Pennsylvania Homeschoolers

AP* Online Classes

The best experiences I had in this class with regards to interaction with other students were the Dinner Parties...in which students assume the characters of major historical figures and discuss and debate the issues of the day.

AP Class Reviews

AP English Language and Composition taught by Rebekah Follmer

by Students and Parents

My Favorite Class posted by Mason Stempel on July 19 2019 at 21:31:06

I feel like I say this about most of my classes, but this AP Language class was truly my favorite class I've ever taken, and Mrs. Follmer is my favorite teacher I've ever had! I already love language and literature subjects but the interesting and "hot" topics this class discussed really attracted my interest and introduced me to unfamiliar concepts and cultivated critical thinking. Mrs. Follmer really cares about her students and makes an effort to promote relationships with her and with each other with lots of discussions and group work. I just adored this class! :D

 

Q: Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

 

Most definitely! Every assignment we completed was founded in the basic skills necessary to be successful on the AP Lang exam, so over the course of the class, we were able to build up said skills in a natural and strong manner. We also took many full-length practice tests, multiple-choice quizzes over passages we read, and wrote timed essays that all eased us into the structure of the exam.

 

Q: How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

 

I spent a few hours a day on this class! Some of the assignments are shorter and easier to complete than others, but students shouldn’t expect to have to spend all day long on this class. Mrs. Follmer constructed the class in a way that lessens the daily work in the weeks leading up to the exam so we can spend more valuable time preparing!

 

Q: Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

 

I absolutely LOVED the live video-chat debates and discussions. Getting divided into teams and working together to defend a viewpoint on a “controversial” topic or passage we read and then presenting it and going back and forth with my classmates was one of my favorite things about this class. I also liked out PWKSAT (People Who Know Stuff About Things) essays, in which we select a topic and do extensive research to both become educated on the topic and write a well-constructed paper. These essays helped us become more knowledgeable students, able to write about things we know nearly nothing about, which is something we may very well encounter on the AP exam. 


posted by Nathan Dsilva on July 07 2019 at 01:03:19

Q: Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

A: Absolutely! AP Exams are always stressful, but this course made it (almost) effortless to write the required essays and questions. I felt that I knew exactly what was going to be on the exam before I wrote it, and anything that I had to write about was just a variation on something I had already done in class. Before I took this course, if you told me that I would have to write 3 essays back-to-back in under 2 hours, I would probably have given up in despair. However, after the course I had written so many essays in the allotted time, I didn’t even question whether or not I could during the actual exam.

Q: How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

A: I typically spent about 2 hours a day, or 10 hours a week doing coursework and assignments. It certainly was a lot of effort, but it was worth it in the end. I was able to complete most of my classwork early in the morning, and finish up on anything I didn’t do in the afternoon.

Q: Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

A: There were several debates in which we were divided into two teams and instructed to defend a point on a topic. It was a lot of fun and one of the best group projects I’ve been in.


Amazing AP Lang Class! posted by Sarai Morato on June 10 2019 at 02:10:11

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Definitely! Mrs.Follmer provided us with plenty of MCQ and timed writing practices throughout the year so when I took the exam I felt very prepared. 

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

I put about 1-2 hours a day into the course. Some days required more work than others if there was an upcoming essay or a timed essay. Another thing to add is that Mrs. Follmer is very flexible and will accept work later in the week (with an approved extension of course). 

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable? 

I loved the thesis quickfire exercises because they helped prepare me to encounter the prompts in the exam. I also thought the "chunking" assignments were beneficial when writing some of the timed essays.  

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

English has never really been my strong suit as I am a more STEM-oriented student. However, Mrs. Follmer's AP Lang class really made me think and definitely pushed me to improve my writing skills. Overall, the course did enhance my interest. 

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable? 

I definitely did find it interesting! I had fun debating topics and discussing lit circle books with my other classmates since I enjoyed listening to the various perspectives they had.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

I would definitely recommend this course! It helped me improve my writing skills and really pushed me to carefully analyze various literary pieces. To succeed in this course, students should definitely be ready to find the deeper meaning in the provided texts. Another thing is to not procrastinate! Definitely try to make time in the day to work in the assignments in order to complete them well and with thoughtful responses. 


