Monday, August 6, 2018

AP Virtual Summits for Teachers & Students

This weekend AP teachers learned tips on how to score the LEQ, SAQ and DBQ at a virtual summit. One presenter explained how students might tackle the multiple choice.

And world historians like Ross Dunn, the founder of the website, World History for Us All, and the author of a number of world history textbooks, and Dr. Laura Mitchell,  Professor at the University of California at Irvine and the president of the World History Association, spoke about teaching the big questions in AP World History.

If you missed the August summit, you can still sign up for other summits during the school year. And for $49, you can access the archived materials from this weekend which include presenter videos and slides. Click here and scrolll to the bottom.

An organization called Fivable, founded by Amanda DoAmaral, an AP World and US teacher, organized the summit.

DoAmaral started Fiveable last spring to virtually tutor AP students before the AP Exam. Students reviewed the different essays as well as highlights of each unit. In addition, DoAmaral gave out review packets for each unit.  She also developed a You Tube channel with both writing and content reviews. A couple of my students signed up for the review and loved it.

This fall review sessions for students will run twice per month in the fall and then every week in the spring!

Students can join Fiveable for $59 and teachers can join for summits like the one this weekend (the cost for that was $79), which helped defray the cost of the the Fiveable website and webinar platform.

This weekend's summit was amazing and beneficial to both new and veteran teachers. For example Tom Richey, an AP Euro and AP US teacher in South Carolina with a terrrifc website and You Tube channel, argued that the new mulitple choice is a content test, and not a reading test and suggested that more often than not, the stimulus is not neccesary to answer the question.

Josh Bailey, an AP World teacher in Chicago, offered interesting ways to scaffold the writing. He begins the year by teaching students about evidence. He gives students thesis statements or arguments about the reading they just completed. Students then have to provide evidence for the argument.

Bailey argues that planning an essay begins with good evidence.

Historian Bob Bain, who teaches at the University of Michigan School of Education and helped design the Big History Project, spoke to teachers about creating "a set of inquiry problems that unifies and builds coherence around that curriculum.”

For example, in US History, you could ask how big government should be and what government should do for people and who should receive benefits.  Bain suggests that questions like this could drive the whole curriculum because it raises questions about the American Revolution, the Constitution  and even the Civil War.

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