Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Getting Prepped in Augusta

Augusta High School Parking Lot
Last Thursday, I traveled down to Augusta High School in Augusta, KY to lead a preparation class for the math ACT.  There were 25 out of the 26 Juniors in attendance.  The session was only 90 minutes, as the Principal wanted to meet with the students afterward.  I met with the student in the library, which means that there wasn't a whiteboard to work with.  Fortunately, I had planned ahead and brought my tablet PC and a projector.

I covered roughly the same material as in the other sessions this year.  I started with an overview of test taking strategies.  The book we are using, KAPLAN ACT 2011, is more precise on its test taking strategies, and I improved my talk accordingly. Then, the students work on problems for 20 minutes.  I broke the work into two periods of 15 minutes and five minutes.  The book suggests working through the test in two passes with the same proportion of time. Finally, I highlighted a few of the problems that illustrated the mindset that the ACT requires.  I usually spend an hour on this part, but I only had 30 minutes due to the shorter time frame.

There was one teacher and a guidance counselor in the room with me.  I am always a bit nervous teaching in front of high school teachers.  They have had years of preparation and experience in teaching.  My teacher training in graduate school consisted of one handout, a sample syllabus, and instructions not to date the students.  At least one of the students said I was "cooler than the last woman."

I've only been to Augusta twice since moving to Kentucky. It is just a few miles closer to Cincinnati than Maysville along the Ohio River. Both Maysville and Augusta are similar in their histories and populations.  Here is a picture I took of the river.  It is the best I could do with my cell phone while illegally parked.
A view of the Ohio River
If you are curious about Augusta High School's famous graduate, whom I mentioned a few posts ago, his yearbook photo (according to the New York Post) is below.