Monday, April 16, 2012

Taming the Test

Thanks to Allison from the Counseling Corner for the
blank controller!

Today we are back in school after a restful and relaxing SPRING BREAK!  I put all of my school stuff aside and took a much needed break.  Now that we're back, the focus is on getting prepared for end of grade testing! Yikes!  Cue the scary music.  In the past I have always done guidance lessons in 3-5 classes on stress and relaxation techniques.  We talk about good stress (that motivates us to do our best) and bad stress (that keeps us from doing our best).  This year, I've been asked to present small groups for third graders who have really been having a hard time with benchmarks this year.  I was immediately excited to think of all of the cool ideas I've seen on other blogs, pintrest, and other sites on this topic.  I decided to expand the offer to all grades 3-5 and the feedback was AMAZING!  I am currently facilitating 6 groups on test anxiety, serving 22 students.  I feel so motivated to help these kids learn techniques for reducing stress in testing situations.  I started a few of the groups before spring break, and the feedback from students was great.  I heard comments such as, "this will be really helpful,"  "I can't wait to tell my mom what I'm learning, she will be so excited;" and "I'm so happy to meet other kids who feel this way."  I'm so happy that the kids are just as excited as I am.  I will post more later on what we've done in the group, but here's some of the items on the agenda:

  • Where I feel stress in my body, and how to relax my body
  • Relaxation techniques and other ways to reduce stress
  • Taking Back Control (this uses a game controller to teach strategies for test taking)
  • Thinking positive thoughts
  • Where I feel stress in my body

    Strategies to relax my body

And as I am posting about small groups, I thought I would share my group "Rules", or as I call them EXPECTATIONS...
  1. Be Here.  This means I am an active member of this group.
  2. Be Safe.  I know that what I say in here stays in here.  I know that I have the right to pass if I don't want to share.
  3. Be Respectful.  I will listen while others are sharing and use kind words.
  4. Be Confidential.  I will respect my friends' privacy by not sharing what is said in group.  I know that I can share my group experience with my family or teacher, but not my friend's experience.

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