Course Descriptions

These courses are designed to give teachers an overview of the basic structure and content necessary for an Advanced Placement course in the subjects listed.  In addition, instructors review the Advanced Placement Examination in each subject as it applies to that content area by discussing sample multiple choice and free-response questions. A major portion of each course involves the development of an Advanced Placement curriculum by each participant. In the past, these courses have proven to be beneficial to experienced teachers of Advanced Placement as well as to prospective new instructors for AP classes.  Each course is offered for 3 graduate credits in Education.

Ed. 635 – ART HISTORY  

Faculty: Yu Bong Ko 

This course will focus on preparing and teaching the redesigned AP Art History curriculum, while reflecting on the lessons learned and anticipating the road ahead for maximizing student success. Topics include: balancing depth of knowledge and breadth in content coverage for better pacing of the course; improving student’s critical thinking, reading, writing, and note-taking skills; demystifying the AP exam scoring and accessing good practice questions; creating a learner active and fun classroom; obtaining the best resources for teaching individual works of art in the 10 course content areas; incorporating technology infused and multimedia classroom; revising the course syllabus (and submitting one for the AP audit, too).

All participants can expect to acquire new and insightful ideas and model best teaching practices to immediately promote active student-centered learning in the classroom, including ways to enhance visual literacy: how to help students develop skills in looking at, thinking about and communicating ideas about works of art. Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop to receive and work with valuable handouts that are in electronic format, such as on a flash drive.

Ed. 630 - BIOLOGY 

Faculty: Jim Smanik

The primary goal of this workshop is to help teachers feel more prepared to teach a quality inquiry based, college level biology course with a focus on a successful performance on the year-end national exam. Participants in the AP Biology AP Summer Institute will have the opportunity to perform and or review all of the labs in the New AP Biology Lab Manual or others that would meet the course requirements.  We will also discuss how to tweak your labs to make them student driven and we will share best practices and hints on what works in the AP Biology classroom to improve student achievement. I will share my approach to teaching AP Biology in detail – including an emphasis on student’s modeling their understanding and practicing science with intentionality. During the week will discuss textbooks, syllabi, the released exams, FRQ’s and rubrics, equipment and other details of the course. Traditionally, participants receive several text books and materials donated by supply companies.


Ed. 637 - CALCULUS AB 

Faculty: Greg Timm

The primary goal of this class is for the teacher to acquire the techniques necessary to successfully teach Advanced Placement AB Calculus at the secondary level.  This course will focus on classroom strategies that encourage teachers not only to enjoy teaching calculus, but also to learn how to creatively engage students in mathematical investigations that enable the students to "discover" the major concepts.  We will examine a variety of strategies and skills that can be used to explore the fascinating world of teaching AP Calculus. This course is intended for to provide appropriate training for the AP Calculus teacher by providing opportunities to refresh, solidify, and expand your theoretical understanding of the calculus, become familiar with the level of knowledge required for student success on the AB AP Calculus Examination, gain expertise in the creation and use of appropriate assessment vehicles, including technology, and connect pedagogical theory to practice in the AP classroom.


Ed. 638 - CALCULUS BC 

Faculty: Mark Howell 

Although this course will include materials covering the full range of Calculus BC content, the "C" topics in the curriculum will receive special emphasis. Teaching strategies directed towards approach, activities, time frame, and assignments will be developed. A multi-representational approach will be used throughout, looking at concepts symbolically, graphically, numerically, and verbally. The role of the graphing calculator as a powerful instrument for enriching and enhancing the study of calculus will be explored, and a substantial collection of student-ready activities will be distributed. Current textbooks related to the new technology will be available for participants to examine.  Assessment strategies and AP Exam preparation will be discussed and the Advanced Placement examination will be analyzed. Participants will be familiarized with grading standards and the application of grading scales to free-response questions. They should bring a graphing calculator.

Ed. 631 - CHEMISTRY 

Faculty: Mark Langella

This methodology course surveys the basic structure and content necessary for teaching an Advanced Placement Chemistry course. Chemistry topics such as equilibrium, kinetics, and “how to” problem solving are presented.  Class size, student selection, textbooks and labs are also addressed. Special attention is paid to teaching strategies, the AP exam and its grading. Some lab experiments suitable for AP classes are incorporated into the course. Participants receive examples of past AP exams, appropriate tests, worksheets and lab experiments.

