I have received some great professional development at my school about helping students with anxiety.
Various reports tell us that 15 to 30% of our students experience anxiety in the classroom.
Anxious thinking restricts a student’s working memory and consequently hinders their ability to demonstrate their knowledge. T Strategies for Managing Anxiety Poster is a great way to remind students of the mnemonic for test-taking strategies they can use. mnemonics will provide your students with a way to recall the tips in this post.
There are many strategies that we can teach students to manage their anxiety, but the first step (as I learned in my training) is that we have to teach students to recognize that they are feeling anxious. There are also several other activities schools can implement before testing that are helpful for students: 1) Enhanced breakfast provided in or near classrooms ensure that students have the opportunity to take the test on a full stomach 2) A twenty-minute walk around the gym—or outside if the weather permits—gets students active and ensures they have had a chance to wake up in the morning 3) A free write before starting an exam can help to improve anxious students’ performance. You can help your students with math test-taking strategies using the four downloads provided below and the fifth gives students strategies to manage their stress during testing.
That brings up the conflict I know I often feel: How much time do I spend teaching math test-taking strategies as opposed to focusing on the content. That’s why we do have to focus on test-taking strategies for students, and I feel better about it when I remember that we are teaching them about problem solving, reasoning and modeling. Math-multiple-response questions, also known as multi-select items, are common on state standardized tests.
For that reason, I am want to explore math test-taking strategies for elementary and middle school students. These questions are formatted similar to multiple-choice test questions, but differ in that they have more than one correct answer choice.
If you have not already done so, I would also highly recommend that you download constructed response items from past tests so you can see what they look like.
The national tests (PARCC, Smarter Balanced Test Consortium) provide sample test items and practice tests.
Please try to be as open as possible as you write about your thoughts at this time.
(American Educator, Summer 2014) We all have to face the reality of testing and of getting students prepared for standardized testing.