HMS Counseling Newsletter

May 2015

Classroom Guidance Topic of the Month

The classroom guidance topic for the month of April is stress management. During this lesson students will learn what causes the stress reaction in the body, how to identify signs/symptoms of stress, and how to cope with stressful situations by learning practical relaxation techniques including deep breathing, muscle relaxation, and guided imagery.

6th Grade Students Graduate From Project AIM

On Thursday, May 14, all 6th grade students, currently enrolled in Career and Technical Education classes will graduate from a program called Project AIM. Project AIM, facilitated by the school counselors, is a program that encourages youth to envision their future selves and careers, make wiser choices, and refrain from risky behavior. Upon their graduation, students will be awarded a certificate and a portfolio containing self-made business cards, resumes, and other artifacts created throughout the program.

Research shows that students who participate in Project AIM have better attitudes about school, show improved grades and attendance, and are less likely to engage in risky behavior. Project AIM also facilitates youth's ability to make the connection between school and the world of work; and for many students, sparks an interest in specific future careers.

EOGs and Final Exams Right Around the Corner!

It's that time of the year--EOGs and final exams are right around the corner! Final exams will be on May 20 and 21. End-of-grade tests begin the following week on Wednesday, May 27. If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering by serving as a testing proctor, please contact Mr. Dixon, our testing coordinator.

Test Anxiety? Check Out These Tips!

During "testing season" at the end of the year, many students experience test anxiety. Follow these tips manage test anxiety and do your best this year.

1) Be Prepared. Preparation is a key element in reducing test anxiety. The more confident you feel, the less anxious you will become. Study, get plenty of rest, eat breakfast, and don't forget your #2 pencil!

2) No Cramming! What is cramming? Imagine stuffing all of your books into your bookbag at the same time. Would they all fit? Probably not! Now imagine your bookbag is your brain. Trying to cram a year's worth of information into your head the night before is not a smart way to study, and only increases anxiety. Prepare ahead of time, and use the night before a big test to get plenty of rest instead.

3) Be Positive. Avoid thoughts like "this is too hard", and "I can't do this". Instead, think "I've got this!". Keep in mind that a test is just a test. It is only one of the important things in your life. You are more than just a test taker! So, just do your best. That's all anyone can ask.

4) Coach Yourself. Sometimes, students get anxious after finding out that they don't know the answer to the first or second question on the test. Follow the plan below:

-Answer the questions you know

-Answer the questions you aren't really sure about

-Answer the questions you don't know

This process will help you keep moving and keep you from getting stuck. Stick to the plan! Good coaches encourage their players, so if you feel yourself getting anxious, talk yourself down by thinking to yourself, "I can be anxious later. Now, I'm going to continue my test."

5) Use relaxation techniques. Practice deep breathing to slow your heart rate, and use tensing and relaxing exercises to help reduce built up tension during the test. For more information on relaxation techniques, talk to your school counselor.

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