By Lauren Prince
Last year everyone took the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test, but this year marks the first year of the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test, which is said to be significantly harder. While each student may feel differently, one thing that is for sure is that teachers at Wertheimer have been working all year long to ensure student success. Without their guidance, students can’t be as successful. Mrs. Nurre has also provided the students many helpful tools and motivators including an online reading and math practice program called Study Island and “pink tickets” in exchange for rewards and prizes for the students who make the extra effort.
With the STAAR test right around the corner, I was interested to speak to some fellow sixth graders and hear their thoughts on the upcoming assessment.
William Koelzer was eager to share with me how he felt about the new test. “Most of us are ready for it”, he tells me. However, he also expressed concern for students who don’t always pay attention in class saying that “[they may not be] ready for it”. He admits seeing a lot of effort put forth by his teachers, telling me that “[they] have reviewed and reviewed and reviewed and reviewed and have [implemented] a lot of activities.” Will told me that he especially loves the treats and game rewards from Mrs. Nurre!
Victoria Bain agreed with Will and said, “Personally, I feel confident…” She knows that her teachers have helped her in a lot of different ways and even though homework and extra worksheets aren’t always fun, Victoria knows that “it [will] all [be] worth it in the end.” She believes that Study Island ha improved her skills and told me, “The math totally helps me…a lot.”
Sydney Olejniczak has also heard rumors about the STAAR test being challenging and says, “I’m kind of nervous about it because I’ve heard it’s going to be harder than the TAKS test, but I think that I’ll pass it.” She expressed the importance of having good strategies to help attack the tougher test questions. She credits her teachers for teaching her these important tools saying, “They have taught us a lot of strategies that I think will be useful.” She appreciates the special incentives that Mrs. Nurre provides hard-working students. “[The rewards] really motivate [students].”
Students recently celebrated their preparation efforts at a beach-themed STAAR test pep-rally. Fun was had by all and students became fired up to do their best. Even though each student has different thoughts about the STAAR test and how to most effectively prepare for it, we can all agree that teamwork is the key. As long as Wertheimer staff and students can work hard together, we will also triumph together!