Spring has arrived, which means we’re already nearing the end of another school year in Arizona. It’s time again to measure what students have learned and whether they are on track and prepared for the next step in their education.
Since many students have been learning remotely for much of the school year, the transition back to in-person learning can be challenging. As kids head back to the classroom, here are some ways parents can provide support.
1. Adjust sleep schedules
Kids in virtual or remote classrooms might be too comfortable rolling out of bed and turning on the computer, which will become problematic upon a return to waking up early to eat, dress and drive to school. Start a routine as soon as possible to get schedules back on track.
2. Talk to Your Child’s Teacher
Teachers are an excellent resource for details about the skills your child has been working on this school year and what support you can give your child at home to help him prepare for the test. This has been a challenging year for everyone, and teachers and families are doing their best. Whether your kids are learning remotely, online or in-person, stay in touch with their teachers and keep an eye on your child’s schoolwork. Ask your child’s teacher how they are doing and what they may need to improve upon.
3. Reinforce Critical-Thinking Skills
Your child has been preparing for this test since the school year began. All of the projects, assignments and discussions have reinforced critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. However, you can reinforce those skills at home by reading with your child and asking her to talk about the central idea or theme of book or article. Ask her to explain something she has written. Have her explain the steps she took to solve a math problem.
4. Practice at Home
You can support your child by learning about the skills being assessed, as well as what sample test questions might look like and talking with them about it. If your child will be taking the test on a computer, it would useful to go through an online practice test to become more familiar with the content, types of questions, and the user interface that they will use to take the test.
5. Keep Track of Test Days
Check with your school or child’s teacher for testing dates, times, and other specific test administration information. If you know when the tests are coming, you can make sure other activities are kept to a minimum. Ensure school takes priority over practices and appointments.
6. Don’t Stress
Children watch everything you do and absorb everything you say. Negative outlooks about testing or school will rub off on them and set them on the wrong foot. By keeping your own stress levels down, you can help them succeed. Try to emphasize to your child that they don’t have to be perfect, and that you’ll support her no matter what.
Remember, AzM2 and other standardized tests are not the finish line. They simply serve as check points along every child’s educational journey. With very few exceptions, test results should be used to determine areas of strength and weakness so students can monitor and adjust. Set goals for any skills that need work and celebrate when your child reaches each goal.
To learn more about the test and what your child needs to know to be successful, visit ExpectMoreArizona.org/AzM2.