The testing moment is upon us…..
Or perhaps the testing beast….
Or testing nightmare….
OK. That might be pushing the envelope a bit much. In a little over a month, students in Washington will be taking the much anticipated state test in reading, writing, math, and science. It is at this moment that anxiety starts to set in for teachers and students. As an English teacher for 7th and 8th grade students, my brain starts to overload as I think about three tests (two in writing and one in reading). This is the testing season where I attempt to review, reteach, review, reteach, review,……. Some would argue that this is teaching to the test, which is probable accurate to some degree. I also think it is emphasize skills students need to have in reading and writing. I just wish the demands and repercussions of the test were not so high or stressful.
I believe, during this testing season, it is critical to get students up and moving. It helps to calm the anxiety of both teachers and students. It can help break up monotony as well as re-energize students as they make mind-body connections to the content being studied.
It may sound silly, but little moments of physical activity can create a surge in success for students. One of the teachers in my building created a thesis statement dance, so we have decided to create an entire essay dance. Students roll their eyes during it, but they have fun and they are constantly reviewing it physically and mentally as we prepare them for the essays they have to write. Will this actually help them on the test? We won’t know for sure. We only wait several months before the testing results are relinquished from the realms of the state. Until then, I believe that during this testing season, it is possible to experience positive stress, have fun, teach with high expectations and standards, and be human!