Where I teach, students have a problem focusing and seem a bit nervous and anxiety prone before the State test. So we Yoga them for a minute to relax them. Then they are allowed to chew gum during the the test as long as bubbles and popped bubbles are not prevalent. Crackers , to me, are noisy and create a dry atmosphere in the mouth. This will be followed by, "Can I have, get some water?" Secondly Maryteach, we do not get a break between test. The students go the whole 40 or 45 minute stretch, unless they have testing modifications,(time extension.)
Dried fruit, like raisens, followed by a glass of water about 5-10 minutes prior to the test will give the brain enough glucose to sustain a high rate of functioning for about 30 minutes. At that point, you may want to allow them some gum. I prefer peppermint, as this flavor helps calm the nerves. GOOD LUCK!
We are not allowed to give gum, candy, or food while students test, nor are students allowed to bring their own, even if they take the full four hours to complete each test. They may have only water during the 3 min. testing breaks.
It is considered a violation of standardized testing protocol and will result in invalidating the students tests and in our dismissal.
During the tests, my kids had peppermints to help them relax and keep their brains alert. After the test, each day was a different snack. (Provided by Title 1). We had pretzels, cereal bars, and peanut butter crackers. (I was surprised by the peanut butter crackers, but apparently they were safe.)
I want to teach in a state where you can give kids snacks during tests! (And where you don't have to stay at school until all hours of the night waiting for kids to finish!)
During our ten-minute restroom/snack break, the school provides a snack. Usually it's an item that is served with breakfast - cereal bars, graham crackers, etc. - and an orange juice. The kids are not allowed to have any food or drink around the test. Gum would be completely out of the question!
This year our principal scheduled a 30 min. block of time for break and restroom. Our parents sent in individual drink containers with juice and some sort of snack. We had pretzels, fish crackers, fruit roll ups, & granola bars. I think the kids need a break! Everyone in our school was testing and breaking at the same time. It was great, no noise from classes in the hall, no crowded restrooms, each grade level had a specific area in the school to use for restroom breaks. It was fantastic, but our test was very hard.
Wow--we can't give any snacks, ever. They can't get anything on those bubble forms!!! The only break is a 3 minute stretch break every 50 minutes or so. I could not imagine letting mine chew gum during a test.....
We aren't allowed to test reading and math on the same day---so that means our testing is stretched out for 3 days. The quarter tests take a good 2 hours to complete for each one (unless there are stragglers!) The EOG (end of grade test) usually takes a full 3 hours to just do reading.
For the 3rd quarter test given in a few weeks, we have to simulate the day as if it is the final EOG test at the end of the year. That means I will have to walk around the entire time---at least in the 2nd quarter test I can get some work done while they are working!!!
Last year I would go around during the test and place lifesavers or tic tacs (peppermint) on the kids' desks during the test. The peppermint is supposed to help concentration and they like sucking on things...with no wrappers to make noise.