In April students in grades 3-6 take the state test called the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs). We will be administering our Science MCA for our 5th grade and 8th grade students on April 10th and the Math and Reading tests April 17-27. You play an important part in helping students give their best performance on this important test.
2017-2018 MCA testing schedule:
As you know, we have been busy preparing and reinforcing the skills necessary for students to demonstrate their learning. Even though this assessment is a snapshot—one single perspective – it is important that our students have every advantage to do their very best. We don’t want to cause test anxiety, rather we want our students to be as prepared as possible. There are many ways in which you can help your child. The following guidelines can help set our students up for success:
Throughout the year:
1. Read to/with your child and make time to discuss what you’ve read.
2. Encourage reading daily.
3. Know what kind of homework teachers expect and make sure your child completes it.
4. Provide a regular, quiet place for your child to read or complete homework.
5. Set high expectations for grades and attendance.
6. Take an active interest in what your child is doing in school. What is he or she learning? Parents who communicate daily about what their children are learning build a strong foundation to demonstrate that learning on tests.
7. During the weeks leading up to the test, begin to talk with your child about doing his or her best. You know your child better than anyone. Emphasize the importance of the test, but remember to build confidence, not anxiety.
The night before the test:
1. Make sure your child goes to bed on time so he or she is well-rested.
2. Keep your routine as normal as possible. Upsetting natural routines may make children feel insecure.
3. Be positive and confident in the fact that you know your child will do his/her best.
4. Plan ahead to avoid conflicts on the morning of the test.
The morning of the test:
1. Get up a few minutes early to avoid rushing and make sure your child arrives at school on time.
2. Eat a nutritious breakfast. There is a strong connection between eating breakfast and memory and cognitive functioning.
3. Be positive and communicate that this is your child’s chance to show what he/she knows. The most important thing you can do right before the test is to build confidence about doing his/her very best.
After the test:
1. Talk to your child about his/her feelings about the test.
2. Discuss what was easy and what was hard; discuss what your child learned from the test.
3. Explain that performance on a test does not define him or her as a person. It is just one opportunity to demonstrate learning.
Thank you for your continued support and involvement in your child’s education. Together we can make a difference!