I got 2 days this week to review for the PARCC and then the ELA was taken over 3 days - Wed through Friday. MOnday I used to explain the Independent Project the kids would work on each half-day when they were not testing. I did this because they would be staying in their homeroom with a 4th grade teacher as a proctor and their teacher. I would be in 4th grade and not be with my 5th graders to answer any questions.
This use of class time went well. I gave an overview of each of the 3 projects (describe your future, create a new country, or tell all about our school to those moving to Mars who want to build a school there). After each overview, I had the kids do a quick write related to the topic. It was a relaxing way to write but relax and work our creative brain.
On Tuesday I gave final tips for taking the test. Reminders about using the PARCC passages as their word wall so they spell correctly and a reminder about how long they have and what each day's task would be. Then as a fun way to practice, I had them watch the end of the Broadway Musical - Shrek where they are singing "I'm A Believer", I gave them a prompt and the lyrics to the song and for 15 minutes after enjoying the song (the kids had just finished performing this play as the school musical!), they read the prompt and wrote about the theme of the song!
I think this fun, relaxing exercise was a great last activity! When we still had 10 minutes, we enjoyed another scene from the DVD. Then I sent each class off and told them I'd see them in a week when testing was over.
Then Wed - Fri, I administered a test either in the morning or afternoon and monitored a group of 25 4th graders doing independent projects in a 4th grade classroom. I'll do the same on Monday and Tuesday as the Math PARCC is taken.
Then I get my 5th grade life back on Wed, March 18th. I plan to start a Memoir Unit!! Looking forward to memoir, Poetry in April and allowing them a chance to complete their own independent writing project...we are in the home stretch!!