AP Course Description

AP Biology

Travis Multhaupt

  1. Needs and background of the participants
    1. Icebreakers
    2. Discussion Q&A to assess the needs, challenges and expectations of the participants
  1. The Course
    1. Equity and Access Policy
    2. Prerequisites for the Course
    3. Course Description and Overview
      1. Big Ideas, Essential Understandings, Essential Knowledge, Learning Objectives, Science Practices
      2. Instructional Design using the Curriculum Framework
      3. Course Audit
  1. The Exam—format and required tasks
    1. Exam format
    2. Calculators
    3. Formula sheet
    4. Participants will be given the opportunity to do the following:
      1. Take parts of the exam as if they were students
      2. Analyze and present sample multiple choice questions and free response questions
      3. Draw connections between the content, Science Practices, and Learning Objectives
      4. Draw connections between content, Science Practices, Learning Objectives and the Exam.
      5. Examine his or her own curriculum/syllabus and draw connections between that and the Curriculum Framework.
      6. Practice grading and applying the rubric/scoring guidelines for Free-Response Questions.
  1. The Laboratory
    1. The role of the laboratory experience.
    2. Laboratory resources.
    3. Performing a lot of labs and activities and relating them to inquiry.
    4. Assessing and discussing the labs and the laboratory experience.  Providing feedback for each other regarding best practices.  Exchanging ideas.
  1. Formative and Summative Assessment
    1. How to use both
  1. Additionally
    1. In addition to the above, participants will:
      1. Design instruction using the Curriculum Framework
      2. Have meaningful interaction with everyone involved
      3. Interact with inquiry
      4. Exchange ideas and activities
      5. Present and share
      6. Interact with his or her own syllabus
      7. Use technology

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AP Calculus AB (Experienced Teachers)

Karen Miksch

Workshop Description

The AP Calculus AB Experienced course will encompass a review of topics in the curriculum, with particular emphasis on the Big Ideas specific to the AB content: Limits, Derivatives, Integrals, and the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus.  All topics will be covered from a numerical, analytical, and graphical point of view. We will be working extensively with multiple-choice and free response questions from past Calculus AB exams. Discussions will also be held concerning structure of the class, forms of assessment, and AP Exam review.  Participants will be provided with numerous resources and classroom materials as well as multiple levels of instructional strategies. There will lots of time for discussion and sharing of the best practices used to teach these topics as well as the redesign of the 2017 exam (there will be thorough discussion of the 2017 exam). Both the pace and content of the workshop will be determined by the participants’ needs.

What Participants Should Bring

  • A graphing calculator and any additional desired electronic devices
  • A positive outlook and enthusiasm
  • Materials that they are willing to share with the group

Learning Outcomes

  • Become more familiar with the Calculus AB Curriculum Framework
  • Identify skills and concepts necessary for success in Calculus AB
  • Leave feeling better prepared for the next school year with classroom-ready materials

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AP Calculus AB (New Teachers)

Bryan Passwater

The AP Calculus AB workshop is designed to help new and inexperienced AP Calculus teachers gear up for the AP Calculus AB course.  All topics in the newly redesigned AP curriculum will be discussed and taught, while also highlighting the AP exam, AP scoring, teaching strategies, student misconceptions, and proven best-practices to maximize student achievement.  Hundreds of resources will be explored and shared during the workshop.  Teachers will leave feeling confident in their own ability to do the calculus as well as teach students the material and prepare for the AP exam.  Teachers will have plenty of time to discuss implementing the content and strategies into their classrooms and ask any questions that come up during the workshop.  This workshop will be hands-on and collaborative.

What Participants Should Bring

  • A graphing calculator
  • Writing utensil

Learning Outcomes

    • Understand the AP Calculus AB Curriculum Framework and MPACS
    • Feel confident about the AP Calculus AB redesigned exam, effective May 2017
    • Understand the key skills needed for AP Calculus AB success before and during the course
    • Feel confident about teaching AP Calculus entering the school year

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AP Calculus BC

Mark Kiraly

Workshop Description

The AP Calculus BC course will encompass a review of most topics in the curriculum, with particular emphasis on topics specific to the BC content:  parametric and polar equations, logistic models and Euler's method, advanced integration techniques, improper integrals, convergence tests, and series.  All topics will be covered from a numerical, analytical, and graphical point of view.

