Supporting Your Child Around Standardized Testing

Supporting Your Child Around Standardized Testing
Posted on 03/02/2016
By: Jill C. Kalen
Special Educator, Grade 4 - 8

During the period between April 25 - May 27th students in grades 3 - 8 will take PARCC tests in ELA and Math. Students in grades 5 and 8 will also take the MCAS Science assessment. Some students enjoy the challenge of taking standardized tests and others don’t. While these tests are an opportunity for students to show independent skills in reading, writing, analyzing texts and completing multi-step math problems, the testing can be arduous and anxiety producing for some children. As parents and teachers, we can work to insure that this period of time goes as smoothly as possible.

What can you do to support your child at home?

Encourage him/her to get a good night’s sleep. Encourage your child to do something relaxing like reading before bed rather than using electronics which may affect a child’s ability to fall asleep. Monitor late night television and cell phone use especially during this time.

Make sure your child eats well the night before and the morning of the test. Pack healthy protein based snacks if appropriate. Save the treats for after the test.

Make sure your child gets enough exercise. Take a walk outside. Ride a bike. Play outside when possible. 

Enjoy some time special time together. Play a game. Make a snack or dinner together. Remind your child how proud you are of him or her, regardless of how they do on the tests.

If your child has testing accommodations, talk with your child about these accommodations and how they will help him/her. If there are differences or changes from another year, explain why these decisions were made.

Encourage your child to focus and do his/her best, but that a test does not determine who she or he is. Ask your child questions like such as: 

  • Did you try your best?
  • What were you most proud of?
  • Where there any tricky or interesting questions?
  • What strategies are you going to try to remember when answering questions?
  • What are you looking forward to doing when you are done with the testing?
  • How was the rest of your day? Did you go to other classes during the day?
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