Teaching an AP course is incredibly difficult because it comes with the added pressure from students’ desires for college credit, parents wanting their money’s worth from the exam prices, and the administration looking over your shoulder.
One of the things I feel that I don't take enough time to do is show my appreciation for all of my students and recognize their efforts throughout the year. I find that I spend far more time focusing only on my struggling students rather than recognizing each student's individual journey, success, and growth.
Essay shaping sheets are essentially templates for writing that guide students through the writing process. A shaping sheet can be as small as a sentence template or as large as an entire paragraph or even essay. But are these tools helpful, or do they ultimately hinder student development? Well, the million-dollar answer to this question is… it depends.
Motivating struggling writers can be quite a challenge. With struggling writers, it is important to create high-interest assignments that students will want to work on, assignments that they will want to put forth the effort on in order to succeed. If struggling students are bored with a writing topic, they won’t be as invested in it and won’t want to put the time and effort in to make it the best it can be.
Writing is a process. It is recursive. No piece of writing is ever "final." Something can always be better. I often feel this way whenever I read back over my own old essays and inevitably find a sentence that could be better, a paragraph that could be stronger, or a word that could be more precise.