US Government and Politics

Course Description

This course is designed for both new and experienced teachers of AP® U.S. Government and Politics. The class focuses on development of AP® Government content knowledge, pedagogy, and strategies to reach diverse learners. The instructor will teach content and provide/demonstrate how to implement student centered lessons including socratic seminars and project based learning models. We will review and discuss textbooks an useful multimedia resources to support teaching the AP course. We will look at past examinations and sample student responses, and work collaboratively to create and develop effective new lesson plans for use in the AP classroom. All teachers will have time, if necessary, to prepare and submit syllabi required for the AP Audit. During the summer of 2017 there will be time devoted to preparing for the new AP Government curriculum to begin in the fall of 2018. There will be homework assigned on each evening, and a laptop or tablet is strongly recommended for use in class.

Tentative Agenda:

Day 1

AM

  • Introductions
  • Overview — the AP US Government Course
  • Overview — Rebecca Small’s Materials (print & electronic)
  • Textbook distribution & Review
  • Unit I Lecture Notes & Lesson Plans

PM

  • Simulation — 2016 AP Reading
  • Group Lesson Plan Assignment
  • Homework: 2009 Released exam (multiple choice)

Day 2

AM

  • Review homework
  • Writing Strategies
  • Equity and Access

PM

  • Unit II and III Lecture Notes & Lesson Plans PM
  • Work on Group Lesson Plan Assignment
  • Homework: 2002 Released Exam (Multiple choice)

Day 3

AM

  • Review Homework
  • Unit IV Lecture Notes & Lesson Plans

PM

  • Computer Lab Assignment
  • Homework: 1996 Released Exam (Multiple Choice)

Day 4

AM

  • Review Homework
  • Computer Lab De‐brief
  • Unit V &VI Lecture Notes & Lesson Plans

PM

  • Review Seminar
  • Additional Review Strategies
  • Presentations — Group Lesson Plan
  • Evaluation

Instructor

Rebecca Small

Ms. Small has been teaching high school Social Studies for Fairfax County public schools since September 1997, and is currently teaching at South Lakes High School. She conducts workshops for teachers over the summer for Advanced Placement Government & Politics (US and Comparative) in several states. She has served on the AP® Government test development committee and is currently a member of the US Government & Politics re-design committee. At the AP reading, Ms. Small has served as a reader, table leader, and Question Leader. She is a published author of test preparation books, lesson plans and other resources for teachers – links to some of her publications are listed below. In her government classes she has introduced students to many elected officials including Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT),Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FLA). She has taken students to many political offices and Embassies over the years, including the National Rifle Association headquarters and the Embassies of Britain, China and Nigeria. Her guest speakers included political consultant James Carville, Mary Beth Tinker (from Tinker v. Des Moines), several diplomats, and human rights activist Ahmad Batebi. Ms. Small is pursuing a Doctorate of Education and Policy Studies at George Washington University.

Ms. Small’s Publications

Nominating Federal Judges Lesson Plan
Introducing students to the Challenges of Teaching Nigerian Politics
Teaching the New AP Comparative Government Course
AP US Government Teacher’s Guide
Interpreting Political Data
AP US Government & Politics On Board

Rebecca Small

Rebecca Small