Welcome to second semester AP Lang! For new parents and students, I hope you find this weekly (sometimes biweekly when I get really busy!) blog a useful resource for keeping tabs on what we are up to in class.
As I told the students today, I really hate that we had to start the semester on a somewhat negative note with the midterm retake today. However, I’m happy to report that, as suspected, students did the same or better on today’s test. We worked really hard this weekend to find passages and construct questions that would be fair and provide accurate results; I think we were successful!
Last semester was organized around teaching new writing skills and critical reading work. This semester we will not learn any more skills; rather we will focus on practicing the skills they have and working on efficiency and style. To that end, our work every week will be in a reader/writer workshop format. On Mondays, students will receive four texts for the week:
Students will be encouraged to plan out their in class work on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays to get the maximum amount of work done in class; they will all be scheduled for a weekly, graded conference with me as well.
There are several goals for organizing class this way. First, we want to give students consistent practice opportunities to help them hone the skills necessary for the test in May. This format also allows for weekly, one-on-one feedback about their writing from their teacher. Finally, and perhaps most important, this format puts much of the ownership and responsibility for practice in the hands of the student. As this is supposed to mimic a college course, we are hoping to give students more freedom in how they attack their work, ask for feedback, and develop their skills. If they are practicing during class, while I'm there to help them and provide feedback, they will make much more progress. If you can help out at home by encouraging them to share what they’re working on with you, that would be wonderful!
I look forward to working with your students this semester as we prepare for the AP Test in May! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Mrs. Hattie Maguire