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APSI Course Descriptions
The AP Biology Summer Institute is designed to provide new teachers with the information they need to begin a successful AP Biology program and to provide experienced teachers with more tools and resources to continue their programs. During the institute, we will discuss or perform all 13 of the college board suggested laboratory activities. Participants will take part in activities to transition familiar labs to activities that are more student directed and inquiry-based. Participants will also be given information on integrating model based learning into their curriculum to assist in more complex topics in the course including: Cellular Metabolism, Cell Communication, and the Immune System. The institute will also provide teachers the opportunity to share and develop successful strategies they use in their classroom to enhance student understanding of the four big ideas of AP Biology. Participants will also be given information on increasing equity and access in AP courses, creating a syllabus that aligns to the college board requirements, creating quality assessments, examining the course framework, and discussing the structure of the AP exam.
James "Ed" Howell
AP Calculus - AB
This session is specifically designed to assist interested teachers build a successful AP Calculus AB course in compliance with the new redesigned AP Calculus curriculum. The week will include an analysis of the current curriculum, including an examination and discussion of various teaching strategies that reflect the current philosophy and goals of the course. An overview of the AP program will be included; suggestions for pacing and sequencing of concepts; a study of numerous AP level problems; activities with graphing calculators (TI84+, TI89); a review of the AP Exam including format, scoring standards, and student responses; a discussion of the grading process from the perspective of an AP Reader; and an overview of resources and materials available to AP teachers. Teachers should bring a graphing calculator and a USB memory stick with them.
The AP Summer Institute in Chemistry will focus on assisting AP teachers in building the foundations for success in teaching the AP Chemistry curriculum. An emphasis will be placed on the new Course and Exam Description and its implementation in your classroom. You’ll also learn about completing the digital activation process at the start of the school year that will give you immediate access to the new resources and will help ensure that your students can register for AP Exams by the new fall deadlines.
By attending this APSI, you’ll gain deeper insight into the following key takeaways, among several others:
- Understand the Course;
- Plan the Course
- Teach the Course
- Assess Student Progress
- Engage as a Member of the AP Community
In addition, specific attention will be paid to the following AP Classroom resources:
- unit guides and the AP Daily video collection
- AP question bank and Unit assessments
- Unit based Personal Progress Checks
- Joining the AP teacher community and other groups
Content that has been introduced and updated (photoelectron spectroscopy (PES), and hybridization, as well as content that has been reduced in scope or eliminated such as molecular orbital theory will be noted and explained. Laboratory investigations will be introduced with the discussion of the theory, with special emphasis on student-inquiry labs. Participants will perform virtual and hands on laboratory exercises with various levels of inquiry.
The “new format” exams (2014 – 2019, 2021) will be analyzed and the grading rubrics will be explored in detail. Participants will practice grading free response questions using the rubrics and opportunities to practice writing assessment questions that will incorporate the new inquiry style of assessment will be provided. We will review the requirements of the course audit and the syllabus requirements and time will be allotted for participants to prepare their own audit document, if that is necessary. Time will also be allotted for sharing best practices and ideas as a group.
Teachers will also prepare an AP level activity or unit plan in small groups during the week and present them to the group. Finally there will be ample time for sharing resources via a Google Drive folder.
AP English Literature and Composition
AP English Literature and Composition
This four-day course is designed to benefit all AP Literature and Composition teachers. Using contemporary and classic literature, the course will explore a wide variety of instructional strategies, assessments, and classroom practices to help teachers prepare their students for college-level reading, writing, and analysis. Attendees will examine the structure, development, and scoring of the AP exam. They will practice methods of increasing student reading skills, discuss approaches for helping students through the multiple-choice exam section, and examine methods of analyzing and writing poetry. They will also read and discuss short works of fiction, discuss using major works of fiction (novels and drama), examine the need for studying and reviewing grammar and syntax, and practice a variety of writing skills their students will need.
Attendees should bring teaching resources they want to revise or incorporate into the coming school year, as well as examples of lessons or materials they are willing to share with the class during a discussion of best practices and innovation. The workshop will be largely hands-on and differentiated to the degree needed.
