Monday, March 4, 2013

March 5th = ACT day for Juniors

In Kentucky public schools, every Junior takes the ACT in the spring of his or her Junior year.  Tomorrow is the day for Kentucky Juniors.  I have always said the four areas of concentration for an educator are: curriculum, instruction, skills and motivation.  As we move to one day before testing the "hay is in the barn" for the curriculum, instruction and skills but you can still make a positive change with motivation.  The administration at Scott County High School understand this and today they will be handing each Junior a card that appreciate their hard work and wishes them all well.  

The note also recognizes students will be nervous and states that a sense of nervousness is actually good. The administration at Scott County High School using information from a New York Times Magazine article, by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman.   
Bronson and Merryman found: "that one of the most surprising research findings is that when students get certain messages before a big test, it affects how they label stress – and that improves their performance. In an experiment at Harvard, undergraduates about to take a Graduate Record Examination (GRE) practice test were given a short note saying the purpose of the study was to examine the effects of stress on cognition. Half the students (the experimental group) were given an additional note saying that recent research suggests that “people who feel anxious during a test might actually do better.” It advised students that if they felt nervous, “you shouldn’t feel concerned… simply remind yourself that your arousal could be helping you do well.”
Students who received the second note scored 50 points higher in the quantitative section than the control group on the practice test (out of a possible 800 points). On the real GRE, those who received the don’t-worry notes scored 65 points higher. The same experiment was replicated with remedial math students at a Midwestern community college. Did the notes make students in the experimental group more relaxed? Not at all. Researchers took saliva samples and found that students were just as nervous but they processed their anxiety differently, transforming it into a positive force that drove better performance."

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