Selected to return as AP Reader for Art History 2014

Last year, I was given the tremendous opportunity to serve as a reader for AP Art History for the first time in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was an eye-opening experience as I got to meet the various readers from all around the country for Art History, all of whom have tremendous passion and dedication to our field.

I felt it was a great honor to be counted among those who help process those tests for millions of students across the country and around the world. The sheer planning and logistics of the week long event was impressive as thousands of AP teachers from various subjects descend on Salt Lake City with one objective in mind – to grade the various essays that have been submitted by students. It was fun and just a sheer pleasure to be involved in such a large-scale project while also getting excellent professional development along the way.

I am also excited, and honored, to be invited back and have confirmed my travel plans to return to the AP reading this summer in Salt Lake. I look forward to reconnecting with my peers and helping contribute to the undertaking of grading millions of essays for College Board and our AP Art History tests.

Selected to Write Questions for New AP Art History Exam

The AP Art History exam is going to be undergoing a change. In 2016, there will be more of a focus on the global contributions to art and the exam will reflect that.

This is a tremendous professional development opportunity for myself as I get to peak behind the scenes on how the exam is developed and how the new format is being retooled.

Entering my 5th year teaching AP Art History, I have already gained tremendous insight and experience as a reader this past June in Salt Lake. As a group, we graded tens of thousands of essays from all students who participated in the AP Art History exam and the experience has helped me re-think the way I teach the course and ways I can be more efficient with my students. Having an understanding for the upcoming changes to the exam also gives me a great advantage in being prepared for the new format slated to take shape in only a few years, which also benefits my students tremendously.

To get a sense of what we are doing with art history in my classes, please visit my site RicardAcademy.info.

Selected as AP Reader for Art History; Salt Lake City 2013

I recently returned from the AP Reading for Art History in Salt Lake City, Utah this week.

From June 9th to June 17th I was in Salt Lake City with about 80 or so other Art History teachers and professors from around the country, reading the thousands of essays of AP students from this most recent exam. There are 8 questions on the exam and our job was to rate them based on the rubrics for each question.

We churned out ratings for some, unofficially, 24,000 essays. It was a very rewarding experience as a teacher that not only familiarized me further with the AP exam and its format, but the process of how it is scored. This insight will serve a tremendous advantage to my future students who will benefit from my experience as I further shape my classroom experience towards what the students will be asked to do on their exam.

I also regard this as a great experience to meet other teachers and professors from across the country who have helped given me insight into our subject and the latest developments going on in Art History at not only the secondary level, but in the post-secondary level as well.

Presenting at AP Annual Conference in Orlando 2012

I’ve recently been accepted to make a presentation at the AP Annual Conference in Lake Buena Vista, Florida this year. My session is entitled Using 21st Century Skills to Look at the Past and will deal with how AP teachers can utilize the power of social networking to help students study various topics of historical concern within our courses.

I built my own website with a social network component, RicardAcademy.info, which I have used to help serve my students from simple things like keeping track of exam and quiz dates to creating opportunities for collaboration and community-based learning in the form of discussions on various topics. I will reveal some of my insights and experiences that should help any teacher regardless of level of technology or familiarity with the resources in the field. The session will be on Saturday July 21st from 9-10:15 am and is under European History and Technology.

Here is a copy of my abstract:

The scope of AP courses is massive and could be daunting to both students and teachers. Using the tools and resources available on the Internet, discover how to make lessons more compelling and dynamic for both groups. Employing social networking and Web 2.0 features, learn to build a community of lifelong learners through collaboration while also making the subject matter more navigable. Participants can increase interaction among students by using specific tools to make the content come to life. Doing so creates a more efficient manner of evaluating student achievement.

Gearing Up for AP European History and AP Art History

charlemagne_coronationCurrently I am training in an AP workshop for European history. I have never taught European history, nor have I taught an AP course, but I feel that my experiences in college as an undergraduate and graduate student have given me insight into the kinds of work my students will be faced with. It isn’t so much the content as much as it is the basic training that they will need to focus on. Given the right set of tools, they can go to work in any field and contribute at a high level.

In addition to AP Euro, I will be instructing students for the AP Art History course as well. For me this is a personal victory as I get to go back to my roots as I was trained as an art historian at Florida State and received my bachelor’s degree in the field. I utilized my training while in grad school learning how to be an archaeologist. A vital skill I developed and used in the field as well as when we were excavating it was necessary for me to identify material remains that were discovered in our trench and also help train other students to be able to identify these crucial bits of ancient data.

In addition to building a Latin program at Somerset Academy, a challenge I am eagerly getting started with, I will be expanding my teaching profile by building higher level courses in conjunction with the folks at College Board and the AP program. There is a lot to learn, but it is all very useful in that it can help teachers become even better at their craft and enabling their students to grow and rise to a higher level in their educational pursuits.