January rolls around and in the upper grades, there is no escaping The Test. A dark cloud can settle over the school and there is no escape.
Deep down I know this, but it can be so hard to remember and accept when things aren’t going so well. Your students are more than their test scores. You are more than their test scores.
We can’t get rid of The Test. We can’t ignore The Test. So how can we cope with the test?
- Align your instruction. Chances are, you’re already doing this. Be sure you are teaching students the standards for your grade level.
- Challenge students who are ready. Some kids are ready for The Test. They were ready 3 months ago. Provide appropriate challenges and projects that will keep them excited about learning.
- Take it easy on yourself sometimes. You are a person, not a machine.
- Take it easy on your kids sometimes. They are people, not machines.
- Work on goal setting with your students. There are so many awesome programs and ideas for this. Pick one!
- Using the resources and information available to you, learn how The Test is structured and what students will be expected to do. The more you know, the better prepared you can be.
- Remember to include Pure Fun– especially during stressful time. Taking 10 minutes to play Minute to Win It can make a big difference after an hour of hard work.
- Stay positive with your kids. We can’t prevent stress completely, but our students don’t deserve additional stress just because of our system.
- Provide support to struggling learners. Make sure they are engaged and positive when they meet for you for extra help.
- Provide student choice during test prep review. Humans need some power and we need some freedom. Don’t be afraid to give up some of your control.