Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Congrats to the 2013 TOPSS board!

Congrats to the folks elected to the 2013 TOPSS board! Wahoo! If you aren't a member of TOPSS yet, now is a great time to join - new lesson plans and other goodies coming soon!

Here's the announcement on the APA/TOPSS page

"The APA Committee of Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools (TOPSS) is delighted to welcome three new members who will join the committee beginning in 2014.
  • Chair-elect: Michael Hamilton of Hopkinton High School (Hopkinton, Mass.).
  • Member-at-large: Virginia Welle of Chippewa Falls Senior High School (Chippewa Falls, Wis.). 
  • Membership Coordinator: Amy Johnson Ramponi of Kimberly High School (Kimberly, Wis.). 
The TOPSS Committee extends sincere thanks and appreciation to Jann Longman, Tonya Hinton and Katie Clark for their service to TOPSS and their commitment to excellence in the teaching of psychology. 
TOPSS also thanks Ken Keith, PhD, for his term as a TOPSS college faculty representative. Keith's term ends in December 2013, and a new college faculty representative will be announced in early 2014."

(PS: These folks are on Twitter if you want to send congrats that way -  @mhamilton81 @Welle_APpsych , and @AmyRamponi

posted by Rob McEntarffer

Monday, December 16, 2013

Repurpose old board games with a new purpose!

This post might be more useful for Sociology (or even Government?) teachers, but I think the underlying idea/concept might apply in interesting ways for psych teachers. I spotted a tweet from @reubenhoffman (Reuben's website: about a "Social Stratification game, and I think it's a very cool idea.

Reuben sent this link to the rules of the game . The concept is that you change the rules of Monopoly in order to help students think/talk about socio-economic class issues. I haven't done this with students yet, but I imagine it starts some GREAT conversations.

Reuben's example makes me wonder: could Psych teachers do something similar, maybe with other games? The Game of Life for developmental psych? Clue for research methods? Anyone do anything like this, or have other ideas? Please chime in in the comments section.

posted by Rob McEntarffer

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Your brain is all squishy

Scott Miller (great psych teacher from Washington State - hi Scott!) sent me a link to this amazing video of a (very!) recently removed brain. In the video, Dr. Susan Stensaas from the University of Utah explains that this brain was removed during an autopsy of a cancer patient. The video does a great job showing the fragility of the brain, and it would be tough to get a more accurate "view" of what the human brain is physically like unless you were present at an autopsy.

I'm sharing this video because it might be very useful during the Bio unit, or even during discussions about concussions, etc. BUT (as Scott points out) PLEASE PREVIEW! It will definitely make queasy students (or teachers :) uncomfortable, and you may want to make it optional viewing.

posted by Rob McEntarffer