Worrying About Grades and Testing Troubles


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Question: My bright fifth-grader is extremely anxious because report card time is coming. Her fear of report cards just gets worse each year. She says: “I got C grades on a few quizzes. I may not make the honor roll.” What can I do to help her relax since she really is a good student?

Answer: Make sure that you are not putting so much emphasis on grades and report cards that she is afraid of disappointing you. Even if you don’t voice your expectations, she may believe that you expect her to get all "A" grades and be on the honor roll every time. Another possibility is that your daughter may be a perfectionist who can’t face the possibility of getting less than excellent grades.

Try to convey a low-key attitude toward report cards and grades. Don’t ask: How did you do on the quiz or test? Was your homework done correctly? Instead ask: What did you enjoy doing in school today?

To further de-emphasize her fear of report cards, look at her work every day and stress what she has learned rather then comment on the grade.

And avoid giving awards for getting good grades. Your daughter needs to start regarding a lower grade as a sign that she has not mastered some content rather than a disaster that means a lower report card grade. Encourage her to focus instead on learning what she doesn’t know.

Try to help her become more realistic about grades and understand that they reflect all the work that she does in a grading period rather than just a few poor scores.

 

Question: Whenever my first grader has a math test, he gets poor grades even though he has done the same work correctly at home with me. How can this be?

Answer: The reason this happens may be because your son is doing his math homework with you. It’s possible that you are giving him some hints on how to proceed or actually giving him too much help. Try backing off completely from giving him any help with his homework. This includes reading the directions.

Then notice how well he does working completely on his own. It is likely that you will see some problems. You may discover that he is not able to read or follow directions on his own, lacks some basic skills or is careless. Address these weaknesses and his test scores should improve.

Doing the work on his own should also increase your son’s confidence in his ability to do math.

 

Question: Where can I go beyond talking to people in my children’s school district when I have questions about federal education laws, policies and initiatives?

Answer: It can be difficult to contact the right source in the Department of Education in Washington, D.C., for answers to questions on topics ranging from special education to No Child Left Behind to school choice. The easiest thing to do is to go online to the department’s Web site at http://answers.ed.gov. This site has the answers to more than 100 commonly asked questions as well as links to additional information both from the department and other sources.

Here’s an idea of the type of questions the department answers:

- Where can I find rankings of public school systems by state?
- What impact does testing have on children?
- How do I determine if a school is providing my special needs child with an appropriate education and services?
- How can I find a legitimate online or distance education program?
- How can I find a quality after-school program for my child?

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May 2019

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Historic Yates Mill County Park
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Hilton Raleigh
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Cost: See website for fees

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Apex Community Park
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Downtown Chapel Hill
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Cost: $5/Adult, $4/Senior (ages 60+), $3/Child (ages 7-16), Free/Child (ages 6-under)

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Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Cost: $19/resident, $24/nonresident

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Park West Village
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Cost: Free

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Historic Yates Mill County Park
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Cost: Free

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514 E Williams St
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Sponsor: IngenuiTea Brews
Telephone: 919-438-3684
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Cost: $23/resident, $30/nonresident

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Herbert C. Young Community Center
101 Wilkinson Ave.
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Park West Village
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Cost: Free

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Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
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Cost: Free

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Harris Lake County Park
2112 County Park Dr.
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Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park
Telephone: 919-387-4342
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Cost: $15/class, or use your class pass/membership.

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Kids Mindful Movement - Chapel Hill
781 Mt. Carmel Church Rd.
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Cost: $5/person. Free for ages 2 and younger

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The Halle Cultural Center
237 N. Salem St.
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Cost: Free

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Park West Village
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Cost: $2/resident, $3/nonresident

Where:
Cary Senior Center
120 Maury O'Dell Place
Cary, NC  27513
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Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Telephone: 919-856-6675
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Cost: $65/person

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500 S. Salisbury St.
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Cost: Free

Where:
Edison Johnson Community Center
500 W. Murray Ave.
Durham, NC
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Cost: Free

Where:
Sanderford Road Center
2623 Sanderford Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27610
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Sponsor: Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department
Telephone: 919-831-1898
Contact Name: Adam Sproles
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Enjoy free, live performances from the best artists from around the Triangle in front of Stone Theatre as well as kid-friendly activities. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Park West Village
Morrisville, NC  27560


Website »

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Each Fourth Friday of the month join us for a night of art, film, food and fun. This is free and open to the public.​

Cost: Free

Where:
SummerStage
800 Taylor St
Durham, NC  27701
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Sponsor: Hi-Wire Brewing and abc11

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Enjoy Raleigh’s premier Japanese animation and culture convention. Concerts, educational panels, limited merchandise, unique artwork and more highlight the event. Purchase tickets...

Cost: $65/person

Where:
Raleigh Convention Center
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

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Cost: $15-$30

Where:
Duke University East Campus
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Cost: Free

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
Apex, NC  27539
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

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Cost: Free

Where:
SummerStage
800 Taylor St
Durham, NC  27701
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Sponsor: Hi-Wire Brewing, abc11, and Offline

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Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
Apex, NC  27539
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

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Cost: $5/Adult, $4/Senior (ages 60+), $3/Child (ages 7-16), Free/Child (ages 6-under)

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

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American Tobacco Trail
1309 New Hill-Olive Chapel Rd.
Apex, NC  27502
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Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park and the American Tobacco Trail
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Contact Name: Joanne St. Clair
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More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Park West Village
Morrisville, NC  27560


Website »

More information

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Cost: $65/person

Where:
Raleigh Convention Center
500 S. Salisbury St.
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View map »


Website »

More information

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