I hope exam week is not too stressful in your homes. AP Seminar students have just completed a major chunk of their official AP coursework: the Individual Research Report. Per College Board Rules, I am not allowed to provide specific feedback on their drafts; however, after reading them all this weekend, I can say confidently that all of the students are well on their way to high quality papers to submit.
Today in class students were given a summary of the notes I took while reading their papers this past weekend. I gave them a list of questions to consider as they do their final edits. If they will let you, it would be great if you could read those papers and discuss those questions with the students! I know some of them are very hesitant to share their work with their parents, but if they’re willing, I think you will enjoy reading their research thus far.
Starting next week, we will shift into the group portion of this part of the assessment, the Team Multimedia Presentation. Students will be working with 2-3 other students to prepare an 8-10 minute presentation in which they will argue for a solution to a problem their team has identified.
In past years, we have invited parents to come and critique those presentations prior to videotaping our official College Board submissions. Unfortunately, the students’ busy schedules are making that impossible this year! We will not be doing an evening practice session with parents invited this year. We are working on doing something similar during the day and asking teachers to give the students feedback instead of parents. When we get the day figured out, I will let you know the times. If you can sneak away from work or home and join us mid-day, we would love to have you!
Going forward into next semester, you should start to see your students working on the big pieces of our College Board assessments. I will be putting many small check-in assignments in MiStar. These are my way of communicating to you about your student’s progress on those big assignments! If you start to see zeros popping up, it means we need to figure out some ways to help get your student back on track. For many, they are motivated by the high stakes nature of the assessments, but some struggle with the independence of tackling big projects. Roughly, you should see:
Early February: Lots of work (perhaps with a group) on the Team Multimedia Presentation
Late February/Early March: Independent research question development and lots of research
Late March/Early April: Students will be writing their Independent Written Argument essays (about 2000 words).This is a big task and I hope you will ask them about their progress often!
Late April: Lots of work on the Independent Multimedia Presentation (hopefully they will practice for you at home!)
Hope you’re all staying warm! As always, please let me know if you have any questions.
Mrs. Hattie Maguire