HMS Counseling Newsletter

May 2016

Classroom Guidance

The classroom guidance topic for the month of May is "Beating Test Anxiety". During this lesson, students will learn about test anxiety and its causes as well as practical tips to reduce test anxiety before and after a test.

Here are some tips to review with your student:

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

EOGs and final exams are right around the corner!

It's that time of the year--EOGs and final exams are right around the corner! Testing dates are as follows:

May 25-26: End of Grade tests in math and reading (6th, 7th, and 8th)

May 31: End of Grade test in science (8th grade)

June 1-2: Final Exams in social studies (6th, 7th, and 8th), and science (6th and 7th)

June 6: Math 1 EOC (select 8th graders)

If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering by serving as a testing proctor, please contact Mr. Dixon, our testing coordinator.

6th grade students graduate from Project AIM

At the end of this month, 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.

Summer enrichment opportunities:

Interested in finding enrichment programs for your student this summer? Check out the links below:

1) Gaston County Schools is sponsoring several summer enrichment programs for middle school students this summer. Classes will meet for 8 days from 8:00am-12:00pm during the weeks of June 20-23 and June 27-30. For more information, click here:

2) The University of North Carolina at Charlotte offers annual reading skills programs. For more information, please call: 1-800-903-0162.

3) The College Foundation of North Carolina offers great information about programs available across our state. To view their catalog, click here:

Article of Interest:

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