During lunch one day, a colleague and I were discussing our standardized test in Arizona. We were discussing how we just worked our students so hard preparing for the AIMS (Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards). Kara Rosales and I both agreed that we wanted to bring some excitement to our campus about AIMS. These were our goals:
• Form a committee-we named it GPA (Greenway Promotes Aims)
• Find a fundraiser so we could provide each student with a bottled water, granola bar, and a peppermint for each day of the test (water and smell of peppermint awakens the brain)
• Poster contest for the students. The posters would have to say something positive about AIMS. Winners would receive $30-1st place; $20-2nd place; $10-3rd place.
• Fun Day: a day of activity that would be enjoyable for our students and for our faculty.
• A theme for our AIMS
First, we put out an email inviting 8 other faculty members to join us on this committee. We took the first 8 that responded. Next, we held our first meeting and told them of our goals. Two of our members, Cristal Bradley and Ralph Carnesi, took on the job of coming up with a theme. They also decided that all of the directions during the AIMS testing would be read by Ralph and televised in every classroom. I contacted Jamba Juice and they came onto our campus once or twice a month for our fundraiser. Our committee would help Jamba set up each time and collect the money.
So first semester was spent raising money, trying to collect donations, and planning for Fun Day.
We continued raising money second semester and finalizing our plans. Cristal and Ralph decided Harry Potter would be our theme. Cristal wrote out a script and asked certain teachers to perform. She then had some students video tape us performing our parts. The week before the AIMS, we purchased all the snacks. That week all the posters were collected and judged. The prizes were given out. All the posters were then hung around campus to help motivate the students. Each day one of the pre-taped videos was shown to all the students. Fun Day was held the Friday before AIMS. On that day we had the following:
• Each team participated in a variety of activities: basketball, volleyball, kickball, track, team awards, and motivational speech by our principal.
• Popsicles handed out during lunch
• A Harry Potter look-a-like contest was held
• The video taped teachers all dressed up like their Harry Potter character and walked around at lunch
• Streamers and balloons were hung around the lunch pavilion
The students and faculty all loved Fun Day. The next week the AIMS directions were read at the same time and shown on the television in each room.
We were proud of our accomplishments as a committee-we felt like we improved the climate of our campus regarding AIMS. We were just a small part of the success on our campus. All of our teachers worked so hard getting the students prepared. We will not find out officially until next week if we passed or not but GPA will continue this year. I will let you know our goals and how we plan to achieve success again this year. Be thinking about how you can improve your school’s atmosphere as you prepare for your standardized test.