If you are a 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade parent, I am sure you know that STAAR testing is coming up soon!! This is a time where many of our students start to get nervous and anxious. Many develop test anxiety, so I wanted to make sure all of our students have the skills to cope with and diminish anxiety, especially when it comes to tests. I visited all 3rd-5th grade classrooms and we read the story, Tyler Tames the Testing Tiger, which is about a boy who becomes very nervous before a test. He shows all the signs of anxiety: butterflies in his stomach, sweaty palms, a heart that is beating super fast, his mind is going blank, and he feels extremely nervous. In this story he learns how to calm himself down, prepare himself, think positively, and remembers it's just a test and he is prepared and will do great.
We talked A LOT about positive thinking and believing and verbalizing that they CAN and WILL do well on the test and to think of it as getting to show how much they know and have learned, instead of all the negative thoughts that come to mind. We talked about how you can turn almost any negative into a positive if you try. Also, being well prepared will greatly reduce any anxiety or stress. If you are prepared for something, you generally feel a lot better about it and have positive feelings.
I will be in their classrooms again on Monday to go over a couple of short breathing activities that help to calm down an anxious body. This is good for any situation that causes stress, not just test taking. Here is a video that is helpful in remembering to "Just Breathe," whether we are mad, frustrated, anxious, or stressed out:
Have a great three-day weekend and Easter, if you celebrate it!! :-)