Welcome to AP

I want to welcome you (or your student) to AP Geography this year.  Congratulations on challenging yourself by taking this college-level class as a freshman.  This is a unique opportunity to stretch your learning skills and hopefully earn college credit.   While it will challenge all of you at times, at the end of the year most students who put in the effort and stick it out feel like it was a very good experience.  We will learn in depth in a way that's not possible in other 9th grade classes and you will come away with the ability to see how the world works that you will apply to the rest of your life.  I’m looking forward to exploring the world with you this year.

If you would like to get a head start and make the first few weeks of the school year a little easier, you may want to consider starting these two things before the school year begins.  If you aren’t able to get to this until school starts, you will do them in the first few weeks along with the other things for our first unit. 

1. Learn the world's countries and be able to recognize most of them on a map.  You will be tested on this in the first weeks of school and will need to be familiar with where the countries we talk about are throughout the year.  See this page of my website for which countries you need to know and for games to help you practice.

2. Take a pretest.  Open this pretest and write your answers on blank paper or a document in your Google drive (or another program).  Be ready to hand it in or send it to me by the second week of the new school year. This is the same format and length as the actual AP test, it will help you get a feel for what AP level tests are like and it will help me see how to help you improve through the year.

Some other things to consider as we prepare to start school this year:

Make sure to set aside five hours each week for reading, homework, and studying for this class as you prepare your schedule for this year.  Some students can get by with as little as three hours each week and some have been able to use free time in other parts of the school day on it, but be aware that there will be plenty to do outside of class time.

Our class time is very limited on our A/B schedule and our class periods will be used for discussions, group activities and application projects as much as possible.  To be prepared to engage in that day’s activities, you will be expected to have carefully read a textbook section or articles or to have studied for a test every time you walk into class.  The number one thing previous students wished they had done better was to stay caught up.  Getting behind can be inevitable once in a while, but it is critical to catch up quickly when this happens.  

Almost all of the assignments and learning activities we did last year are available on the AP section of my website. If you go there and click on AP Geography you can get a good idea of what types of things we will do in each unit.

Find ways to come in before or after school on a regular basis (when the situation allows for it).  AP level tests are challenging.  Take studying for them seriously and plan on retaking some of them before or after school.  When possible, it may be helpful to attend the study sessions we have before test days and through the month before the AP test for about an hour before or after school.

*If you pass the AP test, most colleges in and out of Utah will give you credit for a course that fulfills part of their GE social science requirements.  UVU is an exception and only counts this as elective credit.  Please keep this in mind if you plan to attend UVU or if you meet with an advisor associated with them including at the ALC.  It may be worth researching how colleges you plan to attend count this credit if that is a concern.