This  institute will provide an opportunity for high school AP Chemistry teachers to observe significant teaching demonstrations, perform experimental procedures using computer interfaced equipment, and to review with presenters a variety of topics covered in AP Chemistry. Teachers will have the opportunity to discuss the methodology of converting typical cookbook labs into a guided inquiry labs.

Participants will have the opportunity to perform several lab exercises that align with the College Board redesign. Best practices will be discussed.  For each of the labs AP published related Labs will be provided and reviewed. Information about the requirements for the AP Chemistry Course Audit will be shared.


Faculty: 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 CS Course Description.  We will also work with the College Board’s AP Computer Science Labs, review the College Board's AP CS materials, including the multiple choice and free-response questions from past AP exams, and share techniques for teaching Java in high school.  We will discuss AP CS course syllabus, requirements and AP audit procedures.



Faculty:  Steve Klinge

During our AP Summer Institute, we will work with each of the main areas of the English Language exam—the multiple choice questions, synthesis essay, rhetorical analysis essay, and argument essay—and discuss ways to prepare our students with the skills they will need on the AP test. We will collaborate on strategies, practice test-taking, analyze readings and share best practices. We will place ourselves in the position of our students and then explore how we, as teachers, can guide them to success as writers, as thinkers, as close-readers, as test-takers. We will also discuss the scoring process for the test and review the current year’s Language exam essay questions. Readings will come from a variety of pre-20th century and 20th-century / contemporary sources; although the emphasis will be on non-fiction, we will discuss the use of poetry and other fiction within the Language course.



Faculty: Paul Cunningham

The AP English Literature course and exam ask students to engage meaningfully with a variety of literature, spanning centuries, genres, and voices. To that end, our workshop will tackle both creating a vibrant class and preparing your students for the test. Participants can expect hands-on and relevant work that will enhance what they already are doing. Participants will share texts, lesson plans, assignments, and prompts that have worked in the past with an eye to strengthen course syllabi and tweak the day-to-day activities. Our course will also strive to strike a balance between giving the canon its due, but also bringing in newer, fresher material to engage students. We will also examine the role of supplementary texts and the possibilities with literary theory, when appropriate. When we look at the AP Lit exam, we will review multiple choice teaching strategies, essay prompt analysis, and strong writing criteria and rubric creation. Participants will leave having reflected on their students, school, and class, and having worked to bring exciting and challenging material to school in the fall.



Faculty: Jeanne Kaidy

In this session, participants will learn about the development and grading of the AP test, discuss and evaluate teaching resources, and experience several different kinds of lessons and student-centered experiences.  Participants will ultimately draft a comprehensive syllabus for a year-long AP Environmental Science course.  Much of the week will be spent in the field and in the lab, so that participants leave with a multitude of hands-on activities meant to facilitate student learning and develop critical analysis and problem solving abilities, fundamental skills necessary for this course.  Through designing experiments, engaging in inquiry-based activities, and collecting data in the field, students will understand how the process of science works.  Hands-on activities rather than lecture are the focus, and workshop activities will focus on resources available in every community; cemeteries, power plants, fields, forests, ponds, and school campuses are all rich resources of inquiry-based projects.  This course is appropriate for both new and experienced AP teachers.



Faculty: Katie Landsea

The Revised AP European History Exam 2016 will be introduced and explained and discussed at length.  Participants will have an opportunity to preview sample exam questions  and examine sample rubrics for these questions. Participants will explore the overview of the Curriculum Framework based on the Revised AP European Test:

Historical Thinking Skills will be introduced and discussed and will focus on the following Skills: Chronological Reasoning, Comparison and Contextualization, Crafting Historical Arguments from Historical Evidence and Historical Interpretation and Synthesis.

Thematic Learning Objectives, which are organized into five major themes: (1) Interaction of Europe and the World, (2) Poverty and Prosperity (3) Objective Knowledge and Subjective Visions, (4) States and Other Institutions of Power (5) Individual and Society, will be introduced and explored.

We will cover the Concept Outline, which is the required course content for each historical period. The Historical Periods in the Concept Outline will include key concepts, supporting concepts, and historical developments that are required knowledge for each period presented in the outline:  Period 1: c.1450 to c.1648     Period 2: c.1648 to c. 1815    Period3: c.1815 to c.1914    Period 4: c.1914 to the Present.

