Date:  April 9, 2019      Math STAAR (will have a four-hour time limit).

Test questions for all grade levels can be found on TEA’s website,



During the next days, we will be preparing for the upcoming STAAR exam.

My goal for the next days is to revise and reinforce your knowledge before taking STAAR  Grade Math Test.

It is my goal with this review to help you do the best you can, given the scarce time that we’ve got to work with.

STUDENTS: Please do not make medical or dental appointments during these days. School attendance is essential to academic success.

PARENTS: Lamar students and teachers are continuing to work hard to prepare for STAAR. I know many parents are working with their children in conjunction with the classroom teacher. Your contribution of time and patience are appreciated. 

If your child needs help in my class please encourage them to set up a time for tutoring. I offer free after-school tutoring.

I’ll start by telling you something you don’t have to know in middle school:

What do you want to do with your life?

Recently, I was watching the following statistics from Australia:

In a typical group of 100 teenagers, at normal retirement age (65 years):

Pastel   1 will be rich

   8 will be independent

   9 will be still working

  28 will be dead

  54 will be broke, dependent on government or charity


I don’t know what is the statistics in USA, but from my own experience I think is very similar.

The first of all the  success factors is education.








The only way to get started is to stop talking and begin doing.

“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.'” – Muhammad Ali

dont quit





 You can use the following tests to practice the different concepts of mathematics that will include the next exam.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

STAAR Released Test Questions

8th grade mathematics:    2018 | 2017  2016 | 2014 | 2013

7th grade mathematics: 2018  2017 |  2016 | 2014 | 2013

6th grade mathematics: 2018 | 2017  2016 | 2014 | 2013

You are capable of more than you know.

(First Published on March 2018)

One of the biggest problems of our modern schools is the fact that many of our students believe they are doomed to failure. Our students face great pressures daily. Again and again, they receive negative messages from family, teachers, and classmates. They see that other children have everything, and they feel that they have practically nothing.

The main challenge teachers face now is convincing their students that if they want it, they can succeed, not only in school but also in life. Teachers usually have little control over the message that students will receive from others, but we have control of the message they receive from us, and the message must be very clear, a message of high expectations. The message is simple:You can succeed if you persevere.” We have to capture their minds and hearts and show them with facts that they can succeed. This is not simple. It requires a lot of work; it takes a lot of effort; it requires putting the heart into learning and teaching. But the reward is huge for them, and it is evident.

I am a teacher with more than 25 years of teaching experience, and I have trained hundreds of winners. I was a teacher at the college level in Mexico for more than 15 years with excellent results. I often meet alumni who are directors of companies, owners of companies, employees in high positions who thank me mainly for having imbued them with confidence, that if they persevere and never consider themselves defeated, they will succeed.

I also have two master’s degrees here in the United States, and some time ago I received an invitation to incorporate me as a university-level teacher because they know the excellent results I had in higher education in Mexico. On that occasion, I did not accept that offer, but I chose to be a teacher at middle school (with less salary and more hours of work) because I think we have to influence the students from a young age. I have several academic blogs that are visited by hundreds of thousands of people a year from dozens of countries, and I have the great satisfaction of collaborating, even if only a little, in the education of all of them.

Year after year, my students occupy the highest places in the school, in the school district, and frequently in the state.  Please see the following chart that corresponds to last year. It was the result of an experiment in which several teachers who work with Mr. Quesada and Mr. Alonzo, who worked together with me, had the common goal of raising the educational level of our students. We teach our students first in the sixth grade and then the seventh grade so that they know our rhythm and way of working. The results are extraordinary, as the graph shows:

We had three students with a perfect grade in math, and it would have been more than a dozen if not for the fact that some of them do not have a good command of English since they are ESL students (English as a Second Language), and they did not understand the meaning of some words that came in the exam.  Many ESL students no only passed but obtained outstanding grades.

We can summarize this in a sentence:

Yes, you can!


In this school year, I am looking to support ESL teachers precisely so that together we better prepare all students who really want to succeed.

Having excelled so much has caused envy, criticism, and low blows from other schoolmates. For all of them, my message is very simple and direct: You can do it too, but it takes time, effort, and dedication.” You need to convince students to work overtime to fill in the gaps they have in their academic preparation and dare to succeed. And you also need to work overtime!

For all the students the formula is very simple: “If you want to succeed, work hard and persevere until you succeed.”  ” And you also need to work overtime!”

For all the students the formula is very simple: “If you want to succeed, work hard and persevere until you succeed”.

“Life rewards efforts, not pretexts” Anonymous

“A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed an irremediable failure would turn into glorious success.” – Elbert Hubbard

If you want to change your future, you must build it with the daily effort, always striving to be better, and not let yourself be defeated by the setbacks that will surely arise along the way.

The students this school year supposedly are the best I have had during my entire stay at this school. And it is curious that being the best, more than 30% of them did not even know the timestables or how to perform basic arithmetic operations, so these first weeks have been fully dedicated to filling gaps in their education until their knowledge of the basis in math is solid and definitive. With great satisfaction, I can tell you that you are making outstanding progress and that you are very different in knowledge and behavior compared with the students that I had at the beginning of the school year.

Students from previous years have also excelled in their final grade, always among the best places in the school and the district. Although in the previous years the school administration repeatedly sent me many of the students with great academic and behavioral deficiencies. So almost year after year I have protested to the administration that the distribution is unfair, and mainly asking the administration to send me students who really want to put their effort to succeed. Here is an example:




Let’s work together to make our students overcome all their limitations and succeed in their lives!


