Scholars watch a video of a college football team getting ready for a big game. As they watch, they consider the following questions:
How does this team prepare for game day?
How should we prepare for game day?
I tell the scholars, "We are a team. We have a game today, and it is important that we prepare for the game so that we can bring our very best. We do our best on game day so that we can attain our goals and win big in school and in life. We can change our feelings and our emotions before game day and that can help us to do better in the game."
Scholars participate in the agreed upon rituals. In the past scholars chose to have special "game day" pencils - these could be a pencil with a special patter on it or a special eraser that are only used on test days. Also, my scholars typically do a game day chant that goes like this:
Scholars then take the quiz. My ELL co-teacher takes all scholars needing the verbatim accommodation to her classroom and I give accommodations to all other ELL scholars.
When scholars are finished, it is an expectation that they are strong teammates and they remain perfectly silent. They can put their head down, draw a picture, work on checklist work (independent work for the week) or they can read books from their book baggies. They may not get out of their seat, and they may not use their voice.
If all but 1-2 scholars are finished, we continue with the lesson and the few scholars still testing move to the back horseshoe table.