This page lists resources I think will help teachers and homeschooling parents wrap their minds around learning expectations. It can be overwhelming to begin designing a curriculum from scratch because there are so many things that CAN be taught, but time is limited. That’s why I agree with the advice to begin with the end in mind. Looking at published learning standards, commonly-used tests, and other gatekeeping assessments can give us a goal to strive toward, a set of skills to ensure we’re teaching.
No, I do not believe we should “teach to the test.” But we do our students a disservice if we know the test exists and don’t attempt to arm them with the requisite skills.
Leave a comment if you have other resources to suggest! I plan to add to this list as time allows.
Common Core standards for English language arts:
Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS):
Info about the new SAT (the writing portion has changed significantly since March 2016):
SAT/PSAT practice books: I really like the Princeton Review book (it has high-quality practice tests and answer explanations), but the Kaplan, McGraw-Hill, and the College Board books are also good:
Official info about AP English:
Homepage for AP Language & Composition (11th grade):
Homepage for AP Literature & Composition (12th grade):
AP English practice books: I don’t have personal experience with these, but I’ve heard good things about the “5 Steps to a 5” series:
AP English Language & Composition:
AP English Literature & Composition:
Ms. Effie’s AMAZING website for AP English teachers:
In particular, note the list of literary works that have appeared (some of them regularly) on the AP exams over the years. This is a great way to select readings:
Here’s a list of the poetry prompts from past AP tests, with the poems – also good for selecting readings:
Articles of the week from Kelly Gallagher – it’s easy to overload an English class with fiction/poetry and neglect nonfiction/current events, so this is a great resource:
Great site for creating online flash cards. Students can make their own separate flash card decks for different categories, like rhetorical devices, literary devices, SAT words, vocab from readings, and vocab for other subjects like science and history. The site also includes some great games to help make studying the flash cards more fun — my students loved doing this:
Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted – library of articles that you might find interesting/helpful/encouraging if you have a gifted child: