I was out for the Mock Exam reading in Denver. With the sub, students completed the in-class essay test over The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Homework: complete Step 3 and turn it in by 11:59 tonight.
AP English Language & Composition
College professors frequently lament the poor writing skills of the students who enter their classrooms, particularly straight out of high school. This course is designed to help you succeed in not only a freshman composition course, but in college altogether. Students will learn to think critically, read analytically, and communicate with clarity and confidence.
While students may earn college credit if they receive a 3, 4, or 5 on the AP English Language and Composition Exam (depending on their chosen college), the ultimate goal of this course is to prepare students for the rigors of college writing.
I collected Huck Finn for the last set of annotations, and we talked about the essay test over the novel next week. We went over one final visual source from last week, and students continued working on collecting their 10 sources for Step 2 of the Research Project. We also talked about Step 3, the draft of the prompt page, which will be due next week. Homework: The deadline for Step 2 has been pushed back to 11:59 tonight, to be turned in via Google Classroom.
After introducing Step 2 of the Research Project, students worked on beginning to collect their 10 sources to turn in next class. I also collected and graded part 4 of the Huck Finn annotations. And we looked at another visual source that we didn’t get to in last week’s lesson. Homework: finish reading/annotating Huck Finn for next class.
Students turned in their topics and inquiry questions today for the Build-a-Synthesis-Prompt Research Project. Then we began talking about visual sources in various Synthesis prompts and how to read/use them. Homework: HF annotations through ch. 35 are due next class.
Students worked on Step 1 of the Build-a-Synthesis-Prompt Research Project. Topics will be reported to me at the start of class on Friday. Any spare time was spent starting Step 2 of the project or reading Huck Finn. Homework: read/annotate through ch. 35 by 2/9; complete any additional work you need to do to pick a topic for Friday.
I updated the due dates for The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn reading at the start of class:
- through ch. 35 is now due on 2/9
- end of novel is still due on 2/11
Then I gave students some feedback on their note cards/works cited from the equity mini-research project. We talked more about Huck Finn, including introducing some new topics for discussion and using satire as a lens through which to examine the text. At the end of class, I introduced the big research project for the semester — Build-a-Synthesis-Prompt. We discussed the overview of the project and due dates for each component as well as the details of the first few steps. Homework: read/annotate Huck Finn; ch. 35 is due on 2/9.
We started class today reviewing the experience of taking the Mock Exam. Students received a spreadsheet with their multiple choice score as well as formulas to calculate their composite and AP scores. Students entered several possibilities for essay scores and improvements on multiple choice before moving on to some work about and discussion of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I collected books at the start of class to check annotations, but didn’t get to them in class, so I’m going to hang onto the books and push back the due date for the next set of annotations. More next week.
Mock Exam day! Nothing strenuous afterwards — just a reading day for The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Homework: annotations through ch. 27 are due Thursday.
Our last day to prep before Tuesday’s Mock Exam, we returned to our multiple choice practice from last week for most of the class. We spent the last 30 minutes looking at a new synthesis prompt and practicing how to attack this task — annotate, determine a position to take, write a thesis, choose main ideas for body paragraphs, and pick quotes from complimentary or contradictory sources to make the sources talk to one another. Homework: spend 30 minutes reviewing this weekend, similarly to how you prepared for the first semester final; in particular, try to memorize a few argumentative moves you can use on your essays.
Since I am away today, it’s a great day for a work day. Complete the note card research project (Equity in Schools) that you began on 1/12. Your 6–10 (or more!) note cards must be submitted to the filing box by the end of class. Please review this note card template if you don’t remember how to format your note cards from last week. Likewise, you must submit two documents via Google Classroom: the pre-attached template for your topic and inquiry question(s) and your Works Cited generated from EasyBib and attached at the very end of the project. This is also due by the end of class. If you finish early, work on those Huck Finn annotations. Homework: annotations through ch. 19 are due on Friday.
I pushed back finishing the note card research until next class, when I will be out of the building. Instead, we used class time today to dive deeper into the Synthesis task and the Multiple Choice in advance of the Mock Exam on 1/26. Homework: read through ch. 19 by 1/22.
Today we spent time reviewing MLA format for research and other papers. Students practiced with EasyBib to better understand how it builds a Works Cited for you. Then everyone had time to work on their Equity mini-research assignment, filling out note cards and collecting sources. Homework: through ch. 11 in Huck Finn is due next time; you may wish to knock out a few note cards for the mini-research project as well.
I introduced a lengthy handout today designed to help students tackle research projects. We continued our discussion of the Dominant Culture before beginning pre-research reading to pick a topic and write inquiry questions for the upcoming mini-research project. We wrapped up class with our first real look at a synthesis prompt. Homework: complete your Huck Finn annotations on the following schedule:
- through ch. 11 due 1/14
- through ch. 19 due 1/22
- through ch. 27 due 1/28
- through ch. 35 due 2/5
- finished novel due 2/11
I started today by going over the dates of the Mock Exam (1/26) and Saturday Study Session #2 (1/30). We reviewed the Argument essay students wrote for the first semester final. Students took a different position than the one they defended on the final and wrote that essay, trying to work additional detail into their examples (data) and also additional examples. At the end of class, we began our discussion of the Dominant Culture and Equity following our number game on Monday. Homework: read/annotate another chapter or two of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
We kicked off second semester with a review of last semester’s RA passage and essays. Students revised their introductions and one body paragraph with the goal being to improve description of the rhetorical situation. I signed out copies of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and students began reading and annotating this novel. At the very end of class, students completed a number puzzle to introduce the concept of equity, something we will discuss for the next several weeks. Homework: read/annotate a chapter or two of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn before Wednesday.
We continued finals review today. I went through every handout from the semester, pointing out how students could print new copies from this very website, and how to prepare for and use these materials on the final. Students prepped two different AP prompts and then wrote whichever one they chose in class. After this, we watched a video from Last Week Tonight, and analyzed the use of rhetoric as well as argumentative moves from this clip. Homework: work on revisions to the two summative essays; also, optionally, write the other practice essay you did not write in class today.
We began to review for the final today, using Atticus Finch’s courtroom speech from the film version of To Kill a Mockingbird. [Students analyzed the rhetoric, prepped a Rhetorical Analysis essay, considered an argument prompt, and prepped an Argument essay], all of which were timed to simulate the first 10 minutes of the 40-minute suggested time for a timed essay. Homework: work on revisions to the two summative essays.
We held our final Socratic seminar of the semester — this one over Nickel and Dimed. Students wrote the reflection in class and turned it in before beginning our review of Rhetorical Analysis with a practice multiple choice passage.
Students reviewed the scoring guidelines for the Buy Nothing Day essay from last class and scored their own essays. We reviewed words and sentence frames for arguments, and everyone revised two of the four paragraphs from that same essay, and turned everything back in. Students then pivoted to preparations for Monday’s Socratic seminar on Nickel and Dimed, including filling out a third conclusion/support/yes/but handout for the “Minnesota” chapter. I also prompted everyone for questions they should write up in advance of Monday’s seminar. Homework: finish preparing for the seminar; also, all late novel and TIB essays must be turned in by 12/17.