I became a PWKSAT!! posted by Ishaan Singh on June 03 2019 at 19:41:24

Yes, definitely. The MCQ and the timed writings that we did throughout the year, as well as thesis quickfire and the quick thinks, were invaluable preparation for the AP exam.

Anywhere from 1 to 3 hours per day up till about March, and then about an hour a day for the last two months(Mrs. Follmer administers the final exam in March, at which point the class work greatly diminished. This really helped me as I was able to adequately review for my other classes. English Language doesn't really require review like other classes.)

Mrs. Follmer's daily planners allowed me to know exactly what needed to be done each day. I found that staying on track with my daily work was also essential to success in this class(though Mrs. Follmer is very gracious with extension requests).

Honestly, all of them. The thesis quickfire was extremely helpful in developing supported arguments, as were the quickthinks. These took about 10 minutes each. Instead of doing full timed writings, we still practiced these skills in these smaller assignments. Also, Mrs. Follmer provided detailed feedback on every thesis, teaching us how we could improve both on our arguments and on our support. Reading other student's thesis and feedback was also invaluable, as many times students formulate different arguments and have different perspectives.

Yes, it did. I feel that this course greatly improved both my writing abilities and my thinking abilities, as I became a better thinker and ultimately left the class as a PWKSAT (you'll have to take the class to understand this acronym).

I particularly enjoyed debating with other students and the group projects, as this formed a cohesiveness among students and allowed me to consider varying perspectives, all of which improved my thinking skills. I made some great friends in this class, including Jason Yu (who wrote the review below).

To succeed in this class, a student needs not only to be hard-working but also receptive to teacher feedback. 

As a side note, this class also helped me with my SAT essay. This class improved my essay score from about a 17 to a 22.

 


Phenomenal Class posted by Jason Yu on May 26 2019 at 18:17:44

I absolutely loved this course. This was my favorite class this year by far, and that's saying a lot, given that I'm a decidedly STEM-oriented person. Writing has never been my strongest subject, and I originally thought I wouldn't enjoy this course. I soon realized, though, that this course isn't just about being a good writer. Of course, my writing has improved, but more importantly, Mrs. Follmer taught me how to think well - how to develop arguments with strong support, how to understand and analyze writing, and how to generate better ideas. Take this class if you want to become a more knowledgeable, considerate, deep-thinking person.


Excellent Class posted by Maniratnam Iyer on June 17 2018 at 04:20:11

The course definitely prepared me for the exam. With numerous assignments covering the various aspects of the exam, I felt confident taking the exam, including the tough essays (especially with improvement from the feedback that Mrs. Follmer gave on them). Among the assignments, I liked the group discussions on books—reading books I normally wouldn't read was good, and the discussions with other students allowed me to see other interpretations of passages. Feedback from other students was also useful in my essays. The most fun assignment would be the thesis quickfire competition; and it helped me too in quickly generating thesises in the exam. I am definitely more interested now in writing than before I took the class.


Spectacular Course posted by Annie Buckles on May 24 2018 at 24:59:13

AP English Language and Composition with Mrs. Follmer is wonderful. While I have encountered many English teachers, who sat around with a red pen, changing "marvelous" to "exceptional", for no reason other than that they wanted me to write exactly like them, adopt their formulas and hideous wordiness, Mrs. Follmer encouraged us to embrace our own writing style, move beyond generalities and what is common. She taught us not only how to succeed on the essay portion of the exam, but also how to become a strong writer, period. 

The course prepared me for the exam in a way that only Mrs. Follmer could. Not only did my classmates and I learn how to master the essays, we also learned how to think critically and examine all viewpoints of a text or argument. Throughout the year, we had many discussions (live and not), group thinks, and debates. These interactions with my classmates revealed hidden ways to understand a text or an argument, increasing my analytical ability.

