HERE for a free copy of the book. (If you want to save a copy, you will have to register, but it is free.) After reading the book I like to talk to the students about their testing fears. You wouldn't believe some of the misconceptions that kids have. Some think they will be retained if they don't perform well on this one test Positive reinforcement is a better option than scare tactics in my opinion. I created an acronym and reward system for testing week. It's called Sweet Success. We practice going through each of the steps prior to the big day. The steps are as follows:
Stay Positive- Have the students practice saying positive affirmations such as, I will pass the test. Have them visualize performing well on the test.
Work Hard- Make sure you read everything and show your work.
Examine the Questions- Questions should be read twice. Read over ALL the answer choices.
Eliminate Wrong Answers- There are usually one or two answers that can be eliminated. Teach students to cross those out. Good test takers should be able to narrow down the choices to two answers at least.
Take All the Time Given- Never close your test booklet. Keep working until time is called.
Make sure you practice these steps long before test day. When test day comes I watch for students to exhibit all these behaviors and put a gumball (pom pom) on the gumball machine after every testing section. I do this all week. If students fill the gumball machine by the end of the week, they get a class reward. Click HERE or the picture for your free poster and gumball template.
Our school counselor also puts together a Test Pep Rally. During the rally students and teachers perform skits, dance, sing, and cheer. This year I ordered a cd from Test Day Jams, and we are going to dance to a medley of tunes. The most important thing you can do to relieve test anxiety is create a positive classroom environment!
Good luck as you continue to create magic in the classroom!