5 Essentials in Teaching Pre-AP

We are often asked whether we review materials for Pre-AP courses. Pre-AP courses are grade level courses with embedded strategies to provide knowledge, concepts, and skills needed to prepare students for AP courses. While we will review any instructional materials aligned to the TEKS, CCSS, NGSS, and certain state-specific standards, districts may not need to purchase specific “Pre-AP texts”.

Supporting students in these five essentials will better prepare them for more rigorous AP coursework to come.writing

  1. Reading advanced texts is a large component of AP courses. Students access learning from college level texts and must be able to read independently for understanding. Pre-AP courses can support this skill development by including instruction in note-taking, key vocabulary terms, as well as reading college texts and primary source documents.
  2. Higher level thinking should be embedded in all classes and is essential for Pre-AP. Teacher developed lessons should include questions that challenge students to analyze, synthesize, evaluate, and create. Students should also be encouraged to create higher level questions and participate in class discussions where conversations are between student and teacher, as well as student and student.
  3. In addition to promoting higher level thinking, Pre-AP courses should focus on depth and complexity. Students should be looking for big ideas, details, trends, patterns, rules, unanswered questions, and using subject-specific vocabulary..
  4. Pre-AP students benefit from exposure to a variety of resources. Challenging Pre-AP students to use a variety of materials to connect and apply their learning supports the skills previously discussed. Teachers can include resources such as high school texts, college texts, studies by experts in the field, and online resources.
  5. Writing in Pre-AP is important for AP test preparation. Moreover, students benefit from writing in the context of the discipline, using the language of the discipline to express higher level thinking through depth and complexity is a skill that will support students in all future endeavors.

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