Parents, students attend MCT workshop

Published 9:18 am Saturday, January 20, 2007

Many students and their parents were fascinated by a science experiment involving a dollar bill, rubbing alcohol, water and a match Friday at Robert Lewis Middle School.

The experiment — which showed that the dollar bill wouldn’t catch on fire when soaked in a mixture of alcohol and water — was part of a workshop on how to prepare for the Mississippi Curriculum Test. The MCT once only tested students in reading, language and mathematics, but science has recently been added into the mix.

The workshop — taught by teachers Lula James and Dan Smith — was given all day, and different students and parents attended during the six class periods.

Email newsletter signup

James said the workshop was important for parents because it helps them “gain an understanding of how to work with their children to get ready for the MCT.”

“It’s all about passing this test. I want every one of these students in here to show you all they know (the material for the test). I’m not going to let them walk out of the door without knowing,” James told the last batch of parents. “If we teach the subjects here and you continue it at home, their scores can’t go anywhere but up.”

Charles Bass said that he was happy that he could attend because he learned the importance of the MCT, and how to help his son, Brian, prepare.

“This workshop shows you that kids need to be prepared for this MCT test. If you don’t pass it, you can’t pass to the next grade. We got some worksheets with tips that we plan to follow — things like listen, take notes and go to bed on time.”

Preston Thompson, 14, said the workshop motivated him to study a little more, and his mom, Iola, said that she would be “his backbone” and help him in any way she could.

“My son has to work to study every day. Every day the first thing I’m going to ask him about is his notebook,” she said.

Paulette Shinard enjoyed the science experiment, and learned some good tips to help her eighth-grade son.

“I learned the importance of science, how it works and some good ideas of things to do at home. We gained some good studying tips and overall good info that I didn’t know,” she said.

The MCT will be taken in grades 2 through 8 in all Mississippi schools the second week of March.