Innovation for K12 Assessment

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Ensure K-12 Education Student Achievement With an Encouraging Environment

As educators, it seems that K-12 education student achievement  is a constant concern.  There are formative assessments, summative assessments, benchmarks, and aptitude tests throughout the school year. 

While instruction and comprehension are obviously important for student achievement on assessments, attitude and comfort level can also help increase achievement.  You can help students perform better on assessments by creating a relaxing environment that encourages recall.

Many educators use candy or small treats to keep their students focused during the test.  Give each student a pack of "Smarties" candies, and tell them that the candy will help them feel smart if they forget anything while taking the test. 

You can also give your students confetti in bag, and send them home with the confetti the night before the test.  Attach a note that explains that sprinkling this "magic dust" under their pillow will help them get a good night's sleep and do well on their exam.

You can also prepare your students mentally by practicing the material on the test days before.  You can set up a game show stage in your room, and give the students a chance to answer sample questions while under a time restraint.  Help them recall information by providing memory clues that they can later use during the actual exam.

Many educators have sent notes home to parents asking them to write an encouraging letter to their child, which they can read throughout the day of the test.  You can also invite parents in to write positive messages on the chalkboard before class begins.  Anything that shows your students that they have support from you and their parents will be beneficial, and help them relax.

Play soft music during the exam, and allow regular breaks.  Have the students get up and do a silly dance or stretching routine during breaks. You can change the relaxing music to fun, upbeat dance music.   Encourage the kids to move around and increase their energy.  Provide a healthy snack during breaks, and plenty of water.

As a teacher, it takes many tactics to relieve testing anxiety. The truth is, these tactics are necessary, because calm students perform better and are happier.  Make sure you reward your students in some way after the exam, as well. Let them know that you are proud of them, and that their hard work is appreciated. 

When you focus on making your students happy, comfortable, and relaxed in times of stress, then they will thank you by performing better and being agreeable.

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