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U.S. History

Janine Draschner

Janine Draschner has taught AP US History at Falls Church High School in Falls Church, VA for the past 11 years. She has been a reader at the AP US History Reading since 2015 and a table leader since 2018. Janine has been a consultant for the College Board since 2016, first with AP Insight (a College Board program which was folded into AP Classroom), and then as a presenter of workshops and AP Summer Institutes. She has also conducted several presentations on teaching history for Fairfax County Public Schools.Janine has had an article published in the journal Foreign Affairs and more recently, co-authored a chapter on teaching the economic causes of the Civil War in the book, just published, Teaching the Causes of the American Civil War (Peter Lang Press).

Historically speaking, Janine considers herself fortunate to have grown up in New England and lived in Virginia for the past 30 years. She has travelled the east coast (primarily) visiting hundreds of historical places and now prefers finding and contemplating the more neglected parts of our shared American history. One of her greatest interests continues to be wandering around old cemeteries, hoping to discover some of their secrets.

Course Description

This mostly synchronous 4-day APSI course for AP US History will focus on teaching the historical thinking skills in a deliberate and scaffolded way to make learning them accessible to all students, as well as integrating those skills with required content. The importance of teaching and practicing transferable historical skills for students to use in other classes and situations is central. Much of what we will practice in this course is designed to be immediately usable in your classrooms. We will cover how learning is assessed on the AP Exam, the specifics of the AP Exam, all the skills involved, the unit guides provided by the College Board for this class, and how to use AP Classroom effectively. In addition, we will examine rubrics and student samples for each type of question on the AP Exam, including the DBQ and Long Essay Question. Our primary goal will be to leave the course with engaging practices and instructional strategies to help students develop and master the elements of the course in general and the Exam specifically. Participants are strongly encouraged to be actively engaged in this interactive course as well as to share their own best practices (lessons, resources, etc.) with the group.


Four Day Course-July 12-15, 2021
Day 1
  • Equity and Access
  • Audit and Curricular Requirements
  • Understanding by Design: “The Strange Death of Silas Deane”
  • Course and Exam Description: Integrating Skills and Content
  • Unit Guides Activity
  • Exam Overview: How learning is assessed
  • Scaffolding the Teaching of Skills
Day 2
  • Contextualization Video and Activities
  • Analyzing Secondary Sources: Claims and Evidence
  • Secondary Sources in Class and on the Exam
  • Analyzing Primary Sources: Sourcing and Situation
  • Primary Sources in Class and on the Exam
  • Planning and Pacing Units 1-3
  • Using AP Classroom
Day 3
  • Teaching Different Perspectives in History
  • Long Essay Question (LEQ), rubric, student samples
  • Making Connections and Building Arguments
  • Specifics of Argumentation: Claims and Supporting Evidence
  • Understanding and Teaching Complexity
  • Instructional Strategies for helping students build arguments
  • Participants create class lesson with Argumentation as key skill
  • Document Based Question (DBQ), rubric, student samples
Day 4
  • Continue DBQ rubric, student samples
  • Instructional strategies for teaching DBQ elements
  • Participants develop, share, and discuss individual lesson plans
  • Planning and Pacing for Units 4-5
  • Join AP Professional Community
  • Using Instructional Planning Report (IPR)