Since this is an APSI, the Agenda will also cover the importance of pacing, methods of essay writing and the use of literature, art and primary sources in the AP Curriculum.  Discussion of textbook selection and additional content specific materials to compliment the course is another aspect of the Institute. An overview of how best to use technology, how to review for the exam, what summer reading is suggested, and what post exam activities are available will also be discussed. As always in the APSI the sharing of "Best Teaching Practices" is another highlight of our week together.



Faculty: Kately Demougeot 

The 2019 French APSI will concentrate completely on the newly redesigned exam and course alignment. Participants will examine the major themes that will drive the French AP curriculum along with the numerous sub-themes. Designing units of instruction will be an important part of the workshop as well as examining sample exam items. Developing a familiarity with the three modes of communication--interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational--will be a key factor in our work. Another feature of the workshop will be becoming proficient in interpreting achievement-level descriptions that will assist teachers in evaluating student work. We will become familiar with strategies to present various aspects of the target culture, including products (tools, books, music, laws, conventions, institutions); practices (patterns of social interactions); and perspectives (values, attitudes, assumptions). Time will be spent on integrating authentic materials and technology into our curriculum. We will also discuss the production of the new course audit. 



Faculty: Katrina Griffin

This workshop provides participants detailed information about the current AP German Language and Culture exam.  Given the interpersonal, interpretive and presentational modes of communication, the presenter will navigate the participants through all six AP themes by modeling current advancements in the world language classroom.  The teacher of German today realizes the validity behind effective curricular progression, thereby allowing all students the benefits of the AP experience from the first year of instruction.  Authentic materials and assessment strategies all lead to meaningful and successful experience for the proficient speaker of German. 



Faculty: Pamela Wolfe 

This course will provide an overview of the AP Human Geography curriculum and help teachers design their own course. Teachers will review lesson plans, resources, and websites for teaching each of the major topics covered in the AP Human Geography course, including geography, population, cultural patterns, the political organization of space, rural land use, industrialization, and cities. The course will focus on effective teaching strategies, learning activities and preparation for success on the AP exam. Participants will begin to develop their own course outline, syllabus, and assessment tools.



Faculty: Ida Wilder

This course gives participants an overview, as well as the requirements, of the AP Italian Language and Culture Course and exam. Participants will also learn about classroom strategies and engage in a professional exchange of ideas. In addition, they will examine the components of the AP curriculum framework including: learning objectives, description of the expected student performance and themes. They will discuss instructional design for the course that integrates cultural content into language lessons and connects the modes of communication in meaningful ways. Participants will also review necessary AP material, such as course description, exam specification, and student examples from various exams. Other highlights include: ideas for syllabus development and the opportunity to score student work from the 2018 exam with rubrics. Finally, participants will become acquainted with the electronic media used to support AP teacher such as AP Central, AP Teacher Community and many, many useful websites.



Faculty: Theresa Fischer

This is a five day workshop structured to support teachers, both those new to this material and veterans with AP® Economics. We will cover both courses in Microeconomics and Macroeconomics during the time we have together at Manhattan College. It should be noted that this is a summer institute and not a full course in either of these areas.

We will cover a wide variety of content, methodology and assessments while focusing on student-centered learning. Attending teachers will be expected to work together with others in the class and are encouraged to bring samples of their work, tests and materials to share as well. A major portion of our workshop will be devoted to planning for your year to come and working with sample materials from the AP® exams. Teachers will also have the opportunity to share a variety of textbook resources to help support their classroom experiences.


Faculty: Joel Phillips

Music Theory for Teachers of Advanced Placement strongly emphasizes musical skill development and provides numerous strategies to help teachers prepare students to achieve their best. It features extensive and careful analysis of the AP curriculum as well as the examination’s content and scoring. Members will evaluate representative examples of available materials, especially those provided by the College Board, and participate in a variety of in-class activities, most of which are based in performance. Following the course people who have not taught AP music theory will be able to complete the course audit requirements. All participants, including experienced AP teachers, can expect to take away new ideas, insights, and greater confidence in their teaching.

Ed. 609- PHYSICS I 

Faculty: Barry Panas

Questions on the AP Physics 1 exam probe a student’s understanding of the entire scientific process.  They don’t just predict an answer, but they must explain the reasoning behind the prediction, and discuss how that prediction would change as the conditions of the problem change.  And they don’t stop there:  they describe how they would set up an experiment to verify that prediction, how to analyze the data collected from such an experiment, how that experiment might turn out.  In other words, our students are expected to acquire and demonstrate the same skills that professional physicists use in their work.

