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Friday, August 19, 2016

5 Things to Do With Your Class While You Test Individuals

It's a common problem: what can I do with the other students while I test individuals, especially the first few weeks of school? You are still creating your class atmosphere; still figuring out the range of abilities; still learning their names! So what in the world can you do to keep them busy without using copious amounts of coloring sheets? Here are some suggestions --

1. Challenge their critical thinking with Autumn Square Puzzlers. There are 3 levels of difficulty; even the brightest students can be occupied for a very, long time.  No reading is required.

And if your students love square puzzlers as much as mine do, you can satisfy them with LOTS of the puzzles available here.

2. Give them Latin Squares. Like the square puzzlers, these challenges will take time and stamina to complete, but do not require reading. Monkey Squares are also differentiated, giving you lots of options.

3.  Provide tangram puzzles. They are great brain exercise, even for non-readers. My tangrams have multiple puzzle pages that students can share and swap.  And, they are differentiated.

4.  For students who can read, provide Triads. You will need to spend a little time introducing these critical thinking challenges. Then get back to testing as your students take off with Triads. Kiddos LOVE them. These critical thinking cards can be used in small groups for cooperative learning or given to individuals.

5. Combine word work with computation, individual effort with competition, when you engage your students with Scrattle. This FREE product initially challenges students to create words with a specific set of letters. Then they calculate the value of their words using Scrabble letter values and linear equations.  Finally, they engage a friend in a battle to see whose words are the most valuable. [Scrattle = Scrabble + Battle] This activity, too, is differentiated, providing recording sheets with equations that require only addition, to complex, multiple operations.

Time is more valuable than money.  You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.
--Jim Rohn


  1. I am a homeschooler and these are terrific puzzles! They work for not only classroom settings, but homeschool and even the restaurant table. I plan to grab these and put them in my purse so I have them handy for the next time we are eating out!

    1. Thanks Bekki. I'm so glad that you like them. They are fun for sponge activities. Enjoy!

    2. Thanks Bekki. I'm so glad that you like them. They are fun for sponge activities. Enjoy!

  2. Great list of things to do with the class while you test individually. Have you heard of Teacher Sherpa? It is a great resource for teachers and homeschoolers