Purpose: AP Psychology is a full year course designed to provide students with a broad overview of the diverse field of Psychology. While AP Psychology is definitely a fun and interesting course, it is also a demanding one. This page provides important information that will give you a clear picture of my expectations as well as set the stage for a conceptual understanding of the following comprehensive plan for AP Psychology: Student characteristics, Standards of behavior, Consequences of behavior, School contacts, Safety guidelines, Course schedule, Data collection and feedback, Classroom floor plan, and Instructional materials to support the learning environment. It should also provide parents greater accessibility to the standards taught in the class and a way to monitor their child’s progress and promote greater student achievement. It is imperative that students stay up-to-date, take quizzes and exams when scheduled, and hand in assignments when due. Using the course website is the best way to keep up-to-date if a student is sick or out of town.
This course is comprised of 11th and 12th grade Advanced Placement students in the high school. Prerequisite courses students need include English Honors I and World History Honors. Since Advanced Placement courses are college courses and equivalent in academic demands, time requirements for study, and difficulty level, students must meet the following entry competencies appropriate to lesson objectives and student learning styles:
Students with special needs – I am able to accommodate students with special needs in order to be more inclusive and responsive to diverse social/emotional needs, diverse academic needs and take responsibility for teaching all students in my classroom. Students who need accommodations will be informed of audio set up and text readers. Brail transcripts can be ordered from the district office. I am available online and by phone Monday through Thursday until 6 pm to answer questions and provide assistance when needed. I allow students to re-take tests to encourage them to re-study and learn material they had not mastered before. This procedure does not allow them to ignore content that is sure to be on the AP exam. The classroom website allows me to post practice-tests and evaluation rubrics for class assignments/projects in order to help students measure and participate in their individual academic growth. Providing homework assistance online or by phone enables me to assess where students need extra help and to change my instruction to accommodate special needs. Lesson plans are adaptive and flexible in order to provide more individualized instruction to a student or a small group of students as appropriate. I have found that when an activity is flexible, it prevents isolation or segregation of my students with diverse learning needs. Therefore, web-quests and other types of internet activities that are interdisciplinary, differentiated and multi-leveled allow my students to engage in multiple activities both in and outside the classroom.
Methods used to address the diverse, linguistic, and exceptional needs of students described as the target population.
The following strategies will be incorporated to ensure activities and assessment practices are fair and nondiscriminatory.
· Set up dialogue journals between teacher and student
· Plan activities using role play and drama
· Use student reading logs
· Write summaries
· Encourage students to write headlines
· Write character diaries
· Have students present information with illustrations, comic strips, or other visual representations
· Allow students to provide answers and explain processes instead of teacher telling them
· State / display language, content and meta-cognitive objectives
· List instructions / process steps and review orally
· Present information in varied ways (oral, written, demonstrations, with tangible objects)
· Frequently summarize key points
· Repeat and paraphrase important terms
· Provide Word Wall with vocabulary for unit/chapter
· Have students maintain notebook
· Have student maintain learning log for meta-cognitive strategies
· Allow sufficient response time
· Adjusting teaching style by developing a student centered approach
· Speak a little more slowly (not louder) and use shorter sentences, avoiding idioms
· Increase the percentage of inferential and higher order thinking questions
· Provide correction for language errors by modeling, not overt correction
· Use cooperative learning
· Incorporate peer tutoring
· Explicitly connect learning to students’ knowledge and experience
· Take time to preview and explain new concepts and vocabulary before starting instruction
· Use questionnaires/ interviews
· Motivating students and providing background knowledge
· Use Semantic Webbing and graphic organizers
· Use Anticipation Reaction Guides
· Have students brainstorm, then record responses on overhead before starting lessons
· Use KWL charts
· Use realia, maps, photos, and manipulatives
· Do activities where students can interact and move around
· Have students do hands-on activities and provide demonstrations
· Use CDs, cassettes and videotapes with books
· Use a variety of groupings so that ESL students can interact with different classmates (not only the Spanish speaking ones)
· Provide students with outline of lesson and questions that will be asked beforehand so they have an opportunity to process information and participate more readily
· The overhead projector is used to model highlighting text, identifying main ideas or new vocabulary or to show pictures.
Description of School Plan:
In Volusia County Schools, adequate progress for the overall school improvement plan is determined by the superintendent, area superintendent and the school principal, within the context of state accountability, and district and school goals. The following link provides a full description of New Smyrna Beach High School’s comprehensive plan.
Standards for Behavior:
1. Assume responsibility for learning and participate in instruction.
2. Attend class daily and be on time. Class periods are short!!!
3. Hats may not be worn in class
4. Keep student area clean and free of trash. (check under your desk before leaving class)
5. No food or drinks to be brought inside classroom
6. Bring textbook and AP folder to class everyday.
7. Bathroom policy: pass is located on water fountain. Only one student at a time allowed on pass. All other hall passes must be signed by teacher.
