‹ Back to List

Alleviate stress for students during testing season

There’s so much riding on the results of school standardized tests – student performance, teacher pay and school letter grades – students often feel the pressure to perform. As we head into testing season, use these tips to help your students relieve stress, tension and anxiety over testing.

At the Good Teaching Conference, Dr. Lori Desautels, Ph.D., undergraduate and graduate assistant professor at Butler University, shared practical ways you can help release stress and refocus the minds of your students.

  • Keep snacks readily available and accessible for kids. It’s hard to focus on an empty, rumbling stomach. Feed the body, feed the mind.
  • Use sensory objects to release the urge to fidget. She likes to have tubs of uncooked rice and beans in the classroom for kids to run their hands through. Dr. Desautels also uses a two-sided sequin pillow that allows kids to doodle and make designs.
  • Lead kids in exercises to gently tap key sensory areas, like the temples, above the eyebrows and forehead to ease tension. Pictured above.
  • Keep lotion in your classroom for hand massages. Kids can massage their hands putting light pressure on the base of their thumbs and use circling motions to release tension from typing or holding a pencil.
  • Embrace quiet time or guided meditation to calm the nerves and mind.

Dr. Desautels previously taught elementary school and worked as a school counselor. Her current research centers on preparing the mind for learning, especially in students who have faced trauma. 

Check out our Pinterest board for more ideas on how to destress testing.

For more information on the new ILEARN standardized test, read the Advocate article from the Indiana Department of Education.