NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Tonight, eighth graders should be preparing both mentally and physically for the STAAR test. The exam in social studies is Tuesday. The science test comes Wednesday.
Earlier Monday, teachers at McMichael Middle School in Nacogdoches provided a fun way to get ready.
"A European movement to break away from the Catholic Church that later spread to the Americas was called the Protestant Reformation," a teacher said.
Answering the question on a worksheet is far from exciting. When a teacher combines it with basketball, you hear this reaction.
"You think I can make it?" a student asked.
"STAAR Wars" games at McMichael Middle School is a play on words, but the event is far more than child's play.
"And they're hearing the question," said Laurie Gallant, the campus' history chair and a teacher.
"List the three branches of federal government." a teacher said.
"They're hearing the answer," Gallant said. "Then they can also write."
"We're done," a student said.
"So they're doing three different things, but they're applying without realizing, 'Hey, we're actually doing serious stuff,'" Gallant said.
"They get that hands-on activity that really helps them memorize the stuff," said Amy Rice, a Stephen F. Austin student and the president of the Collegiate Mid-Level Association.
The games covered all objectives. Teachers incorporated readiness standards.
"To try to get those kids to have the little bit of help that they might need to be successful," said Marilyn Driskell, the campus' science chair and a teacher.
"I'm not so sure about social studies, but I'm pretty sure I'll pass science," said one student.
The passage or failure of tomorrow's STAAR test in both social studies and science will not determine whether or not a child passes or fails the eighth grade. But the results will definitely be utilized to evaluate the student's performance.
"They are racing and they're drawing models of particular elements," said Shawn Lucena, a science teacher.
"Done," a student said.
"That's correct," a teacher said.
The preparation will most likely lead to a correct answer on the STAAR test.