The Academically Gifted Gazette

Ronald E. McNair Elementary

Volume 3, Issue 8

May/June 2016


12th: PTA Meeting and Musical Performance (K-4)

13th: Kindergarten Orientation

15th: Levitt AMP Music Series Free Concert

19th: PTA Skate Night

27th: Field Day

28th: Levitt AMP Music Series Free Concert

29th: Levitt AMP Music Series Free Concert


1st: Reading EOG

2nd: Math EOG

3rd: Science EOG (5th)

6th: Science EOG (5th)

8th: Read to Achieve Testing (3rd)

8th: Miss Green's last day of the year (she's getting married!)

9th: 5th Grade Awards and Celebration (report cards go home 5th only)

10th: Last Day of School (report cards go home)

18th: Star Wars Festival

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Who Said It?

Simply guess who said the following quote and click on the link below to check yourself!

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them."

Hint: A "mother" just in time for Mother's Day!

Habit of Mind: Listening with Empathy and Understanding

Test Anxiety

You've participated in class, done all of your homework, studied hard, and you think you have a grip on the material. But then the day of the test comes. Suddenly, you blank out, freeze up, zone out, or feel so nervous that you can't get it together to respond to those questions you knew the answers to just last night.

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.

Source: taken from

Reviewed by: D'Arcy Lyness, PhD
Date reviewed: July 2013

Upcoming Enrichment Opportunities

Green Hill Center for NC Art




Little Blank Canvas Art

Ages 5 & up

High Point
$36 to $40 per day

The All-Arts, Sciences & Technology Camp
Ages 7–15

$550 day camper, $850 residential

UNCG Summer Music Camp


$385 to $515

UNCG Young Writer's Camp


$225 or $250

UNCG Sports Summer Camp

Haw River State Park Summer Camp
Haw River State Park
$75 or $115

Greensboro Science Center
Ages 4-15



IT Camp for Girls
Rising 6th-9th


High Point University STEM Camp
Ages 8-11


contact Dr. Shirley Disseler at or Dr. Tess Hegedus for more information

Camp Weaver
Rising 1st-9th
$260 (day camp), $675 (overnight)

Explore other summer camp options here!

Caesar's Corner

Latin final exam time is here! Fourth and fifth grade students have until late May to retain their Latin terms. Please inform Miss Green if you would like your child to take part in a special study skills group for this purpose.

4th Grade: Interested in taking an online practice test? Try studying a few terms at a time for one week. Then, click here. Enter code 6HZ92OM1 at the bottom right-hand corner. Tell Miss Green that you took the quiz for a challenge sticker.

5th Grade: Interested in taking an online practice test? Try studying a few terms at a time for one week. Then, click here. Enter code WKEU8M1D at the bottom right-hand corner. Tell Miss Green that you took the quiz for a challenge sticker.

Technology Times

Summer is a great time to encourage your child to keep skills fresh with online practice.


AG Sumdog Summer Reading Challenge: June 10-August 28

AG Sumdog Summer Math Challenge: June 10-August 28

Answer 1000 questions in one (or both) areas for 5 challenge stickers from Miss Green in the fall!

K-2 Club

Kinders have begun work with simple and complex patterning. First graders continue practicing their thinking skills using multiple attributes. Second graders recently learned how to make good decisions by thinking through pros and cons.

3rd Grade

Who is My Neighbor?

Immigration interviews are complete. Students have begun the process of synthesizing the data in order to create a plan of action for helping our local neighbors. Check out their ideas below:

"Water is important because you will die without it. We can do a drive so people can donate water bottles." ~ Noe

"Most people need food so let's have a food drive!" ~Emma

"We could start donating old toys to kids who don't have any." ~Zarria

Algebra into the Unknown

Children had their first test of the unit last week. Be sure to login to Engrade (see previous email) to view your child's score and other AG progress. Next, we embark on a journey to sea depth #2: Variable Voyage! Students will explore possible values of variables using sea creatures, grids, and balance scales.

4th Grade

The Power of Literate People

It's spring time and you know what that means -- spring cleaning! As you do so, please consider donating gently used elementary-level books to our book drive. Students have been busy preparing for the drive for weeks. They have even begun audio recording themselves reading aloud some of the donated books as to enclose a read aloud CD so that the books can be more meaningful to illiterate families. Keep up the great work, 4th grade!

Geometry Challenge

These mathematicians have been busy applying the skills they have learned in the regular classroom through this AG unit. They are collecting geometry products as a means to creating an art portfolio to be shared with you in a few weeks.

5th Grade

The Arts: Wherefore Art They?

Fifth grade students have been brainstorming ways they can promote and advocate for the arts locally. Some children have volunteered time with ArtsGreensboro, some have offered service for McNair's production of "Suessical the Musical", and still others are working toward an education campaign. Although everyone is working toward their own individualized way of serving, I can confidently say that each of them does so from the same compassionate and caring place in their hearts.

Stock Market Simulation

Oh no! What happened to the technology stocks last week? Students will NOT be happy with their recent plummet. This unit involves multiplication with decimals, organization skills and "big picture" kind of thinking. Congrats to Taneille, who thus far has the most networth of $50,940.95 (940.95 profit)!

AG Classroom Needs

-gently used elementary-level books (book drive)

-Safe-T compasses

-new or used iPod or iPad cases

-thin dry erase markers

-wooden paint stirrers

-composition books

-USB flashdrives

-volunteers (in school or at home)