Celebrate success after standardized testing (STAAR)
As students prepare to take the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness test (STAAR), some anxiety is to be expected. Standardized testing is a challenging, although important aspect of education. Test results provide data that helps parents, teachers, and students improve academic performance across content topics. In order for students to succeed, it’s important that they feel supported and feel that their hard work is contributing to their future success. Talk to your children about the importance of testing before they take it and be sure to celebrate their hard work once it’s finished.
Celebrating your child’s hard work doesn't have to be lavish or expensive. Simply making some special snacks, using positive affirmations, or having a fun movie night are easy ways to reward your student. There’s a lot of pressure on students during testing but you can balance the amount of stress in their life by planning some extra fun activities after testing days.
First, check with your local businesses to find special discounts and freebies for students taking standardized tests. If not, don’t worry—here are three ways you can celebrate with your children after they finish taking standardized tests like the STAAR.
- Prepare a special treat after each testing day.
We all know that the way to any child’s heart is through snacks. Talk with your child about their favorite snacks and let them pick which snack they’d like to have after each testing day. Having something special to look forward to will help them stay positive throughout the day. Check out Hank’s Ice Cream Parlor and POParazzi’s Gourmet POPcorn for special goodies!
- Prepare a positive affirmation ritual before and after testing days.
Students may have a lot of anxiety on the morning of test days. Combat this anxiety by making it a ritual to say positive affirmations before and after test days. Before school, boost your child’s confidence by having them repeat something positive, like “I’ve got this,” “I am smart and capable,” or “I am prepared to succeed.” Anything similar will work.
Create affirmations that encourage students to put forth their best effort and not rush through the assessment. Additionally, encourage students to use the strategies that they have been taught throughout the course of the year.
After test days, do the same thing but switch up the affirmations. Celebrate your child’s completion of testing with an affirmation like, “my hard work is creating a bright future,” “nailed it,” “can’t touch this,” or “living my best life!” You can even spice it up by creating a fun handshake or dance move to go along with it. That way, your child can come home to a great pep talk and high five!
- Prepare a pizza party movie night to wrap things up.
After the final day of testing, celebrate with a night of fun. You can’t go wrong with a pizza party and your child’s favorite movie, or something new that they’ve been dying to see. Pick up some delicious pizzas from Star Pizza and rent a movie or head to Houston’s Rooftop Cinema Club for an open-air cinema experience. Throw in some ice cream for dessert if you want to really make it a party.
If movies aren’t your family’s thing, take a trip to the Children's Museum or Houston Zoo. Want to celebrate outdoors? Head over to Hermann Park or Miller Outdoor Theatre and enjoy some fresh air with your scholar.
- Create a space that allows students to discuss their performance.
After the final day of testing, allow your child the opportunity to discuss their feelings about their performance on the assessments. Please be mindful to reaffirm their feelings with encouragement and how proud you are of them for completing the test, even if they feel they didn’t do well.
Have conversations with your children regarding their feelings about the assessment. How did they feel about the assessment overall? What shocked them? What did they learn from the experience? What might they do differently next year?
Students who are in Pre-K through second grade can support their siblings who are taking standardized tests by drawing a picture to celebrate their successes.
Students are Worth Celebrating!
Now more than ever students need extra support. The pandemic threw everyone off their game but was especially chaotic for students. As students work to get back on track and readjust to educational practices, we should take time to celebrate the major and minor achievements along the way. Make the best of STAAR and other standardized testing by encouraging your child to work hard and celebrating their relentless efforts to get an education despite the challenges they have faced.
To learn more about Varnett Public Schools, please visit: https://www.varnett.org
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Posted on May 5, 2022