8. Demonstrate respect for teacher, classmates and self!
9. Adhere to all other school-wide policies as designated in student handbook.
10. Honor Code: I take the issue of cheating very seriously. If you are caught cheating, it will be reported to the disciplinary committee. This doesn’t just involve tests and exams. You are expected to do your own work when completing homework assignments. In most cases I actually encourage you to talk about homework essay questions with each other, but you must use your own words when completing the written assignments. Remember, if you’ve had a bad day and didn’t have time to study for a quiz or complete a homework assignment, use one of your Freudian slips and move on.
Specific Consequences for Behavior:
Positive Reinforcement Action Steps: Simple verbal and nonverbal acknowledgment; tangible recognition when appropriate; phone calls and emails home in recognition of positive student behavior; certificates of good behavior home when appropriate; and academic class privileges (project exemption, test only option).
Strategies that Acknowledge Lack of Adherence to Rules and Procedures: Action Steps include teacher awareness of potential poblems an quick attention to these situations; proactive awareness of influences and incidents that happen outside class and might affect student behavior in class; ocupying the entire classroom; using a series of graduated actions; stopping class and confronting behavior; time out (referral); involve parents; involve other staff members serving as contacts for behavioral issues.
In-School Contacts for Behavioral Issues:
An intervention driven/progress monitoring team at the school which assists students, families and teachers seeks positive solutions for all students.
The team is comprised from among the following:
• school administrators
• school psychologists
• guidance counselors
• school social workers
• speech/language clinicians
• reading specialists
Data Collection and Feedback:
I will know my students have accomplished the learning objectives through monitoring their work and providing accurate feedback on assignments. This will not only allow students to understand what they need to do to improve but it will also allow me to adjust instruction in the classroom. Progress graphs will be analyzed during the grading period comparing standard scores, cumulative grades and averages for my classes. I will use individual, group and multi-class data to find areas that need greater emphasis in order to increase student achievement. Additionally, technology provided by the classroom website will assist me in increasing efficiency and, more importantly, my effectiveness in the classroom.
The following technology-enhanced data systems are used to monitor student work and provide accurate feedback on assignments:
Floor Plan of Learning Environment:
Slide show of New Smyrna Beach High School
The floor plan for our classroom alternates between horseshoe and debate style seating depending on the type of instructional activities students are engaged in that day.
Materials and Instructional Resources:
Content is delivered through benchmark lessons using the following materials:
Mini-Assessments: Tied to benchmark lessons & integral for instruction to Determine Mastery
Tutorials: provided for Non-Mastery students and designed as part of the expectation of the Volusia Proficiency Model. http://www.hippocampus.org/
Enrichment materials/experiences: provided to Mastery students and designed as part of the Volusia Proficiency Model.
Software: supporting learner-centered strategies through tutorials, interactive games, and other resources
Psych Wiki: An online collaborative homework page designed to promote student discussion, peer assessment and support; providing students with a strategy for learning psychological concepts and skills that support integration of problem solving tools. Rules and conditions for participating in the class Wiki are provided in the following link: Psych Wiki
Resources for Teachers: the following link is designed to provide methods and strategies to assist other teachers in the ongoing development of knowledge, skills, understanding of concepts related to technology in the classroom learning plan: http://conwaypsychology.webs.com/teacherresources.htm
Course Textbook: Myers, David G. (2004). Psychology, Seventh Edition, in Modules (7th ed.). New York: Worth.
Web resources used to support the learning process are
1. Newseum: Through a special agreement with more than 800 newspapers worldwide, the Newseum displays front pages each day on its website. The front pages are in their original, unedited form, and some may contain material that is deemed objectionable to some visitors. Students will be advised to use discretion and parent permission slips will be placed on file with the school. http://www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages/flash/
2. The DSM-IV manual is published by the American Psychiatric Association and covers all mental health disorders for both children and adults. It also lists known causes of these disorders, statistics in terms of gender, age at onset, and prognosis as well as some research concerning the optimal treatment approaches.
3. Psychological Tutorials and Demonstrations by Hanover College Psychology Department. This is a page that contains links to hypertext tutorials in psychology as they become available. http://psych.hanover.edu/Krantz/tutor.html
4. Learning Skills by the University of Westminster. Howard Gardener has identified seven distinct learning styles. This site will help students to distinguish their learning, cognitive, psychological and social styles. http://www2.wmin.ac.uk/eic/learning-skills/cognition/learning_styles/howard_model.html
5. AP Central website provides course description for each discipline outlining course content, curricular goals of the subject, and sample examination questions. While the Course Descriptions are a significant source of information about the course content on which the AP Exams will be based. http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/
6. Website: http://conwaypsychology.com/ Please use the website. It contains every hand-out and homework assignment you will be given throughout the year. Using the website is the best way to keep up-to-date if you are sick or out of town. It also lets you know when vocabulary quizzes, tests, and exams are scheduled.
