Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Top Ten Myths About the Brain

A link to this Smithsonian article, "Top Ten Myths About the Brain" was recently posted by Dr. Stephen L. Chew on the PsychTeacher listserv. It is EXCELLENT. You could easily use this article in introducing your unit on the brain, or as Dr. Chew suggests, an excellent teacher resource.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

National Geographics Brain Page

Believe it or not, the National Geographic has part of their website devoted to the human body. I (Kent) will leave the sections on the digestive system, heart, skin and lungs to our colleagues in biology and concentrate on the section devoted to the brain. Go to for more information.

In addition, make sure to check out a short, but fantastic slide show at as well as an article on sleep deprivation in rats at

Books Books Books!

A while back, Chuck Greiner posted an intriguing question on the AP Psychology list-serv (he gave me permission to repeat the question here on the blog):
"Our school has been doing something called "One Book, One School" for about two years. Basically every student in the school reads the same book and the school then TRIES to implement ideas, concepts, theories etc into every curricular area...I would like for us to read a book in some way related to psychology but that we can segway into any discipline - that is 9 -12 readable -and not a lecture type of book"

Several Teaching High School Psych BLOG posts focus on specific books that might be useful (maybe not for a "One book, one school" project, but for something else!)
Ramachandran - Tell-Tale Brain
Watters - Crazy Like Us
Ackerman - Natural History of the Senses
Herzog- Some we love, some we hate, some we eat
Carter- The Human Brain Book

Also, a project called Reachout published a list of Young Adult fiction books they believe may help young people struggling with specific psychological disorders

If you have ideas for other books (for "enrichment", for summer reading assignments, for in class use, for teachers, or just for fun) please share them in the comments!

posted by Rob McEntarffer

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

This is "A Biologist's Mother's Day Song" but I thought it would fit nicely on our little psychology blog as well. "More than half of everything I am is thanks to you!"

Happy Mother's Day to all of our readers and their moms!
-- posted by Steve Jones

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Milwaukee Area Teachers of Psychology Meeting - May 11, 2011

Please excuse the cross-posting. We are trying to make sure we reach everyone interested in the MATOP meeting.

Since 1993, Milwaukee area psychology teachers have gathered twice a year to share teaching ideas and develop friendships. Our group has come to be called the "Milwaukee Area Teachers of Psychology" (MATOP). Below you will find an invitation to our next meeting on May 11th. If you live within driving distance of the Milwaukee area, please feel free to attend. If you would like to be included on the MATOP mailing list please contact me at the email address below.

For those of you not within driving distance of Milwaukee, feel free to "check out" our agenda for items you might find useful in your classroom. Whenever possible, I have tried to include email or website addresses for further information. Please contact me with any questions you may have.

For more information on MATOP, please go to my website at


Kent Korek
Germantown High School
W180 N11501 River Lane
Germantown, WI 53022
Phone: 262-253-3400
Fax: 262-253-3494

Dear Psychology Teacher:

Please consider attending the meeting of the Milwaukee Area Teachers of Psychology (MATOP) on Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. at Pius XI High School, 135 N. 76th Street, Milwaukee 53213 in the Library.

Our meeting will include:

■ an examination of Peter Gray’s Psychology 6e from Worth Publishing. This text is a number one seller for AP and IB classes. Thanks to Eileen Tanania, the Bedford, Freeman and Worth representative (866-843-3715 ex 1714) , everyone attending the meeting will receive an examination copy of the text and student study guide. For more information on this text go to

■ a discussion of the just released 2011 AP Psychology Exam Free Response Questions. For your own copy of both questions, go to

■ an inspection of the new edition of Psychology 9e (AP Edition) by Bernstein, Penner, Clarke-Stewart, and Roy from Holt-McDougal. Through the courtesy of Katie Golem, Advanced & Elective Programs Specialist at Holt-McDougall, (800-479-9799 ex. 3870) everyone will receive a complementary copy of this mainstay AP Psychology text. Go to to learn more about the Bernstein text.

