conveys that end-of-grade tests provide
an opportunity for students to “show
off” everything they have learned and
accomplished so far.
During these lessons, it is helpful to
familiarize students with test-taking
vocabulary, such as compare, summarize, and solve. (In fact, schools can
proactively help students develop such
vocabulary if classroom word walls in
the primary grades include common
testing words and their definitions.)
Further lessons address testing formats,
giving students practice filling in bubble
sheets or aligning numbers on the
answer sheet. Last, students learn strat-
they are most proud of, the counselor
egies for keeping cool and confident
during tests, such as deep breathing,
positive thoughts, restorative breaks,
and visualization. In an informal survey
before classroom test-taking instruction
at Hilburn, 85 percent of 3rd grade
and school attendance and discipline
Kainz, K., & Vernon-Feagans, L. (2007).
students indicated nervousness related
to testing. After the instruction, only
25 percent indicated nervousness.
Providing students with an awareness
of the testing process and strategies
records documenting how student
behavior changes) (American School
Counselor Association, 2005).
A Continuum of Supports
The ecology of early reading development
for children in poverty. Elementary School
Journal, 107( 5), 407–427.
Linden Fee, L. (2008, September 30). How
to survive the transition into third grade.
Retrieved from Examiner.com at www
they can use to do their best often helps Successful transitions require communi-
increase confidence. Students who still
exhibit signs of anxiety could receive
additional support in small-group ses-
sions with the school counselor.
cation, partnerships, and a continuum
of research-based supports. When
schools support students as they make
the crucial transition into 3rd grade,
North Carolina Department of Public
Instruction. (2007). Transition planning for
21st century schools. Raleigh, NC: Author.
Retrieved from www.ncpublicschools
Any intervention, strategy, or program
should be evaluated to assess its
overall effectiveness, its effects on indi-
vidual students, and potential areas
students, parents, and schools all
benefit. “Third grade has descended
upon our family, and it is a challenge,”
noted one parent. “Education is a
journey, and we are really just at the
beginning of a long, exciting road filled
Santrock, J. W. (2008). Life-span devel-
opment. New York: McGraw Hill.
Spatig, L. (1996, November). Developmen-
talism meets standardized testing: Low
income students lose. Paper presented at
of improvement. At Hilburn, we have
used many data sources to evaluate
the supports we have put in place.
with responsibilities, challenges, and
hopefully, a lot of fun” (Linden
Fee, 2008). EL
the annual meeting of the American Educational Studies Association, Montreal,
Sources include process data (the
number of students who are affected
by the intervention); perception data
(gathered through surveys measuring
how student perceptions, thoughts, or
feelings change as a result of the intervention); and results data (end-of-grade
test scores, quarterly report card grades,
American School Counselor Association.
(2005). The ASCA national model: A
framework for school counseling programs
(2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: Author.
Armstrong, T. (2007). The curriculum
superhighway. Educational Leadership,
64( 8), 16–20.
Kelsey Augst Felton is a school
counselor at Hilburn Drive Elementary
School in Wake County, North Carolina;
firstname.lastname@example.org. Patrick Akos is an
associate professor and coordinator of
the school counseling program at the
University of North Carolina at Chapel