Tuesday, May 12, 2015

#edblogaday Day12: Helping Students Cope with Testing

I would have given him/her credit :)
Maybe this post should be about how Mrs. Cissel needs to learn to cope with testing.

This is a topic I could greatly improve on so if you have any ideas please share them.

Here is what I do to help students cope with testing
  • Positive thinking-I ask the students to close their eyes and picture themselves doing well on the test.  I do this step by step, very slowly, with my quietest teacher voice.
  • Brain Breaks- If you haven't checked out GoNoodle you need to right now!  This is an incredibly valuable resource for "wiggle-itis" of any kind.  If you have small children, you may want to use this on rainy days during the summer.  Here is a good introduction from Scott Nickel.
  • Strategy/Encouragement videos- Youtube is full of them.  I search "test taking motivation" or "EOG prep"  Fair warning: The rule in Mrs. Cissel's class is if you start singing the "real words" (and yes I use the quotation mark signal with my fingers), then you can't handle that video so we remove it from the playlist.  Last year I had a very long play list.  Then I changed districts and lost access.  So now my playlist is shorter but you are welcome to use it.  I add to it frequently.  
  • Small groups- I have been teaching almost exclusively in small groups for the last two weeks.  Students are more likely to ask for clarification when in a small group.  It is also more calming to be in a small group than in a large group.  Its also easier for me to "take the temperature" of the group.  
  • Putting the students in charge of their own review-We are trying out a new website (at least I've never tried it before) Edmodo.  I am using it to help the students take control of their learning while they are working independently and I am working in small group.  I love the idea of the badges.  I am also using it as a backchannel as I am working in small groups so that other students can ask me questions.  I send answers and video tutorials back to the students for them to work on at their own pace.  I am just now trying this strategy.  The students have choice of which stories (reading passages) to work on.  I created a Quiz for each one.  Edmodo then tells them how they did. 
  • Adopt a classroom-I have a kindergarten class who adopted my class.  SHHHH its a secret.  They don't know who is giving them treats.  Each treat has an encouraging message.  I'll take a picture of one tomorrow and post it.
  • Make the most of recess and "talking lunch"- Let the students PLAY HARD!

  • Pray for them-I pray for my students peace.  I pray for them to remember what they learned.  I pray for them silently in my head and they don't know.  I believe God hears and answers prayer.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Phil 4:6-7

I have a tendency to stress during testing time.  It is important for me to remember this verse.  It is not good because if I am stressed the kids will be too.

 I would love to know how you as teachers de-stress during testing time.

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