The Gifted Gazette
Pleasant Garden Elementary Issue 1. Vol. 8
Calendar of Events
May 18th- Last Genius Hour Club Meeting
May 19th- Kindergarten Music Program
May 27th-Science EOG
May 30th- Memorial Day
June 1st- ELA EOG
June 2nd-Math EOG
June 3rd- PTA Spring Fling from 5:00-9:00
June 9th- 3rd Grade Awards at 10:30
June 9th-4th Grade Awards at 11:00
June 10th-Last day of school
June 10th-5th Grade Promotion Ceremony at 8:00
June 14th- Subway Night from 5:00-9:00
AG Department Public Forum
Tuesday, May 17th, 6-7:30pm
801 Westover Terrace
AG Department Public Forum
Thursday, May 19th, 6-7:30pm
High Point Central Media Center
If this sounds like you, you may have a case of test anxiety — that nervous feeling that people sometimes get when they're about to take a test.
It's pretty normal to feel a little nervous and stressed before a test. Just about everyone does. And a touch of nervous anticipation can actually help you get revved and keep you at peak performance while you're taking the test. But for some people, this normal anxiety is more intense. The nervousness they feel before a test can be so strong that it interferes with their concentration or performance.
What Is Test Anxiety?
Test anxiety is actually a type of performance anxiety — a feeling someone might have in a situation where performance really counts or when the pressure's on to do well. For example, a person might experience performance anxiety when he or she is about to try out for the school play, sing a solo on stage, get into position at the pitcher's mound, step onto the platform in a diving meet, or go into an important interview.
Like other situations in which a person might feel performance anxiety, test anxiety can bring on "butterflies," a stomachache, or a tension headache. Some people might feel shaky, sweaty, or feel their heart beating quickly as they wait for the test to be given out. A student with really strong test anxiety may even feel like he or she might pass out or throw up.
What Can You Do?
Test anxiety can be a real problem if you're so stressed out over a test that you can't get past the nervousness to focus on the test questions and do your best work. Feeling ready to meet the challenge, though, can keep test anxiety at a manageable level.
Use a little stress to your advantage. Stress is your body's warning mechanism — it's a signal that helps you prepare for something important that's about to happen. So use it to your advantage. Instead of reacting to the stress by dreading, complaining, or fretting about the test with friends, take an active approach. Let stress remind you to study well in advance of a test. Chances are you'll keep your stress from spinning out of control. After all, nobody ever feels stressed out by thoughts that they might do well on a test.
Ask for help. Although a little test anxiety can be a good thing, an overdose of it is another story entirely. If sitting for a test gets you so stressed out that your mind goes blank and causes you to miss answers that you know, then your level of test anxiety probably needs some attention. Your teacher, your school guidance counselor, or a tutor can be useful resources to talk to if you always get extreme test anxiety.
Be prepared. Some students think that going to class is all it should take to learn and do well on tests. But there's much more to learning than just hoping to soak everything up in class. That's why good study habits and skills are so important — and why no amount of cramming or studying the night before a test can take the place of the deeper level of learning that happens over time with regular study.
Many students find that their test anxiety is reduced when they start to study better or more regularly. It makes sense — the more you know the material, the more confident you'll feel. Having confidence going into a test means you expect to do well. When you expect to do well, you'll be able to relax into a test after the normal first-moment jitters pass.
Watch what you're thinking. If expecting to do well on a test can help you relax, what about when people expect they won't do well? Watch out for any negative messages you might be sending yourself about the test. They can contribute to your anxiety.
If you find yourself thinking negative thoughts ("I'm never any good at taking tests" or "It's going to be terrible if I do badly on this test"), replace them with positive messages. Not unrealistic positive messages, of course, but ones that are practical and true, such as "I've studied hard and I know the material, so I'm ready to do the best I can." (Of course, if you haven't studied, this message won't help!)
Accept mistakes. Another thing you can do is to learn to keep mistakes in perspective — especially if you're a perfectionist or you tend to be hard on yourself. Everyone makes mistakes, and you may have even heard teachers or coaches refer to mistakes as "learning opportunities." Learning to tolerate small failures and mistakes — like that one problem you got wrong in the math pop quiz — is a valuable skill.
Take care of yourself. It can help to learn ways to calm yourself down and get centered when you're tense or anxious. For some people, this might mean learning a simple breathing exercise. Practicing breathing exercises regularly (when you're not stressed out) helps your body see these exercises as a signal to relax.
And, of course, taking care of your health — such as getting enough sleep, exercise, and healthy eats before a test — can help keep your mind working at its best.
Everything takes time and practice, and learning to beat test anxiety is no different. Although it won't go away overnight, facing and dealing with test anxiety will help you learn stress management, which can prove to be a valuable skill in many situations besides taking tests.
Reviewed by: D'Arcy Lyness, PhD
Date reviewed: July 2013
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3rd Grade ELA
Immigration service learning projects are in full swing. Students have decided to create welcome packets for new students at the Doris Henderson Newcomers School in Guilford County. Students are also researching different countries around the world and creating a flag that represents three countries of their choice. A big shot out to Jennifer Foy who was a guest speaker in our classroom. Jennifer is the godparent of one our 3rd grade students and is the Director of World Relief in High Point and Winston Salem. Her organization has resettled about 600 refugees and also work 's with Asylees to reunite minors in Central America with their parents in the USA. The students gained a lot of important information and knowledge from her visit.
3rd Grade Math
3rd grade students have been having a lot of fun with our Algebra unit. Students have practiced using geometry blocks to create balanced equations using variables. We have also discussed how to solve problems using order of operations. Students have also created domino and coin equations using variables. Students favorite activity by far has been creating their own diner menus that incorporated algebraic equations. Be prepared to spend a lot of money if you visit their diners in the future!
4th Grade ELA
ELA students enjoyed reading the novel The Library Card by Jerry Spinelli. The Library Card chronicles that story of two best friends. The friends begin to grow apart as one develops a love of reading when he magically discovers a library card one afternoon. The story leaves readers with lots of questions at the end. Students are currently working on creating their own ending for the story. This month students will also begin working on the final project for this unit which will consist of a literacy collage. Our book drive is still in full swing. Thank you to everyone who has already donated books. Please keep them coming.
4th Grade Math
4th grade's Geometry Challenge is on and students are having a blast solving the different geometry challenges each week. This unit has served as a great review for students as they use geometry vocabulary to complete the challenges each week.
5th Grade ELA
5th grade students are currently working on a service learning project as our Arts unit draws to a close. Students created artwork that will be used in the K-1 Musical this Thursday. Students are also writing letters to stakeholders in the nation about the importance of the arts in our schools.
5th Grade Math
Students have really enjoyed learning about the Stock Market. I have had several students talk to me about discussions they have had with their parents about stocks they own. This week students will have the opportunity to invest in the stock market and gain first hand knowledge about how the stock market works.