Home >> A Issues >> Fittobetaught >> Fit To Be Taught:Taking Tests and Feeling Great!

Search form


Home > School Issues Channel > Fit To Be Taught Archive > Fit To Be Taught, Vol. 59


Fit To Be Taught, Vol. 59

Taking Tests and Feeling Great!

A little stress over tests can keep kids on their toes, but too much will knock them off their feet. So, taking a page from the athletic department's playbook, schools are using the popular pep rally to get students excited and motivated to do their best on standardized tests. Even teachers report that the chance to "let their hair down" and put aside the pressure to perform is a welcome break that makes a lasting impression on them as well as the students as they face one of the school year's biggest challenges.

"It's like pepping up a sports team for the big game, but in this case the big game is the Connecticut Mastery Test, and the players are all of the students," Dwight Sharpe observed.

He is co-advisor of the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) and a math teacher at Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Middletown, Connecticut, where a "pep rally" to motivate students for the CMT was first introduced IN 2007. NJHS members organize all of the pep rallies, including this one, and develop ideas for activities, make posters, sell tickets, and "pump up" the student body to attend.

Many teachers got involved in the CMT pep rally, with 14 agreeing to be "pied" in the face during the pie-throwing contest, but Sharpe was the lucky educator who became literally taped to a wall. A drill team performed, and speakers from the community and high school athletes encouraged the students to do their best. In addition to building enthusiasm for the exam, the rally raised money for the American Cancer Society, which is the organization that the NJHS chose to support this year.

"I did find the pep rally to be a motivating boost for the students," Sharpe told Education World. "I think the excitement does take some of the stress off, but at the same time, I think that some stress is important for these students to feel. If they didn't feel any stress, that would worry me. Stress means that you care about your success."

Read the full article on Education World


Program Connects Cooking, Academics

Cooking with Kids is a unique program in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which teaches hands-on food preparation skills that are integrated with academic subjects and connected to school cafeteria meals. Cooking with Kids bilingual (Spanish/English) curriculum is an innovative model of interdisciplinary teaching and learning, with age-appropriate lessons for grades K-1, 2-3, and 4-6. The curriculum supports USDA dietary guidelines and is aligned with New Mexico State Department of Education Academic Standards and National Health Education Standards. Classroom recipes are adapted for school foodservice programs and served about twice each month as school lunches in all 21 Santa Fe elementary schools.

Cooking with Kids purpose is to improve childrens nutrition by engaging public school students in hands-on learning with fresh, affordable foods from diverse cultures. Cooking with Kids objectives are that children will: 1. Learn healthy food habits and acquire practical skills that will benefit themselves and their families; 2. Explore and accept a wide variety of healthful foods; and 3. Learn about people of different cultures, while they work cooperatively.

About 3,900 ethnically-diverse, low-income students in grades K-6 participate in Cooking with Kids. At least 50 percent of the students qualified for free or reduced-price school meals. The school population includes approximately 72 percent Hispanic students, 24 percent Caucasian, and about 4 percent Native American, Asian- and African American.

Read more about this program at: Cooking with Kids, a program of SFPIE.

Click to learn more about Action for Healthy Kids.

Wellness News
Proposal Would Ban Junk Food in State’s Schools Soda, french fries, and other junk food would disappear from Iowa schools next year under new rules the state’s Board of Education is considering to help children eat more healthfully.

School Weighs Breath Tests Before DancesBarrington, Rhode Island, school officials are mulling whether to require everyone to pass an alcohol breath test before attending school dances.

Education World®
Copyright © 2009 Education World