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GHS Educators team to share ACT prep success

Two Greenville High School English teachers will be sharing their plan for successful student preparation for the ACT exam with educators across Alabama and Mississippi.

Naomi Pryor, a 15-year veteran of GHS classrooms and Andy Brown, who has taught five years at the local high school, will team up to give a virtual presentation for the Alabama/Mississippi ACT Conference in mid-February.

For the past three years, Mr. Brown and I have included daily ACT English and Reading prep for our 11th grade students,” Pryor explained.

We start each class period with ACT practice. For the first semester, we cover English questions. At the start of the second semester we transition to ACT Reading. It’s just two or three questions a day usually, but it helps our students become familiar with the types of questions they will see when they take the test. That may be the biggest benefit.”

Brown believes the prep work with his juniors definitely better prepares them for the test required for incoming students by the majority of colleges and universities.

“It certainly would have helped me when I was in high school. The first time I took the ACT, I hadn’t done any prep. I had no idea what to expect when I sat down in that desk,” he explained.

By working on the ACT a little each day, our students enter the testing room with a pretty good idea of what to expect when it comes to ACT English and Reading.”

This year, because of the impact of COVID, things have been a little different, Pryor says.

In the past, students created their own ACT binders or study guides as we worked through the questions. This year, thanks to a generous donation by First Presbyterian Church of Greenville, we were able to give students binders that already had all information in them that they need for our practice,” Pryor explained.

 

They bring those notebooks to class each day and the students complete their ACT practice using quizzes we placed in their Google Classroom. After the students have answered the questions, we lead a discussion in which the students explain their thought processes. This often includes the teacher or another student modeling how to arrive at the correct answer. These discussions help students clarify their understanding, while also giving us a good idea of what type of questions we need to focus on in the future.”

The GHS teachers also use an online test-prep site called Method Test Prep. GHS purchases the licenses for each student, and each student has access to free ACT prep for all subject areas.

Because they have seen success with their practice technique, Pryor and Brown decided in the summer of 2020 to share it with the ACT community and apply as presenters for the Alabama/Mississippi ACT Conference.

The proposal, entitled “Daily ACT English/Reading Practice in the Title I High School ELA Classroom” was accepted.

The original conference was in November, but has been rescheduled virtually for Feb 17-19.

Our hope is to share our success at GHS with our English and Reading ACT practice,” Pryor said.

Our data shows that our scores in these two subject areas continue to go up as we continue this methodical practice.”