Tuesday, April 1, 2014

New Blog Template and STAAR Week!

For those of you who teach in Texas, you know very well what this week is: STAAR. For those of you not familiar with STAAR it is our state's standardized test. Yay :-/ This week, my 8th graders begin  their two part STAAR journey beginning tomorrow with Reading and ending on Thursday with Math. The second half for them will be at the end of the month when they finish with Science and Social Studies.

These kids are under a lot of stress. They have to pass Math and Reading in order to go on to the 9th grade. I teach PreAP and GT this year. Last week we looked at some passages to get them reacquainted with the test. They have been doing pretty well and they're still concerned whether or not they're going to pass. This breaks my heart. These kids work so hard all year long and then it comes down to a couple of tests to determine whether or not they move on to the next grade. They already put so much pressure on themselves to excel. A grade of a B isn't good enough for a lot of them. Anything below an A is considered a failure.

With all that in mind, my co-teacher and I decided we would have a "STAAR Wars" themed review and create encouragement cards for our kids. I just needed something for them to calm them down, relax them, and make sure that they know they have all the skills that they need to be successful on this test. Basically, that they're amazing and they need to be confident in that- because I am! Thanks to Dorky Doodles at Teachers Pay Teachers for the Star Wars themed clip art! It was just perfect for what I was looking for to use with our cards. Here's a quick look:

Also, you may have noticed I have a new template! Thanks to Megan at A Bird in Hand Designs for the awesome new template. I love it! If you're looking for a new blog design, check out what she has. She's great to work and she makes it so easy. Thanks Megan!!

Have a great week everyone. Good luck if you're STAAR testing!

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