EDUCATION NOTES BY JERI FRANCO
Some students will have one day of testing in February and some will have more! I know that the students and staff have been working diligently to prepare for the big day! Families have been working with their students at home, too. Sometimes it can be difficult to stay motivated to keep plugging away at homework and extra testing practice. Teachers, parents and caregivers all play a major role in encouraging children to stay motivated and do well in their schoolwork and on the test. One way to stay motivated is to set personal goals.
Goals, in the context of academic motivation, relate to a child's reason or purpose for doing his or her schoolwork or scoring well on a test. Goals generally are determined by the child's specific definition of success or anticipated payoff. Discuss setting a goal with your child and, as a team, work toward reaching that goal. The more your child sees that doing schoolwork is valuable, the more your child is likely to want to try to do his or her best.
Another issue that comes up at testing time is test anxiety. It's difficult not to experience anxiety when TAKS preparation seems to be the daily focus at this time. There are some strategies to use to reduce test anxiety. Let your child know that you have confidence that he or she is well prepared and will try to do his or her personal best on the test.
Training in the use of relaxation techniques provides students with a tool to combat anxiety. Deep Dance! breathing, muscle relaxation, exercising, listening to relaxing music and taking a warm bath are some strategies that may help to relieve some of the stress and anxiety that some children experience.
One more important note: Please be sure your children are well rested and have a nourishing breakfast before taking their tests. Breakfast is served at school every day.
The test schedule is as follows:
TAKS TEST SCHEDULE FOR
SCHOOL AND BRUNDRETT MIDDLE
Feb. 20 - Grade 3, reading; grade 4, writing; grade 5, reading; SDAA* II grade 4, writing; grade 7, writing; SDAA II grade 7, writing.
April 3 -- Grade 5 math
April 17 -- Grade 3, math, grade 4, math; SDAA II grades 3, 4, 5, math; grades 6, 7 and 8, math
April 18 -- Grade 4, reading; SDAA II grades 3, 4, 5, reading; grades 6, 7 and 8, reading; SDAA II, reading
April 19 - Grades 5 and 8, scienceTAKS I grades 5 and 8, science
April 20 - Grade 8, social studies Grade 8 Social Studies
Questions or concerns? Please contact me at 749-1200 ext. 305.
*SDAA stands for State Developed Alternative Assessment, which is for special education students.
Jeri Franco is the counselor at H.G. Olsen Elementary and Brundrett Middle schools.