in the bag. Marvelous! :)
    I'm Lovin Lit

  6. I love your acrostic testing poems! I can't wait until we start dissecting our owl pellets! I have class set of lab coats from my son's mad scientist birthday party! See, I can justify that expense! Love that your boy named them! haha
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  7. Ewww I remember dissecting those owl pellets in school and I was the one who didn't want to touch it! Thanks for hosting such a sweet linky and all your test prep ideas are cute. I hope our third and fourth grade teachers are being as sweet to the kiddos as you guys in bloggy world are!

    Literacy Spark

  8. I still remember doing the owl pellet activity when I was in fourth grade. It was definitely one of the most memorable lessons! I really like the idea of collecting students' worries about the test. Throwing them like confetti would probably be really fun - for the kids at least, maybe not the janitor! :)

    Eclectic Educating

  9. I never thought about cutting up the worries/stresses about the test. We put them on sticky notes and I went through and re-assured/reminded students that they knew XYZ so why be worried about that. Next year, I'll be shredding for sure!!

  10. Thanks so much for the shout out! Their poems turned out great! I love the "dress comfortably." That's my kind of kid :o) The shredding the test anxiety is a brilliant idea, I'm going to have to try that for next year!

    Teaching with a Touch of Twang

  11. What a beautiful idea for a linky party. I'm going definitely going to try to link up on Thursday.

    Love, Laughter and Learning in Prep

  12. I love everything about this post:) Your shredded paper activity reminds me of an activity that our pastor does with our youth group. The youth write down their sins/worries on a piece of paper and then shred them. Sometimes, he even burns them to demonstrate releasing sins and the power of forgiveness and faith. Thank you so much for sharing and I am looking forward to your new linky with some peaceful thoughts:) What a tough week it has been. We have had several local tragedies too:(
    Fourth Grade Flipper


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