English Language & Composition

Kimberleigh Reifle

A colleague told Kim some years ago that good teachers must be willing to reinvent themselves every five years. By that standard, Kim has reinvented herself many times, having taught for 40 years. She spent 21 years working with middle school students in Amarillo, Texas; she wrote the original honors curriculum for seventh and eighth grade English in Amarillo. In 1999, Kim decided she was mature enough to “graduate” to high-school teaching. She then began working with sophomore Pre-Advanced Placement and junior AP classes at Tascosa High School, also in Amarillo.  During her time in Amarillo, she received extensive training in both AP and Pre-AP teaching techniques.

In 2009, Kim moved with to the Pacific Northwest; she now teaches at Hanford High School in Richland, Washington. Kim’s current assignment includes AP Language and junior American Literature. Kim has worked as the liaison to Central Washington University, implementing the state’s revised College in the High School curriculum.  Just to make things fun, Kim has also taught English 7 – 12, choir, marketing, Latin, Texas and American History, and Career Education.

Kim has been a College Board consultant since 2002, and has presented summer institutes and one-day and two-day seminars throughout the Southwest, as well as in California, Colorado, and Utah. She has been chosen to present sessions at the AP National Conference on two separate occasions. In her spare time, Kim reads, makes beaded necklaces, and rides her horse.

Course Description

Due to changes in the AP Language course for the fall of 2019, teachers will be spending about six hours during the week in learning about the new resources and changes: Unit Guides, Personal Project Checks, the Dashboard, the question bank, and fall registration. We will also discuss changes to both multiple choice and the writing / scoring rubric. Teachers will have time to build their syllabi and write lessons. We will take the time to write lessons and plans for fall of 2019. This part of the week is designed to introduce teachers to changes, help them make decisions about plans and modifications they might want to make to their courses, contemplate the syllabus rewrite for fall of 2020, and (I hope!) alleviate some of the stress brought about by the changes!

However, the week will also include many other activities. Participants will compile a list of the literature they teach or may teach in their AP courses, discussing the various uses of those texts. Then teachers will consider various strategies used to introduce and reinforce rhetorical analysis. We will consider the teaching of writing, including all three types of AP essays: synthesis, analysis, and argumentation. Participants will study close reading and annotation skills, applying their knowledge to a number of excerpts, including examples of pre-20th century literature. Teachers will discuss the idea of “Analysis is Analysis,” using poetry, prose, film, music, and visual text. Additionally, the group will consider techniques for teaching multiple choice, which has changed somewhat. Finally, teachers will have time to share best (and worst!) practices, learn from each other, and laugh (or cry) over our triumphs and trials as teachers.


Day 1

Analysis Tools and AP Skills for Students and Teachers; Overview of Course / Test Changes

  • College Board’s Equity and Access Statement
  • Discussion: problems in teaching AP
  • Major works and course organization
  • Changes to the Course, Part 1
  • Analysis is Analysis: passages, video, visuals, etc.
  • Using Claim / Evidence / Commentary as a Construction Tool

Day 2

Strategies for Teaching Analysis; Decoding the 2019 / Other Analysis Prompts; Writing Thesis Statements; Planning Lessons and Implementing Changes in the Course / Test

  • General Comments and Discussion, Teaching Argument
  • Using Templates
  • Generating Thesis Statements
  • The 2019 Analysis Prompt
  • Using and Modifying Old Prompts
  • Theme and Tone as Tools
  • Discussion of Various Rangefinders
  • Changes to the Course: Planning and Implementation
  • Close Reading as Analytical Support

Day 3

Strategies for Teaching Synthesis; Decoding the 2019 / Other Synthesis Prompts; Unit and Lesson Planning for Course Changes

  • General Comments and Discussion, Teaching Synthesis
  • Using Templates
  • Analyzing the Synthesis Format; the 2019 Synthesis Prompt
  • Using and Modifying Old Prompts
  • Rangefinders
  • Changes to the Course: Unit and Lesson Planning
  • Finding and Using Evidence

Day 4

Strategies for Teaching the Open-Ended Prompt; Decoding the 2019 / Other Argument Prompts; Multiple Choice; Final Work on Changes in the Test and Course Best Practices and Evaluations

  • General Comments and Discussion, Teaching Open-Ended Argument
  • Analyzing Types of Argument
  • The 2019 Argument Prompt
  • Using and Modifying Old Prompts
  • Rangefinders
  • Dealing with Multiple Choice and Vocabulary
  • Dealing with Changes in the Course  / Test: Final Work and Planning
  • Best and Worst Practices; Summing Up and Evaluation