Tag Archives: Advanced Placement

Register for APTTI and Apply for Funding Opportunities!

AP Teacher Training Institute 

Start the New Year off right by planning your summer professional development! Make sure to save the date for the 2019 AP Teacher Training Institute (APTTI). This will take place at the University of Iowa campus on June 25-28, 2019. Registration is now openWe will be offering workshops for AP Biology, AP Calculus AB, AP Chemistry, AP English Literature & Composition, AP Physics I, and AP US History.

AP Teacher Training Institute instructor demonstrating a lesson to smiling AP Biology teachers.

APTTI is a College Board-approved AP Summer Institute (APSI). AP Summer Institutes provide subject-specific training for teachers who are interested in teaching an AP course. Summer Institutes can also benefit current teachers already teaching AP courses to develop their skills, or gain familiarity with the course. Teachers who attended our previous institutes shared some of their valued experiences:

It gave me a framework for how to structure my course, wording for my syllabus for the College Board, and very valuable information to prepare my students for the AP exam.

Not only did I gain more resources to further my instruction, but I also learned many strategies for implementing these materials. I had the opportunity to learn from an instructor who was vastly knowledgeable and taught us as if we were students…so we could better understand how to teach our own students. This knowledge was immensely valuable!

I feel like this program has a direct impact on high school students…I am more confident in the material and the course/text structure, and my experience as an AP teacher has been much more successful than it would have been without an APTTI.

It was a wonderful course that prepared me to teach AP. The instructor modeled an AP class for us, so we not only left with content knowledge, but methodology knowledge as well. These methods can extend beyond just our AP classes and into our general classes as well.

Funding

We want to inform you of scholarships funded by the College Board that support teachers in attending an APSI. Applications for these scholarships are due Tuesday, February 12th, 2019. Scholarships offered by the College Board are listed below, and you can find more information about these scholarships and the application process here.

  • AP Fellows Program: For teachers at schools serving minority or low-income students
    • Scholarship Amount: $1,000 – for cost of tuition and lab fees (when applicable)
  • AP Rural Fellows Program: For teachers at rural schools
    • Scholarship Amount: $1,500 – for cost of tuition and lab fees (when applicable)

The Iowa Online AP Academy (IOAPA) also offers the AP Institution Grant, a grant to support Iowa teachers in attending APTTI. (Participation in IOAPA not required.) This grant will cover $450 (more than 80%) of the $550 registration fee.  Click here to learn more and click here to access the grant application. This application is due June 1st, 2019. 

Don’t miss the chance to apply for these great scholarships, especially since deadlines for some are approaching quickly! If you’re considering attending an AP Summer Institute and/or our AP Teacher Training Institute, apply today!

IOAPA: Spring Registration Opens Soon

Spring registration for Iowa Online AP Academy (IOAPA) courses open November 1st and will close December 7th, 2018, or when seats fill, whichever comes first. There are limited seats in each course, and we expect them to fill up fast. Be sure to register as soon as you can! 

As a reminder, IOAPA courses are intended for cases in which the course can not currently be offered through the school district (or, in the case of middle school students, the course is not offered at the student’s grade level). Schools that offer a course on-site are not eligible to offer that course through IOAPA.

Available courses for high school students for spring 2019 include: AP Macroeconomics, AP Microeconomics, AP Psychology, and AP US Government. 

Available courses for middle school students for spring 2019 include: Creative Writing, Introduction to Computer Science, Probability and Statistics, Psychology, and Honors U.S. History to the Civil War.

SSTP Musselman Lab 2018-5

For guidance in making course selection decisions, check out our high school and middle school course infographics here!

To register on November 1st, visit our website! 

Specifics: 

  • If your school registered with IOAPA in the fall, there is no need to re-register the school. Just click “Enroll Your School” on our website, and you will be redirected to the student nomination step.
  • Students enrolled in year-long classes will be automatically enrolled in the second semester of their course, unless they inform us that they would like to drop, or receive a failing grade for the fall term. For a step-by-step registration guide, check out this post.
  • Middle school students interested in enrolling in IOAPA courses should take an above-level test to determine eligibility: 6th graders can take I-Excel; 7th and 8th graders can take the ACT. For eligibility guidelines, see the Requirements page. For more on above-level testing in general, see this page and this post.
  • Our website includes helpful information about IOAPA courses and registration. Visit the Getting Started page first, and click around to find the IOAPA handbook, information about how to talk to administrators and students about IOAPA. 

