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Izzy23 Izzy23 is offline
 
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Izzy23
 
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Test Anxiety
Old 01-04-2019, 02:40 PM
 
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I work with a population of high needs kids (trauma, poverty, spec. ed). They do great on lessons, but struggle so much on tests. It's so frustrating to see them fail test after test, when I KNOW they can do the work.

Any suggestions for how to build test taking stamina? Or how to overcome their anxiety for it?

Our last math test had 12 questions. It took them 2 days and multiple melt-downs to finish and, while their scores were better than the pretest, they still would have failed if they were graded on a normal scale.

These are 4th graders, btw. Thanks!


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GiantSubs GiantSubs is offline
 
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We found that
Old 01-04-2019, 03:29 PM
 
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calling the test a "skills check" instead of a test has helped. Sometimes we give skills checks that aren't graded to see how they're doing, and sometimes we grade them as an assessment. Since they're not stressed when it's ungraded, they're less stressed when it is.
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Singvogel Singvogel is offline
 
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Give them physical self-calming tools.
Old 01-05-2019, 05:59 AM
 
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Before important assessments, we go through a routine of physical movements.

Build your own routine that calms, and include teaching quiet things students can do for themselves during those tests.

Here's a resource from someone else's workshop that includes the movements I use. https://ue.osageschools.org/UserFile...p_Jan_2015.pdf
One of the favorite ones for my fifth graders is the Hook-up.
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MaineSub MaineSub is offline
 
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Old 01-05-2019, 11:17 AM
 
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I encourage students to use a stress ball while testing... I've had adult students who I would stand next to and I could see the change when I walked away--one actually admitted she thought clearer if I was nearby. In some cases, I would allow a student to talk me through their thought process while answering a question--verbalizing helped them structure their thinking--I would say nothing and try not to show any emotion. Not all of these would be appropriate in your environment but I try to distract and channel their anxiety into energy. Also with adults, it's possible to create perspective. I have also (this is a little off the wall and probably wouldn't work in your situation) given tests with an understanding: if it helps your grade, I'll count it. If it doesn't help, I won't.
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