Wednesday, March 26, 2014
STAAR Test Anxiety in 4th & 5th
It's typical for anyone to feel a little nervous or stressed before a test. Test anxiety can actually be a good thing in certain amounts. Some stress motivates us and enhances our performance, otherwise we wouldn't try. But too much stress can have a negative effect and interfere with our performance.
I think it's important to address this topic with students to normalize their feelings. With our first round of STAAR testing next week, I decided to meet with classes to talk about how they're doing. I first had them complete a quick 6-question questionnaire about how they feel before a test. If they answered "yes" to two or more of the questions, it alerted them that they might have some test anxiety. I explained the positives of having some test anxiety, called eustress. Eustress motivates us and can help us perform better on tests. However, if we have too much stress before a test, it's called distress. Our body can be dramatically affected by this and it can have a detrimental affect on our test performance.
On the other side of their questionnaire I included some ideas of things you can do when you feel anxious. We would be doing a deep breathing exercise together in class today. I asked students to get in a comfortable position in their chairs, sitting up or laying their head down, and close their eyes. I then read aloud a relaxation script that took students through deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation and a scenario of them floating on a cloud. The room was so quiet you could hear a pin drop!
When they came back into awareness, each student received a special bookmark with tips for be prepared for STAAR testing: