Tuesday, March 28, 2017

TOPSS and Mid-April Deadlines; Outreach Grants and Clark Workshop

High School Psychology Outreach Grants 

The purpose of these grants is to support innovative programs that support networking, professional development, and educational outreach opportunities for high school psychology teachers and students. The deadline for submission is April 15, 2017.

APA/Clark University Workshop for High School Teachers 

This premier three-day workshop is open to 25 high school psychology teachers annually. Master teachers and Clark University faculty present on best practices, teaching demonstrations, and cutting-edge research. The 2017 Workshop will be held June 28-30, 2017. The application deadline is April 15, 2017.

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Monday, March 6, 2017

First Annual Psychology Conference for Michigan High School Psychology Teachers

I am thrilled to share the following announcement for an upcoming conference:

Save the Date
When:  Saturday May 6th 9:30 am to 3:30 pm
What: 1st Annual Psychology Conference for Michigan High School Psychology Teachers 
Where: Hope College, Holland Michigan 
Sponsored by Hope College and Worth Publishers
Keynote Speakers include: 
Dr. David Myers
Dr. Thomas Ludwig
Hope College Faculty and Students
High School Psychology Teachers
Also included: Tour of the Psychology facilities, roundtable discussions, materials, networking, and just minutes from the Annual Holland Tulip Festival 
Cost: NO cost to attend this event (lunch will be provided, courtesy of Worth Publishing)

Registration information available soon
Questions about this conference please contact: mipsychteachers@yahoo.com

--posted by Steve

Thursday, March 2, 2017

What Drugs Do to the Body/BrainThe

I found this article with some nice graphics and wanted to share. The article is called "What 5 Popular Drugs Including Weed and Booze Do to Your Body and Brain." I liked the graphics and the details--nice basics for the intro examination of the subject.

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

KCTOPSS-KC Area Conference in April

Jen Schlicht shared this with us. The Kansas City area TOPSS (KCTOPSS) is having a conference in April. Contact info is at www.southsidepsych.com/KCTOPSS

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

3rd Annual Conference for the Teaching of Intro Psych in the Northwest

Hello All!

The 3rd Annual Conference for the Teaching of Introductory Psychology in the Northwest will take place at Highline College, in Des Moines WA, on April 7, 2017.  The Conference theme is: The Baby or the Bathwater--Throwing out (some of) Introductory Psychology.  High school teachers are encouraged to attend!  Two, not to be missed presenters, will be there!  The fabulous Sue Frantz' (Highline College) presentation is entitled "This Old Course:  Psych 101 for a New Era."  The amazing Jane Halonen (University of West Florida) will discuss "The Postmodern Intro Course: Making Learning Stick." 

To register, or for more information, visit www.tipnorthwest.org

This is a conference not to be missed!

All my best,

Kristin H. Whitlock

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Charlie Award

Whether you are a new psychology teacher or a seasoned veteran - the name "Charlie Blair-Broeker" is synonymous with high school psychology and the deadline to apply for the coveted APA TOPSS Charles T. Blair-Broeker Excellence in Teaching Awards is coming up soon (February 15th, 2017). The award features a cash prize of $500, a Worth Publishers credit of $500, and a free 2018 TOPSS membership.

The award was named so in 2015 after Blair-Broeker retired from Cedar Falls High School (Iowa) where Blair-Broeker taught psychology since 1978. Charlie's accomplishments are long and large - including being an AP reader, table leader, rubric master, and Question Leader, a College Board consultant, a past TOPSS chair, an NCSS presenter at various conferences, a winner of many teaching awards, and an all around good-guy.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people sitting, hat and indoor
Charlie in retirement. 

I caught up with Charlie, on the eve of the awards deadline and post tropical vacation, to ask him a few questions about his teaching, his retirement, and his legacy.

AR: If you had to sum up your career in six words, what would you say?
CBB: I had fun almost every day.

AR: What have you been doing in your retirement?
CBB: Well, I still teach a little at the community college and I'm still doing the AP reading and summer institutes. The biggest difference [between working and retirement] is the freedom to travel, read, sleep in, and go to the store when its not busy.

AR: How did it feel to have the APA TOPSS teaching award named after you?
CBB: The teaching award was a total surprise. I felt awkwardness and appreciation in equal parts.
It is enormously gratifying that people who know me well think so much of my efforts, but I know many excellent teachers have not had the recognition that I have been so fortunate to receive.

AR: What does it take to be a good teacher?
CBB: It would be nice if there was a single trait that made a good teacher, but I don't think there is. Among the most important are knowledge of content, passion for both subject matter and the educational process, the ability to motivate and inspire students, a sense of humor, and tolerance for bureaucratic BS.

