Monday, March 19, 2012

Positive Thought Thinking Caps

Today, I started talking to 3rd graders about preparing for our state tests.  They don't start until mid-May, but 3rd grade is the 1st year they take them, and they have to take reading, math, science, and social studies.  Unfortunately, this bring lots of nervousness and test taking anxiety, which we know can actually create lower scores.  So, that's where I come in.  I plan on doing a couple classroom guidance lessons on thinking positive thoughts, study tips, following directions carefully, relaxation techniques, etc.

Today's lesson was thinking positive thoughts.  First, we read and discussed "The Attitude Patrol: A Lesson About the Importance of Positive Thinking," from the book More Lively Lessons for Classroom Sessions, by Rosanne Sheritz Sartori.  If you click on the link to the book you can view it, as well as, a sample of the lesson I read today. Next, we brainstormed positive things the kids could say to themselves right before taking a test.  They came up with a great list (I can do it, be positive, I'm smart, I'm going to get an A+, all I need to do is try my best, relax).

Finally, we made "Thinking Caps."  Below is a picture.  They folded the large size construction paper into a paper hat and then decorated them with thought bubbles that included our positive brainstorms.  I also brought in lots of stickers they could use to decorate.  At the end of the lesson, the teacher collected them and agreed to pass them back out for their next test.  I truely believe that having their positive thought thinking caps on will help to improve their confidence and scores, hopefully!! :)

Please excuse the seal. He was just my model!  The kids LOVED these hats. I'd love to hear about other creative ideas you have for helping my 3rd graders with test anxiety.

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