Monday, June 13, 2016

create your blog

See the Member Blogs page tab just below the title image?  That is where we will maintain a directory of everyone's blog.  If you're already familiar with social media and blogging, and you feeling comfortable diving in, go ahead and use Blogger, WordPress,, Tumblr, or whatever platform you think will most effectively help you tell your learning story.  If you're new to this, or you need help, or you're reluctant, let's talk.  We can do this in class during the first week of school, or if you don't want to live in suspense you can email me anytime at

ap exam prompts

Ever wish the teacher gave out the final exam questions before the test? 

Wish granted.

To see every essay question ever asked on the AP Language & Composition Exam, click Here (or click on the "AP Exam Prompts 1981-2016" tab above).

Hello & welcome


I'm looking forward to working with students at Santa Maria High School starting in August.  Since we don't have the opportunity for an orientation or a summer prep plan, I'm starting the course blog now.  SMHS students (and anyone else who wants to learn along with us) can visit anytime for all the information you need for the course.  As we get rolling in the fall, we will also use this space for collaborating, sharing information and online tools, finding scholarships, posting multimedia projects, and anything else we dream up and/or find useful.

Please bookmark this URL and follow the blog so that you will receive updates automatically instead of having to check back all the time.  If you don't know your way around blogs or the Internet, have no fear-- we will be dedicating class time to this, and you also probably have friends/relatives who can help.*  (*Working with each other to do a task and achieve shared goals is the definition of collaboration.  Please Note:  Collaboration is not cheating.  We learn better when we learn together, and we will be doing most of our learning together this year.  [I hate writing this next part because it feels so high school teacher-y, but I want to avoid any misunderstanding-- so...] Please Also Note: Some tasks, such as the AP exam and associated practice assignments, will require you to demonstrate your individual mastery of close reading, literary criticism, and written organization/ expression.  Don't even think about cheating when you know it's cheating.)

In time I hope every single person who participates in this course connects with a personally meaningful interest, discovers people & resources who can help pursue that interest, and takes charge of his/her own learning journey.  For now, please feel free to post any questions or comments here or email me at  Sapere aude.  I look forward to meeting you!

Dr. Preston