AP Seminar Classes Take On Performance Task #1


Carlie Wolfer, Staff Writer

At Armuchee High School, there are Thirty-Seven honors students who have recently finished their Individual Research Reports (IRR), which are research-driven reports to prepare for their Performance Task 1, which is team presentation including research, writing, and presentation skills in AP Seminar and are beginning to construct their presentations. AP Seminar is a course that requires students to use collaboration, critical thinking, and research skills to create a team multimedia presentation that is a percentage of every student’s AP test for the year. AP Seminar Teacher, Mrs. Floyd said, “Teams craft research questions that can be evaluated through multiple perspectives, and even those perspectives can be broken down into more lenses. ”

The lenses range from economics, health, and safety, to social and psychological, for example. Mrs. Floyd feels the students are challenged with choosing a lens to analyze the chosen topic through and finding reputable, also called tier-one sources, including experts in the field on the particular topics chosen. After students chose their topic, a synthesis of the information was done and the student created an argument supporting one side of their topic with their group. The group will examine the issue involved with the topic and put out potential solutions. After the work is done, the group presents their findings with a limited amount of time. While this project may be challenging for students, it is challenging for Mrs. Floyd as well. She said, “I think the biggest challenge is how limited I am in helping each student individually for the Pt1.”         

Mrs. Floyd has seen numerous Pt1 presentations throughout her 7 years of teaching AP Seminar. One that stood out to her included a presentation done by students Anna Evans, Jessie Moore, Lauren Early, and Landon England. Mrs. Floyd said, “There was a presentation last year that stood out to me about the Indian caste system. The topic was timely and the argument was well-written.” Ryan Strickland, a student in AP Seminar, feels that choosing to take AP Seminar was a great decision and has helped with research skills and learning to analyze different sources to determine credibility. Strickland said, “It enables teamwork skills because of the heavy load of work that has to be completed as a group. It includes holding people accountable to work and sometimes having to have those difficult group discussions.” 

Before beginning Performance Task 1, students prepared by doing the Mock Performance Task 1. Strickland said, “Coming into Pt1, it was easier than I thought it was going to be because the Mock had prepared me in areas where there may have been a struggle.” He explains that it allowed him to see the time constraints that were involved with deadlines and that it helped him with time management when it comes to research, writing, and reviewing.

Though there may be challenges and struggles throughout the process of Pt1, students feel this class has given them learning experience, as well as research and presentation skills that most classes don’t offer. Sophia Johnson said, “For me, it’s a good class to take, but it kind of depends on the person and their ability to present. The group members definitely help you to stay motivated about getting assignments done before deadlines, but self-motivation is still important. It takes a lot of effort and dedication to your work, but in the long run, you’ll be glad you pushed through.” AP Seminar provides a distinct learning experience that teaches students how to apply different skills, work as a team, and prepare for the future.