We will be working extensively with multiple-choice and free response questions from past Calculus BC exams. Discussions will also be held concerning structure of the class, forms of assessment, and AP Exam review.  Participants will be provided numerous resources and classroom materials as well as multiple levels of instructional strategies. There will be discussion of the best practices used to teach these topics as well as the redesign of the 2017 exam (there will be thorough discussion of the 2017 exam). Both the pace and content of the workshop will be mostly determined by the participants’ needs.

What Participants Should Bring

  • A graphing calculator
  • Additional electronic devices as wanted
  • Enthusiasm
  • Any materials that they are willing to share with the group.

Learning Outcomes

  • Become familiar with the AP Calculus BC Curriculum Framework
  • Become familiar with the changes in the AP Calculus BC exam, effective May 2017
  • Identify skills and concepts necessary for success in AP Calculus BC
  • Leave feeling more comfortable and ready for this year as the last (my goal every summer)

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AP Chemistry

Jennifer Cook Gregory

This course is designed to introduce AP teachers to AP topics and laboratory coursework. We will focus on alignment with the new AP Chemistry framework. This course will emphasize expanded content, incorporation of inquiry into the laboratory experience and use of mini-labs appropriate for the classroom. Lab activities will include methods designed to conserve teacher preparation time and chemicals.

What Participants Should Bring:

  • Long pants
  • Goggles
  • Calculator
  • Closed-toe shoes
  • Lab coat or lab apron (optional)
  • Lab activities and demonstrations to share

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AP Computer Science A

Maria Litvin

The course accommodates participants with different levels of familiarity with Java and OOP. We will study classes and objects, constructors and methods, abstract classes and interfaces, inheritance and polymorphism, strings, 1D and 2D arrays and ArrayList, and other topics specified in the AP Computer Science A Course Description. We will discuss the College Board’s course audit process, work with the College Board's exemplar labs (Magpie, Picture Lab, Elevens) and other materials, including the multiple choice and free-response questions from past exams, and share techniques for teaching Java in high school.

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AP Computer Science Principles

Perla Weaver

This workshop provides teachers with the tools they need to implement an effective AP Computer Science Principles course. During this training, teachers will explore the computational thinking practices and the components of the Curriculum Framework, including the Big Ideas, enduring understandings, learning objectives, and essential knowledge. Participants will understand how to use activities that organize the course content to develop students’ proficiencies in the skills identified by the Curriculum Framework. In addition, participants will work on a course plan that will help them decide how they will teach the skills and content of the AP Computer Science Principles course.

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AP English Language & Composition

Eva Arce

This course addresses multi-modal literacy focusing on analysis, comparison/contrast, argumentation, and synthesis of a variety of texts.  Our primary objective will be to develop activities to help students become critical readers and effective writers.  Through the use of graphic organizers, mnemonic devices, and other tools, participants will share methods to help teach rhetorical devices, modes, annotations, documentation, and citation.  Furthermore, participants will review the free-response questions, rubrics, and sample essays from the 2017 English Language Exam Reading. 

What Participants Should Bring:

  • E-device or laptop
  • A journal for writing
  • A favorite photo for analysis
  • A lesson or activity to share for best practices

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AP English Literature & Composition

Tom Tucker

During our week together, we will focus on the practical aspects of teaching AP Literature, for both experienced and new teachers.  Of utmost importance is examining the skills necessary for close reading and developing teaching strategies to help students apply those skills on the multiple-choice and essay portion of the test.  Additionally, we will discuss how students can become more effective AP Lit essay writers, along with methods to encourage effective literary analysis, avoiding some of the following pitfalls:  explicating a poem instead of addressing the prompt; “dropping in” quotes; organizing essays based on poetic/literary devices; relying too heavily on plot summary; and providing short, pedestrian responses to complex writing tasks.

Participants will have numerous opportunities to develop reading and writing activities that can be used in their AP Lit (and pre-AP Lit) classrooms in the fall and share them with colleagues.  Some of the other areas to be covered include: analyzing the 2017 AP Lit test; sharing texts that are currently working well in the classroom; examining existing or planned syllabi; and pacing the curriculum.

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AP Environmental Science

Amy Fassler

I am excited to be a part of AP TIP IN and lead the AP Environmental Science (APES) Summer Institute and look forward to helping both new and experienced APES teachers increase their success with the course.  My goal is for teachers to enhance the quality of their APES program through the use of inquiry labs and data analysis. The week will consist of developing or reviewing course syllabi, pacing, national exam preparation, and strategies to improve student test scores.  This will include scoring student free-response questions as well as writing AP style multiple choice questions. We will run many of the lab activities in their entirety so that you can get comfortable with the techniques and methods of data analysis. In addition, we will conduct field investigations. I will share with you resources to improve your curriculum and delivery of content to enhance students critical thinking skills, as well as all lectures, labs, and assessment I use in my course.