In our AP summer institute, we will discuss in detail the content and structure of the AP Physics 1 exam.  More importantly, we will talk about how to teach students the physics skillsthat will be tested on the new exams, and which are useful at all levels of physics.  Participants who have already taught these courses for a year will have a chance to share ideas and activities that worked – or didn’t work – for them; those who are brand new to AP Physics 1 and 2 will leave with more materials than they could ever imagine.

The overarching goal of the week will be to communicate and share physics teaching ideas that, while focused on AP Physics 1, can be applied to any level of physics, including conceptual, Regents, AP Physics 1, and AP Physics C.  In particular, we will discuss:

·      Quantitative use of demonstrations… whenever students can be asked to predict the result of a demonstration, that demonstration has served a purpose beyond simply attention-grabbing.

·      Laboratory activities in the style of AP lab questions… we will perform two or three of these.  We will discuss how to create activities that are not only pedagogically valuable, but which also directly prepare the students for the types of exam questions they will face.

·      In- and out-of-class assignments and activities that bring students beyond focusing on an abstract answer.  We’ll talk about specific ideas that will help get students writing, communicating, and experimenting.


Faculty: Katherine Minter

AP Psychology will focus on the knowledge and skills needed to build and maintain a successful program.   Particular emphasis will be on needs of the teachers new to AP Psychology.  We will review the updates to the College Board curriculum, AP Audit, various syllabi for one and two semester courses, sequence & pacing, textbook options, materials, and other important resources to help in the AP classroom.  Emphasis will be on nuts-and-bolts best-practices with plenty of time for questions and answers.  We will cover some content areas that are typically more difficult for students and teachers including neurophysiology/ biochemistry of behavior; research methods & statistics; and sensation & perception.  Successful classroom activities will be demonstrated, including draw-and-color activities and building brains from Play-doh.  Additionally, the recent AP Exam will be reviewed and “best practice” ideas will be shared.   Come ready to learn and leave energized and excited to be teaching AP Psychology!   



Faculty: Maritza Sloan

In this institute we will dissect the Curriculum Framework for the 2019 Spanish Language and Culture exam.  Participants will analyze the AP curricular themes and subthemes, learning objectives, achievement level descriptions, test questions, scoring rubrics, and student samples for the new exam. Our discussion of student performance will focus on three communicative modes:  interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational.  Additionally, we will discuss AP curriculum and syllabus development as well as the integration of culture (products, practices and perspectives) into all levels of an AP and Pre-AP program with a special emphasis on the use of technology and the arts to support curricular goals.  Finally, we will examine and share teaching strategies, instructional materials, and online resources to make our AP program vibrant, relevant, and successful.



Faculty: Monica Friedmann

The 2019 Spanish Literature and Culture Institute is designed to assist teachers in preparing and enhancing their AP Spanish Literature and Culture course and guiding students to a richer, deeper understanding of and appreciation for Spanish and Latin American literature. Although this workshop will address the full range of the course, major emphasis will be placed on using works from the Reading List to develop effective strategies that will urge learners to: a) relate content to historical, geopolitical, socioeconomic, and literary contexts, and understand the six course themes and their organizing concepts, b) use metacognition to improve reading comprehension, c) approach and interpret poetry, d) apply literary terminology, and e) write organized short responses and essays. Since an essential part of the institute will be the discussion of activities and strategies to enhance student performance on the various parts of the exam, including the listening, multiple-choice, and free-response sections, teachers who are new to the course are highly encouraged to review and familiarize themselves with the materials found on the College Board’s website for the AP Spanish Literature and Culture Course and particularly with the Course and Exam Description


Faculty: Douglas Cashing  

This course is intended for AP Statistics teachers who feel uncertain about the content or the expectations of the course. We will discuss a variety of questions from previous exams, along with their scoring rubrics and some student solutions, as a spring-board for investigating the content and how to present it. There will also be discussions regarding the use of available technology in the course, available resources, test-taking strategies, and ideas for projects and activities. 


