5 Test Tips for Healthy Scores
Testing season is upon us. Students around the country are sharpening their No. 2 pencils and showing off all the great knowledge they have learned throughout the year. As we ask our students to recall facts, pinpoint locations on maps, and solve equations, we can continue to support their success by encouraging a handful of healthy practices that may boost their performance come test time.
A study by Active Living Research shows that after 20 minutes of physical activity, students tested better in reading, spelling and math. And we have anecdotal evidence from school leaders across the country claiming similar results when focusing on nutrition during breakfast, lunch and snack time. Take some tips from our School Health Experts, and focus on health to help your students perform at their best.
Share These #TestTips with Your Students
1. Encourage Students to Get Plenty of Sleep the Night before Testing
Sleep is a critical component of learning and retention. A lack of sleep limits our ability to concentrate and problem solve as well as impairs our memory. Remind your students that after they learn their lessons, it’s important to get adequate sleep before test time.
2. Make Sure Students Eat a Healthy Breakfast Rich in Low-fat Protein
Breakfast is associated with increased cognitive speed and memory – two things that are quite handy when test taking. Whether at home or as part of your school’s breakfast program, make sure a healthy breakfast is built into your child’s test day.
3. Schedule 20 Minutes of Physical Activity before Testing
According to Active Living Research’s Active Education: Growing Evidence on Physical Activity and Academic Performance, “Immediately after just one session of physical activity, children can increase their attention and memory.” Try our Fit for a Healthier Generation video collection for quick activity bursts to engage your students before testing.
4. Help Them Stay Energized with a Healthy Lunch
The meals students consume before and during test time can provide them with the nutrients they need to be fully attentive during test mode. Make sure the cafeteria is supporting the classroom all year round, and especially during test season.
5. Smart Minds Choose Smart Snacks
The snacks students eat between tests can give them the nutritious boosts of energy they need to keep their minds agile as they shift mentally from subject to subject. Find smart snacks for your school.
Boosting Performance Year Round
Namaste Charter School earned our National Healthy Schools Gold Award in 2014. The school’s emphasis on building healthy minds and bodies is rewarded by its students’ high performance scores in the classroom.
At its core, Namaste is a school focused on giving its students everything they need to reach their greatest potential. Namaste Founder and Executive Director Allison Slade measures her success by how well her students perform and she has data to show that a healthy learning environment leads to academic success.
Every year since Namaste opened, it has outperformed its comparison school in the Chicago Public School District. “Chicago Public Schools maps where the kids would have gone to school if they were not at a charter school and uses a weighted average of the scores at those schools to compare with our students’ scores. Every year we have outperformed our comparison school in reading, math, and science by over 10 percentage points in the state of Illinois!” explains Slade. “We also have a very low suspension rate and an almost non-existent expulsion rate. And in a city where kids are really struggling to stay in school, that’s something to be really proud of.”