State Testing and a letter of encouragement

State Testing CCSS SBAC is starting next week for our area. This semester, my son's fourth grade teacher has asked that I write him a letter of encouragement.  She gave us a few weeks notice. I have, in the past few days, written a few handwritten notes of encouragement. Then, I would wake up the next day realizing that it was not loving enough and second guessing myself. This task has been a little hard for me. CCSS SBAC
Then, the final email reminder came from the teacher. It read as follow: "This is just a friendly reminder to please send a letter of encouragement to your student to be opened this coming Monday, May 1. Students will be given the letters prior to taking their first test."  Oh my goodness, I have to get it done!!! So, I put on my big girl pants and re-wrote the letter for the 5th time. This time, I made it classroom friendly and left out lots of the I love you's and all the mushy stuff I had written before. The letter went something like this: 
positive encouragement
Dear Son,
I am so proud of you. You have shown great growth this year. I see your hard work every Friday when I get your completed assignments. I couldn't be more proud of your great listening skills and kind personality. You are a bright boy with lots of patience and amazing reading skills. I believe in you. Soon you will be taking a state test in your classroom. Please do not be nervous because you have prepared for it and you are ready. Do not worry about the score because no matter what happens you will still be a great kid who is smart and compassionate. 
Remember that Dad and I love you to the moon and back and then some more. 

tips and prep
State testing starts next week and my hope is that my son does not stress over it. The teacher has been instrumental in giving us tips on how to help our child get through this period. Here is a few of her tips:
1.) Before the test make sure your child sleeps well and is rested. 
2.) Student should have a well balanced breakfast.
3.) Encourage your child to read each question on the test carefully.
4.) Visit CCSS SBAC parent guide:http://www.smarterbalanced.org/parents/
5.) R.A.C.E. is an an acronym for a simple writing strategy that can help students construct more thoughtful and thorough responses. This strategy can be modified to fit all grade levels and with a few modifications can also be used in mathematics.

Here’s how to help your students win at writing!

RESTATE – Students restate the question in the form of a topic sentence.

ANSWER – Students answer ALL parts of the question.

CITE – Students cite examples from the text that support their answer.

EXPLAIN – Students explain how their evidence supports their answer or connects to another text.

6.) Websites to help review: 

7.) Offer words of encouragement before you drop them off at school. 

I wrote this post with the intend to help other parents. Send me a note if you find this helpful. 

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. All thoughts and ideas are all my own. 

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