Ava S.

From 2007-2011, students took the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skill (TAKS)  , but now, students will be taking a more difficult test – The STAAR Test.   The State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) has replaced the TAKS Test, beginning in the 2011-2012 school year. In 2012, students took the STAAR Test, but only so the State could see how the students would do with a new test. This year, 2013, students will be taking the test for real! Read on for more details.

The STAAR Test is quite different from the TAKS Test.  Firstly, the STAAR Test is more difficult. Bethany Lockett (8) says, “ I don’t like it because all the teachers do is teach for the test. They say things like, ‘On the STAAR, it looks like this…’ I wish they would teach me skills I could use in real life.” The teachers work hard so every student has a chance to succeed on the STAAR, but they also teach you skills you will need for college. But because the STAAR Test is harder, they focus more on what you will need to pass this test. If you don’t pass, then you will not be allowed to move to the next grade level. Teachers everywhere are doing reviews so their students will be prepared for their testing.

Mr. Ramos’ 8th Grade Class reviewing for their History STAAR Test.

Secondly, the STAAR Test is timed. Students will have a four hour time limit to complete the test. Glynn Burns (7) says, “I think it puts a little more pressure on us, knowing that we don’t have all day to complete a hard test that we really haven’t taken before.” In previous years, students would have all day to complete the TAKS Test, but now, students are required to finish their test within four hours. Anything you don’t complete after that time will be counted wrong.

Thirdly, students will be introduced to new ways to answer questions on the test. On the Reading test, students will be required to answer at least one question as a Short Answer Response (SAR). On the Science and Math test, students will be required to fill out a griddable.

Lastly, students in grades 9-11 will be taking the STAAR in addition to 3-8 graders. This is much different from the TAKS because only students in 3-8 grade took it. Now, 9-11 graders will be required to take the STAAR Test in the form of an End Of Course Exam (EOC).

Overall, the STAAR test is new, and quite different from the older tests. It also challenges the students with a higher level of thinking. But that does not mean students will do poorly. Teachers, parents, siblings, and peers have total faith in all those taking the STAAR Test. Please join me in wishing these students Good Luck on the day of their tests, and always encouraging them to do their best!

Students are taking notes for history class so they will have a better understanding of words on the STAAR Test.

Prepare For The Super STAAR!

Feeling nervous about the STAAR? Doubting that you might not pass? Well, have no fear because there are many ways to prepare.  “First, I make sure I eat a good breakfast, and try not to worry about it, because if I do, that’s no good, because I’ll stress over it, and won’t really focus,” Madelyn George (7) said.  Well, that’s the first step to achieving the STAAR. Eating a good and delicious breakfast. You don’t want to take the test on a empty stomach. It won’t do you any good, now will it?  That was a rhetorical question, so no need to answer it. Also, just like how Madelyn (7) said, don’t stress, it’s not so good.

Are you ready for the STAAR? Daniel Lopez (7) says, “Yes, I am more than ready. I really think I’m going to pass this!” Yes! Have confidence in yourself! Don’t doubt yourself, you’ll be too worried, and won’t focus on your test. “I’m really worried about the math test, only because I’m not very good at it,” Susan Egert (7) says. Just make sure you know how to solve the problems, like fractions, division, proportions, multiplication, etc. You’ve learned it this whole year, so just put all your skills on the test, and prove you know what you’re doing, and you can acomplish anything.

– By: Vivika Eckhoff.

Why So Nervous?

By: Alexis Brock

With months of preparation the STAAR tests are coming up fast on the students. Many kid are downright terrified, while some approach the test with confidence.

 The 7th grade English STAAR will be taken on March 20-21. The English test will require students to write three essays along with a question portion. Mrs. Bean, an English Teacher, says that she of course would’ve liked to prepare her students more, but tutoring and writing practice has prepared them quite a bit. The students have been prepped enough to meet the writing standard. Mrs. Bean says she is confident in her students’ writing abilities. She is expecting all her students to pass, and show what they know. Luckily, most of them came to her with a lot of writing knowledge. Other kids are really worried about the Math STAAR test coming up in April. Mr. Kline says, “If they read the questions carefully, and come to tutoring, they will greatly increase their chances of passing.” He says tutoring will help the students by giving them more practice on the STAAR type questions they will see. He feels his students will be prepared if they were to come to tutoring. Mr. Crowe, the principal, is 100% confident in our abilities. He feels that if  we take it seriously they will be fine. He says, “I think the students are as prepared as they can be, if they’ve been working hard throughout the year.” Mr. Crowe also feels that tutoring will help students, because it fills in those small gaps in learning. Marjorie Argote (7) is one of the many nervous students. She says, “In a way I’m kind of nervous, because it’s harder than TAKS, but I feel I’m prepared enough, but I’m still nervous.” Brook Livecchi (7) is among the nervous students also. She says, “I’m nervous, but I’m going to do good, because I’m a winner.”

Overall the teachers believe in their students’ abilities to pass the STAAR tests. Even though the students are terrified, they’ll do fine on the test. So study hard, do your work, and you will pass the test.