Meaningful Post-Exam Work

The Exam's OverWhat Now-

May 3rd has been looming large in most AP Literature teachers’ minds. What do we do with this class now? Popping in a movie for the last twenty days of school just isn’t the answer.

There are many factors to consider when planning for the end of the year.  How many instructional days do you really have? There are other AP tests, state testing, assemblies, field trips, and fire drills to plan around. Graduation may be at the end of May or in mid-June.  Do you have a class of juniors? seniors? or a mix?  

Use these ideas to help formulate your plan to make the end of the year, after the AP Lit test, engaging and motivating for students.KEEP READING

Ideas for Writing Woes

SOS-I Can't ThinkofAnything to Write

I was talking to my AP Literature class yesterday, and when I asked them how they were feeling about the AP test we’ll be taking next week, the response was mixed. While most students feel that they have the skills they need to go in and be successful, there was some apprehension. “What do I do if I hit a wall?” one of my students asked. When I asked her what she meant, she went on to say, “If I read the poem or passage, and just have nothing to write, what do I do?”KEEP READING

Reminders from AP Readers

ap-lit-helpfor-teachersby-teachersbenefiting-students

Below are short videos for Questions 1, 2, and 3 with some general reminders for writing. These observations are not an exhaustive list by any means but can be used for a quick review or a to start a conversation about AP Lit essays. (I apologize for the quality of the first video. I didn’t realize how poor the quality is, but the audio is good).

The comments from last night’s Twitter chat can be found below the videos.  … KEEP READING

Building Confidence for the AP Exam

You take the test;the test doesn't take you.

You take the test; the test doesn’t take you.

This is something my students and I talk about a lot. The last thing I want them to do on exam day is walking in feeling powerless to an exam. I want the opposite: I want them to feel like they have a choice in how they decide to tackle the exam. Confidence on exam day goes a long way and knowing some test taking strategies and having a personal plan for exam day helps build student confidence. 

Take advantage of these test-taking strategies and pointers for students:KEEP READING

Writing about Complexity

Unpacking Meaning by Layers

complex

[adjective, verb kuh m-pleks, kom-pleks]

1. composed of many interconnected parts; compound; composite: a complex highway system.

2. characterized by a very complicated or involved arrangement of parts, units, etc.: complex machinery.

3. so complicated or intricate as to be hard to understand or deal with: a complex problem.

KEEP READING

National Poetry Month Resources

Large-Blue-RGB-National-Poetry-Month-Logo

Started in 1996 by the American Academy of Poets, April is set aside as National Poetry month. The purpose is to encourage the reading of and celebrate poetry in the classroom as well as society as a whole. As teachers of Literature, our challenge lies in providing students with the tools to analyze poetry without killing the poem. The idea of having students read a poem daily without the task of deconstructing the poem for meaning but simply to appreciate the beauty of the words is one that is worth exploring this month.

KEEP READING

Essay Organization – Three Common Methods

Organizing Literary Analysis-What's Your Plan-

Writing a timed essay for an AP exam is stressful for even the most confident of students. The job of an AP teacher (or any writing teacher honestly) is to provide as many tools as possible for the student to have in their writing toolbox. Having different methods of organization is fundamental because it provides the outline and structure for the analysis and ideas of the essay. Organizing can be challenging because there is no one “right” way to do this. Below are the three most common ways to organize a timed writing response with examples of sample essays from AP central.KEEP READING

Reading and Exploring Outside the Classroom

Texas teensmeetShelley's -Skylark-

Winters in Texas often resemble spring in other parts of the country. These beautiful winter days offer great opportunities to take learning outside. Every year I wait for the temperature to reach a comfortable range and out we go to experience the natural world the Romantic poets extol in their poetry.  The following lesson is easily replicated with a different poem, but I turn to Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “To a Skylark.” … KEEP READING

Using Sample Essays to Improve Student Writing

Anchor Student Writing

One of the most underused resources in AP Literature are the sample essays (or anchor essays as I call them) on the College Board AP Lit exam page. College Board provides sample responses for Question 1 (poetry), Question 2 (prose), and Question 3 (open-ended) for every year dating back to 2003. In addition to the essays, College Board provides a summary justifying the scores the essays received at the reading. These essays are GOLD, and the possibilities of using them to improve student writing are endless. Here are a few ways I use them in class:KEEP READING

#thisisAP

WHAT ISAP LIT-

Registration for next year has begun at my school. Students have so many options in today’s education system. Dual enrollment, virtual school, and non-AP English classes are all options offering different benefits. There is no one right answer for all students; instead, students need to figure out which class is best for their strengths and curriculum path. This post is not to take away from any of the other options students have but to promote why I (along with some support from former students) think AP Lit is beneficial. Forgive the question/answer slides, but I’m obsessed with JEOPARDY! and this week’s college tournament. JEOPARDY! is the perfect mentor text.KEEP READING

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