So you’re trying to figure out what to do after standardized testing.
You’ve prepped all year for the big week, and now it’s time to get out of testing mode.
On the one hand, you have lots of activities and lessons in your teaching toolkit that you haven’t touched this school year and could assign one of those.
But on the other hand, students are exhausted.
They’ve prepared for standardized testing all year and need a break.
But they’ve got to learn something.
If you don’t have plans and structure for the remaining weeks of school, students get crazy, and you absolutely do not want that.
The solution to the issue of what to do after standardized testing lies in planning fun and engaging activities that allow students to relax, breathe, congregate, explore new hobbies, reflect, and have fun.
I’ve compiled my favorite activities that I’ve used over the years with students of all ages and ability levels.
After learning about these after-testing activities, you’ll no longer worry about what to do after standardized testing.
What to Do After Standardized Testing: 31 Incredible Tasks
If you’re wondering, “What should students do after state testing?”, these ideas are for you.
Whether it’s the Staar test or another type of assessment, these after-testing activities will serve your class well.
Complete Hands-On Reading Projects.
Turn a book or activity into a project.
After reading a novel, students can create a movie poster to persuade others to see a pretend movie version.
Want something more crafty?
Have students create a diorama, reading mobile, or shoebox float related to a significant scene from a book.
Also, consider project-based learning activities which provide an opportunity for students to apply the skills they’ve learned throughout the school year.
Make Time Capsules.
Students fill a shoebox with artifacts that they want to remember about the school year.
They then put the box away.
In a year or two, they open the box and reflect on the pieces contained in the box.
If you work in a school where students are not highly mobile, keep the shoeboxes somewhere in your classroom if space allows.
At the end of the following school year, give the boxes to your previous students’ current teachers for students to open.
Create a Grade-Level Resource Guide.
Have students make a manual for future students that provide tips for doing well in this particular grade level.
The guide may include advice about time management, homework, studying, classroom routines/procedures, behavior expectations, working in groups, etc.
Participate In Reading Buddies.
Participating in reading buddies with another grade level is so much fun for students.
The older students do the “teaching” role while the younger ones take on the “learner” role. (e.g book project or craft)
Do math or science buddies. The older students help the little ones practice math skills or create a simple math game.
Celebrate Reading Week.
Many parents enjoy opportunities to be involved with their child’s class, and Reading Week is a chance to do that.
Send an email to parents and faculty members (elective teachers, administrators, specialists, and/or support staff) asking if they would be willing to commit 15 to 30 minutes of their time to come and read a book to students.
Offer book recommendations if needed.
Host a Career Day.
Invite professionals from a variety of careers to come and speak with students about the skills, education, and mindset needed for their respective careers.
Include professions from technical schools, trade schools, community colleges, and 4-year schools.
Plus sprinkle a few entrepreneurs into the mix.
Write Letters to Rising Students.
If you seek quiet activities to do after testing, this one is a great fit.
Have students write letters to the students who will be moving up to their grade level the following school year.
With this activity, students practice writing a letter with good details since they’ll want to include all the ins and outs of their current grade level.
When you’re wondering what to do after standardized testing, a nice gesture is to have students create simple gifts of appreciation for parent volunteers.
Gifts don’t have to be fancy… think a painted wooden picture frame, hand-crafted art project, poem, etc.
Do an Arts and Crafts Activity.
Art is a great outlet to take advantage of after standardized testing as students have the freedom to express themselves creatively.
Mosaic and papier mache are two favorites among students.
Origami, the art of folding paper, is another popular choice. The book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes makes a great read-aloud for an origami art lesson.
Host a Poetry Open Mic.
Exploring poetry is a great option to consider when wondering what to do after a test.
After students have composed several pieces of writing, host a Poetry Open Mic, a day where students recite poetry masterpieces to other classes and/or their parents.
To get started, check out these poetry writing activities for students.
Compose a Simple Song.
Take a melody from a popular kids’ song, and have students add their own lyrics.
You may first need to model writing one or two songs with students.
Then set them free to begin their own songwriting (with another melody though in order to minimize copying).
Afterward, students present their songs to the class.
Start a Book Club.
Book clubs in the form of literature circles teach to the standards, and by year’s end, students have had many opportunities to use various reading skills/strategies with a variety of texts.
Because of this, each reader should be able to perform every literature circle role assigned with minimal direct instruction.