7. Textbook Website:http://bcs.worthpublishers.com/myersinmodules7e 8. Writing Papers in Psychology Rownow, Ralph L. & Rownow, Mimi (2003). (6th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson.
9. Psychology Tutorials and Demonstrations: http://psych.hanover.edu/Krantz/tutor.html
Elements for Safety:
The school is required to adopt the NIMS protocols for emergency plans modification and the Incident Command System (ICS). Procedures in our plans are consistent with NIMS terminology and guidelines. This Safety and Security manual may be reviewed by the Superintendent, school administrators, the Safety and Security Director, Volusia County Sheriffs Department, Volusia County Fire services, the County Emergency Operations Center, and the Safety and Security Review Committee.
Severe Weather Procedures / Tornado Procedures
The signal: a message will be announced over the intercom, “THIS IS A SEVERE WEATHER WATCH” or “THIS IS A TORNADO WATCH”
It means: there is a chance of dangerous weather with damaging winds, possibly including tornadoes. Be on the lookout for dangerous weather and funnel clouds. Be ready to move quickly to safety if the signal is given.
What to do: Close all blinds and keep students in class. Have students move to the interior wall of the room, away from all windows (or to the center of room under a sturdy table and away from windows; or shelter students in an “inner room” such as a restroom, a closet, and the center office).
If danger is imminent, you and your students will be notified by the office (via intercom) to assume the protective position. Wait for the “all clear” announcement before resuming normal activities.
The Protective Position
Curl up on the floor. Lie face down, draw your knees up under you, and cover the back of your head with your hands, a sturdy object (such as a textbook) or keep it sheltered under a desk or table in order to minimize risk of head injury from flying debris.
**Students on the PE fields and on the courtyard will report back to the closest building, escorted by the supervising teacher.**
Fire Drill: (evacuate room)
• Teachers will move students in an orderly evacuation to zone area.
• Classroom door should be unlocked.
• Attendance will be taken when students reach their designated zone.
• Missing students will be reported to zone leader.
• The use of electronic devices is not allowed.
• Teacher will notify security team of suspicious objects.
• Staff will wait for “All Clear” before returning to room.
• Teachers on planning will assist with supervision of students on athletic fields.
Hazmat Drill: (stay in room)
• Teacher will continue with classroom instruction, making sure no student leaves the classroom.
• All thermostats must be turned off (air conditioner), which is handled by our F.M. T. (Facilities Maintenance Technician).
• Teachers on planning or lunch are to remain in the building.
• Teachers will wait for an all clear before resuming normal routines.
• Be ready to evacuate in an orderly manner if necessary.
Internet Safety: While Internet access is essential for this course, it is imperative that students adhere to safe practices when browsing the web.
• Internet permission forms must be completed by the parent and filed with the school
• All class materials, course notes, homework, review guides, due dates, and grades are posted online.
• Students who do not have internet access at home must make arrangements with me for access at school.
• I have a student computer that may be used during class if needed.
A new website is now available to help educate students and their parents about safe uses of the Internet and the need for cyber safety.
• The Florida Association of District School Superintendents has joined Attorney General Bill McCollum in promoting the www.safeflorida.net/safesurf webpage to introduce all school age children to resources available to keep them safer while online.
• The site includes links to age-appropriate websites, including games for elementary students, a place for teens to share their online experiences and information and tips to help parents learn the basic rules of Internet safety.
Time Management: I believe it is important to provide students with time to learn, observe, and utilize skills that are taught. Children learn differently therefore, I obseve their behaviors and make informed decisions about their education. Formative assessments are a crucial part of the instructional process allowing me to know when to make adjustments to the curriculum. These adjustments help to ensure students achieve targeted standards-based learning goals within a set time frame and should lead to intervention with the learner. After direct instruction, students are divided into small groups according to readiness, interest, or learning profile to process concepts at their own pace or in their own way. These types of small group interactions allow students to make their own discoveries instead of the teacher telling them what to do directly. When students are dependent upon one another to complete a task, I increase the ways students make oral connections with content and skills, work on activities based on learner need, and engage in practical conversations about their learning experience. After students have explored content and skills through small-group exercises, they are ready to come together as a whole group and process what they have learned.
The following time management procedures are implemented in this course in order to make use of daily routines and maintain instructional focus:
• Course Schedule: provides students with important schedules for turning in course work, test dates, and review time-lines.
• Updated Information: provides students with most recent changes to class schedule, reminders for upcoming events, etc.
• Due Dates: provides students with a running time-line of each due date. All assignments are listed for the entire year.
