Browsing From the Desk of Mr. Hamilton

Week of March 5

Mar 5, 2018

Letter from Mr. Hamilton

   Beginning March 7th through March 23rd, our 3rd, 5th, and 7th graders will be taking the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills. Please try to avoid making a dentist or doctor appointment during these weeks. The ITBS are backed by a tradition of nearly 80 years of educational research and test development expertise. From spelling quizzes to college entrance exams, tests are part of school life. Many students can handle the pressure of these tests, but some seem to get a case of the jitters. As a result, some tests may not accurately measure the child’s true knowledge and ability.

   Fortunately there are ways to help children relax and work “smarter” on tests. Our teachers teach test taking strategies, but parents may be able to provide ever more help. Here are some practical ways from The Parent Institute in which you can help your child perform better on tests.

  • There are specific skills involved in taking tests that others have learned – and your child can learn them too. Some individuals are naturally good at basketball, while others need to learn the skill. The same is true about taking tests. If you don’t have test taking skills, don’t worry. You can learn them.
  • Good test scores aren’t everything. Make sure your child knows how important attendance, attitude, homework, and daily grades are. Test scores are just part of the grade.
  • One test score, good or bad, is just one test score. If most of your child’s grades show she understands a subject, one low test score won’t be a disaster.
  • Make sure your child knows you love him no matter what. He should know that you expect him to do his best, but that doesn’t mean he has to be the best on every test. No matter what his test grades, your love is unconditional.
  • Remind your child to listen and follow all directions. Before giving a test, teachers tell every student things they need to know and that can make the difference between a good score and a bad score.
  • Give your child practice in following directions. Make a game of it. Give a recipe and ask your child to follow it. Or ask her to look through a newspaper article and circle all the nouns.
  • Make sure your child is physically ready to take the test. Aside from studying, the next best preparation is a good night’s sleep before the test. Make sure he eats a good breakfast. Encourage him to wear a sweatshirt that he can remove. There’s nothing worse than being too hot or too cold.

All the best,

Mr. Hamilton



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