2nd year HVE program promotes positivity during test time

Published 3:48 pm Monday, April 23, 2018

No matter the age, the stress of taking a testing can feel overwhelming.

Recognizing the need of a positive environment for the test-taking period, Happy Valley Elementary has been able to encourage students to be a “buddy” to one another with their Buddy System program going on during the TNReady exams.

Fourth grade teacher and school spirit committee chair Holly Kent said the program has been able to grow throughout its second year and the students have responded in a positive way.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“They love it,” Kent said with a smile. “They love seeing that another class is watching them. Even though testing can be stressful, this is a great way to let students know that the entire school is supporting them.”

Kent is seeing the program work first hand this week with third and fourth grades taking exams.

“We wanted to do something that would create a positive environment during the testing time,” Kent explained. “Right now, K-2 are not testing and third and fourth grades are. We thought it would be a good idea to pair every third and fourth grade classroom up with a classroom that wasn’t testing, and let those students send notes of encouragement, trinkets or candy and let them know they have their backs during testing.”

Kent’s classroom is paired with Ms. McSpadden’s first grade class, and the positive encouragement was already being felt Monday afternoon as students broke out in smiles walking down the hallway passing by their buddies’ classrooms.

“We asked that each classroom put up a bulletin board. Each board is decorated and has the students’ names of the class their paired with,” Kent said. “It’s great to watch the children get excited about the encouragement. This also gives accountability to students and lets them know they have a buddy there supporting them.”

At the end of the testing period, younger and older students will be paired with one another. The older students will meet with their younger pair and assist in different ways, either by reading to them or helping out in a different subject, like math.

“Overall, this is just a great way to create a positive learning environment for everybody and it creates support for one another,” Kent said.

Moving forward, Kent added the goal is to continue to grow the program as a way to give back to the children during testing periods.