While we here at Edutopia believe firmly in the idea of authentic comprehensive assessment, high-stakes standardized tests are a reality most teachers must deal with. Any educator will tell you that accountability is critical to a good system of teaching and learning, but most teachers I know dread state test time. To give you a break from the stress of the tests, I've pulled together a few videos on the lighter side of testing -- a few protest songs, a few silly parodies, and a few schools that turn test-time into an opportunity to get creative.
Video Playlist: Bubble-Sheet Blues
Keep watching the player below to see the entire playlist, or view this playlist on YouTube.
- Funny Exam Answers - Graham Norton Show (02:42)
Somehow these silly test answers are even sillier when read aloud in a British accent by a talk show host from the UK.
- Better Than A Test on Ukulele (02:18)
The sweetest little anti-bubble-test ukelele song you'll hear, written and performed by a dad for his second-grade daughter.
- HUNGER GAMES Standardized Testing Version (04:49)
Brilliant and timely: a faux Hunger Games trailer, made by a teacher and her 6th graders, in anticipation of their state tests. Don't miss the outtakes at the end!
- Not on the Test (02:14)
A folky protest song speaking out about the lack of funding for arts education. Originally written as a satire for NPR's "Morning Edition." See the website Not on the Test for more information.
- Test Taker Face (02:51)
I had no idea that some schools make motivational music videos to get the kids excited about test time! This one was particularly fun - Lady Gaga vs. the Test.
- In The Know: Are Tests Biased Against Students Who Don't Give a Sh*t? (02:18)
Fair warning: This clip from parody news outlet The Onion is *quite* off-color. Definitely not safe for school. But if you dare, I'll wager a bet that you'll laugh hard.
- Why Teachers Drink (02:26)
Couldn't resist including just one video of "creative" test responses -- most commonly seen as a mass email called "How to Fail a Test with Dignity."
More Ways to Defuse the Stress of Test-taking Time
Frankly, there's not too much available when one does a Google search for "test prep" and "fun", but I did manage to dig up a few tidbits to share. I found a few great pinboards on the testing theme from Pinterest users Heather Whetham, Danielle Smith, and Janice Edgar, among others. From there, I found a excellent list called "State Testing: Ideas to Take the Stress Away" from the blog Wise Guys Teaching Resources. Third-grade teacher Suzy Brooks wrote a blog post with tips for parents to help kids be prepared for test-taking time, and the tips are useful year-round. Scholastic published a solid article, "Five Ways to Make Standardized Test Prep Engaging." The National Education Assocation offers a guide on how to relax test-stressed kids. Wherever you are in the test-taking process, I hope it goes smoothly and quickly so you can get back to the work of teaching!