Stay connected with us!

  • Subscribe to our blog for more on IOAPA courses and other topics relevant to IOAPA teachers, parents, and students.
  • Follow us on Twitter @belinblankIOAPA
  • Email us at ioapa@belinblank.org 

Scholarships for AP Teachers

The season may be changing, but it is never too late to think of summer! Make sure to save the date for the 2019 AP Teacher Training Institute (APTTI). This will take place at the University of Iowa campus on June 25-28, 2019.

APTTI Calculus 2017-4

APTTI is a College Board-approved Advanced Placement Summer Institute (APSI). AP Summer Institutes provide subject-specific training for teachers who are interested in teaching an AP course. Summer Institutes can also benefit teachers already teaching AP courses to develop their skills, or gain familiarity with updates to the course.

As deadlines always seem to quickly approach, we want to inform you of the available scholarships that support teachers in attending an APSI. Scholarships offered by the College Board include:

  • AP Fellows Program: For teachers at schools serving minority or low-income students
  • AP Rural Fellows Program: For teachers at rural schools

Additional details and application materials are available on the College Board’s website. The deadline to apply for these scholarships is typically in February, so if you’re considering attending an AP Summer Institute, apply today!

The Iowa Online AP Academy also offers a grant for Iowa teachers to help offset the cost of APTTI registration and attendance. Click here to learn more.

Professional Learning Online

The Belin-Blank Center, in partnership with departments in the University of Iowa College of Education, offers a variety of online classes this summer.  While we would love to have you join us on campus for our Chautauqua course series, we know that many of those advocating for gifted/talented students benefit from the flexible online format.  Each of the online classes is offered for one semester hour of credit and are three weeks in length.  You can learn how to develop creativity in every learner, facilitate research projects, enhance your understanding of differentiation at the secondary level, and more!

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If you will be joining us on campus for the Advanced Placement Teacher Training Institute, we offer your choice of two hours of academic credit; the Center provides a 50% tuition scholarship for those who take advantage of the graduate credit.

To see a full list of our summer course offerings, please click here: https://www2.education.uiowa.edu/belinblank/educators/courses/schedule.aspx.

To get registered for classes please follow the steps listed here: https://www2.education.uiowa.edu/belinblank/educators/courses/registration.aspx

We look forward to working with you as you pursue your TAG Endorsement through the University of Iowa!

AP Mentors: What to Do When Students Struggle

The Iowa Online Advanced Placement Academy (IOAPA) allows Iowa students to take APTM classes online.  IOAPA is especially meant for rural schools that do not have the resources to support APTM classes.  Educators can learn more here.

An IOAPA mentor provides guidance to students as they complete their APTM coursework, interact with instructors, and self-monitor progress across the semester.  Given this support role, what should mentors—especially those whose expertise lies in areas outside of their students’ APTM coursework—do to help struggling students?

Mentors may choose to do some research on their own or actively seek out training opportunities, as mentioned in a previous post.  However, we must stress that it is okay when a mentor cannot answer a question about instructional content.  A mentor should not take on the responsibilities of the student or the instructor.  Rather, he or she facilitates students’ growth toward independence.  Mentors should guide students toward tackling college-level content and toward approaching professors about difficult work on their own.

For example, a mentor can take the following actions to help a struggling student:

  • Ask the student whether he or she has already contacted the instructor.  If the student has not, provide encouragement to do so.
  • If the student has contacted the instructor but still appears confused, ask him or her if you could read through the instructor’s responses together.  Talking through the instructor’s reply may help the student better understand the information presented.
  • If the student is still unsure what to do next, you and the student can work through the instructor’s replies to determine which information specifically does not make sense.  Helping the student to explicitly communicate to the instructor where he or she feels lost may facilitate a productive interaction between instructor and student.

Although we hope that mentors can assist students in becoming more independent, we strongly encourage mentors to be cognizant of larger issues, like poor communication between student and instructor or technical issues.  In these cases, mentors should step in to not only support students but also to advocate for them.

How Can Students Earn College Credit While Still in High School?

