Whew! That was a busy two weeks in AP Seminar! I hope your students have shared their successes with you. We have completed a full practice run of the first AP performance task--an individual research report (IRR) followed by a team multimedia presentation (TMP). I think everyone learned a lot--how to better narrow a research question, how to have the tough discussions about what to cut and what to keep, how to make sure your research isn’t full of holes, etc. Students will receive scores for the both the IRR and TMP on Monday. Those scores will count for now, but as we continue to hone our skills, they will have opportunities to replace and improve them.
This weekend they are working on a practice essay to prepare for the end of course exam. The exam in May will have two parts: part A asks them to read and analyze a piece of research; part B asks them to read four pieces of research and find a common theme for which they can make an argument. I really like the assessment because I think it measures students’ ability to think critically about a text and then extend that thinking to their writing. This weekend is their first stab at part B. We will discuss the results on Monday and then do one “for real” next week. As always, this is something we will return to multiple times and students will have many opportunities to improve and replace their score. My goal for them is consistent, high quality critical thinking and writing by the end of the semester.
We are also starting a unit on Monsters this week (Halloween appropriate!). Students will use that very loose term to consider what monsters they see in our world. We will start by looking back into history--all the way back to how early explorers drew maps and created monsters in the margins when they didn’t know what was out there! Then we’ll move to some literature examples like Medusa. Finally we’ll get to present day and talk about what we monster-ize. I think the students will really enjoy it. Last year this theme produced an incredibly wide variety of research topics.
Have a great weekend! I’m looking forward to seeing many of you at conferences and I still have spots available if you haven’t signed up yet.
Mrs. Hattie Maguire