AP Comes to Summer

Horizon Honors’ AP and dual enrollment classes often come with summer assignments. According to the teachers, these assignments help prepare students in numerous ways from content to workload.

Nathalia Rivera, Columnist

This week, students turned in Course Verification forms, acknowledging that the classes they are assigned are the classes they want.  For many, this commitment will come to fruition on July 28, the first day of regularly scheduled classes.  However, for students in Advanced Placement (AP) and dual enrollment courses, this undertaking comes much sooner through summer assignments, work completed throughout the summer (ideally) and generally due on or soon after the first day. While over-the-summer homework may seem tedious, teachers of the classes assert that the toil will be well worth it.

AP Government:  Camille Hensel

Hensel is trying out something new this year.  Instead of annotating the Constitution, students will be sent on a scavenger hunt through Google Classroom and based off of the Constitution. She believes a summer assignment is important because “it gets them thinking about what the class will be like and it gives them something to talk about when they get back.” Hensel also wants to make sure that their “brains won’t go numb” over break.

American Experience/AP Literature & Composition:  Ann Shaheen

Shaheen explained that, for both classes, there is “no time to waste the first day. The class is up and running.” According to Shaheen, summer assignments help her to gauge student ability levels, and what she needs to plan for the year. For AP Literature, students choose from a list of ten novels and write an essay that focuses on showing “the interdependence between literary elements in the text.”  She adds that this is a good way to “provide a starting place for the writing goals and literary analysis goals for each student.” And, because students taking AMEX receive two credits for the class (one for English and one for history), they are required to complete two assignments.  For the English component, students choose one of two books, “My Antonia” or “A Lost Lady,” and write an essay that focuses on “[demonstrating] their composition and literary analysis skills and [setting] initial goals.”  The other assignment is to choose between  “Founding Mothers” and “Founding Brothers,” read the book and answer questions.  Shaheen explains that this assignment will “provide a foundation for our study of the American Revolution and founding era and will provide initial goal setting for their ability to work with historical interpretation from secondary sources.”

AP World History:  Chris Huber

Huber says that there’s a lot of  content that the students need to cover in order to save time by not going over it during  class. He also added that it helps him plan ahead for the class.  The summer assignment for WHAP requires students to check out two books: “Traditions and Encounters” and “Guns, Germs, and Steel.”.   They then must read and answer questions for each book, Chapters 1-6 and Parts 1-3, respectively.

AP Calculus:  Kathleen Patterson

This class incorporates all the math that the students have learned in prior math classes, including Algebra, Geometry, and Trigonometry. Because there is no time to review concepts from these classes during the school year, the summer assignment satisfies that need.  All they need is a spiral notebook to show their work because the work assigned to the students is mostly online. There are 21 pages, one side with an explanation and examples on a certain topic and the other side with all the problems that need to be completed. Patterson noted that this comprehensive review is crucial to student success.

College Algebra Honors:  Paul Schneider

Though the class will be taught by a teacher new to Horizon Honors, its current teacher, Paul Schneider, chose the summer assignments for next year’s students.  The assignments include prerequisite concepts and skills for the course, reviewing the learning from Geometry, Algebra Honors, and Algebra 1-2. Schneider explains that students have to check out the College Algebra Honors textbook and “brush up on it,” for a pre-assessment at the beginning of the year.  Schneider believes this “brushing up” should take about eight hours.