Tackling Test Stress Tip 18: Play Games

After testing, consider setting up several centers for board games to be played. One of my family’s favorite games is actually a math game. Shut the Box can help students build fluency with addition facts and fact families. It is also fun for all ages! (My elderly parents play it to keep their minds young.)

If your students want more of a challenge, consider having them create their own board games. This could make a really good start for a project-based learning activity too.


Related posts


  1. LeeAnn said:

    These have been great suggestions for testing time. I wonder if you would consider compiling them into one document; I’d love to distribute them to my teachers as testing time approaches!

  2. Russ Kile said:

    Another suggestion during testing time is for the classroom teacher to develop/implement a series of physical movements that students can exectue while standing in place near their desks. Some of these activities may include 15 second intervals of pogo sticks where students stand in place with arms at side jumping up and down, side to side, forward and backwards, and in a circle both directions. Even less complex movements include students jogging in place, or doing butt-kickers (running in place while kicking yourself with heels), or perhaps, if space allows, push-ups, crunches etc.

  3. Robyn Wolfe said:

    At the end of each unit, I have each student in my class make five flash-card style question cards. They write their own test question on one side of an index card and the answer on the back. The questions are related to vocabulary, concepts, or problems from the unit (I teach math.) I collect the cards and keep them in a file box, organized by unit. The week before midterm exams, I give each group of students a file folder and assorted materials (markers, paper, stickers, etc) and have them create their own board game and playing pieces. The playing pieces and instructions are put in a baggie and stapled to the back of the folder. To play the review game, students select an assortment of question cards from the file box and a game board from the collection created by their classmates. They enjoy reviewing this way a lot, and if you have them do it as an ongoing project, the games can be reused any time by just updating the question cards.

  4. Veola said:

    I liked the ideas that you all mentioned. Teachers can also incorporate games that use the smart board. The students can review some of the questions that were on the test by physically writing the answer on the smart board or voting the answers in with an activote. This would help to relieve the students stress. It would also make the class interactive and fun.

  5. S.P. said:

    I love your idea. Standardized Testing is coming up in my school district in the next few weeks and this sounds like such a great idea. Students usually have to stay quiet until all students are done taking, but I like your idea of them creating their own board game. I think I may set it up that students can create their own board games if they finish early with testing. Hopefully at the end of testing we can take some time to play those games to relieve some of the stress.

  6. Steve K said:

    I recognize the ebb and flow of a semester now. The eventual stressful buildup towards some big goal. I think it happens in most classrooms – I could be wrong. I see it in many of the students though. A quick game could be just what we need to break the tension and refocus.

  7. Pingback: Commenting on Blogs @ Math Education Blog

Comments are closed.