The course structure included daily assignments, which took anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours to complete, depending on the day. However, even when a certain piece of literature included boring, hair-pulling content (ahh… Frankenstein), Mrs. Follmer spun the previously sleep-inducing text into an interesting, multi-dimensional, extremely debatable, work of art. Suddenly, Victor’s battle with the horrendous creature was more interesting than cable. Ideas, arguments, discussions, all floating around in an online kingdom, brought English to life. For the first time, an English class morphed into something enjoyable and inspiring.

With hard work, good grammar, and an intense desire to succeed, this course will prepare anyone for the AP exam.

 


Great AP Lang class posted by Yahya on May 24 2018 at 24:18:19

I'm usually a STEM leaning student, but this course was actually my favorite this year. The teacher was my favorite, and the work was my favorite.

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam? Definitely. The class was designed to encourage students to think for themselves and had plenty of tips for good essay writing. There were also plenty of MCQs to prepare for that portion of the exam.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course? The work varied significantly on certain days, but I spent probably an average of 45 minutes to 1 hour per day.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuableI loved the assignments that requried interaction with others students, because differnt people really view the same things in different ways.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject? I was never and still am not planning on incorporating english much in college, but thsi class definitely improved my writing.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable? Yes. My favorite assignments were discussion questions and group work because I got to see other perspectives on the matter at hand.


What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)? I would recommend this course to any student willing to work hard. The teacher is very helpful in pointing out where the student could improve, and giving tips on how to do so.


Great class! posted by Christian on May 23 2018 at 21:31:09


AP English with Mrs. Follmer posted by Caleb Godbold on May 21 2018 at 24:19:23

You will be very well served by taking this course! Mrs. Follmer is a great teacher with a real interest in helping you improve your abilities. Best of luck!


Practice makes perfect posted by Ramchandra Apte on May 21 2018 at 08:26:51

I think the course prepared me very well for the AP exam. It covered all sections of the exam (multiple-choice, synthesis, argument, and rhetorical analysis) thoroughly. If there was a motto for this course, I think it would be that "practice makes perfect." I put in around 15 hours a week, including some work over the weekend to complete projects.

I especially liked the group rhetorical analysis projects and the interesting little exercises where you play around with word choice and phrasing. It was also useful and fun to hear from other students what new perspectives they have on a book or article. It's interesting how the same raw data can be used to make opposite arguments.

I think students who are already comfortable with basic English mechanics such as grammar and spelling but need help with writing larger essays, analyzing texts, and making original arguments would do well and benefit greatly from this course. I would recommend this course to other students who are willing to put in the hours to perform all the coursework which involves substantial pondering and writing.


Tough but necessary posted by Meena Iyer on May 21 2018 at 01:44:02

As a parent of twin boys, both reluctant writers, I highly recommend this course. This course will of course prepare the students well for the exam. But more than that, this course taught my boys writing and thinking skills that they did not know they are capable of. And Ms. Follmer's gentle but firm feedback, and daily assignments made it possible for my boys to come out of their comfort zone and overcome their weaknesses. The course was tough but necessary. 


Great Class! posted by Kyle Fang on June 19 2017 at 04:02:57

 
I really enjoyed the thesis quick-fires.  I do admit that I was a bit intimidated by them when I signed up for the class last year, but they are really fun!  Mrs. Follmer provides feedback on every student's thesis, and you can read others' claims in addition to yours.  It helped me to see not only how others approached the prompt but also how they could improve. 
 
 
YES! Very valuable!  I was blessed to have so many amazing classmates who really excelled in writing.  I was able to read their exemplary essays and see how I could improve.  In addition to that, Mrs. Follmer held some live meetings and even encouraged some of the top students to lead separate meetings in which they could discuss and give advice on the different essays.  
I think that any student who is willing to work hard and has an open mind to listen to advice will succeed in this class.  My writing has really improved over this year.  Specifically for me, I had a hard time expanding on a main point and often repeated myself.  While I'm definitely not as fluent or skilled as my classmates and might not ever become as good as they are, I definitely improved in that area.
Overall, it was a great class, and I really enjoyed it.  Mrs. Follmer is an excellent teacher who really wants you to succeed.  If you ever have any question or are uncertain about anything, always ask!!!  If you ask during day in her time period, Mrs. Follmer always replies within a few hours and works with you to help you solve the issue.


