Two weeks ago we spent four very long days taking the Very Big Deal Government Mandated Tests. This is, sadly, very high stakes, so we do what we can to motivate the kids to help them focus and do their best.
Including a flash mob dance with the teachers during an assembly. That, surprisingly enough, went off better than we thought and the kids went INSANE when they figured out what was going on. We had one teacher choreograph the dance (very basic, very simple) and we practiced in the mornings in her room, a few times after school, and some people just watched a video. The only time we actually did it with all of us together was during the assembly. Amazing we did it and word didn't leak out to the kids.
The other thing we've done the past few years is allow the kids to earn testing "money" which they can then spend at a big party after we're done. They get a "dollar" for being on time, for using all the testing time (no putting your head down and sleeping/drooling), and they get another one for checking their work, underlining, highlighting, etc. They can then use the "dollars" to buy things like pizza, hot dogs, drinks, cotton candy, popcorn, and then visit booths where they can get their nails done, hair sprayed a vibrant color, a temporary tattoo, and more.
The party this year was probably the best ever, and it had a lot to do with the weather and location. We moved it completely outside this year with seven inflatables (I was on inflatable duty which was amusing), football, basketball, a food zone, and a DJ and dance area. By the time you get nearly 1100 kids out there, you have the DJ blasting music, kids dancing, playing games, running around and screaming, it looked like a block party for middle schoolers. And the weather? Absolutely amazingly perfect.
The kids were awesome. No fights, just fun. Imagine that.