So here we are. My first post on the AP EURO site and it's not even for my students (feel free to sit this one out kids).
Below are materials I wanted to share with the rest of the APSI group. The first item is a PowerPoint on group LEQs and includes a handy mnemonic aid I've been using for years, TASC. It seems to me that TASC accomplishes just about everything required on the LEQ rubric except the thesis point.
In addition to this, I put together a template for SAQs. This was based on an APSI I attended last year for APUSH, as well as the CED found on the Advances in AP site. I haven't looked at it in a year, but it might be a good starting point.
There are a number of things I do in my AP World History class that I intend to also do in my AP Euro class.
We do these at the conclusion of just about every chapter. There are tracking forms and scaffolding tools, and many other things available. At the beginning of the year we do a pilot/co-pilot format. The inner circle is comprised of pilots, and each pilot has two co-pilots (I use their groups from the essays). Also, I provide guiding questions based on the assigned reading, scaffold materials, and tracking forms so that students understand what I'm looking for. When a question is presented, pilots get 1 minute to confer with their co-pilots. After the minute is up, only the pilots are allowed to discuss in the center circle. Co-pilots can participate by passing a note to their pilot(or texting them). Every 10 minutes, or so, we rotate. Everyone gets a turn in the pilot chair. It's especially entertaining when a chatty co-pilot is passing note after note to their quiet pilot, forcing them to speak.
As the year goes on I provide fewer and fewer questions and require the students to come up with more. By that point they understand what makes a good discussion question (reasonable people should be able to disagree on the answer/it would make a good essay prompt). As the students get the hang of it, we run three concurrent, student facilitated, seminars. I give the tracking form to the least talkative (least prepared) student, and I float around from group to group. I listen, and occasionally add my two cents.
There are plenty of youtube videos and articles on this, so I'm not going to get too detailed as to the "How." I just record these using my phone using irig recorder (it's an app), edit them using audacity (it's free, also you'll want the LAME mp3 plug in to make mp3s). From there, you can find a youtube video and figure out how to distribute them through iTunes or Stitcher. The explanation would take more time than I have to write this. Here is my podcasts archive.
Formative Assessments using YOUTUBE VIDEOS
I do these online using my WHAP page, but they could easily be done on paper. Most of the formative assessments were crowd-sourced on the AP World History Teachers facebook group. Here are some examples (I'll tell you the password, but don't give it out. I don't want to get a bunch of formative assessments e-mailed to me from students I don't teach). I think I am going to make them for Euro using Tom Richey's youtube videos. Of course, it might be sort of neat to make SAQs dealing with short clips from other videos.
In a day when there are an increasing number of "non-traditional AP students" in our courses, we need to provide greater support. AP (like college) is a sink or swim environment, but some kids need a life preserver until they figure out how to swim. We still need to hold the kids responsible for doing the work to the same level, but we might have to scaffold a bit to get them there. It doesn't matter if you use schoology, edmodo, or weebly, or some webtool provided by your school/district. These are free services (of course if you are a narcissist you could purchase a url for your weebly page...mrgeoffrion.com).
I hope these have been helpful. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, ideas, or if you just want to share where you went with some of these ideas.
Mr. Geoffrion is a History Teacher, Podcaster, and AP Reader. If you are visiting this site, it is highly likely that you are one of his AP Euro students.