Parents
Earth Science is the first High School Regents level course (along with math for some students) your child has taken.
As such it can be very daunting and sometimes overwhelming for your child. Please be a supportive and active participant in their learning process. An over-emphasis on grades can increase the stress levels of your child and be counter productive.

Click here to read an article on how to maintain your "cool"


Text below from http://testtakingtips.com
- Make sure that your child does all their homework and reading assignments, this will help make sure your child is prepared for the test.
- Encourage your child to space out their studying and homework assignments so that they won't be forced to cram on the night before the test.
- If you are anxious about your child's test, it's ok but try to keep cool around your child, you don't want them to get anxious about their tests too.
- Encourage your child to do well but don't pressure him/her. You may stress him/her out. It is important for your child to stay relaxed for the test.
- Keep a positive attitude about tests.
- Provide a quiet, well lighted area with little distractions to help your child study efficiently.
- Mark down test days on your calendar [use the calendar on JupiterGrades] so you and your child are both aware of testing dates.
- Make sure that your child gets enough sleep on the night before the test.
- Ensure that your child eats a healthy breakfast and avoid heavy foods that may make him/her groggy and avoid high sugar foods that may make him/her hyper.
- Make sure that your child gets up early enough so that he/she will be on time to school.
- Let your child relax for a few hours before bedtime, it can be stressful for a child to study all night.
- Talking about the test with your child can relieve stress about test taking.
- If your child is struggling on their tests, talk to them about it and meet with their teacher to find out the best way to help your child.
- Praise/reward your child when they do well on a test or for their hard work preparing for a test.
- Encourage them to do better if they don't do well.
- Review the test with your child after they have taken it and go over any mistakes they have made and make sure that they understand what they did wrong and how they can improve for the next test.


These tips for parents were developed by NYSUT member Peter Faustino, a school psychologist and member of the Bedford Teachers Association; and NYSUT member Tom Kulaga, a school psychologist and member of the Marlboro Faculty Association; and distributed by NYSUT online.

Test anxiety is common among students. It can be worsened by an over-emphasis on test stakes, consequences or grades. It’s important for you to reassure your children that no single test or grade defines who they are. Keep the focus on learning, not testing. Typically, when a child is anxious, telling him/ her to “just relax” isn’t enough. Here are some mental and physical techniques you can practice with your child to combat test anxiety:

TEACH YOUR CHILD TO: SELF TALK IN A CONSTRUCTIVE WAY
Attitudes and beliefs help determine how we react. One way to combat anxiety is through what is called “self-talk.”
It is essential to avoid use of negative cue words or negative self-talk and to concentrate on more positive phrases.
Irrational beliefs (beliefs not based on the facts or reality) contribute to strong emotional reactions and negative behaviors.
Negative self-talk before and during tests can cause students to lose confidence and give up on tests.
Silently shouting “Stop!” or “Stop thinking about that,” interrupts negative self-talk and the worry response before it can cause high anxiety.
After eliminating the negative thoughts, immediately replace them with positive self-talk or relaxation.
Positive self-talk can build confidence and decrease test anxiety.
Negative: “No matter what I do, I will not pass this test,” becomes:
Positive: “I studied all of the material, I will do fine on this test.”
Negative: “I am no good at math, so why should I try?” becomes:
Positive: “I’ve worked hard and I will try my best on this test.”

TEACH YOUR CHILD TO: RELEASE MUSCLE TENSION
1. Put your feet flat on the floor.
2. With your hands, grab underneath the chair.
3. Push down with your feet and pull up on your chair at the same time for about five seconds.
4. Relax for five to 10 seconds.
5. Repeat the procedure two or three times.
6. Relax all your muscles except for the ones that are actually used to take the test.

TEACH YOUR CHILD TO: VISUALIZE A CALMING SCENE
1. Close and cover your eyes using the center of the palms of your hands.
2. Prevent your hands from touching your eyes by resting the lower parts of your palms on your cheekbones and placing your fingers on your forehead. Your eyeballs must not be touched, rubbed or handled.
3. Think of some real or imaginary relaxing scene. Mentally visualize this scene. Picture it as if you were actually there.
4. Visualize this scene for one to two minutes.

TEACH YOUR CHILD TO: RELAX THROUGH DEEP BREATHING
1. Sit straight up in a chair in a good posture position.
2. Slowly inhale through the nose. [breath in to a count of 7 using the stomach to pull the air all the way into the body]
3. First fill the lower section of the lungs and work up to the upper part of your lungs.
4. Breathe out through your mouth. [breath out to a count of 11 using the stomach to push all the air out of the body]

TEACH YOUR CHILD TO: PRACTICE LONG TERM RELAXATION
An effective long-term relaxation technique is cue-controlled relaxation response. This involves the repetition of cue words, such as: “I am relaxed,” “I can get through this,” or “Tests don’t scare me.”