Remember WASL (Washington Assessment of Student Learning) test? The new test for Washington state students in grades 3-8 is the Measurements of Student Progress (MSP) test. The name of the MSP conveys the goal of the test: to measure student progress. The testing window this year is May 2-19, 2011.
Last year I presented my Mission: Possible assembly to kick off the MSP testing for Kirkwood Elementary in Toppenish. Although my program is normally presented as a bully prevention program, it was originally designed as a positive attitude and motivational program. I made some changes and additions to make it relevent to doing your best on testing and received a lot of positive responses from students (of course!) and teachers and staff.
“Your assembly was a HUGE success and a GREAT way to help motivate our kids to do their best on their upcoming MSP testing. Your content was perfect and memorable for all our schools ages. Thanks again and we look forward to next year.”
-Kara Supnet, Kirkwood Elementary PTO
I’m returning next week to Kirkwood with my Science Magic program again to get kids motivated for the MSP Testing.
In doing research for my assembly I found a lot of useful tips for helping children focus at school. Here are a few that are easy to implement, and they’re NOT just for kids. Following these three tips is a formula for success for adults, too!
Set a Decent Bedtime and Make it a Habit
Look at the way pro athletes prepare to compete and the way that they take care of their bodies. They get a good night’s rest, and it’s a recipe for YOU to do your best, too. Proper rest helps you focus the next day. The National Institute of Health recommends that children and adolescents get at least nine hours of sleep each night. In addition to not being able to focus well, sleep-deprived kids are more prone to accidents and behavior problems in school.
Eat Nutritious and Healthy Meals
You’ve heard it before, and it’s true – breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s the fuel that gets you going. It literally means “break the fast”, and if you skip breakfast you’ll pay for it later on.
Fruit, eggs, whole grain toast, oatmeal, and low-sugar cereal are examples of healthy breakfast foods that will help increase focus at school. And good nutrition doesn’t end with a healthy breakfast. Students need good nutrition all day in order to focus better at school. Pack healthy lunches. If you eat the school lunch, teach them how to choose healthy foods.
Likewise, having a healthy after school snack and dinner are also an important part of increasing a child’s focus at school.
Engage in Regular Exercise
A research article in a journal published by the American College of Sports Medicine listed regular physical activity as a factor in improving academic achievement. Additionally, various research studies have shown correlations between regular exercise and decreases in anxiety, depression, and ADHD symptoms.
The President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports reports that regular exercise is a factor in immune health. Children who exercise regularly have fewer colds and upper respiratory infections. Regular exercise can be as simpel as walking to and form school if the schools is a moderate distance and there is a safe route.
Encourage your kids to skate or ride a bike instead of being driven to local places when there are safe routes. Encourage physical activity by inviting the whole family to play games like touch football land tag. Let your child discover a sport that they enjoy and encourage them to participate.
Sports are not only great exercise, but can encourage kids to grow in communication and interacting with others. Sports are an important part of my life. I’ve met a lot of my best friends through various activities. If I don’t get to do something physical at least once every few days I stary to feel tired and complacent.
Speaking of which, I need to take a break from the computer right now! It’s time for a small healthy snack (sliced apple in the kitchen) and then off to bed for a good night’s sleep 🙂