Copperas Cove Junior High seventh-grade teachers organized an Amazing Race State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness Review for over 230 students, May 9.

Staff assorted students into 60 Rock-n-Roll-themed teams. Team leaders were selected for their leadership potential and class performance.

“When I was assigned to the role of team leader, I was pretty interested in why. Then I thought, if things do get necessary, I can pull though. Normally though I am very irresponsible,” said Daniel Smith, a gifted student.

After an orientation, teams of four to five searched for their first QR code and scanned it with their cellphone or CCJH tablet.

“Once they see the question, they go to Schoology … they can go to their team folder and find the task. They can open it up and submit their answer. It automatically scores it for them … it tells them if they got it right immediately,” said Britney Combs, a seventh-grade teacher.

Groups had 12 minutes to complete each task. Multiple attempts were permitted.

CCJH Students are accustomed to small QR code scavenger hunts, but this was the first time the entire seventh grade class roamed the hallways searching for tasks.

Generally, students work independently on STAAR Review packets.

“Since third grade, we always did packets, which is really boring,” said Samantha Parker, a gifted student.

“It benefits the different learning styles that are present within the junior high. Some of them are very receptive to just doing paper and pencil activities, but we have a lot of kinesthetic children. They need this. They like to but up and moving. It tends to keep their focus better and longer,” said Melissa Young, a seventh-grade teacher.

“I remember in sixth grade, in ELER, it was like a STAAR Test. It was just paper, paper. This is a welcome change,” Smith said.

Staff used the annual STAAR Review to facilitate a diverse learning environment for critical thinking and socialization skills.

“We broke it (Amazing Race) down into zones. We wanted to put in all 4 content. History goes along with reading and science go along with math,” Combs said.

“It (Amazing Race) taught me different ways to teach students. Each person has a different way to learn things. So, it helped me to adapt … it’s much easier to help my fellow students,” Parker said.

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