What Participants Should Bring:

  • Laptop
  • An idea to share
  • Clothes for field work

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AP Physics 1

Patrick Polley

As we cover each topic we also discuss instructional strategies, best practices, and past exam problems both free-response and multiple-choice on that topic.




Morning Session



Physics 1 Curriculum and Exam Structure


Lab Activities: Kinematics in One and Two Dimensions

Afternoon Session

Statics, Dynamics, Friction


Lab Activities: Acceleration, Force, and Friction



Morning Session

Exam Questions on Energy and Momentum


Lab Activities: Energy

Afternoon Session

Collisions, Momentum, Energy


Lab Activities: Inelastic Collisions



Morning Session

Rotational Motion and Rotational Inertia


Lab Activities: Rotational Statics and Dynamics

Afternoon Session

Harmonic Motion, Gravity


Lab Activities: Pendulums and Springs



Morning Session

Electrostatics and Circuits


Lab Activities: Internal Resistance and Non-ohmic Devices



Afternoon Session



Lab Activity: Waves and Refraction


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AP Psychology

Sean Mahoney

APSI Course Overview:

The four-day APSI will focus on the content and pedagogy of the AP course.  The participant will prepare a detailed scope and sequence for their class, and leave with many teaching ideas and a broad exposure to every unit in the course’s content.  Focus will be provided for difficult topics and units, such as Sensation/Perception and Biological Bases of Behavior. The AP Psychology class introduces students to the systematic and scientific study of human behavior and mental processes. While considering the psychologists and studies that have shaped the field, students explore and apply psychological theories, key concepts, and phenomena associated with such topics as the biological bases of behavior, sensation and perception, learning and cognition, motivation, developmental psychology, testing and individual differences, treatment of abnormal behavior, and social psychology.

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AP Spanish Language & Culture

Gustavo Fares


The APSI is designed to familiarize teachers with the AP Spanish Language and Culture Course and Exam. The Institute attends to the needs of both new and experienced teachers of AP Spanish Language and Culture. Throughout the week we will examine best practices and strategies, and present activities for increasing student proficiency in the three communicational modes, with an emphasis on integration of skills and use of authentic materials. We will also review the exam format and rubrics, using the College Board’s latest materials. Participants will be invited to actively participate and share their knowledge and experiences with the entire group on a daily basis. Likewise, they will develop and share individual projects and specific activities to be used during the academic year, and will leave with a toolbox of strategies to implement and successfully teach the course.

 Course Goals

  1. To familiarize participants with the format of all parts of the AP Spanish Language and Culture exam. The course was re-designed for 2014, and we will discuss the redesign and the exams for subsequent years in detail, with examples from the 2017 exam;
  2. To review the grading of the free response questions of the AP Spanish Language and Culture 2917 exam and to learn strategies to holistically evaluate students’ competencies in the target language.
  3. To examine, analyze, and discuss a range of materials and resources, both in book and in digital formats, suitable for the AP Spanish class;
  4. To prepare, share, and discuss successful classroom strategies for integrating the three modes of communication (interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational), with activities based on authentic resources.

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AP Statistics

Dave Ferris

This participant-driven workshop will focus on the unique issues facing AP Statistics teachers. We will overview all major topics of the course, but will spend focused time on the most difficult statistical concepts. Time will also be spent on engaging activities, invigorating discussions, training in good communication and dissection of AP Statistics Exam problems and rubrics. We will also take a peek at current research on pedagogical content knowledge—how students think and reason and best practices for helping them understand statistical concepts.

Participants will experience effective uses of statistical technology such as Fathom, web-based resources, graphing calculators, iPad/tablet apps and computer-based randomization tests. Best teaching practices will be demonstrated and discussed as statistical content is covered using a variety of presentation tools and methods. This week will be a unique blend of fun, challenge, discovery, growth, and camaraderie!


Participants should bring as much technology as reasonable: graphing calculator, laptop, tablet, iPad, etc. Teachers with no AP Statistics experience will find it highly valuable to read through their textbook before the institute and note any areas of trepidation. Veteran teachers are encouraged to bring your favorite lessons, activities, and teaching tips to share. All are encouraged to bring and contribute your unique perspectives, personality and professional experience to the institute.

