Thursday, 7-21-11, AP Pre-Conference :

Kelly Tumy's Experienced A. P. English Language Teacher Day-Long Seminar

The official program description:

For experienced AP teachers, this workshop includes College Board resources, released exams and student samples

Workshop materials :
In this workshop, each participant will receive a copy of the Workshop Handbook, which contains:
1) AP English Language and Composition Course Description
2) AP Course Audit information
3) Sample syllabus for AP English Language and Composition and a Syllabus Development Guide
4) AP English Language and Composition free-response materials (student samples, scoring guidelines and commentary)
5) Multiple-choice questions and answers from the AP English Language and Composition 2007 Released Exam

Special Focus:
Reading and Writing Analytically: That sense of analysis-of reading and writing analytically-as "undoing" is the common theme that runs through this volume. The materials focus on reading and writing analytically as essentially an act of taking something apart, seeing how the parts work, and showing how the parts produce the whole.
The chapters include:
1) Introduction: Analysis as "Undoing"
2) On Reading and Writing Analytically: Theory, Method, Crisis, Action Plan
3) Analytic Writing in College: Forms, Sites and Strategies
4) New Worlds in Old Texts
5) Teaching Analysis of Nonfiction Prose as Language Landscape
6) Asking Students to "Play" with a Text: Teaching Analysis of Audience and Purpose
7) The Appeals and the Audience: The Rhetoric of Dramatic Literature

My response:

I ended up writing longhand in my Moleskine notebook on the day-long seminars on Thursday and Sunday, but mostly used my laptop for the rapid-fire data downloading of the hour-and-a-half workshops on Friday and Saturday. Kelly Tumy's workshop covers nine pages of my handwriting, with about three inches thick of four handouts. Despite having a careless airport attendant drop her laptop and break it into six pieces, she was calm and confident, displaying a deadpan sense of humor and a delightful Texas accent.

She paced us through the seven hours or so, alternating between a clear and useful structure for how to prepare for the test while still covering curriculum, and not being afraid to side-track and answer questions from the participants (thirty of us), and to encourage others to share their experiences. I liked her confidence at having reasonable answers at her fingertips, but being secure in having others answer, or not over-stepping the bounds of her own school and her own experience. She has taught A.P. English Language for 17 years, and has been a table reader for the exam for the last five years, and this practical expertise, both in the classroom and taking part in ETS's evaluative process, showed.


The conference served lunch for an hour and a half, just beyond the Exhibit Hall, then had a Plenary Session with Wes Moore, a youth advocate and author (The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates) as the chief speaker.


I went back to the room, digested a little of the handouts, and then explored the plethora of maps about San Francisco. Steve Loy was very helpful in a series of suggestions, although at some point I calculated I would have to be in the city by the bay until the new student dining commons opened, before I could do or see everything. I walked around Union Square for several hours, since it was only a few blocks from the Marriott, and then had a nice meal at the hotel's Fourth Street Bar and Grill and turned in, still catching up on my jet lag.

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