Time to Prepare for Those AP Exams!

Hello Readers:  Today, I gave my students a pep talk about the importance of preparing for the upcoming AP exams.  If you are a new reader of my blog, I want to refer you to two previous posts that I have written–Using Free Response Questions to Review for AP Exams and Preparing for the AP Exam.  To follow up on my previous post on parents as partners in AP success, I have copied below the email message that I sent out to my parent list today.  This gives you an idea of how I communicate my expectations to both the kids and the parents.  You might find some ideas in here that will be useful in your own efforts to prepare students for AP exams.  As I point out in the message below, I am doing everything I can think of to keep kids working hard and gaining greater understanding of the material right up until May 4.  If you have strategies to share that work for you, send me a comment and I will include in my next post!

Parents:

Well, we have made it through prom.  I hope you will have a few weeks of peace to allow your bank accounts to recover.  ha ha.  It was great to see so many of the kids dressed up and having such a good time.  It was a wonderful night.  Now it’s back to the business at hand of learning calculus!  In exactly one month, we will be taking the AP Calculus exam (May 4) and I am doing everything that I can think of to make sure the students will be well prepared to display the knowledge they have spent an entire year developing.

 Today in class, I announced that I want them to develop a written study plan to cover these components:

 1)  We need to be very focused and make good use of our time.  Time is at a premium right now because we need to cover the rest of the material and study and I know they have other classes they need to prepare for as well in addition to a variety of other senior “distractions.” 

2)  Individual study–They need to find 10-15 minutes each day to work on basic formulas or topics they know they need to study.  When and where can this occur?  Wake up a little early?  Use an off-period?  Identify one topic that you know you need to improve and dig up notes, homework, practice problems, etc.  

3)  Group study–Vital to success in college.  Find 2 or 3 people who will be good study partners (5 people is more of a party than a study session) and determine when and where you can meet and what you can work on together.  (Perhaps materials from prep sessions you couldn’t attend?  See next bullet) Parents might help by offering to host a study party and bribing with snacks.

 4)  Prep sessions–We will have weekly extra credit prep sessions.  This week will be Thursday either before or after school.  Next Saturday session for calculus is April 16, 8:30 am-12:30.  Make sure your child has these on their calendar.

 5)  Practice sets–We are doing both multiple choice and free response practice, sometimes in class and sometimes to be completed at home.  Kids need to take the practice sets very seriously and do their best.  They need to make sure they attempt every part of every problem.  When they do one set of 3 problems, I end up with about 250 problems to grade.  I stay up until 2 or 3 in the morning to get those graded and handed back the next day.  If I am willing to do that, they need to be willing to give me their best effort. 

We ALL (parents, students and teachers) need to work together to assure that students get the college credit through the AP exam that they deserve.  Help your child to develop their study plan to then to have the discipline to carry it out.  Next year, they will need to engage in these activities all on their own, without your guidance and support. 

 Some other upcoming events:  This Saturday, April 9 is the AP Spanish Language prep session at PHS.  If your child is taking AP Spanish, please make sure they participate in this event.  Also on Saturday, Panther Celebration is sponsoring a car show at B&B Autoworks.  They need folks to help in concession stand.  Contact *** for more information. 

Okay, that’s all for now!  Have a great week!

 dixie

Thanks for reading.  Remember to send me your ideas or questions about effective ways of preparing students for AP exams!

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