And that, people, is why we all love Charlie. 👊

If you're a great psychology teacher, or know one, consider nominating them or apply for this award.

----Posted by Amy Ramponi

Tuesday, February 7, 2017


Hey, everyone! Happy Valentine's Day, Groundhog Day, and Fettuccine Alfredo Day. (That is a real thing, by the way.)

There is A LOT of information out from the APA/TOPSS (Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools) for high school teachers this month. Here's a run down:

2016 APA/Clark University workshop participants and presenters.

Clark Workshop for High School Teachers  Clark Applications are being accepted NOW for the June 28-30th conference at Clark University in Worcester, Mass. Not only is this conference AMAZING, it is FREE to those selected to participate and will feature two spectacular high school psychology teachers, Dr. Joe Swope and Dr. Nancy Diehl. Application information can be found here. I have personally attended the Clark Workshop and it was a great opportunity to learn, network, and talk Psychology. ANYONE can apply and IB, general psychology, and AP Psychology teachers are eligible. If you've been teaching two years or twenty - anyone is welcome! Deadline is March 15th.

High School Outreach Grants - want to start a Psychology Club? An AP Psychology Review Day in your region? Is your state woefully lacking in professional development for high school psych teachers - START. A. TOPSS. GROUP. Seriously, there is $$$MONEY$$$ available for you to do this in your region, state, or city! $5000 is available through the generosity of Dr. Lee Gurel. Deadline is April 15th. 

Image result for psychology ap review day fox valley
Standing room only at the Fox Valley Review Day! 

Topss Essay Competition for Students:  Your students can win $250 and serious bragging rights in this essay competition on aging. FOUR winners will be selected. Deadline is March 15th.

APA Convention Pre-Convention Workshop: The APA Convention (in Washington D.C. this year) is a big deal - even BIGGER is the Pre-Convention Workshop that TOPSS hosts! The speakers are usually AMAZING and it is a great way to get into convention-mode.

Have a spectacular February, everyone!

Peace & Vitality,

----Amy Ramponi

Thursday, February 2, 2017

David Myers on Neurocore - let's think about the science

This post from the wonderful David Myers is a good read, and a potentially important one. If you are following the debate about the confirmation hearings for the nominee for Education Secretary, you may already know about her connections to Neurocore. Dr. Myers does a great job, I think, discussing what it might mean for a nominee to have connections to a therapuetic practice that makes claims without evidence.


posted by Rob McEntarffer

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Stress and Music Assignment

Hi All,

A couple of you noticed that I had a regular psychology assignment embedded as an option in my Emotions/Stress Hyperdoc. I forgot I had put that in there. I believe that music can be a wonderful way to connect with students. We share and they share. Of course, we all experience stress. At the end of this assignment, I ask the students to share other songs that make the stress connection.

My regular psychology class is project-based and I wanted to show my kids that love and sex are not the only things singers croon and rap about.

So here is the link to my stress and music assignment:


posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Monday, January 23, 2017

FRQ Preparation Activity by Jen Schlicht

Jen Schlicht is a fellow AP Psych teacher in Olathe Kansas as well as a friend of the blog. This past weekend, she shared a method she uses for FRQ preparation with her students. Below is her excellent contribution.

One of my favorite activities to do once my students have quite a few FRQ's under their belt is "Build your own FRQ." I come up with a bunch of really generic scenarios that give them just enough information to build a real prompt. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • your dog gets sprayed by a skunk 
  • possum trapping 
  • babysitting 
  • a surprise party 
  • meeting your celebrity crush 
  • teaching your grandparent how to text 
  • oversleeping on your ACT test date 

I usually put 15 or so in each round. I have a little bucket where I place the scenarios. Then I choose about 50 vocabulary terms and put those on separate slips of paper. Examples would be:

  • amygdala 
  • avoidance-avoidance conflict 
  • encoding 
  • punishment 
  • Big Five trait of openness 
  • fundamental attribution error 

or just include terms that maybe your students need more practice with.

The beauty of this is that it takes very little prep time and you can tailor it to your classroom needs.

My students are in families of 5-6 students so each family is divided into 2 groups and would draw a scenario and then 3-5 terms. In some cases I have them draw one more term than they would be using so they have one term they can toss out. I have them write a prompt and then a rubric to define and apply their terms.

Then each group shares their prompt and we answer come up with our responses as a class. I love this activity because it provides them an opportunity to think critically about how to apply terms to a prompt and allows for quite a bit of laughter because they get pretty creative with their prompts!

Thank you Jen!

posted by Chuck Schallhorn