Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Coaches Write MCAS Encouragement Cards to Players

MCAS Encouragement 

     Thanks to a wonderful suggestion from a Springfield Public School teacher on our staff, our teen coaches worked for thirty minutes on Monday night to write all of their players a personal message about taking MCAS tests. As we hope our teen coaches become mentors and role models to their younger players, it was a great exercise in connecting with their players and providing them encouragement outside of the basketball court. Coaches put a lot of time and effort into crafting their messages and providing both support and suggestions. This week, all of the cards will be delivered to the elementary students during their homeroom period before MCAS start. Since MCAS are an important indicator of school and student success, Project Coach wanted to support all of our participants on test day. 

Spanish and English message!

     In addition to providing a nice encouragement, having our coaches write messages with suggestions and techniques helps them to think about the importance of MCAS. Many of our coaches are currently in tenth grade and will be taking the tests soon. Since these tests can impede a student's ability to graduate, it was important for our coaches to reflect on what they have learned about taking tests and why they need to try their hardest on each one. Over the last month, tenth grade coaches have been working with their tutors to practice and prepare for the ELA long composition test. However, by working with their players to prepare them for the tests, coaches are more able to realize how important this preparation truly is. Many of the coaches have led sessions with their players to complete practice tests and discuss testing strategies. This multilevel preparation system allows our teens to acquire all of the necessary skills to tackle these tests.

Update: Students thoroughly enjoyed reading their MCAS encouragement cards and many commented to their teachers that they worked harder on the test because of it! In one school, students taped the cards to the front of notebooks and binders to have a continual reminder about how much their coach cares. Since it was such a success, our coaches will be repeating it at the start of math MCAS in May. 

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