May 26

Please join me for the end of year School Counseling Advisory Council Meeting on Thursday, May 30th at 2:30pm in the library. This is a pretty informal meeting – we will talk about how things went this school year and share ideas for next year. I would LOVE to have your input on my program! Hope to see you there!

May 21

Exciting news! We are getting two Buddy Benches installed on our playground, and we need our students to design them! Check out the flyer below for all of the information. Entry forms are due to me by May 31. You will also see information about submitting artwork for the talent show. Let me know if you have any questions!

Buddy Bench

May 16

Thank you so much to everyone who came out for Moving Up Night! Presentations below!

Leaping into Kindergarten

Moving on Up to 3rd Grade!

The Transition to Middle School

May 10

5th grade Career Post Test

 

May 6

                                  Tips for Parents to Lessen Student Test Anxiety

Many students get anxiety before they take tests, especially when it’s a test like the SOLs! Below are tips on how you can help reduce test anxiety.

Relaxation Strategies and Tips for Lessening Student Test Anxiety:

  • Reframe the goal of test taking – “This is a great chance to show all you’ve learned!” to give a positive spin (versus “This is a stressful test & you just want to get it over with.”)
  • Tell them you believe in them and encourage them to do their Instead of comparing themselves to your other children or to other students in their class, students should seek to improve on their own best. The goal is for your student to do his or her best.
  • Eight to eleven-year-olds like to solve problems independently, so remind them of choices for how to calm down and focus instead of telling them what to do.

Here are some relaxation techniques to offer as choices:

  1. Positive self-talk: The messages we say to ourselves can have a positive or negative impact on our ability to perform. You can help your students say positive messages to themselves. Examples: “I can do this. I will do my best. I’m a strong reader and a good mathematician.”
  2. Take deep belly breaths: Inhale in through the nose, filling your belly with air. Breathe out through your mouth, emptying your belly of the air. I call this “smell the flower, blow out the candle.”
  3. Roller-coaster breathing: Trace the fingers of your hand with the pointer finger of your other hand. Breathe in as you go up a finger, and out as you trace down.
  4. 55-5: Breathe in for 5 seconds, hold for 5 seconds, breathe out for 5 seconds.
  5. Counting: Count down slowly from 10-0.
  6. Think of a calm and happy place for a moment. Imagine what it feels like to be in that place. Example: in a tree house, on the water, the beach.

Your student has practiced the above techniques with me in classroom lessons. You can help get these skills ingrained in your student by practicing them at home, too!

  • Role model appropriate emotional management yourself – they take cues from you. If you are dealing with something that causes you stress, show them relaxation techniques that you like to use. You can even ask them to remind you to try these techniques. Having them teach you will improve their chances of remembering the strategies.

Ways parents help students prepare:

  • Make sure students arrive early to school and have a chance to keep with their normal routines. Feeling rushed on the day of a big test will not help them to feel relaxed.
  • Set a regular early bedtime for students. Six to nine year-olds require 10-11 hours of sleep per night for maximum benefit. Ten to eleven year-olds require a little less at 9-10 hours of sleep.
  • Put away all electronics at least 30 minutes before bedtime!
  • Pack up bookbags and lay out clothes the night before.
  • Students should have a healthy breakfast every day before school. Learning and trying your best is hard work!

Thanks for taking the time to read this! Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

References:

  • Building Resiliency: A Non-Thematic Small-Group Approach by Dr. Karen Griffith
  • Hedonic consequences of social comparison: a contrast of happy and unhappy people. by  Lyubomirsky & L. Ross
  • PBS child development website: www.pbs.org/parents/childdevelopmenttracker/eight
  • Tyler Tames the Testing Tiger by Janet M. Bender
  • Second Step Teaching Materials by Committee for Children

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