Engaging Holiday Test Prep: Turning Task Cards into 3 Festive STAAR Games!

Hello, teachers! With the holiday season around the corner and STAAR test preparations underway, it’s time to infuse some festive fun into our classrooms while still focusing on essential learning goals.

Hey! I’m Angela, the creator behind Custom Classroom by Angela and Today. I’m thrilled to share three exciting holiday-themed games that will keep your students engaged while reinforcing their STAAR reading skills, all using the task cards you already have! Plus, bonus ideas on how to use these ideas year-round.

You can always check out the video or keep reading!

https://youtu.be/4KgxjEA4MVM
3 STAAR games for the holidays

1: First up, Snowball Toss – STAAR Game

To get started with the game, you’ll need:

  • Snowballs – pompoms or just wadded-up paper (enough for each student or team to have 3)
  • A set of 6 cups with values
  • Painter’s tape

How to set up: Set up a series of paper cups, each containing different point values, for every group. Place a piece of painter’s tape at a specified distance from each set of cups to create a throwing line.

How to Play:

  • 1. Have students or teams answer one of the task card questions. I would set a 2-5 minute timer. 
  • 2. If they get it correct, then 1 person from each team can throw 3 snowballs at the cup.   
  • 3. Once everyone has had their turn, tally up the numbers associated with the cups containing a snowball. 
  • 4. Repeat with a new task card question. 
  • 5. The group with the highest total sum wins the game!

Note: I would save the SCR question for the end. If you have time, teams can earn a large final bonus if it is correct. 

Year-round Idea: Change it from snowball toss to ball toss, coin toss, eraser toss, or paper toss. This game not only brings a fun flair to your classroom but also provides an engaging way to reinforce learning while having a great time!

2: Next, we have the Decorate the Tree Relay. 

For the Decorate the Tree Relay game, here’s what you’ll need:

  • paper cutouts of ornaments or stickers 
  • A designated area is marked as the “learning tree.”
  • Painter’s tape

How to Play Decorate the Tree Relay:

  • 1. Set up task cards around the classroom.
  • 2. Each correct answer to a task card question earns a student or team an ornament.
  • 3. Designate a specific area as the “learning tree” for each team.
  • 4. Divide your class into teams for a relay-style game.
  • 5. When a team answers a task card question correctly, they earn an ornament for their team.
  • 6 . Teams race back and forth to the “learning tree” to hang their earned ornaments on the branches.
  • 7 . The team that decorates their tree with the most ornaments when times up (earned by correctly answering task card questions) wins the relay!

This fun and interactive game not only encourages teamwork but also reinforces learning as students compete to decorate their “learning tree” with earned ornaments!

Year-round idea: you could decorate the snowflakes, tree branches with leaves, a shirt with patterns, or a book cover with letters. 

3. Lastly, we have Snowball Bowling.

Set up cups decorated with snowmen and let students bowl ‘snowballs’ to knock them down when they get a correct answer on the task cards. It’s a delightful way to review STAAR skills in a winter-themed activity!

For the game, here’s what you’ll need:

How to Play Snowball Bowling:

  • 1. Set up 6 cups decorated as snowmen in a pyramid. 
  • 2. Have students or teams answer one of the task card questions. I would set a 2-5 minute timer. 
  • 3.  If they get it correct, then 1 person from each team gets a chance to bowl for points. 
  • 4. Once everyone has had their turn, tally up points. Each cup knocked over is 1 point. Repeat with a new task card question. 
  • 5. The group with the highest total sum wins the game!

By repurposing your STAAR Task Cards into these engaging holiday STAAR games, you’ll not only create a dynamic learning environment but also motivate your students during this festive season!

Don’t miss out on making test prep a joyous affair this holiday season! Find the link in the description below to access ready-made STAAR task cards and start planning your classroom fun test prep today. Click here for Elementary, Middle School, or High School.

Thank you for watching, and I wish you and your students a wonderful and successful holiday season!

Happy teaching!

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