With TAKS week only a few short weeks away, nearly 40 third- and fourth-grade students at Noonan Elementary School are receiving supplementary lessons in math and reading at the school’s Saturday Academy program.
The program started in late March and will continue through April 23, right before the start of the math and reading TAKS tests on Tuesday, April 26, and Wednesday, April 27.
Saturday Academy begins at 8:45 a.m. with the students receiving breakfast. At about 9 a.m., each grade then splits into two classes and go to either reading or math lessons.
After a snack break at 10:30 a.m., the students then switch classes for the other lesson, where they remain until lunchtime, which the school also provides.
For fourth graders, teachers Linda Paisley and Roxanna Chapa guide the students in math and reading respectively. Teachers Adriana Beza and Sandra Garcia work with the third graders in Saturday Academy.
“Hopefully, this will make a difference in their scores,” Paisley said. “We want them to pass.”
Last Saturday, Paisley had the students focus on word problems, where they learned to identify what type of math to use by identifying context clues.
“In the TAKS test, the majority of it are word problems,” Paisley said. “They have to be able to dissect it and be able to know what they are looking for.”
The students also used a variety of objects, such as shapes, clocks and even stickmen, to help them visually see what the questions were asking them to do.
“I give (the lessons) to them both ways,” Paisley said. “They see it visually and on paper.”
In the fourth-grade reading class, the students were focusing on learning about inferencing, or discovering the answer from a given passage using context clues.
“We were on a lot of different skills,” Chapa said. “And since it’s in smaller groups, they are able to get a lot more.”
The students also broke into smaller groups to play board games that also focused around inferencing.
“We teach them a lesson, and then with that lesson we tied it into an activity,” Chapa said.
With two Saturdays done, Paisley said she could already see a difference as the students are really beginning to understand the material.
“It’s just an extra little punch before the TAKS,” she said.
In addition to Saturday Academy, Paisley said the school also offers the students after school tutoring.