It Will Be OK: The Final Days of Writing Test Prep

I don’t know about you, but these last few days have absolutely FLOWN by! My days are slipping away incredibly fast. Is there a way to just stop the clock…even for just a little bit? If only…

So…I just wanted to drop in to say…it will be ok! Breathe. Relax. It will be ok.

I know we are all cramming as much as we can into little minds that are probably overwhelmed already. Our little minions are required to know SO much…maybe even more than we think they should be held accountable for, but that’s life, right?

For this reason, I have decided to slow it down a little. Last week, my kiddos were getting frustrated that they weren’t able to actually finish a piece of writing until Friday, so this week I chose to give them only 2 prompts for the week, rather than 4. I want to be sure that they can get from plan to final copy without getting “writing hiccups.”

Do your kids ever pull new tricks out of their hats right before the test that make you cringe? Oh, say…start writing half a page or forgetting their purpose for writing? Yeah…mine, too. I just want to pull my hair out when that happens, but I also know that they are just getting nervous and that…it will be ok.

I’m planning to do a gallery walk on Friday. I’m going to post well-written papers, both narrative and expository, around the room for students to read and write down their noticings. I think this will be a great wrap-up from the week. Instead of cramming even more, I’ll ease up a bit and do lots of discussing.

Our principal has been a great supporter of our efforts in writing, too. Each morning this week, I have chosen one student to read an awesome paper during announcements for the whole school to hear. The students are ecstatic to be chosen, and it shows the rest of the campus how hard we have been working. It’s a win-win!

On Monday, I’m going to give the students their very first piece of writing to look at. This is always fun. It shows them how incredibly far they have come this year. Kids don’t always realize how much they learn, so this visual really hits home with them. In fact, some of them even tell me that “it’s not [their] paper.” When I show them their name at the top, it’s indisputable. Some of them are embarrassed. Others are in awe of what their writing looks like now. Whatever the case, it’s so fun to watch. 😉

We will end our time (after a little review) with drawing pictures. Pictures, you say? Yes, pictures. I have the students draw a line down the middle of a piece of white paper. On one side, we will draw a picture of the test grader BEFORE he/she grades our paper. The other side will be their face AFTER he/she reads our paper. The “before” side is always funny–steam coming out of the ears, eyes rolling in the back of the head, foaming at the mouth–you name it. The “after” side is always a face with a huge smile.

How will you end the last couple of days? Are your kids tired? Are YOU tired? Just remember…IT WILL BE OK!!



  1. Again THANK YOU. I am really stressed so I know my little ones are too. I saw one begin his story today with “One day…” Yikes. We have worked really hard on intros and where was I It feels good to know I’m not alone. I love your Monday picture idea. Thanks for your help.

  2. Lori East says:

    I keep telling myself 3 more days…2 more days. I’m SOOOO tired! I have napped each day after school…like I have time for that!!! Thanks for the reminder to breathe!

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