Saturday, July 24, 2010

AP Institute Training in Vermont

Starting on Sunday, I will be attending a five day AP Institute Training at St. Johnsbury Academy in Vermont for my AP Euro History class. I have heard positive feedback from other teachers that have done the AP training in Vermont so I'm looking forward to a great experience.

I'm very excited about the training but also a little nervous too. As a student in high school, I never took an AP course. I wasn't even in Honors classes. I was that student that probably should've been in higher level courses but I never took high school serious enough to excel in my classes. Yes, I was a educators nightmare! :-)

Based on the intro letter that was sent by the instructor, it looks like there will be 16 teachers taking the training with me. We were even given a homework assignment: bring 16 copies of a teaching unit or teaching activity that we think would be useful with AP students. If we don't teach AP yet, we could bring an activity from our World History class. I photocopied an activity that I do with my freshman to introduce to them to Primary documents. It's a document based question (DBQ) about the causes of the French Revolution. Basically, I break the class into five groups and give each group a primary document to analyze. I give them a worksheet that helps them to analyze the document. I teach them APPARTS (The acronym APPARTS (Author, Place and Time, Prior Knowledge, Audience, Reason, The Main Idea, and Significance) provides prompts that assists students in gaining a fuller understanding of primary sources.). Each group then shares their document with the class. After Q & A, students individually will then respond to the DBQ using the documents and prior knowledge as support for their thesis.

We are also being asked to bring an extra flash drive with a lot of memory. The instructor will be sharing a lot of PowerPoints and helping us to start building our own AP program. Yeah! PowerPoints!!! :=) And, the instructor will be giving us free AP textbooks!!!

When I started this process a year ago of getting the AP course approved, I knew it would be a lot of reading, research, and work. Once the class goes "live" on September 9th (this is our 1st day of school), there is no turning back. I've never taught the "higher level" student before so professionally this is going to be a challenge. The students are excited - they've been emailing me over the summer with tons of questions about the summer assignments - so I hope that I make the class challenging, fun, yet an enriching experience for them.

I will try and post during the week (we will have access to WiFi) but I don't know how much downtime will be given to us. I've been told that the training is a lot of work and they keep you pretty busy with work and assignments.

I come home Friday evening, have the weekend to wash clothes and somewhat relax, and then I have to pack for IL (I leave on that Monday @ 6:00 am for Chicago). Visiting family and friends until August 13th.

So . . . let's go AP Euro History training!!!!!! :=)


Lauren said...

Sounds very exciting! Good luck :)

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

You were "an educator's nightmare"? Well, look how far you've come! Congratulations! I'm sure you'll come away from this institute with great things to teach your students.