Friday, September 14, 2012

AP Language or Hit and Run AP

Other AP teachers always ask how you can cover everything you have to --or sometimes they tell me I don't have that much to cover. I say you have to make yourself do it; I call it hit and run AP. Don't teach anything that is not on the AP test unless you have already done the entire AP curriculum.  I had a 22 year old teacher  who was astonished mine were not writing bibliography entries by heart. First I said they can put them in a website or in word so that it will automatically format them, so there is no need to memorize them. They change all the time too. Next, AP test doesn't care about that, the AP test cares that writers introduced other sources by saying things like "According to Source A." That's what they had to know for me.

It also helps to decide they are going to do great on the test and to tell them that. Telling them they will do terribly is a self fulfilling prophecy. Hence, my motto"

5s and 4s-we want more.

My kids could name the three possible essays and what the multiple choice looked like all year long; we practiced the test,another crucial thing to do.  By practicing the test and making them tell you what's on it,l you are making it a comfortable, no shock thing.

I am proud to say my kids collectively always did great on the AP tests.  It is common to get one or two fives out of about 45 kids. In my last two classes, at least 7 had 5s because they wrote and told me when I was sick.  I am so proud of them; they did the work. I just coached.  Bobby said to me one day that my class was what he called a "proven quantity" when it came to scores and that he felt ready despite the fact that he had little homework besides memorizing literary terms and vocabulary.  I said that for me  you needed to put the time and thinking into the classroom and learn those terms, have confidence, and above all use all the time. Don't doodle or quit early.

I used to say I will find out if you quit early and it will be ugly.  I had the one who did the "no doodling zone" quickly on her book pages which I thought was very funny.


  1. Don't sell yourself short. Yes, they did the work. But there is no "just" in coaching. Without good direction, even the best workers can fall short of the goal.

  2. Got to decide to hit and run the topics and inspire confidence.