Monday, November 27, 2017

The Five-Sided Flashcard

Recently, Dr. Linda Woolf shared an idea I was unfamiliar with, so I looked it up.

Dr. Mitch Handelsman, "The Ethical Professor," wrote about the five-sided flashcard in a post for Psychology today.

The short version is that these are the five sides:

  1. term or concept
  2. definition
  3. example, picture, or story
  4. similarities to other terms or concepts
  5. differences from other terms or concepts

In short, this is a handy way to think about effortful processing or deep processing, depending on which term you prefer (unless I can be corrected). Try it out and see if it can help your students become better learners.

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Friday, November 24, 2017

APA Psych Learning Curve

Psych Learning Curve: one of the reasons I am thankful.

Less than a year ago, I was attending my first APA Consolidated Board Meeting in Washington, D.C. This is one of the perks/challenges of serving on the TOPSS Board. It's volunteer, but rewarding work.

I was able to meet quite a few wonderful people, but this post is about two of them, Hunter Clary and Amanda Macchi, two of the social media folks at the APA Education Directorate.  They run the @apaeducation Twitter account.

The real reason for this post is not any of the above. The purpose is to extoll the virtues of the newsletter and blog Hunter and Amanda put together called Psych Learning Curve.

As you can see from the screen cap from the site, there are a variety of topics that are curated and shared each week from K-12 education to undergraduate and graduate school. Students are even included. The team does some great research to update this site regularly.

In short, if you are short on time and want to get the best information out there on both education and psychology, do check out this resource. You will be thankful. Join TOPSS today to help support this exceptional resource.

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

NCSS 2017 Debrief

When most psychology teachers think about the National Council for the Social Studies, one does not think psychology, but rather history, civics, geography, and economics. But psychology was well-represented.

However, thanks to the work of the NCSS Psychology Community (Daria Schaffeld, Sejal Schullo, Joe Geiger, and Jen Schlict), there was a tremendous lineup of psychology presentations including Charlie Blair-Broeker, Randy Ernst, Rob McEntarffer, Chuck Schallhorn and Eric Castro, Amy Fineburg, and more. This link gives a more detailed look at the psych offerings.

I personally was able to view only a small number of presentations, but the ones I attended were fantastic. I was able to take away at least one new thing from each presenter to use in my classroom right away. Short version--it was totally worth it. I finally was able to meet people I had known online for years. The city was beautiful and the restaurants served tasty food.

I was also amazed by the vendor hall. A few that I recall are:

  • Perfection Learning with the AMSCO review books
  • Worth/Macmillan with the Myers' for AP and the Intro book by Blair-Broeker and Ernst
  • The Zinn Educational Project
  • POV (documentary series)
  • At least six educational travel booths
  • the DBQ project
  • Teachers Discovery
  • Big History Project with David Christian (he was there)
  • C-Span
  • Rand McNally
  • Social Studies School Service
  • Several Econ Booths
  • Several Civics Booths
  • At least one civics podcast
  • StoryCorps
  • and many more
I got way too much swag and samples--it will take all week to go through it all.

You can find tweets about the conference with the hashtag #NCSS2017.

Plan ahead for next year's conference in Chicago November 30-December 2, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency. Mark your calendars now! Also be on the lookout for dates for proposal submissions--I was a reviewer of them in the spring of 2017 for this conference.

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

APA General Psychology Summit Steering Committee Members Announced

The following announcement comes from the American Psychological Association, the lead organization of which TOPSS is a part. Our very own TOPSS President, Kristin Whitlock is a part of this committee. If you have thoughts on the upcoming summit, please visit the link below.

The APA Board of Educational Affairs (BEA) has appointed eight members to serve on a new Steering Committee to plan a working conference on introductory psychology. Under the leadership of co-chairs, Regan A. R. Gurung, PhD (University of Wisconsin, Green Bay, WI) and Garth Neufeld, MA (Cascadia College, WA), the members of the Steering Committee include representatives from the high school, associate, and baccalaureate levels: Bill Altman, PhD (SUNY Broome College, NY); Melissa Beers, PhD (Ohio State University, OH); Bridgette Hard, PhD (Duke University, NC); Jennifer Thompson, PhD (University of Maryland University College, MD); Kristin Whitlock, MEd (Davis High School, UT); and Katherine Wickes, PhD (Blinn College, TX). 
To begin the planning process, the steering committee will be developing a proposal that will articulate the need for an APA General Psychology Summit. The steering committee will identify major issues and concerns related to the teaching and learning of introductory psychology. The steering committee will also be considering possible formats for the summit, the desired outcomes, and strategies to maximize its impact. To gather input from various stakeholders across the discipline, the steering committee invites feedback from interested groups and individuals about the important issues that need to be addressed at a working conference on introductory psychology. 
Please go to the survey at to share your feedback before the end of the day on December 6, 2017.

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Hidden Brain: Eyes Wide Open

Just wanted to share two recent episodes of Hidden Brain, an NPR podcast hosted by Shankar Vendantam.

Two episodes from early November 2017 are wonderful overviews about sleep and insomnia including an interview with the infamous Randy Gardner, the record-holder for going without sleep. Though unaffected at the time, Gardner now suffers from severe insomnia.

For students and teachers wishing to learn more about the biology and purpose of sleep, these two episodes are excellent

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Sunday, November 5, 2017

3 Millions Views-A Past and a Future

As of this morning, our THSP blog has nearly three million page (2.97m) views since 2009 when we began. That number is unfathomable to this particular blogger. In the spring of 2009, Kent Korek, Steve Jones, and Chuck Schallhorn wanted to find a way to bring high school teachers together and to share quality materials. We had been using a drive with files (pre-Google drive sharing) that people could join and download.

When we began, we were simply trying to centralize the excellent and vetted resources we knew of or created. Kent began his five-times a week "Midnight Postings" as Chuck and Steve attempted to keep up. In the eight years, we all have gone on to other things with the blog no longer being as high a priority in our lives.

Each of us has so many resources in our respective files that could/should be posted, but there is not enough time. Other resources including the upcoming collection coming from TOPSS is a reason to rejoice in our sharing. The Facebook group has grown to over 3000 teachers. There are an estimated 8000-10000 psychology teachers in the US alone. How can we get them all together and sharing quality, pedagogically sound resources and activities? What role will this blog play in bringing psychology teachers together?

While those other sources exist, we will continue posting content and pedagogy here. We will happily share our ideas and our experiences. The future is never certain, but we will attempt to keep bringing quality resources and thoughtful posts about teaching.

Two reminders:
1) this link is to the Google Drive that we have created--all materials are vetted.

2) Using the labels in the left column, you can search our blog by AP unit-a handy tool for planning.

In addition to everyone who has utilized our blog, we'd like to thank everyone who has regularly or guest posted. You all are awesome people! We look forward to many more guest writing and sharing their expertise.

Yours in psychology teaching excellence,


posted by Chuck Schallhorn