One of the ongoing issues in social studies curriculum and instruction is how to differentiate in our AP classes while still covering the content enough to pass the exam. How do you address this in your classes?
I teach AP US History and find that this is a challenging issue in the AP classroom. Some people think that teaching AP is easier because the students are generally more prepared. This is not the case because each student is at a different level. As the teacher, you want each student to grow, especially the average student because they could then pass the AP exam.
Here is something that I try called Optional Assignments. If students make below a C on one of my unit exams, then I give them an option to complete 1 out of 3 assignments. These are remedial assignments that encourage them to learn from their mistakes on the test. The students that made A's and B's do not need remediation, so I offer them an option to complete 1 out of 3 different assignments. These are usually extension activities that require analytical thinking about a topic.
This is helpful because it maximizes your time and resources. However, it does take more work from the teacher because you have to design differentiated instruction for the students.
Thanks. You reflected my own approaches and thoughts. The concern is always covering content enough to ensure a passing grade on the exam, and I have been frustrated in the past by the drive for breadth and not depth...