Taking college-level coursework while still in high school is an important opportunity for high-achieving high school students who are ready for an extra challenge in high school.  The benefits of college-level coursework include enhanced preparation for college and, in some cases, reduced college tuition costs, because students are able to accumulate college credit free of charge while still in high school.  Many colleges and universities award college credit for such coursework.

At first glance, it might seem like enrolling in community college credit coursework and APTM coursework are two different means to the same end.  In some cases this is true, but in other cases there are subtle differences that are important for students, teachers, parents, and school counselors to know.

Q.     Isn’t college credit the same whether I earn credit through a community college course, or through an APTM course?

A.     Many times students earn college credit from a community college course, if they have earned at least a C- in the course.  Once students graduate from high school and transfer their community college coursework to a post-secondary institution the way the credits transfer is not uniform.  Each post-secondary institution has a community college credit transition guide.  Students should consult the transition guide to see how their community college credit will be applied to graduation requirements at their post-secondary institution.  In some cases coursework may be transferred in as general education credit, in others the credit may count toward a liberal arts core requirement.  Very rarely does the credit transfer in to replace a specific course (unless of course the student is attending the institution granting the concurrent credit in the first place!)

Q.        How do I get college credit for an APTM course?

A.         Post-secondary institutions have policies for accepting APTM test scores to replace required credits for first-year required courses.  Many times, in order to earn college credit from an APTM course, students must score at least 3 on the APTM  exam(some schools have more restrictive requirements).  Students transferring in APTM scores of 3 will find that these scores are applied in much the same way that community college credits are applied to required coursework (general education or liberal arts core credit).  However, an important difference between community college credit and APTM scores is that in some core areas students earning a score of 4 or 5 on an APTM exam can use the score to replace a particular course, instead of being transferred into the institution as general education or liberal arts core credit.

Q.     Isn’t there a lot of pressure to perform well on the APTM test, in order to earn credit at my post-secondary institution?

A.     If your post-secondary institution awards credit for APTM courses, students earn credit based on the exam they take at the end of the course. To enroll in APTM coursework The College Board strongly recommends that students have completed all prerequisite courses, but any student regardless of an exam score can enroll in the course (and thus be exposed to the rigorous curriculum).  Regardless of the APTM exam score at the end of course, the student has been exposed to the expectations and workload of a college course.  Students enrolling in community college courses, with transferable credit must earn a qualifying score (or have a qualifying ACT score) to enroll in the course.  Students who do not earn a qualifying score are not eligible to enroll in the course.  Once students have earned a qualifying score for the community college course they will earn some type of college credit, as long as they maintain the minimum grade requirements for the course.

Check out Iowa Online APTM Academy’s APTM coursework table here:

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Click on the image above to enlarge.

 

Check out the APTM Student post about the role of APTM coursework and getting in to college:

 https://apstudent.collegeboard.org/exploreap/the-rewards

Say Wut? Digital Tool Use Can Improve Ur Students’ Writing?

The Iowa Online Advanced Placement Academy (IOAPA) allows Iowa students to take APTM classes online.  IOAPA is especially meant for rural schools that do not have the resources to support APTM classes.  Educators can learn more here.

In recent years, there has been concern that high school students are unprepared for college-level work, particularly in the area of writing.  As parents, educators, and professionals seek an explanation for this unpreparedness, it has been proposed that teenagers’ writing skills may be hindered by frequent use of social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook.

Some claim that use of these websites leads to reliance on “very compressed” language.  For example, the website Twitter may inadvertently encourage users to ignore rules of grammar and to opt for abbreviations rather than standard written English in order to fit a post into a limited number of characters.  This shortened and informal style can then trickle into academic writing, which is supported by anecdotal reports of student integrating “text speak” (e.g., ‘btw’ instead of ‘by the way’) into written work.  Yet research from the Pew Research Center suggests that digital technologies also positively influence students’ writing skills.

This past summer, the Pew Research Center surveyed Advanced Placement and National Writing Project teachers to better understand teacher perceptions about the impact of digital tools on student performance.  Their findings demonstrated that teachers are indeed concerned about the “creep” of informal style into formal academic writing.  At the same time though, teachers believe digital tools boost student creativity and personal expression while encouraging collaboration among peers.  In addition, letting students share their written work through online social mediums may even increase student motivation to create quality and unique written products.  Evolving technology appears to shape the way we perceive and utilize written language, but its influence may be more positive than initially thought.