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The biggest different between brick and mortar students and a student who schools entirely online is their classroom environment. Because of this, leaving home to head a testing facility for state assessments this time of year can be scary! Below are some tips to help make the transition:

  1. Check the location in advance. If at all possible, I encourage students to visit the testing venue. If an in-person visit it not possible, do a little research online. Google Maps can provide a feel for the facility and nearby places. Get a feel for the location you are heading to, so you’re not surprised when you arrive to test.
  2. Bring comforts from home. Determine some things you can bring from home to make yourself feel more comfortable. Are you always in a good mood when you wear your favorite pair of rainbow socks? If so, wear those! Are you most comfortable in a baggy sweatshirt? Make sure you wear that. Do you have a certain water bottle that you prefer? Pack that one!
  3. Dress in layers. Sometimes the hardest thing about a new environment is not knowing the temperature. If you dress in layers you’ll be better prepared for whatever climate you face
  4. Pack a snack. Most testing sites don’t necessarily allow food in the testing room. Grab an easy snack that you can eat during a break. If you aren’t allowed to have water in the testing area, make sure you find the drinking fountain beforehand so you know where to get your hydration!
  5. Be confident: Online students are FABULOUS at navigating new territory. Remember all the great things teachers, parents, and friends say about you. The test is not meant to cause stress, only assess the things you are learning in school. Don’t bring your nerves, just your confidence!

About The Author

Jo Bolick

Jo Marie Bolick is a math teacher for Insight School of Kansas (ISKS) and Kansas Virtual Academy (KSVA). She began working at ISKS in 2009 shortly after the birth of her first son and has taught a variety of math classes. Prior to ISKS, Jo Marie spent four years teaching 8th grade at Washburn Rural Middle School in Topeka, Kansas. She currently works with 7th and 8th graders and enjoys cultivating interest in mathematics in an online environment. Jo Marie graduated from Washburn University with a bachelor's degree in mathematics, specializing in secondary education, and she holds a master's degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Kansas. For Jo Marie, teaching online is the perfect fit. She was never good a choosing teacher clothes and decorating bulletin boards. Most of all she cherishes the opportunity to build relationships with students state-wide. Outside of teaching she enjoys running, gardening, and being outdoors with her husband and two sons.

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