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TEACHER TIPS
"I'm Prepared, Not Scared" NJASK Bag

Submitted by: Nicole Selvaggio
From: South River, NJ
Date Submitted: March 16, 2005

MANY WORDS CAN CONJURE UP THE FEELINGS THAT STUDENTS MAY HAVE OVER THE NJASK TEST - ANXIETY, FRIGHT, AND HESITANCY, TO NAME A FEW. NO MATTER THE PREPARATION AND KNOWLEDGE ACQUIRED, STUDENTS MAY INEVITABLY EXHIBIT OR INTRINSICALLY FEEL SOME OF THE SYMPTOMS.

IN ORDER TO HELP ALLEVIATE SOME NEGATIVE FEELINGS, I CREATED AN “I’M PREPARED, NOT SCARED” NJASK BAG FOR MY STUDENTS. ON THE MORNING OF THE NJASK TEST, EACH STUDENT’S DESK CONTAINED A ZIPLOCK BAG THAT WAS LABELED, “I’M PREPARED, NOT SCARED” NJASK BAG, A CLASS-MADE “NJASK TEST THEME SONG,” AND A LETTER WRITTEN BY ME. THE CONTENTS IN THE BAG WERE: SMARTIES CANDIES; LIFE SAVERS; TRIDENT GUM; TRIX CEREAL; STARBURSTS; AND A PENNY. THE FOLLOWING WAS THE WRITTEN EXPLANATION THAT WAS PROVIDED IN EACH BAG:

  • Smarties - these can be used if you may feel that you do not have enough “smarts” to answer a question on the NJASK
  • Life Savers - these can be used to “save” you from any nervousness or anxiety that you may have over the NJASK
  • Gum - this can be used to help you out of a “sticky” situation
  • Trix (cereal) - these have been included to remind you to use the many “tricks” that you have learned in preparation for the NJASK
  • Starbursts - these are included to remind you of the “star” that you are
  • Penny - this is a token of good luck (FOR SANITARY PURPOSES THE PENNY WAS TAPED TO THE OUTSIDE OF THE BAG).

THE STUDENTS WERE ELATED OVER THEIR “SURPRISE BAGS.” THERE WAS AN IMMEDIATE SENSE OF CALMNESS THAT TOOK OVER THE CLASSROOM. THERE WERE EVEN SEVERAL STUDENTS THAT TOLD ME THAT THEIR NJASK JITTERS WERE GONE AFTER THEY ATE A LIFE SAVER. THE “I’M PREPARED, NOT SCARED” NJASK BAGS WERE A TREMENDOUS SUCCESS. I WILL CONTINUE USING THESE BAGS EACH AND EVERY YEAR BECAUSE THEY TRULY PROVED TO BE LIFE SAVERS!

   
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