The STAAR test is on the horizon, and we want every child to shine! No matter their learning style, with a little prep and the right approach, test day can be a triumph. Here are some tips and recommendations, with special ADHD-friendly adaptations sprinkled in to help every child conquer the STAAR:
1. Know Your Enemy (the Test, That Is):
Familiarity is power! Explore the STAAR format, content areas, and scoring system together. The Texas Education Agency website has tons of resources, including practice tests and sample questions.
ADHD Bridge to Brilliance: Break down these resources into smaller chunks, use audiobooks or videos to supplement written materials, and encourage fidgeting during information sessions.
2. Create a Champion Training Camp:
Establish a regular study routine, but keep it flexible and engaging for your ADHD child. Let them choose a dedicated space with minimal distractions, and decorate it with their favorite colors and motivational quotes.
ADHD Bridge to Brilliance: Incorporate movement breaks every 15-20 minutes, allow use of fidget toys or a wobble cushion, and consider shorter, more frequent study sessions.
3. Focus on the Fundamentals:
Strong core skills are key, but learning can be messy for ADHD brains. Brush up on reading comprehension, math problem-solving, and critical thinking through interactive activities and games. Think educational apps, building models, or role-playing historical events.
ADHD Bridge to Brilliance: Use timers to structure tasks, offer clear and concise instructions, and break down complex concepts into smaller, step-by-step challenges.
4. Embrace the Power of Play:
Learning doesn’t have to be confined to textbooks. Let your child explore concepts through hands-on, movement-based activities. Think building forts in science, creating timelines with yarn in history, or acting out scenes in language arts.
ADHD Bridge to Brilliance: Allow physical activity breaks during study sessions, encourage outdoor play before study time, and consider incorporating kinesthetic learning tools like manipulatives or movement-based learning apps.
5. Prioritize Sleep and Well-being:
A well-rested and healthy child is a focused and capable learner. Ensure your child gets enough sleep, eats nutritious meals, and takes breaks during study sessions. Encourage relaxation techniques like deep breathing or guided meditation to manage stress and anxiety.
ADHD Bridge to Brilliance: Establish a consistent sleep schedule, create a calming bedtime routine, and consider talking to a doctor about sleep aids if needed.
6. Be a Cheerleader, Not a Drill Sergeant:
Your child needs your encouragement and support, not pressure or criticism. Avoid creating a stressful environment around the test. Instead, focus on their effort, celebrate their progress, and remind them that their worth is not defined by a single test score.
ADHD Bridge to Brilliance: Offer positive reinforcement for completing tasks, be patient with distractions and forgetfulness, and remember that progress, not perfection, is the goal.
Check out the Texas STAAR Success website for additional resources, practice tests, and tips specifically tailored to different grade levels and subjects. Remember, there are accommodations available for students with ADHD – talk to your child’s teacher or an education specialist to learn more.
Let’s turn STAAR day into a day of celebration for ALL kids! With a little planning and positive vibes, every child can show the test who’s boss, including your amazing ADHD warriors!
Remember, we’re here to help anytime you have questions or need further support with the STAAR test. Contact us now.