Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The AP Institute

I am attending the conference at Cherry Creek High School for the Non-AP teachers and again am amazed, energized, and so filled with ideas. The speaker, Jeff House, is a published author, plus a current high school teacher with 28 years of experience behind his ideas. He is imparting 2 ideas that I just love and think we need more of in my class, and at AHS.

1. skills-based instruction -- He proposes the idea that fits so well with where our administration at the district level is moving to, that we need to focus on teaching skills INSTEAD of products (papers, tests, quizzes, projects, etc.). Amen! I am right there with him. I know my shift I started making this year had immediate impact and I noticed a change in the conversation with kids, parents, and colleagues. I know I have so much to learn, but it was nice to hear his reasoning as well.

2. inductive thinking -- This part has been incredible. I teach inferential leaps with literature, but he extends this in 5 types of analysis and proposes that every piece of writing we do is inductive. He showed us how to make students aware of this and how to create writing that showcases and pulls from their evidence and understandings. He showed how we teach the thesis statement backwards. Wow! What an epiphany for a room full of English teachers. We were skeptical, but soon saw the wisdom, not only through his lectures, but through 2 days of practicing it as students.

There are two other teachers from Heritage High School in the session and as always love the collegiality of conferences.

My summer has whittled away and I feel I have witnessed the shortest summer I've had yet, but I do not regret my experiences and time devoted to school. I know I am a better teacher even before I step inside the four white walls in the center of Arapahoe.


Post a Comment

<< Home