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Test Anxiety In Elementary Students

Test Anxiety In Elementary Students Causes And Solutions ACEI Conference: March 18-21, 2009 Presentation by: Karen Sovesky * What is it? Unpleasant emotion that reflects distress or apprehension of some type * Can be caused by: • Having too much

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Test Anxiety In Elementary Students

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  1. Test Anxiety In Elementary Students Causes And Solutions

  2. ACEI Conference: March 18-21, 2009 Presentation by: Karen Sovesky

  3. * What is it? Unpleasant emotion that reflects distress or apprehension of some type * Can be caused by: • Having too much information that one cannot process fully • Not having enough information that makes one feel helpless Test Anxiety

  4. Trait Students preconceived idea of the test State Anxiety experienced during the test Types of Test Anxiety

  5. Trait Test Anxiety * The student that enters the test situation with trait anxiety may have the greatest fear of the test before they take it. * These students feel threatened by the test even before they begin to experience it.

  6. State Test Anxiety * The student that exhibits the state test anxiety usually just experiences this degree of anxiety during the assessment period itself. * It has been suggested that this type of anxiety may be a case of “stage fright.”

  7. Possible Causes of Anxiety Family Issues * Divorce * Illness of a family member * Financial difficulties * Abusive Relationship * Poor physical living environment * Death of family member

  8. Other Stressors School Environment * Poor relationship with the teacher * Lack of a support group of friends * Embarrassed about the clothing they wear * Poor study habits * Lack of coping strategies

  9. Physical Issues * Lack of sleep * Eating improperly * Physical ailments • Headaches • Stomachaches

  10. Testing Environment * Too hot or cold in the testing environment * Distractions •Too noisy •Weather conditions * Lunchtime is approaching * Time factor * Lack of proper writing implements

  11. Where Does Fear Resonate in the Body? In the AMYGDALA

  12. Amygdala: Emotional Memories of Fear

  13. Amygdala Routes

  14. Amygdala Bypass System * Sensory data fed to thalamus * Data sent to amygdala * Data also sent to cortex * Amygdala does quick threat assessment * Amygdala blocks ‘slow thinking’ * Unthinking response

  15. Two Pathways of Fear * External stimulus reaches the amygdala in two different ways. • By a short, fast, imprecise route from the thalamus • By a long, slow, precise route from the cortex

  16. Explanation * Thalamus Route • Prepares us for danger immediately • Could mean the difference between life and death * Cortex • Adjusts the information to make sense of any reactions

  17. Central Nucleus of the Amygdala * Triggers physical aspects of anxiety • Physiological responses Faster heart rate Faster breathing Dilated pupils Release of adrenaline

  18. Possible Solutions to Test Anxiety

  19. Mindset for Success This is the positive perception the student may hold as he enters the test situation. * Practice a positive attitude toward the test * Do not verbalize or internalize negative self-statements

  20. Coping Strategies for the Student

  21. Teacher Assistance * Discover the qualities that makes the student unique * Study the student’s stress triggers and try to help him adjust to the stressors

  22. Alter Assessment Procedure * Incorporate a variety of assessment methods (Group Projects) * Enable the students to write a “cheat sheet’ for the test to help organize their thoughts

  23. Classroom Environment Checked by Teacher * Check: • Room temperature • Lighting • Distractions • Pencils • Any questions from students

  24. Getting into the “Testing Zone” * Relaxation Exercises * Aromatherapy * Listen to music * Sit in a calming area

  25. Quote from Franklin D. Roosevelt “Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is FEAR itself.

  26. If the test looks so frightening,

  27. Tame your fears, and triumph over the BEAST!

  28. Congratulations! You have won the race!

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  34. Paul, G., Elam, B. & Verhulst, S. (2007). A longitudinal study of students’ Perceptions of using deep breathing meditation to reduce testing stresses. Teaching & learning in medicine, 19(3), 287-292. • Putwain, D. (2008). Do examinations stakes moderate the test anxiety- Examination performance relationship? Educational psychology, 28(2), 109-118. • Rachal, K., Daigle, S. & Rachal, W. (2007). Learning problems reported by College students: are they using learning strategies? Journal of Instructional psychology, 34(4), 191-199. • Robinson, S., Sunram-Lea, S., Leach, J. & Owen-Lynch, P. (2008). The effects of exposure to an acute naturalistic stressor on working memory, state anxiety and salivary cortisol concentrations. Stress: The International Journal on the Biology of Stress, 11(2), 115-124.

  35. Rodger, S., Murray, H. & Cummings, A. (2007). Effects of teacher clarity and student anxiety on student outcomes. Teaching in Higher Education, 12(1), 91-104. • Schachter, R. (2007). Enhancing performance on the scholastic aptitude test for test-anxious high school students. Biofeedback, 35(3), 105-109. • Skybo, T. & Buck, J. (2007). Stress and coping responses to proficiency testing in school-age children. Pediatric Nursing, 33(5), 410-418. • Thomas, C. & Gadbois, S. (2007). Academic self-handicapping: The role of self- concept clarity and students’ learning strategies. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 77(1), 101-119. • Tomlinson, C. (2008). Learning to love assessment. Educational Leadership, 65(4), 8-13.