Dear teachers, allow me to recommend a book that tells many success stories and that we can easily incorporate into our teaching practice.


I am my mother’s daughter

Many years ago when I was a girl, I clearly remember that municipal employees were going to knock down the few trees in a green area near my house to install a fenced area for the garbage trucks. My mother opposed it and organized a picnic with the neighbors and their children in exactly that area before the demolition machinery arrived. For the long hours, the municipal officials tried to convince her to leave; her response was always the same: “We must take care of the few green areas we have so that our children have a place of relaxation in contact with nature.”  When the press and the media came, the facts were disseminated, and the deforestation project ended and we conserved that green area.

Even after so many years passed, I am thrilled that so many memories come to my mind in which she led and participated in social causes to avoid injustices, promote respect for women, the elderly, and the sick and particularly to promote the improvement of our schools. Frequently she was part of the directives of the school societies of parents and had a reputation that she was not intimidated by any problem or by any authority.

On one occasion, I asked her if she was not afraid when she organized these protests. She told me: “of course, I was afraid, but I also was afraid that if I did nothing, those scoundrels would get away with it”. Few people dare to protest against injustice, but if we do nothing to avoid them, we become accomplices of them.

Several years ago, being a teacher in another school in this same School District, I was very concerned about the growing presence of drug sales and consumption in the school, and I dared in a meeting with the directors to mention the severity of the problem and the feeling that our inaction as adults made us accomplices of the increasing drug problem, and that we should face it because the parents entrust us to their children and think that a school is a safe place.

Other teacher friends told me: “do not mention any of this because you’re going to face the authorities. As long as the problem of drugs is not mentioned, it is not a problem. They want less to come to light.”

Coincidentally, a week later, a special education girl filed a complaint against me, because I dared to tell her to stop playing and to start working (on the solution of the mathematics exercises that had been assigned to her). Oh what a great offense, I was immediately suspended for several days for an investigation, because I was pushing a girl to do the academic work she had to do and to call her attention and ask her to go to work, which was my obligation to do.

When the official investigation was made, of course, everything was clarified, and I was totally and completely exonerated from the unjustified charges against me. Even the investigator told me, “What a pity that teachers who really care about their students are unfairly pressured in this way.” On that occasion, he told me that we should never openly criticize the authorities because there are usually reprisals and he recommended that I always carry a recorder with me because it was the most direct way to deny a slander. He told me you have no idea how many injustices we see here.

When I returned to school, the authorities only mentioned that they had investigated me because of complaints from the students, without clarifying that it had been totally unjustified (by only one lazy student who doesn’t want to work) and that I had been total and completely exempted of any charges.

The next year I requested a school change, despite how much I loved my students, but hurt by the hypocritical attitude of school authorities. Even today, more than 10 years later I have heard comments from the authorities that I have a history of being in conflict with students. They do not mention that in the time I worked there, my students were always the ones who obtained the highest grades, nor that the real problem was to try to defend the students from a very serious danger that the school authorities did not want to face. I still have the great satisfaction of hundreds of alumni, who continued studying and who frequently come to me after so many years, remembering those years of achievement and academic growth pleasantly.

I clearly remember the words of my mother: Never act for personal convenience; Always do what your conscience tells you, which is the moral guide that God has given us to know what is right to do.

It is the same moral advice that I give to my students:

Always do the right thing, and do not worry. Doing your best is better than doing nothing.

And remember: “Education is the foundation upon which you build your future”  Christine Gregoire

Let’s work hard together in the classroom to build a better future for all of you!

And never ever do drugs!

Your future starts now

What are you going to do when you grow up?

What do you see yourself doing 10 years from now?

Careers    Ask yourself some simple questions.

  • What Do You Like To Do?
  • What Are You Good At?
  • Does this career let me follow my passion?
  • Can I be successful in this career?
  • Am I more introverted or extroverted?
  • Am I ready to fight for it?
  • How Much Money Do You Want To Make?
  • Am I choosing this career to please somebody else?


Your future starts now

You’re in middle school now. What you do over the next few years will have an impact on the rest of your life. Now is the time to start thinking about life beyond middle school.

Let´s do Math:  What would you be willing to do for a million dollars?



How much money will you earn in your lifetime?

1 day = 8 working hours

1 week = 5 days

1 year = 52 weeks

1 lifetime = 35 years (the average number of years a person “works” in a lifetime)

Degree Hourly wage
no High School Diploma $7.25
Associate´s degree $30
Bachelor’s degree $60
Professional degree $100

*(minimum wage in Texas  )

7.25 x 8 x 5 x 52 x 35 = ?

30 x 8 x 5 x 52 x 35 = ?

60 x 8 x 5 x 52 x 35 = ?

100 x 8 x 5 x 52 x 35 = ?

JG wish it dream it

We all have dreams and set goals to achieve them, but are you REALLY committed to the achievement of your dreams?

Are you willing to pay the price for success?



The Secret to Becoming a Millionaire:   Money Math Lessons for Life


Latino boys who drop out of school often wind up in the criminal justice system.

Young Hispanic men are more likely to end up in prison than at a top university.

Latinos make up one-third of the population of federal prisons and are the fastest growing ethnic group in all U.S. prisons.

Thank You

From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank you.

‘There is nothing in this world that is worth achieving more than the love from family, friends, and students. I achieved this on my birthday. I could not be any more thankful” I am humbled, blessed and I cherish you. I Love You! 

I’m sure that with all these wishes, it will become a great year.

Mrs. Garcia