Summer 2013 Course Offerings

Advanced Placement Program* Summer Institute

Pre-AP* English for High School Teachers, July 29 - Aug. 1, 2013

Lead Consultant: Sandra Effinger


What to Bring

  • Highlighters, Post-it notes, thumb drive to save materials and lessons
  • Willingness to share your best practices with all
  • Please bring your own laptop if you prefer working on a computer

Course Description

This course is designed to help participants better prepare their students for the challenges of upper-level AP* courses. Although many of the activities apply to both exams, we will differentiate to meet the needs of this particular group of teachers. By exploring instructional strategies for different genres, participants will practice the deeper analysis and critical thinking that distinguishes the Pre-AP* course. Participants will take partial exams (Language and Literature), score their responses, and discuss the reasons for answers. In addition, participants will work with ways to modify curriculum materials to meet Pre-AP* abilities and will leave with hands-on activities and lessons for integrating these tools into their existing curriculum.  

Topics and activities:

We will cover class expectations and contracts; text selection, adaptation, and annotation; developing AP-style rubrics and multiple-choice questions; discussion strategies (Socratic seminar, fish bowl, inner/outer circle); creative projects; and online resources. We will learn how to use the short story, prose passages, and poetry selections as a way to do more with less. We will also use music, art, and advertising to introduce AP concepts of style and analysis. Tips on how to handle the paper load that can be overwhelming will also be given. Participants should select at least one novel, one poem, and one non-fiction selection for which they want to develop AP materials and bring those to the course.


About Sandra Effinger

During her 37 years in the classroom, Sandra Effinger has taught English, Social Studies, Journalism, Film Studies, and Classical Literature. She is currently teaching in Heidelberg, Germany, for the Department of Defense, and has more than thirty years experience teaching AP* and Pre-AP* English in Oklahoma. National Board Certified, she has presented at conferences for the College Board in Oklahoma and Texas and read the Advanced Placement* Literature and Composition exam for nine years. Sandra has also been a consultant for the Oklahoma Writing Project for more than 30 years.


2012 Participant Testimonials

"Sandra Effinger greatly exceeded my expectations and makes me want to be a much better teacher. Her materials are fabulous."

"I have attended many APSI over the years, but this is by far the best one ever! Thank you, Sandra and SMU!"

"I have actually fallen in love with Sandra Effinger. Never have I left an AP* Conference with SO much."

"Sandra Effinger is a fun, passionate consultant. She is also a tech wiz."

* Advanced Placement Program and AP are registered trademarks of the College Board and have been used with permission.