  36. Tyler, S., Allison, K. & Winsler, A. (2006). Child neglect: developmental Consequences intervention, and policy implications. Child & youth care Forum., 35(1), 1-20. • Wilde, J. (2008). Rational-emotive behavioral interventions for children with Anxiety problems. Journal of cognitive & behavioral psychotherapies, 8(1), 133-141. Websites http://changingminds.org/explanations/brain/amygdala_bypass.htm http://www.cns.nyu.edu/home/ledoux/overview.htm http://thebrain.mcgill.ca/flash/i/i_04/i_04_p/i_04_p_peu/i_04_p_peu.html http://thebrain.mcgill.ca/flash/i/i_04/i__04_cr/i_04_cr_peu/i_04_cr_peu.html http://thebrain.mcgill.ca/flash/i/i_04/i_04_cl/i_04_cl_peu/i_04_cl_peu.html http://thebrain.mcgill.ca/flash/a/a_04/a_04_p/a_04_p_peu/a_04_p_peu.html http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/f/franklin_d_roosevelt.html

  37. References for Images • (Screaming Man) retrieved on November 29, 2008 from http://images.drguerry.com/local/708/Emotions1.jpg • (Design) retrieved on November 29, 2008 from http://www.linochette.de/emotions.htm • (Young Man Frustrated )retrieved on November 29, 2008 from http://www.righthealth.com/Health/pictures_Of_Anxiety/-od-images-3-s • (Two-faced Woman) retrieved on November 29, 2008 from http://www.journeyofthemaiden.com/emotions.html • ( Dice) retrieved on November 29, 2008 from http://www.katrinabos.ca/Personal_Growth.html • (Drama Masks) retrieved on November 29,2008 from http://www.artscountry.com/Boris/Emotions.jpg

  38. (Family) retrieved on November 29, 2008 from http://www.fotosearch.com/UNY861/u10085342/ • (Pictures from the School Environment) retrieved on November 29, 2008 from http://www.school-clipart.com/ • (Girl Sleeping with Clock) retrieved on November 29, 2008 from http://www.fotosearch.com/photos-images/sleep.html • (Food Pyramid) retrieved on November 29, 2008 from http://www.prohealth.com/weightloss/library/showarticle.cfm?id=986&t=health&b1=W • (Woman with Headache) retrieved on November 29, 2008 from http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/mpapps/pagetools/print/news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3502545.stm • (Thermometer) retrieved on November 29, 2008 from http://www.fotosearch.com/photos-images/thermometers.html • (Lightning) retrieved on November 29, 2008 from http://search.live.com/images/results.aspx?q=Weather&form=MXCA00&kwid=0e3015cdb58c3265bba7fa8d321cfbbf#

  39. (Lunch Tray) retrieved on November 29, 2008 from http://search.live.com/images/results.aspx?q=School&form=MXCA00&kwid=586a994713a8046822630f7994b34c82# • (Hourglass,CD,Guy, and Friends) retrieved on November 29, 2008 from http://search.live.com/images/results.aspx?q=Emotions&form=MXCA00&kwid=1e784f66f7fd840a6104b9d1ff7b152d# • (Amygdala) retrieved on November 29,2008 from http://www.ibiblio.org/rcip/images/Amygdala500_500.jpg • (Head) retrieved on November 29, 2008 from http://waa.uwalumni.com/onwisconsin/fall01/emotional1.html • (Happy Face) retrieved on November 29, 2008 from Http://www.nrc.nl/W2/Lab/Housekunst/inhoud.html • (Teacher & Student and Group Project) retrieved on November 29, 2008 from http://www.ask.com/web?q=pictures+of+teachers+and+students&search=&qsrc=0&o=0&1=dir • (Pen) retrieved on November 29, 2008 from http://classroomclipart.com/egi-bin/kids/imageFolio.cgi?action=view&link=Icons&image=pen.jpg&img=&tt=

  40. (Empty classroom) retrieved on November 29, 2008 from http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images?_adv_prop=image&ni=20&va=school+classrooms&fr=yfp-t-814&xargs=0&pstart=1&b=61 • (Exercise) retrieved on November 29, 2008 from http://search.live.com/images/results.aspx?q=Exercise&form=MXCA00&kwid=b58eaa3e9effb3edafe8167f9647993a# • (Baby and Flower) retrieved on November 29, 2008 from http://www.fotosearch.com/photos-images/nose.html • (Music) retrieved on November 29, 2008 from http://photobucket.com/images/images/music/ • (Children in Calming Area) retrieved on November 29, 2008 from http://www.ask.com/web?q=pictures+of+school+classroom&qsrc=0&o=0&1=dir • (Cat and Dog) retrieved on November 29, 2008 from http://www.pusscats.com/Kitten_Pictures.htm • (Trophy) retrieved on November 29, 2008 from http://www.ask.com/web?q=pictures+of+trophies&qsrc=0&o=0&1=dir

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