This was a fantastic class! posted by Luca Gurgenidze on May 22 2017 at 18:53:10

Mrs. Follmer's AP English and Composition class did an excellent job in preparing me for the AP exam. Throughout the year, I got plenty of preparatory tasks and assignments, which made sure that I was more than ready for the final when it came.

For the average week, I estimate that I put in about twelve hours of work, not including the time it took for me to read the texts and books we were assigned. It fluctuated, of course; some weeks might have taken sixteen hours total, while others might have taken eight.

In this class, I had quite a bit of interaction with the other students. Every quarter of the year, we held a debate/lit group, which were always a lot of fun. The class message board also proved to be quite helpful, and there was always an answer provided to any of my questions there within an hour or two.

If you are willing to work hard, and put in the work necessary for success in an AP course, then I recommend this class to you! Over the year, my writing has improved so much; I came into the year thinking there was no way I would succeed in this class, and left it with much better writing styles and techniques. So, if you are willing to work hard and diligently, and would like to see a dramatic improvement in your writing, then take this class!

 

 


AP Lang posted by Nathan Chen on May 12 2017 at 19:37:36

Absolutely! Mrs. Follmer spends so much time working with each individual student to ensure that they understand the course material and the task of each assignment. 

On average, I put in about 10-12 hours of work per week. Of course, that may change when big essays and projects are due.

The debates and group projects are especially valuable. They help stimulate group thinking, and you learn valuable ideas from your classmates. I think the most valuable thing that Mrs. Follmer does is the revisions that we're allowed to do. She'll give us feedback on a particular assignment on what we did well on and what we need to work on. Take advantage of these, because it is probably the best way to learn and improve your writing. The thesis quickfires were also really helpful as they strengthened your ability to think fast and coherently. 

Yes! Most definitely, I acquired a deeper appreciation for writing and its beauty and power, especially from the books and articles we read this year. I won't be majoring in English in college; however, this class definitely set the foundation for my critical thinking skills that will be important in just about anything in life.

Definitely, especially in the live chats, debates, and groups projects. I learned so much from them and cannot stress how important it is to work with one another. You learn so much from listening and reading ideas from, often times, a whole new perspective. 

A hardworking student, absolutely, but also a student who has an open mind about topics, one who isn't afraid to read new genres of books and learn new ways of writing and thinking. I think that's the true beauty of writing that Mrs. Follmer presented to us, each person offers a unique perspective and flavor of writing and learning, Mrs. Follmer was there to guide us and lead us, and I think that she did an absolutely fantastic job! 

Thank you so much, Mrs. Follmer! And also a huge shout out to Katherine our TA! 


This class can help you posted by Kyle Garrison on May 12 2017 at 16:57:33

This class has boosted my writing ability immeasurably. If you need an English AP, this class will prepare you for it, and even though it will be difficult, the people are nice and Mrs. Follmer is a very capable teacher. This class has helped me and all the others in my semester, so it will definitely help you. 


AP Lang Review posted by Grace Pawelczyk on May 12 2017 at 13:59:02

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Most definitely. With the timed writings, untimed writings, exercises, discussion questions, and practice mulitpule choice, I felt well prepared for the exam. Also, Mrs. Follmer's great feedback is probably what helped me the most!

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

I spent around 10 - 15 hours per week on this course. There is a lot to do each day, but it is all worthwhile.

What sort of student would do well in this course?

If you are willing to work hard and but time and effort iinto increasing your writing skills, you will greatly benefit from this class. 

Overall, this is such a great class. Mrs. Follmer is one of the best teachers! I have learned so much!


