First-graders from Silverthorne Elementary circled around a group of seated third-, fourth- and fifth-graders Tuesday morning, working in groups to display four large, colorful signs, reading "Takes time," "Courage," "Attitude" and "Pride."
"Give me a 'T,' 'C,' 'A,' 'P!'" the children yelled. "What's that spell? TCAP!"
The younger students were putting on a pep rally for their elementary elders Tuesday to help the students build confidence as they prepared to take an installment of the Transitional Colorado Assessment Program, a state-mandated test to determine students' mastery of content. Kindergartners led a rally two weeks ago, and second-graders are slated to cheer on their peers next week, the last period of testing.
"The purpose of this time is to build school community, encourage our intermediate friends to do their best and to recognize that we all believe in them," first-grade teacher Katie Bunnelle said of the pep rally. She led the chant Tuesday.
"Third, fourth and fifth grade: We're so proud of your hard work and we're here to remind you to keep working hard," Bunnelle said.
After first-graders did their TCAP chant, they performed a "pencil-sharpener celebration" by mimicking the necessary movements to sharpen a pencil and yelling, "you're sharp!" before a few brave students shared encouraging thoughts.
"I hope you do a really, really, really good job on your super test," said first-grader Rodrigo Roman Garcia.
The younger students also handed out gum to remind the test-takers to "stick with it."
Garcia's classmate Riley Orr's older brother is taking the test. Orr likes clapping and encouraging his sibling.
"It makes me feel good that these kids are here cheering us on," said fifth-grader Abbey Lau.