*The College Board has developed new course materials, both print and online, available in August 2019. The daily syllabus will include overview and discussion of these materials in conjunction with the regular coursework, subject to change, contingent upon participant needs, including, but not limited to a guided overview of the Course and Exam Description binder, allocation of time for course- and exam-description oriented lesson planning—developing a curriculum for two selected units, and an overview of the Personal Progress Checks, AP Classroom, and how they link to the Course and Exam Description and Fall Registration information.
Any attendee wishing to discuss specific goals for the course may email me at email@example.com This course and tentative schedule will be modified and amended as necessary.
- To Identify and Apply the Standards of the AP Literature and Composition Exam
- To Explore and Develop Effective AP Literature Units
- To Expand Participants’ Repertoire of Successful Methods and Activities
- To Explore Print and Electronic Resources
- To Develop a Network of AP teachers
- To Understand the Power of English Vertical Teams
AP English Language and Composition
AP English Language and Composition
Designed for the English instructor seeking to learn or improve teaching strategies pertinent to AP English Language, this course will focus on preparing students for the national exam but have an emphasis on application to the rhetorical situations present in communications “of the real world” so that students may also become critical thinkers beyond the classroom as well. Participants will leave the institute with lessons and strategies they can immediately incorporate into their curriculum.
Topics will utilize examples from fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and drama with an overall emphasis on improving students’ close reading/analysis skills and improving the syntactical maturity of students’ writing. Possible APSI discussion topics include:
- An in-depth study of the 2020 AP English Language Rubric and the 2020 free response questions with sample student responses for each participant. We will focus on integrating the rubric into our own scoring methods as well as using the student samples for instructional purposes in our own classrooms.
- Developing an AP English Language course as part of an effective Vertical Team
- Improving close/ reading, critical thinking, and rhetorical/language analysis
- Improving students’ writing through their ability to read and analyze complex text
- Introducing/Improving Argumentative Writing (for the Eng Lang & Comp Exam)
- Utilizing multiple genres in the AP English Lang & Comp classroom
- Utilizing high-interest non-fiction (including images and video as rhetorical text)
- Research time for lesson planning, enrichment pieces, and application
What to Bring for APSI Class:
- Writing tools, writing supplies, and note-taking resources (pens, pencils, highlighters, sticky-notes, etc, plus notebook paper, legal pad, or a writing journal).
- Bring your learning technology (laptop, ipad, etc) to best access digital content via USB and cloud/network downloads.
- Please be familiar with the basic tenets of the updated AP English Course and Exam Description (CED) available as .pdf download at the AP Central website.
- A list of your District’s required curricular pieces (novels, short stories, poetry, etc) for the AP or Pre-AP course(s) taught, plus the major works of your vertical team, if possible.
AP World History
AP World History
This week will consist of a mix of pedagogy and content all focused on the successful implementation of the Advanced Placement World History Modern course. We will use the Course Exam and Description to pursue understanding of the expectations placed on teachers and students in the course and strategies to achieve the goals of the course. We will focus on analytical skills needed for the course as well as understanding the content described in the curriculum framework. Together, we will practice and plan lessons that hep students improve their Historical Thinking Skills. Participants are encouraged to bring their laptop because most resources will be delivered electronically.
AP U.S. History
AP United States History
This week will consist of a mix of pedagogy and content all focused on the successful implementation of the Advanced Placement United States History course. We will focus on the writing and the analytical skills needed for the course as well as the curriculum framework. Participants are encouraged to bring a flash drive (at least 16 gigs) or a laptop; they will receive numerous resources.
Day 1-Introductions/AP History Practices and Skills /Understanding the Structure of the Course Framework/Reading Comprehension activity (Inner outer circle)/Historical Reasoning Skill of Comparison (Comparison Activity) HOMEWORK-Bring your favorite primary and secondary source.
Day 2-Analyzing Primary and Secondary Sources/Writing Thesis Statements and the Document Based Question! Multiple Choice and writing our own Multiple Choice questions and mini-DBQ’s! Historical Skill of Change and Continuity. HOMEWORK-Bring your favorite Political Cartoon!
Day 3-The Short Answer Question/Long Essay Question/ Historical Thinking Skill of Causation and Argument Development. HOMEWORK-Bring your favorite lesson!
Day 4-Sequencing the Course/Syllabus Development/Bringing Skills and Content together with a lesson from the 1950’s! Share Best Practices