AP Literature Redesign
I recently attended a one day College Board training. I haven't done a week long, but this is my third one-day since I started our AP program with AP Literature and Composition in 2009. I wasn't terribly impressed with the presenter this year, but I did come away with some ideas on how to schedule my AP Literature class, and I wanted to share my new plan with you.
I adore having a routine and a plan, and one of my goals for my AP classes has always been to fit my content into four days a week (this is actually funny for me to say now as we are exploring the idea of making our AP classes 5 days at 2 hours). In addition I am keenly aware that my AP Lit students' scores fall well behind those of my AP Psychology class, so I knew that some changes needed to be made. The desire to make those changed was why I had such high hopes for this training.
The presenter talked about how her students wrote an essay a week, which for many of us in that rooms seemed like a daunting grading task. However, once you look at some quick ways to give students feedback on their writing (I am hoping to write a separate post on just this), it can be more manageable.
Another idea the presenter talked us through was weekly multiple choice practice. Once a week students spend the class period looking at one passage worth of multiple choice questions.
One of the practices she uses with this is reading the text aloud, which never occurred to me before, so adding that to my repertoire was a must. Other things I wanted to add to this day were scaffolding of independence on these questions sets. I also needed to be sure to build in time for students to analyze the passage and work with words they didn't know. For me an added bonus of this was the exposure my students would get to many forms of literature and language.
The final piece from this training that struck me was that she gives her students three weeks to read every novel they do as shared reading. That idea combined with our building focus on reading, and my desire to build reading stamina in my students led to the creation of a reading day on Friday. As you can see above it will not be just reading, but it will also include how to read.
It is my hope that this new plan, which will start next week with 2nd quarter, will not only streamline my planning but will also increase my students independence and success.
I can't wait to let you know how it all turns out. If you have questions or suggestions, please share them with me as I am always looking to meet other teachers interested in the same issues.