AP lang review posted by Rebekah Micz on May 11 2017 at 16:26:00

This class was simultaneously one of my favorite classes, and one of the most frustrating classes I've taken. The work is hard, there was a lot to do, and I have my suspicions that Mrs. Follmer is secretly an evil genius. But, at the same time, I learned so much, and every bit of the hardship was worth it. The live debates and other more interactive assignments for class made it fun, and the harder assignments prepared me for the AP exam to the point where I finished with time to spare and confidence in my work. Mrs. Follmer herself is an amazing teacher, and everything that the best teachers should be. She was very supportive and gave excellent pointers on how to improve my skills. And, well, if she's not an evil genius, then she at least has a great sense of humor.

I cannot recommend this class enough. It is simply one of the greatest classes I've ever taken, and anyone who wants to improve their writing skills (so long as they're willing to work for it!) should definitely take the class.


This class was wonderful!! Mrs. Follmer is a great teacher. posted by Nina on May 11 2017 at 14:41:11

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Yes, definitely. This was the exam I was most confident about, and nothing was surprising or new. Mrs. Follmer prepared us for all the different parts of the exam and I didn't have to rush to learn anything, so I was confident about all the essays and the MC questions when I walked into the exam room.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

The time I spent per day on this course varied from roughly half an hour to an hour and a half. On average, there was probably about an hour's worth of work per day. 

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

Yes. I loved the debates (though that might fall more into the category of fun than valuable...), and the assignments where we analyzed the passage we were given for purpose, argument, and rhetoric really helped me see both what a good argument looked like and why the argument worked, plus helping me learn how to write RAs. Oh, and Thesis Quickfires. It took me a lot of time (we're talking half an hour) just to think of a thesis at the beginning of the year. Now I can write an introduction, thesis, and an outline of detailed support for an essay in that time.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

 

Yes! English was tying with math for my least favorite subject at the beginning of last year. Now, it's probably my favorite subject. Mrs. Follmer is a wonderful teacher and she made English a vastly less frustrating endeavour. Her feedback and the way she eased us into writing essays at the beginning of the year really helped me learn to write well without the frustration of writing a whole essay and then having to fix it. She had us write individual paragraphs for each essay as she taught them, which helped us learn in shorter amounts of time how to write the essay well.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable? 

Yes! The debates were so much fun, as were the lit circles. Discussing books with other students was a lot of fun, and exposed me to different perspectives that I would never have considered on my own. And the debates...maybe it is just me, but I loved the debates...working together with other students to craft an argument and support, and then arguing your point of view with your classmates...just wonderful! 

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)? 

I would highly recommend this course to anyone! As long as you are willing to work hard and want to get better at English, you will thrive in this course! Mrs. Follmer always let me revise if I wanted to and gave me really helpful, detailed feedback, which permitted me to learn from my mistakes and improve my writing quickly. (She was also really patient, considering I'd get decent scores and then just want to revise so I could fix the things she brought up in her feedback).

OK, now I am going to deviate from the script and just gush about the wonderfulness that is this course...

Mrs. Follmer is a wonderful teacher. Her Morning Messages are frequently entertaining, and she is incredibly helpful and detailed in her feedback, telling you what you did wrong and what you did right. After reading a few of my essays from the start of the year, I realized that she gave feedback according to writing level--she only told me a few things I needed to improve instead of pointing out every single flaw (trust me, there were a lot in my first essays). She pointed out the good with the bad so we didn't get discouraged, and allowed us to revise if we wanted a better grade. She was very flexible when something unexpected occurred, and she let us extend Friday work until Sunday (without piling on extra work), which allowed me to catch up on any work for other classes that I hadn't done yet (that happened a lot...). Her assignments were always useful and she helped us learn incrementally, reducing the potential for frustration. My writing is so much better now then it was at the beginning of this class, and I've learned a lot of useful skills (not just writing, but seeing the rhetoric of arguments and why an argument works).

Seriously, take this class! I loved it, and as I mentioned before, I did NOT like English before this year. My writing is so much better now, and that is definitely thanks to Mrs. Follmer's teaching.