• Calendar: allows students to view due dates on a monthly calendar.
• Classroom Policies: provides information on grading policies and procedures, educational expectations, test and homework policies, make-up work, and directions for completing course work. Menu items listed in this section are:
• Syllabus: grading procedure and required course content
• Learning Targets: expected outcomes for this course and the essential standards that must be met
• Make Up Policy: procedures for turning in late work or making up tests that do not meet the proficiency level
• Test Policy: format used for the required quizzes/tests/exams for this course
• Test Only Option: information on how to qualify for homework exemption using time management skills
• How to Qualify for Project Exemption: contains a list of requirements (time management skills) needed to exempt out of the required nine weeks project
• Directions for Completing Flash Cards: explains the proper format for completing flashcards and the penalties/deductions that will result if not followed
• Conway's Ten Commandments (how to write the ideal free response) contains 10 useful tips for writing free responses which are part of the required course work and on the National AP exam
• 21st Century Proficiency Model: educational expectations adopted by Volusia County Schools and is the standard policy for this course
• Contact Me: provides students/parents with contact information such as school phone number and extension as well as my email address.
• Email: Students are provided with the option to turn in work electronically. The pros and cons are discussed in this link.
• Required Class work: This category provides students with all required coursework as well as alternative assignments that can be used to replace missing assignments.
• Summer Assignments: explains both required and optional assignments to be completed over the summer
• Homework: homework is listed by chapter and consists of flash cards, practice free responses and other homework assignments
• Free Responses: a collection of past free responses from released AP Exams. These are assigned for practice for Unit Exams and the National Exam in May
• Alternative Credit: defined as replacement credit and provides students with an option to replace original assignments with alternative assignments of their choice
• Myer's Modules: online quizzes to be taken at home using the Myer's textbook website. Allows for practice before unit exams at the end of the nine week grading period.
• Projects: provides directions for completing the required project for each nine week grading period.
• Class Resources: This category provides students with supplemental resources such as extra help for homework, study aides for tests, visual aids, and videos for further understanding. Menu items listed in this section are:
• Course Notes: Supplemental notes that have been provided to aide student with homework or review
• Review guides: study guides that provide a condensed overview for each chapter and save time for test review
• Practice Tests: provides 40-100 multiple choice question tests for each chapter to use as formative practice before tests, unit exams and the national exam in May. Also check out Bubba Brain at the bottom of the page for additional practice tests.
• Resources: a resource page that provides students with additional help in completing homework and project assignments.
• Photos: a visual tour of each chapter that includes important charts, diagrams, formulas as well as a pictorial overview for each chapter.
• Videos: short clips that show original experimental studies, applications of theories, psychological re-enactments, etc.
• The AP Exam: gives important information about taking the AP exam, content areas on the test, how to divide study time for the exam and the percentage of questions asked in each content area.
• 2011 AP Review Schedule: lists dates for students to attend after-school review sessions to prepare for the National AP Exam held in May
• Student Grades: provides online access to student grades. Grades are posted on a daily basis. Hard copies of the grade report are also available in class
Evaluation /Assessment of Students will be completed in a timely manner and is aligned with the following district approved curriculum plan:
Classroom Management of Summative assessments: consists of short explanation free response essay and completion type test items. For evaluation purposes, a rubric has been established following the same format provided in the scoring guide used in the partner activity writing prompt. Free Response Rubric uses the following scoring guidelines: 1.0 Below Standards, 2.0 Approaching Standards, 3.0 Meets Standards, 4.0 Above Standards.
Free Response categories consist of three scoring areas:
Classroom Management of Formative assessments will include the following strategies:
• Reading/Grading student handouts
• Physical demonstrations of problem solving
• Review questions to check for understanding at the end of each lesson and at the beginning of next lesson for review and transfer introduction
• Checks for Understanding which include:
Sample Assessment Tools:
Exit Card Reflection Items:
Short-term personal and professional goals: At the conclusion of daily lessons, questions I ask are: “Were lectures, activities, independent practice, cooperative groups/partnership, and simulations effective tools for assessment purposes? Was the use of appropriate pacing following? Was enough time allowed in lesson segments for practice and deepening of student understanding of content?” These type of reflection questions help me determine the extent to which modeling examples, practice, and content provided critical-input experiences for students and provide me with special reminders for future lesson planning.
Long-term personal and professional goals: The primary goal I have set for myself as a teacher is to make a difference in the lives and futures of my students. I challenge myself each day to provide students with learning experiences that have connections to their own lives. Students must buy into my message, my energy and my motive for teaching! To become even more effective with the Volusia Proficiency Model and differentiated instruction, I am currently working on a Master’s degree in Curriculum, Instruction and Technology to improve my personal teaching style, stay current with modern successful educational trends, and ensure that I am always offering my students the best educational experiences possible.