See this list of literature circle roles you can use with fiction and nonfiction books.
Solve Sudoku Puzzles.
Sudoku … the ultimate critical thinking and logic puzzle.
Once students have a clear strategy for completing one, these puzzles engage them very well.
In the beginning, students need guidance and strategy practice, so modeling is key.
Having students work in pairs works best for beginners.
Do Reciprocal Teaching.
Reciprocal teaching is the student taking on the role of teacher.
Here’s how it works…
- Put students into groups of 3 or 4.
- Assign each student within the group a skill or strategy.
- Each will take a turn teaching the others their skill – about 10 minutes each.
Enjoy Hidden Picture Puzzles.
In your plans for what to do after standardized testing, include a few hidden picture puzzles.
Print a few from the internet or complete a few online hidden picture puzzles with your students using a projector.
Put On a Reader’s Theater Play.
Reader’s theater plays are one of the best activities to do after standardized testing because of the movement and fun involved.
Reading, science, social studies, math – you can integrate any subject with a readers’ theater.
As an extension, you could have students write original scripts and present them.
Draft Thank You Notes.
Another great activity to add to your list of what to do after standardized testing is gratitude writing.
Have students write appreciation letters to parent volunteers, cafeteria staff, favorite teachers, bus drivers, or anyone else in the school community who has positively impacted them in some way during the school year.
Research Using WebQuests.
With all the technology available today, WebQuests feel a bit dated.
Yet they’re still very much effective for guiding students in completing research on a particular topic.
If you’ve never heard of WebQuests, get information about them here. They’re fairly easy to implement and keep students engaged.
Here is a list of WebQuest lessons to get you started. Tweak them to your liking.
Organize a Friendly Debate.
Help students widen their perspectives through debates.
Debates promote student interaction and collaboration, plus they get students thinking outside of the box.
If you don’t know what to do after standardized testing but know absolutely that you want something really challenging and thought-provoking, consider debates.
Assemble Student Portfolios.
Portfolios encourage students to reflect upon their strengths and weaknesses while showcasing their best work.
Students collect 5 to 15 artifacts from any subject and in any form to showcase.
They then take one of those tri-fold science boards and strategically place the artifacts.
Afterward, students present their portfolios to peers from another class and/or parents.
If you’re seeking ideas for games to play after testing, here are some ideas.
Kahoot, online Jeopardy, Bingo, charades, and classic board games are fun options that students can do after testing.
Or head outdoors to play games such as tether ball, Red Rover, Duck Duck Goose, Red Light Green Light, etc.
Have students work with a partner or small group to create a game teaching any skill or strategy they learned this school year.
Consider using the games with your new students the following school year.
Take a Field Trip.
Schedule a field trip or two to get students outside of the four walls of the classroom.
And if you can’t take a field trip, bring the field trip to you! Invite individuals to share activities, experiments, and projects with students OR schedule a virtual field trip.
Make an Easy Recipe.
Cooking integrates math, science, and reading; it’s a win all around.
You don’t have to prepare anything complicated. Think “no-bake” recipes like fruit kabobs, ants on a log, sandwiches, trail mix, etc.
A quick search online yields numerous options.
Teach Financial Literacy.
Think about financial education when planning what to do after standardized testing.
Making a budget, running a classroom economy, and learning about simple taxes – all of these are fun activities that teach the basics of financial literacy.
Do Lesson Extensions.
Ever pay attention to those extension and challenge activities presented at the end of lessons within textbooks?
A lot of educators ignore those activities though they’re excellent exercises – challenging, hands-on, and higher-order thinking leveled.
Additionally, they tap into various learning styles.
Return to some of those chapters and have students work on a few of the problems in pairs or small groups.
Have a Movie Day.
If what to do after standardized testing is causing you stress, keep things simple by showing a movie.
Students need a day after testing to disconnect and zone out a little so allow them to watch a favorite movie.
Make it fun by adding Pajama Day to the mix, a few light snacks, and a bit of extra outside recess time.
Keep the Same Routine.
You can always keep things just about the same.
Add a BrainPop video, work outside, incorporate literacy centers, permit students to write in pen, etc.
A small change can make a big difference to a monotonous routine.
Final Thoughts On What to Do After Standardized Testing
No more trying to figure out what to do after standardized testing or what to do when a student finishes a test early.
These activities cover you until the end of the school year.
They help provide a smooth transition from state testing mode back to flexible classroom routines.