A group of Minnesota elementary teachers tapped into their video parody skills to get their students to relax before statewide achievement tests.
Six teachers at Turtle Lake Elementary School rewrote the lyrics to the popular song "Let It Go" from Disney's movie "Frozen," then filmed themselves performing it and posted the video online. Their message to students was to just relax as they headed into statewide Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments.
"Let it go, let it go, I will let my knowledge show," the fifth-grader teachers sing. "Let it go, let it go, I will show how much I've grown."
The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported the teachers created the video in less than a week and filmed it as a surprise for their students April 1, two weeks before the MCAs were to begin. It has drawn thousands of views on YouTube and Vimeo and many positive comments.
"Kids internalize pressure from various sources about what these tests mean, and it's just a long time to sit and focus. And they happen pretty regularly, so, unfortunately, they really can cause stress," said Michelle Morse, one of the teachers involved. "We just wanted to remind our students that they are ready for this and they don't have to stress and that it's just one snapshot in time, and they've already grown anyway."
Some students said the video helped.
"It sticks in your head so when you were taking the test, it wasn't that bad because you remembered the words about double-checking and finding my evidence and taking my time," fifth-grader Gracyn Delaune said. "It made me calmer."
Sara Cocciarella, 10, said she's watched it "about 100 times."
"I get really nervous taking tests, just thinking I'm not going to do good and it will be really hard, but this actually helped," she said.
Nancy Boyer-Kellerman, one of the teachers featured in the video, said fifth-graders alone spend about 13 hours in a little over a month's time testing.
"You know, it's funny because we did it just for our kids, but I think it's also calmed us down; I think it's calmed the parents down. It's had this great ripple effect that has kind of just made everybody feel OK about it," Boyer-Kellerman said.