How to Prepare to Teach an Advanced Placement Course

How to Prepare to Teach an
Advanced Placement Course
Leadership LSO
Gary Carlin
Jan, 2008
• The College Board AP Central web site has
a wealth of information on all Advanced
Placement Courses:
– Course Description
– Teacher’s Guide
– Sample Syllabi
– Free Response Q&A
– Helpful Websites/Resources
– Electronic Discussion Groups, etc …
A Course Description
• Course Descriptions for all AP courses are
available on the College Board AP Central web
site (free download).
• Put your cursor on the AP COURSES AND
EXAMS green navigation box and select Course
• Select your specific course from the Course
Description Index.
AP Teacher’s Guide
Contains course specific information on:
• How to Begin your AP course.
• Techniques and Strategies for the
• The specific AP exam
• Sample Syllabi
• Resources
• 200+ pages
- on the Course Home Page
Topic Outline
• Outline of the Major Topics is found in your
specific AP Course Description.
• Topics are NOT necessarily in order, even
though presented as a numerical outline.
• The percentages (%) given represents the
proportion of M/C questions on the exam –
used to guide you in the emphasis that
should be placed on course topics.
Sample Topic Outline: Env Sci
I. Earth Systems and Resources (10-15%)
II. The Living World (10-15%)
III. Population (10-15%)
IV. Land and Water Use (10-15%)
V. Energy Resources and Consumption
• VI. Pollution (25-30%)
• VII. Global Change (10-15%)
Sample Syllabi
• Put your cursor on the AP COURSES
AND EXAMS green navigation box and
select Sample Syllabi.
• Select your specific syllabus from the
Sample Syllabi Index.
• There are 4 samples for each course.
AP Course Audit
• “All schools wishing to label a course "AP" in the
2007-08 school year must complete and return
the subject-specific AP Course Audit form, along
with the course syllabus, for each teacher of
that AP course.”
• Must be approved by the College Board.
NYCDOE Calendar
• Click on School Calendar and print.
• From this calendar we need:
- School holidays/vacations
- Start and finish times for school year
- Non teaching (testing) days
School Year Calendar
Indicate Start/Finish dates
Cross out weekends
Cross out holidays
Cross out non-teaching days (Election Day,
Regents Week, etc.)
• Indicate AP Examination date
• Count total number of Teaching days
- approximately 140 days (May exam)
Sample: Days Per Topic (ES)
14-21 days
14-21 days
14-21 days
14-21 days
14-21 days
35-42 days
14-21 days
– (includes review, testing, and labs)
Textbook Sequence
• On each AP Course Home Page there is
an AP Course Audit Box with a link to
Example Textbook List (also in Course
• Use the textbook organization to help
sequence the AP Topics from the Course
Topic Breakdown
• Each Major Topic (Roman Numbers) is
divided into subtopics (letters)
• I. Earth Systems and Resources (10-15%)
– A. Earth Science Concepts
– B. The Atmosphere
– C. Global Water Resources and Use
– D. Soil and Soil Dymanics
• each subtopic then has specific examples in
parenthesis (Geologic time scale; plate
tectonics, earthquakes, volcanism; …)
Topic Depth
• The best way to “estimate” the level of
depth for each topic is to match the Topics
and Subtopics from the Topic Outline to
– Content in the Recommended College-level
– AP examination multiple-choice and free
response questions.
AP M/C Questions
• Sample M/C questions in the Course
• Released AP exams available through the
College Board.
• “AP-similar” Questions: review books, test
programs (Eduware Test Wizard) and test
banks for recommended textbooks
Free Response Questions
• Course Home Page: Exam Information
– The AP Exam description
2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 1999-2002
Samples and Commentary
Grade Distribution
Electronic Discussion Groups
• Subscribe to a group so you may
communicate with other course specific
AP teachers
– Read discussions and ask questions of
specific members or the group related to
teaching of topics and depth of content.
– Search the archives for previous discussion
AP Science Courses
• Must also prepare to provide laboratory
experiences in all AP science course.
• AP Biology and Environmental Science
must also prepare for field investigations.
• Sample Lab/Field activities are found in
the Course Description, Teacher Guide
and AP Central website.
AP Summer Institutes
• 5 full day workshops to train new teachers
of AP courses (***ESSSENTIAL***).
• Content, Pedagogy, Test, Laboratory
Component, Networking, Technology, etc.
• Bronx Sites include: Manhattan College
and Fordham University.
AP Grants for the
Summer Institute
Green NOTICE box (left-hand side)
Select AP Scholars Awards
Select AP Grants (blue box –right side)
Select AP Fellows
AP Fellows Program
• March 1, 2008 Deadline
• School: +50% students of color and low
income families
• $1000 Scholarship to attend a College
Board-endorsed AP Summer Institute.
A Summer Assignment
• Many veteran AP teachers like to give their
new AP students a self-guided summer
assignment they will turn in upon their
arrival in September.
• A supplemental reading list.
• Suggested activities (web-based) to help
prepare themselves.