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EQAO? No Nerves, No Problem!

We are on the eve of the EQAO testing.  Grades 3, 6, and 9 students and teachers throughout our publicly-funded Ontario schools prepare for battle!  Final reviews of the Mathematics and Language curriculum take place during these final days in May, and the kids get ready for a temporary change in their daily routines.  They have heard about this test for many months, and now they want to show their stuff.  Let’s make sure these kids have NO NERVES about the EQAO!

EQAO results measure student achievement in mathematics, reading, and writing.  The results provide accountability and measure the quality of programming in Ontario schools.  This evidence about learning is intended to be a catalyst for increasing the success of Ontario students.

What can you do to help your child survive the EQAO, and to do his very best?

1)  Get rest before the testing starts!

2)  Eat well in the mornings, and provide necessary snacks.

3)  Hydrate!  Water bottles keep thirsty and hot kids hydrated and energized.  The past couple years have had crazy heat waves during the EQAO period, so pay attention to  your child’s hydration needs.

4)  Lend a portable table fan to classrooms without A/C.  My son’s classroom was a portable last year, and his grade 3 EQAO testing took place during a massive heat wave.  I know he can’t focus when he’s too hot!  He brought a table fan to help circulate air throughout the stuffy classroom.  I know this really helped!

5)  Schedule “down time” in your child’s week, so that she can relax every day.

6)  Put things in perspective.  This results of this test are used to see how the schools are doing, and are meant to improve teaching.  Educators see the results as a mere “snapshot” of a child’s progress in a specific area at a specific time.

7)  Downplay any pressure!  The kids are ready to take this test.  The EQAO tests are based on the curriculum, the very material that the kids have worked with every day.

8)  Student results are not used for report cards.  Students receive EQAO reports in the fall of the next school year.

There are many critics of the EQAO testing.  Many parents and educators disagree with the use and costs of standardized tests.  I feel that while the EQAO has its flaws, it does offer elementary school-aged children a new life experience:  TESTING!  These are the first of many big tests for which these kids will have to prepare, endure, and survive.  This is how one gets through his educational journey.  This is life!

Get rest, and eat and hydrate well!  Calm those nerves.  Best of luck on the EQAO!


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