Students at Sloan-Hendrix Elementary and Middle School got ready to “rock the test.” That is, the SAT10 and Benchmark Test that was administered during the weeks of April 5th and April 12th.

The kindergarten through 2nd grade classes took the SAT8/10 test on April 6th and 7th. The 3rd through 8th grade classes took the Benchmark Test the week of April 12th. The teachers and students have worked extremely hard to get prepared for the test throughout the year. In order to celebrate all the hard work that has been done and to motivate the students, the teachers at SH decided to have a “Rock the Test” pep rally. Friday, April 2nd, the students and teachers came to school dressed up in a music decade of their choice. There were 50’s style poodle skirts and ponytails. Some choose the tye-dye peace, love, and happiness look of the 60s and 70s. Others went with “big hair” of the 80s and, of course, we did have a few hard rock fans. After arriving at school and admiring everyone’s decade décor, the students went to the “Benchmark Idol” theme pep rally. The contestants consisted of Jennifer Grisham aka Stressed-Out Stella who arrived late and was way too nervous to even hold her pencil and take a test. Andrea Roark aka Skippy-Do-Da came to the contest starving because she skipped breakfast. There was no way she could perform at her best on the test with her stomach aching for something to eat. Contestant number three was Bobbi Duncan aka No Show Jo. Jo couldn’t decide whether to show up to take the test or not. She kept going in and out; she was very hesitant about taking the test. Chelsea Matheny dressed as Gretchen Wilson for the day who you would have thought would have some talent, must have left it at home for the day. She couldn’t pay attention to any directions for looking around the room the entire time. This Gretchen got booted off the stage. Andi Hickman aka Bubbles, did a terrible job of coloring in the bubbles and was dismissed for discoloring. The last two contestants Angie Gilbreath aka Copy Cat and Linda Wallis aka Cheater Pants demonstrated the reason for their names. Unfortunately all of the contestants demonstrated poor test taking strategies and were heavily critiqued by the judges Mr. Tate aka Randy Jackson, Mrs. Causbie aka Kara DioGuardi and Sue Dail aka Simon Cowell. Luckily the last contestant, Stephanie Lewis, explained and demonstrated the proper testing procedures and won the Benchmark Idol contest. Mrs. Lewis received a trophy for her demonstration of how to correctly take a standardized test.

The grand finale of the pep rally included entertainment provided at the conclusion of the Benchmark Idol performances. It was a song routine by our own superintendent, Mitch Walton aka Bob Marley and his back-up singers, Beth Gosha and Dana Wells. Beth and Dana made amazingly talented back-up singers as Mr. Walton sang “Don’t Worry, Test Happy” to the tune of “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” Mr. Walton did an outstanding job of entertaining us all. We can only hope that he, Beth, and Dana keep their “day” jobs.

The conclusion of the pep rally consisted of announcing future incentives for the students based on test attendance and effort initiated during the testing weeks. As the students were dismissed from the pep rally, they each received a small tube of bubbles to blow as they walked back to class to remind them to “blow-the-top-off-the-test.” “Our teachers are truly a wonderful group of people to work with. They were willing to do any outrageous stunt in the skit to get the students motivated for the upcoming test,” stated Becky Foreman, literacy coach, “we are very proud of our students and we want them to know that the teachers believe that they put forth their best effort in completing the test.”

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