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AP U.S. History

Kyle Vanderwall

Course Overview

One of the most important goals during the institute will be to encourage a collaborative environment where each participant, regardless of experience level, has the opportunity to develop their pedagogical efficacy. Pursuant to this end, participants should expect to engage in class discussions, practice higher order historical thinking skill activities, and discuss the writing skills necessary for students to succeed in AP U.S. History. Each day we will focus on one aspect of the AP U.S. History exam and when we focus on the writing portion of the exam, participants can expect to learn how to score student responses against the rubrics provided by the College Board. Aside from focusing on the AP exam, participants will also have the opportunity to enhance their resource library as we discuss essential primary and secondary sources. Throughout the institute, we will cover multiple learning styles and techniques, each with the goal of having the experience be an interactive one, where participants are experiencing the materials, as opposed to having information presented to them. Beginning last year, the College Board developed a number of Key Takeaways, or Enduring Understandings, that capture the essential understandings for participants to glean from their experience at an APSI. As part of this list of Key Takeaways, six were classified as priority takeaways and they are as follows:

  1. By examining students’ samples against the rubrics, teachers can gauge their students’ proficiency with the historical thinking skills.
  2. Teachers must constantly return to the thematic learning objectives in order to understand how the course content should be applied.
  3. Synthesis requires students to use all of the historical thinking skills to make connections between a given historical issue and related developments in different historical contexts, geographical areas, or periods.
  4. Each of the historical thinking skills has a different way to organize the argument.
  5. Teaching students these skills takes time and practice and requires careful planning to sequence the skills in a developmentally appropriate way so students master prerequisite skills before being asked to complete tasks that are more complex.
  6. Applying skills and knowledge in different contexts deepens students’ understandings.

These Key Takeaways are a nice way to envision the focus for the week. Everything we will be doing in the session will focus on achieving the desired takeaways in a manner that offers classroom-ready materials, activities, and resources teachers can put into practice right away. Participants should also know that each of the historical thinking skills will be taught, as well as each course theme. Prior to the session, a more detailed course syllabus will be provided for participants. In the interim, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Best regards,

Kyle C. VanderWall

Grandville High School

Grandville, MI


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AP World History

Eric Hahn

Course Description

This course is intended to fulfill the needs of current, beginning, and experienced teachers who are involved in the Advanced Placement World History curriculum.  While a brief review of the course will occur, there is an expectation that teachers attending this course are ready for an examination beyond a description and introduction of the College Board curriculum guide. An emphasis will be placed on the AP World History course redesign beginning in 2016-2017.  Pedagogical issues such as support for students who need extra assistance in an AP class, and instructional issues and scheduling will also transpire.  Teachers should be prepared to share course calendars, pedagogical insights and (on the last day) share a favorite, or ‘best practice,’ lesson with the group.  Please bring a computer that will enable you to write as well as search.  A portion of this course will be devoted to creating lessons and assessments that are more closely aligned with the recently updated curriculum.

Course Goals

  • To alert students to necessary writing strategies and skills that must be mastered in order to assure success in both the AP class and beyond.
  • To share the necessary instructional strategies which will assist both the teacher and her/his students manage the scope, depth, and complexities of AP World History.
  • To explore the vast range of textual, visual, and internet resources which, if employed efficiently, will enrich many aspects of the subject.
  • To further develop a fundamental understanding of the requirements inherent in the AP World History Examination while providing insights into how the June AP Examination Readings are conducted.
  • To more closely examine the Themes of AP World History,  and Course Outline, and to apply those requirements in a classroom environment.

Learning Objectives

After the course, the educator will have:

  • Discussed her/his educational philosophy concerning the teaching of AP World History.
  • Created several lessons and assessments for the AP World course redesign beginning in 2016-2017.
  • Developed a detailed reading list of, and rationale for, primary and secondary sources related to the AP World History course.
  • Incorporated a wide array of reading, writing, and review assignments consistent with AP World History practices.
  • Participated in an AP Reading-style training exercise in which authentic student responses are read and ranked.
  • Explored a number of viable pedagogical methods to provide differentiated instruction.
  • Recognized what effective resource materials are from texts, readers, internet sources, and other media, and how to obtain them.
  • Identified a host of strategies well suited to ensure student success in both preparing for and taking the 2018 AP World History Examination along with their post high school education.

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