They write essays on a regular basis.
(*Facepalm*) the issue is, the ACT’s writing section is different enough through the writing normally done at school that I see a lot of students underperform in a manner that is wholly preventable. Typically “good” writers are receiving scores of 6 or 8 (out of 12), once they should always be getting more numbers that are competitive.
Although it’s definitely not an 11th grade English teacher’s “job” to do ACT/SAT prep or even “teach to the test”, there’s a problematic reality that if teachers don’t get involved a little, most students won’t get this knowledge and/or skills anywhere else. And therefore, my teacher friend, is worrisome.
So what’s going on, and do you know the easiest steps an English teacher can take to simply help juniors be more ready?
Here you will find the biggest culprits:
1. The timing is more intense than school. It’s 30 minutes total, including reading the prompt together with brainstorm that is entire draft, and proofread process. That task may be daunting if students get writer’s block, have test anxiety, hardly understand the prompt when you look at the heat of this moment, or battle to wrestle their ideas into submission.
If for example the students haven’t done timed writing in a while, are used to 45 minutes, or aren’t good at it, chances are they’ll need help to cope. Check out my timed unit that is writing help students get practice completing a cohesive draft in a shorter time.
2. Students do not know the (new) rubric.When the ACT changed the writing test in 2016, the style that is prompt the rubric both changed. The assessment is no longer just a typical 5-paragraph (or so) opinion essay. Students are meant to also:
- acknowledge, support, or refute other viewpoints
- provide some combination of context, implications, significance, etc.
- recognize flaws in logic or assumptions built in a viewpoint, deploying it with their advantage if necessary
- (still write a essay that is cohesive a thesis and many different evidence, as before)
all in thirty minutes or less. English teachers can really help by at the very least groing through the rubric in class, if not assigning an essay that is ACT-style gets assessed as part of the class. Continue reading How to Help Juniors from the ACT Writing