Loosening Up

About 150 seventh- and eighth-grade students at Eisenhower Middle High School prepared for Tuesday’s Pennsylvania’s System of School Assessment tests on Monday by playing games.

Social Studies teacher Jim Penley said a day of kinesthetic activities and thinking games “loosens them up, and lets them blow off some steam. We try to let them have fun on the day before, because the tests are always stressful.”

He said, “We have been drilling them for months” for scholastic studies, and teams of teachers have been prepping the kids for a few weeks.

They started off by dividing the individual grades into teams for a tug-of-war in the gymnasium.

Afterwards, the eighth graders stayed in the gym, while the seventh-grade students retired to the cafeteria for thinking games.

Games for the younger group included chess, Clue, Battleship and others. The eighth-grade students had competitions in the gym that involved math, social studies like “Where in the World is Mr. Stimmel,” and putt-putt on a miniature “green,” knowledge learned both in and out of school.

Students in each group were awarded points for successes, and at the end of the day a dodge-ball game would settle who was the overall champion.

Principal Kelly Martin spoke with the students before they left for the day, telling them to get a good night’s rest and eat a healthy breakfast.

Penley added that the kids would get a snack in the morning before the testing began.

He also said that the testing was stressful for the teachers as well as the students.