Danielle Radin

Uniform Words: Students Study With Unique Tactic

The goal is to prep middle school students for the SAT

It's one of the most important tests a high school student can take: the SAT. The test that can determine entrance to many colleges. 

Students at Black Mountain Middle School are preparing early, by a few years that is. 

Middle school students are wearing vocab-centric uniforms with words and their definitions as a way to boost SAT word training. 

"If we can start them now by the time they are taking the SAT they'll be that much more prepared," said Brian Kooiman, a P.E. teacher at Black Mountain Middle School. 

But it's not just vocabulary, students also learn math and science terms like "equilateral triangle." The shirts display mathematical diagrams and formulas. 

The uniforms are worn during physical education class. The curriculum is intended to engage both sides of student brains, the left side, and the right side, during workouts. 

About 1,250 students at the school wear the t-shirts to gym class. 

"We did a pre-test and a post-test and saw over the course of the year what the results were," said Kooiman. "We were surprised by the words students didn't know and impressed with the words they did know. The shirts did boost their vocabularies based on the test results." 

But Marley, 12, added with words like “empathy” and “determination” on the backs of the shirts, it teaches a much more important lesson too. 

“It shows how to be a leader,” said Marley. “We have different words on what we’re trying to be like ‘caring,’ ‘responsible,’ ‘respectful’ and ‘trustworthy.’” 

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