As of November 13, the New Jersey Department of Education released the NJ ASK results for the 2012-2013 school year. The State’s press release explains that this year, many of these assessments have been aligned to the Common Core State Standards (in grades 3-8 for ELA and in grades 3-5 for math). Next year, ELA and math will be Common Core-aligned in both subject areas for grades 3-8. The good news is that New Jersey, typically a top-performing state in these assessments, has shown a strong performance yet again. In “The Nation’s Report Card”, a comparison of states across the country (performed by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP)…Continue reading →
It’s that time of the year again. Teachers are gearing up for testing, and students begin hearing the phrase “NJ ASK” on an almost daily basis as March and April roll around. As a parent, how can you help support the preparation your child receives in the classroom? Below are a few ideas to get you started:
Structure your routines at home to support test success.
First, find out the test dates. Then, make every effort to structure your child’s environment in the upcoming weeks to support adequate sleep, a healthful diet, and stress reduction. When children are younger, you can make sure that your child goes to bed at a decent time. As children get older and become more independent, introduce quiet activities later in the evening, and encourage homework completion either after school or immediately following dinner. Strive to prepare nutritious meals and snacks (especially breakfast), as this can play an integral part in giving your child the mental acuity and energy he or she needs…
My daughter began flipping through one of my New Jersey ASK review workbooks. She asked, “When is the NJ ASK test?”
When I told her the date, she moaned, “Oh, no! It’s almost here! I hate it!”
Upon further questioning, I learned the root of her anxiety: “It’s so stressful, and it’s all the teachers talk about!”
I began to wonder, as a parent and teacher, if other children find the test as stressful and anxiety-inducing as my daughter does. I found that I was not the only one who has noticed the growing phenomenon of standardized test anxiety. In fact, some researchers have identified a stress gene that may explain why some people experience more anxiety on standardized tests than others. In addition to scientific research, there are countless anecdotes from parents and teachers who have expressed feelings of frustration in how best to help their children relax before a high-stakes test.Continue reading →