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Standardized tests are definitely not something that students or teachers look forward to each year. One test can lead to us feeling stressed or anxious. So how can we help elementary students overcome testing anxiety? Find out how to use motivational messages as a fun way to reduce students’ testing anxiety!

Motivational Messages

Provide motivational messages for students on test day to help ease their testing anxiety.

  • Write messages on the bus loop with sidewalk chalk.
  • Use dry erase markers to write messages on students’ desks.
  • Write motivational puns on a card and attach candy or snacks.
  • Students’ reading buddies can make them posters or cards.
  • Hang motivational growth mindset posters and talk about the meaning behind them.
growth mindset motivational quote poster
growth mindset motivational quote poster

Celebrity Motivational Messages

The best way to make the biggest impact on your students is with a motivational message from their favorite celebrity before their test! You can do this with the free Chatterpix app! Before getting started with creating this message you need to figure out what celebrities they like. No offense, but they’re way more excited to hear from that person than they are from us – especially since they hear us giving them pep talks everyday!

What is ChatterPix?

Chatterpix is a free iPad app that allows students to make any picture talk! This simple tool can create videos that can be used in a variety of ways. Students can read a story they’ve written, give a biography report using a picture of the person, retell a story, or provide a book review… the possibilities are as limitless as your students’ imaginations!

How to Create a Video in ChatterPix

  1. Select picture you want to use and upload it to the app.
  2. Draw a line over the mouth.
  3. Record the desired voiceover.
  4. Add decorations to the image and watch it back.
  5. Share it with your students.

Sharing the Celebrity Videos

Before you get ready to begin the test, you’ll want to share these messages with your students. You can display them on your SmartBoard for all students to enjoy! Since I work with small groups, I could make personalized videos for each of my students. But classroom teachers may want to pick a couple of celebrities that are most popular with your students.

Examples of Celebrity Videos

These are a few celebrity messages I created for students several years ago. Their laughter and excitement after hearing these videos is still one of my favorite memories. Plus it created such a fun, lighthearted atmosphere that made them less nervous about taking the test.

Tips for Creating a Celebrity Video

  • When making your voiceover, be sure to personalize it for your students. They’ll appreciate their favorite celebrity talking directly to them and knowing specific details about them.
  • Provide reminders of test taking strategies you want them to use during the test. Students are more likely to listen if their favorite celebrity tells them to do it!
  • You may want to recruit colleagues, friends, or family members to record the voiceover. Even if you disguise your voice, it’ll be more effective with students if they don’t immediately recognize your voice.
  • You may want to set a timer when making these. I personally had WAY too much fun experimenting with different voices and accents. Plus I just couldn’t stop laughing! As much fun as they are to make, our time is precious so you don’t want to spend too much time creating these.

What other ways have you helped ease students’ nerves and build up their confidence before standardized testing? Share in the comments below!


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