Ed. 612 - STUDIO ART

Faculty: Marc Schimsky 

Using a sample AP Studio Art Syllabus, this course will cover the structure of all three AP Studio Art Exam Portfolios with overviews of the Breadth and Concentration sections of the exams plus guidelines for organizing the Quality section. Then using sample AP scoring rubrics, the AP Studio Art scoring process will be reviewed. There will be two “standards settings," one for each of two sections of the Exam – the “Breadth” and the “Concentration”. These standards settings will give participants a fairly accurate sense of how AP Studio Art exams are actually scored by AP readers each year. Participants will also engage in a hands-on project to develop a scope of technical and conceptual strategies to meet the demands of the “Concentration Section” of the AP Art Exam. This simple project will provide participants with a tool to assist high school students to develop their own concentration themes. For this project, you will need to bring some art supplies with you to the APSI. A list of suggested art supplies will be provided. In addition, it is suggested that you bring a journal/sketchbook with you and an assortment of pens and/or pencils. Towards the middle of the week, there will be a “break-out” session where participants will share lessons and ideas to be used for the Breadth section of the Exams. In addition, there will be discussions on vertical teaming, critiquing techniques, and how to photograph art work.


Ed. 633 – U.S. HISTORY 

Faculty: Scott Horton

This course, through lecture, discussion, and group activities, introduces the structure and content necessary for an effective Advanced Placement US History course within the guidelines of the redesigned curriculum. It will analyze the component parts of the AP exam and suggest appropriate test-taking strategies and methods of incorporating reasoning skills and disciplinary practices necessary to teach the redesigned course. Participants will learn how to review the analytical writing skills needed for success on the exam as well as ways to embed those skills in the teaching of the course. We will evaluate essays from previous AP exams using the criteria developed in the redesigned rubric. In addition, we will review resources that enable a teacher to bring the best techniques and approaches to the AP US history classroom.  Finally, assistance will be provided in the development of the new course syllabus required by The College Board as well as developing an appropriate pacing guide for the course.



Faculty: Tony Dalasio

The goal of this Institute is to combine the pedagogy necessary to understand how to teach AP US Government and Politics to 11th and 12th graders with a practical understanding of what is expected of students on the AP US Govt. and Politics Exam in light of the changes that are being implemented by College Board for the 2018-19 course and exam.  Participants who have completed the Institute will be well-prepared to develop a curriculum for an AP US Government and Politics course that addresses the changes that have been made to the course, be prepared to teach that course, and will have a familiarity with both the course and the AP test format so that their students will experience success in the course.  More importantly, they will also understand how to get this material across to 11th and 12th grade students. 
The changes made by College Board in the 2018 AP US Government and Politics Course and Exam are a major departure from the previous course and exam.  The course has been  improved in a variety of ways:
- More room for teachers to cultivate student understanding.  The topic outline for the current course will be replaced by a content outline: a focused, detailed description of content that may appear on the AP Exam. This will save teachers from rapid, superficial content coverage, enabling them to spend more time helping students understand key topics in depth.
- More focus on what students should be able to do with the knowledge they develop. The curriculum framework defines a set of political science skills and practices that will require students to analyze, compare, interpret, and communicate political information—the same skills and practices that college and university faculty expect students to have after completing the equivalent college course.
- More emphasis on the U.S. founding documents and other primary sources. A specified set of 19 Supreme Court cases and 9 foundational documents—including the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution—will now be required study. For each required Supreme Court case, the National Constitution Center will publish articles for students showing both sides, where there was bipartisan agreement, and where there were differences.
- More emphasis on applied learning. Students will complete a research project or investigation relating a political problem or current issue to the course content.
Course Objectives: Participants in this Institute will:
- Become familiar with the revised format of the AP US Government and Politics course and exam.
- Develop an understanding of the content areas that are covered by the exam, including the nine basic documents and 19 Supreme Court cases. 
- Develop the ability to analyze Internet resources available for teaching the course.
- Compare and contrast some of the resources available for the teaching of this course, and make decisions as to the materials that would best serve the needs of their students.



Faculty:  Kit Wainer

Designed to help both the beginner and experienced teacher to prepare for the newly redesigned AP World Exam, the course will provide an overview of the content, skills and strategies that will help students succeed, and enjoy the learning process.  A cooperative learning environment is encouraged wherein we share supportive activities and materials that specifically target both the revised curriculum framework and exam. In order to better teach students both writing and information literacy, participants will work specifically with the new types of multiple choice questions, short answer questions, and essay prompts and rubrics.