Two young students in a classroom

Standardized testing is over — whew! Help your classroom decompress with these nine ideas.


Reduce the testing pressure, promote reflection, and remind your students of how exciting learning can be with these nine activities.

1. Use this time as an opportunity to help students practice their soft skills like interpersonal communication, leadership, and teamwork with this curriculum from the United States Department of Labor.

2. Actively managing stress is an important skill, especially for older students. Help your students understand what their own stressors and responses look like using these free materials as inspiration.

3. Introduce bullet journaling to help students organize their end-of-year goals (and plan for the summer). This low-pressure opportunity to try something new may even help them when they return next year.

4. Give students the chance to create their own podcasts using this guide from NPR. Ask them to reflect on the school year behind them or consider the summer break ahead of them.

5. It can be challenging to encourage creativity after high-stress testing; a fear of failure or wrong answers often prevents students from opening up. Foster new ways of thinking with any one of these 14 methods.

6. This popular activity from Stanford’s design school gives participants the opportunity to participate in a fast-paced, full design cycle. Feel free to change up the original prompt (of redesigning a wallet) to fit specific needs or interests, and watch as your students have a blast practicing user-centered design and empathy skills.

7. Love Tedx Talks? Share this one from Ali Fenwick, a behavioral scientist, on how a reflective mindset can actually help you live a longer life.

8. Practicing mindfulness is an effective way to lessen stress and build emotional resilience. These four simple tips can help students begin.

9. Have your students write letters (or emails) to their future selves. It’s one activity that doesn’t require any research, and promotes self-reflection at the same time. They can use this website to deliver the letter directly to them in one, three, or five years.

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