■ a demonstration of a pair of both displacement and inversion goggles courtesy of Gerry Palmer at Psychkits at Thanks to Gerry for his contribution to almost every MATOP meeting. Two lucky teachers will be leaving the meeting with a pair of these goggles with suggested lesson plans to use next year in their sensation and perception unit.

■ an appraisal of the first AP version of Prentice Hall/Pearson’s Psychology 2e (AP Edition) by Ciccarelli and White. For our fall meeting Kevin Kuckkan of Prentice Hall (866-340-3692) has sent copies of this new edition for all those in attendance. The Prentice Hall/Pearson website can be found at

■ a presentation of My Psych Lab, a internet based learning and assessment tool for students using Prentice Hall/Pearson textbooks. Elaine Shemas, the AP, Honors, & Electives representative for Prentice Hall (201-236-5521) has graciously provided information to give access to all attending our spring meeting. The Prentice Hall/Pearson website can be found at

■ a review of Laura King’s The Science of Psychology: An Appreciative View 2e from McGraw-Hill/Glencoe. At our fall meeting, Crystal Hooks, the AP, Honors and Electives at Glencoe/McGraw-Hill (877-286-4821) stopped by to highlight the Annual Edition series. For this meeting Crystal has donated copies of the King text. For additional information go to

■ Mike Kopish from UW-Madison has been conducting research on AP Psychology for his doctoral dissertation. Mike has agreed to present some of his research findings from studying four different AP Psychology programs throughout WI.

■ information regarding activities/demonstrations/resources for classroom use. At our fall meeting, we agreed spend more time letting teachers share some of their best classroom activities. A number of people have agreed to share. Please feel free to bring something to the group.

■ and much more.

Everyone is welcome to attend any and all MATOP meeting. There is no need to RSVP. Please feel free to invite anyone you feel might be interested in coming. Our meetings usually last about two hours. You need not stay the entire time.

If you have any questions concerning our meeting, please contact Ruth Regent-Smith at Pius H.S. (414-290-7000) or Kent Korek at Germantown H.S. (262-253-3400)

For directions to Pius, go to We look forward to seeing you.

Ruth Regent-Smith
Kent Korek

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

AP Psych Post-Test Debriefing

As part of my ongoing effort to improve my preparation and teaching and also to assist my students in understanding the rigors of the course, I do a post-test debrief about a week past the AP Exam using a form that is relatively simple.  The main issues are below.  The document itself is linked here.

I've recieved some outstanding suggestions and have incorporated many.  If you do use this idea, I hope it works for you.  Please also add any ideas to supplement the debriefing process.

AP Psychology—Debriefing

The purpose of this form is to help me understand what went right and what can be improved as far as preparation for the AP exam. Please answer the questions honestly—I am just looking for ways to improve things for my future students.

How much total time (in hours) did you spend reviewing/studying for the AP Psychology exam?

State your initial reactions to the Multiple Choice section of the exam. Explain why you think you had this reaction.

State your initial reactions to FRQ #1 section of the exam. What was it that you liked or did not like? Explain why.

State your initial reactions to FRQ #2 section of the exam. What was it that you liked or did not like? Explain why.

What score did you think you may be receiving? (circle one) Just guess.
 1 2 3 4 5
What types of preparation did you do? This may include reviewing the following. Circle all that apply.
  • the text
  • your notes and papers from the year
  • the previous exams we took
  • Barron’s Review Book
  • Princeton Review Book
  • Princeton Review Cards
  • A different review book (if so, which)
  • Oral review with self or friends
  • Online review with non-class sources
  • Using the class review resources
  • In-school review
  • Review session(s) with the instructor
  • Other (please list below)
What type of review mentioned above was most helpful? Please explain.


What recommendations for change would you make for our preparation for the exam? I’m looking for constructive suggestions. Feel free to make suggestions about the course, the organization of the course, what we did and how we did it. Use bullet points.


What advice would you give to future students in AP Psychology so that they may be successful both in the class and on the AP exam? Use bullet points.



posted by Chuck Schallhorn