You may ask, “What are 11th graders at Beecher High School doing during their intersession time? Are they sitting at home relaxing and playing video games? Are they gaining more hours at work?” We are pleased to say the students spent their time attending an ACT Boot Camp offered by the Beecher Community School District and the University of Michigan-Flint.
The University of Michigan-Flint Neff Center hosted the second annual ACT Success Week February 17-19, 2015. Workshops were led by Mr. Matthew Adams, a Beecher administrator; Mrs. Aingeal Jones, a UM tutor; Mrs. JoAnn Shabazz, UM- Flint College Readiness Coordinator and Ellie Jacques, a MSU student, community member and founder of Hero Town USA.
Before the ACT lessons began, students participated in a mindset workshop led by Ms. Jacques. Research shows the development of a growth mindset is essential to meet learning targets. The mindset workshop was designed by Dr. Phil Zimbardo and the Heroic Imagination Project in collaboration with Carol Dweck, the world’s leading mindset researcher.
Students were given a pre and a post-test, which measured their implicit theories, or “mindsets” about themselves and others. According to post-testing, Beecher students in the February ACT boot camp showed a definitive shift towards a growth mindset. Students showed great interest in the workshops and also gave very constructive criticism about how Hero Town USA could improve.
Students were then introduced to their instructors and began to learn basic techniques and strategies for taking standardized tests. Sample problems and timed test were given to students in order for them to get a feel for the amount of time they would have per question in each subject area. The students also learned how to structure a persuasive essay.
Students who scored an 18 or higher in each subject area on the practice tests during ACT Success Week will be exempt from that subject’s end of the year final exam.
There were a few returning students who participated in the October 2014 ACT Boot camp who chose to repeat the session in hopes of learning more useful strategies for being successful on the ACT. The session was well attended with students providing input regarding the information received. Staff are hopeful the workshop provided the assistance necessary to help students be successful on the ACT.