My mission for this blog as morphed and changed and reverted about a hundred different times. Ultimately, my WHY falls on Teaching Sincerely - making sure that every teacher can teach passionately, staying true to their individual, or sincere, purpose. Simultaneously, however, I also mentor a sizable group of AP Language teachers, and I want to offer whatever I can as support. In a marriage of these two desires, I am launching a yearlong blog series:
Essentially, I will explain how I Teach AP Language Sincerely, meaning that I will explain my curricular choices and planning, but also how they align to my WHY (or the BIG ROCKS - as I mentioned in my last post).
So let’s do it!
We start with a four day week - Tuesday to Friday - this year, and as its the first week, we aren’t jumping into much content. I do plan, however, to utilize a new lesson format from Day 1. Here’s what it looks like:
It’s a lot of reading and writing, and not so much skill time - definitely a big risk - but if I really think about what I need to see from students, this will provide the practice and individual assessment kids need. It also gives me the additional time to conference on both. That said, Week 1 is a little bit off routine.
[Note: This isn’t a format I came up myself. See 180 Days by Kelly Gallagher and Penny Kittle for more information!]
One of my BIG ROCKS is making sure students have ownership of their learning, so I wanted to have time to sit down with each students for an individual conversation. To allow this, I plan to put the rest of the class to work on diagnostics for the year while I do these “interviews.”
But then - as usual - there was an obstacle. I was told that all of our students would have to do STAR testing right away. After discussing with the other AP Language teacher, we agreed to use this requirement as an opportunity. We simple switched out an AP multiple choice diagnostic for the required assessment. This is an example of adapting to a situation to Teach Sincerely. (As teachers, we spend A LOT of time bending to meet mandates, but that doesn’t mean we sacrifice what we truly care about).
Overview: The class will begin with students interviewing their teacher and establishing classroom routine. The rest of the week is devoted to diagnostics and one-on-one "interviews" with students.
Click here for the full lesson plans.