This very upbeat 3-minute video features students singing and dancing to a song with lyrics that are practically guaranteed to instill confidence, security and even a relaxed attitude towards testing. Some phrases are: “All year long you’ve been working hard, prove to yourself you’re a superstar!” and “You know your stuff. It isn’t rough. Your best is good enough!” Furthermore, the lyrics include the most essential test taking tips, like getting rest and checking your work.
I sincerely hope all teachers will show this video to students in the days before standardized testing. In this 6-minute YouTube video, a teacher who received a 40% on a standardized test at age 10 explains the devastating effect that low score had on him and how decades later he is a highly successful teacher and author. The video encourages students to write down their feelings about the test and then urges them to go and define themselves, to go out and dream big and enjoy learning.
This page on the Edutopia blog, teacher and author Aaron Pribble presents the view that high stakes test are imprecise, have a disastrous effect on student learning, and demotivate teachers. As Pribble observes “. . . over half the states and the District of Columbia now use high-stakes tests to evaluate teachers, and [he feels] this national trend must be reversed.”
This short article offers four helpful ways teachers can help students reduce the stress that pervades the school atmosphere during testing time. The suggestions are: (1) Create a positive atmosphere, (2) Replace dread with anticipation, (3) Practice time management, and (4) Involve parents. Though these may seem like mere common sense, it is all too easy for everyone involved—teachers, students, school leaders, and parents—to be caught in the downward spiral of anxiety that tests can cause.
This 2 minute video explains how teachers can prepare their students for testing “without giving up their own teaching style.” The narrator explains that the Common Core provides students with the knowledge and test-taking strategies they need. She also emphasizes that taking tests should be an exciting challenge if students are well-prepared, as she asserts they will be when the test is embedded in the curriculum through the Common Core.
This short article from the NEA explains how the stress of coping with standardized testing affects teachers, students, and teachers’ families. The major stress factor cited is a feeling of lacking control. Feeling that they are not doing as well as they should for their students in another stressor. One of the best ways to cope with the stress is to take control of what you can. The article has links to two other articles on fighting stress.