AP Lang Review posted by Ruby Byrd on May 11 2017 at 13:12:41


Take this class if you want to be a deeper thinker and better communicator posted by Sophia Kaiser on May 11 2017 at 05:12:34

Having just taken AP English Lit my junior year, I was unsure about whether or not English Lang would be the most interesting class for me. I was worried that it would be too focused on grammar, or boring aspects of language, but it turns out I was sorely mistaken! I am SO glad that I took Mrs. Follmer's class - it was probably the most useful and growing of all my classes this year. 

Mrs. Follmer definitely prepared us well for the exam, and made sure that we felt confident about essay writing and answering the MC questions. But the class was most valuable to me because it challenged me to be a deep thinker and to carefully consider major issues. I learned to comminicate more effectively both through writing and speech, and I'm so glad that I was able to begin reasearching and learning about major issues and events around the world through the class - or as Mrs. Follmer says, I was able to become a "person who knows things about stuff."

I realize that last quote is perhaps not the best demonstrator of Mrs. Follmer's rhetorical skills, but she is an excellent teacher - as she is both qualified to teach all things English lang and careful about tailoring her course to the needs of her students, ensuring that they get the most out of it possible. The class requires students to be responsible about handing things in, and prepared to do quite a bit of work each day. Like all AP courses, the workload is fairly heavy but it is by no means overwhelming, and you WILL get more out of the class if you spend more time deeply thinking over texts, discussion questions, prompts etc. (For reference, I'm a seventeen year old senior, and was taking four other AP courses this year) I personally really enjoyed just discussing and learning about different issues (for example, I did research papers on the negative effects of social media and on intellectual diversity in American colleges) and exploring how I really felt about these issues. 

So yes - I would absolutely recommend this class. I've found it to be really valuable in preparing me for college next year, as it has so improved my understanding of issues around the world and how to dicuss them with sophistication and clarity. Put some effort into this class, and you will become a faster and deeper thinker with a greater understanding of the world around you. I'm so thankful I ended up taking Mrs. Follmer's class! 


Mrs. Follmer review posted by Makenna Puls on March 12 2016 at 11:31:15

I was very nervous going into AP Language because English was never my strong point. I was pleasantly surprised with Mrs. Follmer and her approach to teaching! She incorporated group discussion, gave us many practice exams, and totally dissected each essay we write in her class. She transformed me into an amazing writer, compared to what I was before her class. She cared about her students and about helping us achieve great scores on the AP test. I was very nervous going into the test because of my past with English but was surprised and ecstatic in July when I found out I had passed the exam! I give all the credit to Mrs. Follmer who truly helped me more than anyone. If you are privileged enough to have her as a teacher I hope you realize it and thank her for everything she has done. She has prepared me for other AP classes, and, most importantly, college.


AP Lang review posted by Madeleine Hass on March 12 2016 at 11:29:34

The English teachers who taught me previously had been

inconsistent and lacked a specific purpose; Mrs. Follmer changed this. She immediately

looked for and discovered what her students, my class, had and had not covered, and

she tailored her methods to our needs. She incorporated our interests and experiences

into her teaching which helped make the material relatable and, therefore, more

understandable. Whenever one of her students was struggling, whether with class

material or with outside factors that affected their performance, she would work with

them individually to assure they reached their potential. By the AP test in the spring, my

entire class was more prepared than any of us would have believed. She is

simultaneously one of the most compassionate, understanding people and the most

effective English teacher I have ever encountered. If you have the opportunity to take

her class, I highly recommend you do so.


Review of AP Language posted by Christina Porter on March 12 2016 at 11:28:30

I've always enjoyed English classes, but AP Lang with Mrs. Follmer was by far my favorite course. She's the most knowledgeable English teacher I've ever had, and was always willing to help me out on an assignment, answer any questions I had, or even extend a deadline because of a track meet or family trip. Mrs. Follmer also kept me constantly engaged and interested through discussions and debates about topical issues. These discussions greatly helped to deepen the understanding of rhetoric and argumentation that I had garnered in regular lessons.

With Mrs. Follmer I learned far more than just how to write a better thesis statement; I learned how to think and argue logically. I've also picked up all kinds of interesting ideas and points of view that have, and will help me beyond just passing the AP Lang test, and that I’ll be sure to carry with me to college.


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