:: 2014 AP* Summer Institutes at UT Austin

AP English Literature and Composition for New AP Teachers

Institute Code AP14031
July 28 - 31, 2014, 8AM to 4:45PM
UT Thompson Conference Center
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Participants will discuss and practice strategies for creating and maintaining a student-centered learning environment through close-reading strategies and careful analysis of written text and will utilize methods provided by the group.

Topics will include:

  • how much and what genres to include in the course
  • how to lead students to better assess their own work
  • how to work within the AP literature rubric
  • how to give written feedback and coach students to do the same
  • how to encourage students to learn to read and think carefully and critically
  • how to encourage close reading strategies to insure everyone participates and feels confident about learning
  • how to help students work through the multiple-choice section of the AP exam

Teachers will both design and work through lessons germane to the AP Literature exam.

What participants should bring:

  • Any novel you teach or a cutting from a novel for which you would like to design a close reading lesson
  • A best practice lesson with which you have had success (copies for all participants or we can share on Dropbox)
  • Sticky notes

Lead Consultant: Gretchen Polnac

Gretchen Polnac retired from The University of Texas in UTeach Liberal Arts, guiding pre-service teachers though their professional sequence of methods courses. She has been an adjunct professor for the past 20 years at Austin Community College. She taught AP Literature and film for 31 years in the Austin Independent School District in Austin, Texas, where she received numerous teaching awards. Ms. Polnac is a consultant for AP Literature and serves as a reader for the exam.

In January 2010 she participated in the Professor’s Study Tour with the Anti-Defamation League Echoes and Reflections program in Israel. Ms. Polnac holds an undergraduate degree from The University of Texas and completed her graduate work at Texas State University and The University of Texas.




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