At the morning's Knowledge Café, Director of Student Success Katie Fraser and Director of Health, Safety and Wellness Francie Marchand shared perspectives, advice, and tools to help parents manage stress and support their children's success through exams and summatives. It's safe to say that everyone felt more relaxed by the end of the session!

The hour-long presentation began by putting end-of-year evaluations in context and reviewing the exam schedule.  Ms. Fraser explained what is being done by the school to prepare students for exams and summatives and then provided specific recommendations and tools that parents could access to support their children:

Creating an environment for learning

  • Create a clean, uncluttered workspace stocked with study supplies like cue cards, sticky notes, coloured pens and highlighters
  • Provide noise-cancelling headphones, white noise or earplugs
  • Get a visual timer (not on a phone) to cue study and break times with the Pomodoro method

Model a work-time "vibe"

  • Establish a schedule for studying at home
  • Model-focused work and minimize distractions by reading or doing your own quiet work during study times

Manage Distractions from technology

  • Create a "focus mode" on your iPhone and your computer
  • Install the Self Control app to block distracting content on your computer

Facilitate the use of study resources

  • Online flashcards and study support resources are key to helping students not just consolidate but also learn to retrieve the information they have learned.
  • Two proven apps are Anki app and Quizlet
  • Other resources include TeachersPayTeachers templates and quizzes, past exams available on Schoology (or from the teacher) and Kahoots

Direct them to other resources when they are stuck

  • When children come to parents for help getting unstuck, these online resources can be helpful:

Ms. Marchand rounded the session out with helpful information for understanding exam stress and anxiety and its effects, and insightful tips for managing it.  The complete presentation is available here.

Thanks to all who attended and best of luck for a successful end to the year!