PHS students prepare for ACT, Write Night

Published 11:42 am Monday, March 11, 2019

“There’s no vocabulary due next week. Why not?” I asked.

“Because we’re taking the ACT next Wednesday!” Holly Helms said.

“You’re right Holly. It’s also Write Night week—and there’s no vocabulary on Write Night week. After dominating the ACT on Wednesday, you’re all invited to celebrate by coming out to Write Night on Thursday in the Auditorium from 7-9.”

After this promo, my English class hits ACT prep hard. The Lit Mag staff keeps a Write Night countdown on the board and my Honors English 11 students announce their one day fewer countdown to the ACT in English each day. They have to say fewer, because fewer is the right descriptor for items you can count, like days or water bottles, and less can only be used to indicate a measure that’s not enumerated. Applying ACT rules to everyday life makes them real.

“Besides, after the ACT, you’ll need dress grammar. Just as all people need dress clothes for sudden funerals or awards’ ceremonies, we all need dress grammar for interviews and important meetings,” I say.

My students correct one another now if their grammar is off—which also means those who do the correcting are self-correcting. I love that they are learning. I also love that they take the ACT at school now. The state of Alabama switched from high school students taking the Alabama graduation exam to one free ACT with writing for each high school junior in the spring of 2014.

My juniors know how much scholarship money they can earn for a strong ACT score—and these students are motivated. Beyond the practice ACT reading, English tests, and writing prompts students have completed, the Lit Mag staff has hosted Write Night Performers’ meetings, cut paper for the lobby, and found local vendors to donate food and souvenirs.

Preparations for the ACT and Write Night have been intense; however, these dual preparations have worked well together. After a few more days of working hard, PHS will celebrate with Write Night, on Thursday, February 21st from 7-9 p.m. You’re all invited to join us!