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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 42 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 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.  In her (long) career, Kim has also taught English 7 – 12, choir, marketing, Latin, Texas and American History, and Career Education, Senior Writing, and Mythology.

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. Kim is especially proud of her work with Bedford St. Martins publishers. She was asked to write the teacher edition questions for the “Community” chapter of the third edition of Bedford’s acclaimed Language of Composition text, and her name actually appears on the front cover of the teacher edition! She also wrote correlations between the new AP Language skills and both the second and third editions of Language of Composition; these correlation may be found on Bedford’s website, and are intended to save teacher preparation time. If you need an article to teach Skill 3A, the correlation will guide you. In her spare time, Kim reads, makes beaded necklaces, and rides her horse, an Andalusian cross named Pippin.

Course Description

The course prepares both new and experienced teachers for the rigors of planning and teaching AP English Language and Composition. Teachers will begin the week with a discussion of the AP Language course itself, as seen in the new Course Description and AP Central. Participants will learn about the newly updated course formats, which present teachers with these scaffolded areas: Enduring Understandings, Skills, and Essential Knowledge. After delving into the new Course Description, teachers will learn to use AP Classroom; they will examine the individual progress checks, as well as the question bank and dashboard. Participants will also compile a list of the literature they teach (or expect to teach) in their AP courses. Then teachers will buckle down to a serious consideration of course work. 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. Multiple choice strategies will receive attention as well. Teachers will also discuss analysis of poetry, prose, film, music, and visual text, because “analysis is analysis” – and everybody needs some time for fun! The week will also include time for writing and analyzing lessons, as well as course planning and audit preparation. 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
  • Examination of the AP Course: the course guide and the test itself
  • College Board’s Equity and Access Statement
  • The 2018 and 2019 Tests: an overview
  • The Analytical Toolbox and Checklist; Warrants and Terms; the Basics
  • The Course Guide: Learning to Read and Use
  • AP Classroom, #1
  • Annotation and Close Reading: Sample Lessons and Responses
  • Analyzing a Passage, AP-Style
  • Analysis is Analysis
  • Using Claim / Evidence / Commentary as a Construction Tool
Day 2: Strategies for Teaching Analysis; Decoding the 2018 / Other Analysis Prompts; Writing Thesis Statements; Course Planning
  • General Comments and Discussion, Teaching Argument
  • Using Templates
  • Generating Thesis Statements
  • The 2018 / 2019 Analysis Prompts
  • The Course Guide: Continued Analysis and Examination
  • AP Classroom, #2
  • Using and Modifying Old Prompts
  • Theme and Tone as Tools
  • Discussion of Various Rangefinders
  • Socratic Seminars as an Analysis Tool
  • Close Reading as Analytical Support
  • Course Planning, Part 1
Day 3: Strategies for Teaching Synthesis; Decoding the 2018 / Other Synthesis Prompts; Course Planning
  • General Comments and Discussion, Teaching Synthesis
  • The Course Guide: Continued Examination and Use
  • AP Classroom, #3
  • Analyzing the Synthesis Format; the 2018 Synthesis Prompt
  • Rangefinders
  • Analysis is Analysis: Using Videos and Visuals in Synthesis
  • Finding and Using Evidence
  • Course Planning, Part II
Day 4: Strategies for Teaching the Open-Ended Prompt; Decoding the 2018 / Other Argument Prompts; Multiple Choice; Best Practices and Evaluations
  • General Comments and Discussion, Teaching Open-Ended Argument
  • Final Course Guide Examination and Use
  • AP Classroom, #4
  • Analyzing Types of Argument
  • The 2018 / 2019 Argument Prompt
  • Using and Modifying Old Prompts
  • Rangefinders
  • Dealing with Multiple Choice and Vocabulary
  • Analysis is Analysis: Poetry and Other Animals
  • Best and Worst Practices; Summing Up and Evaluation