When Do I?

When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel Pink

Improve Test Scores with one
tiny accommodation!

I’m pretty sure that I have already sung Mr. Dan Pink’s praises in my last blog post, but I should probably say it again: this guy is amazing!  I read his book, A Whole New Mind about ten years ago, and it was truly a game changer for me. 

When was another game changer, and for parents who have kids with Learning Differences, Testing is a bear for all parties involved. The usual testing accommodations are extended time, small group, and clarify directions.  Some students get 50% extended time; others get up to a whole school day for one test, which makes for a LOT of testing (which I’ll talk about in another blog on another day).

Two of the educational topics in Pink’s book are when to start the school day and when students should be tested. His work is research based, and that research, which goes against what almost all schools do, states the following:

Start School after 8:30 for Middle and High School: According to his research, schools that began the day after 8:35 had higher attendance rates, fewer tardies, and students earned higher grades.  It also showed that a later school day improved motivation, emotional well-being, and lessened impulsive behaviors and depression (Pink, 2018, p. 91)What a difference 35 minutes can make!  Unfortunately, there’s not much we can do to change school times, but we can ask:

Have Students Test at the Optimal Time of Day:  Parents with children who have testing accommodations can ask that the child be tested at the “optimum time of day.”  Contrary to what our schools are doing now, and what I did as a testing coordinator, this is not first thing in the moring for teens; rather, it’s after 8:35, some breakfast, and some time to relax (preferably outside).

We can request that the child receive a 20-30 minute “restorative break” before his afternoon test.  If we have students test in the afternoon, after lunch and some time outside to chat with their friends, the results show that this small time equates to three additional weeks in the classroom (Pink, 2018, p.57).

So what could go wrong with “a cup of apple juice and a few minutes to run around…” before testing our students (Pink, 2018, 58)?

Happy Tuesday!


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