School-wide testing can be stressful for teachers and students alike. The disruption of daily routine, stamina required to endure the test, and pressure to succeed can be especially stressful for elementary students. These books will help you get through the day while addressing the feelings that children may be experiencing.
1. Testing Miss Malarkey: Anyone else freak out about testing just as much (if not more) than their students? I find myself suddenly talking data, over-scheduling computer lab visits, & hitting the “calming” channel on GoNoodle a little too much. If nothing else, my actions may stress kids out more than the test itself. This book helps explain the real “spring fever” to kids in a hilarious way. Judy Finchler is an author after my own heart… Miss Malarkey totally embodies every control-freak tendency I have as a teacher. I can totally relate to wondering what the substitute’s up to while I’m out, spending more time at school than home, and stopping at nothing to make a child fall in love with reading.
2. I Am Yoga: Any book that Peter H. Reynolds illustrates is beautiful. The paintings are enough to mesmerize children, but this little book also packs some powerful words. There are so many positive affirmations that students can say while learning new yoga poses. Try it with the kids— you’ll feel like a brand new you.
3.Wemberly Worried: I love reading this book at the start of the year, then revisiting it right before a big test. The message is simple: the more time you spend worrying, the less time you have to enjoy life!
4. Fourth-Grade Fuss: Packing up to go home used to give me classroom management nightmares. A veteran teacher gave me the advice to read a chapter book as children pack up and tidy their area to go home. This one is great for upper elementary students and can give younger students a “sneak peek” to fourth grade!
5. The Big Test: Julie Danneberg writes books for every “special” school day you could ever imagine! My classes always love our first read aloud of the year, First Day Jitters (Mrs. Hartwells classroom adventures). I went and splurged on her entire collection after reading that one! Her books have helped our class create such great memories to go along with special days, and lend themselves to authentic opportunities for writing.
These are my personal favorites, but I’m sure there are more great stress-relieving books out there! What else should I add to the list?