Stress’s impact on other life functions is one of the most researched psychological issues. It has been shown by researchers by psychologists Robert M. Yerkes and John Dillingham Dodson as early as 1908 that too much stress can negatively impact performance in many ways including on tests. Many many studies have gone on to support their research. So, finding ways to keep kids calm(er) on test days is extremely important.
My son’s school started SBAC testing last week. He’s a struggling 4th grade perfectionist. His stress level has been very high, and we have 1 week to go. His teachers have given him 2 weeks off of homework, and bubble gum during the test taking time. When I asked my son how he felt about the test he put his thumb out to the side, thought about it for a second, and quickly turned it downward.
This got me to thinking about the strategies I have used over the years to destress students for test days. I have used several different strategies which I will share with you, and no one alone seems to do the trick. Every child is different, so what calms them is different too. It is important to try using multiple strategies for students to get the most impact from the effort. <<Read On>>