Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Strive for a 5's Have Arrived!

Workbooks are here!
If you ordered your own (personal) copy of the Strive for a 5 workbook during textbook pick-up, it has now arrived at school! You are welcome to come pick it up (see note on available times below) before the start of classes, OR I can get it to you on Sept 1.

I will be available Thursday, Aug 25 from 9 AM to 3:30 PM to hand out materials, as I will be working in my room during that time. After that, I will post available hours on the course blog (daily) since meetings will mean my availability will be hit or miss.

Friday, August 26: 1 PM to 4:30 PM
Monday, August 29: 3 PM to 5 PM

When picking up your purchased copy, please kindly keep the following in mind:

  • If you were issued a rental (school) copy of the Strive for a 5 workbook, please bring it with you so we can swap it out. That way I can remove the item from your list of issued class materials and you won't end up having to locate it again at the end of the year. That would be no fun.
  • If you have not yet paid for the copy you ordered, please bring payment with you. Cash or checks (made payable to Chippewa Falls Senior HS) are accepted, and the cost is $30.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Back to School Shopping for AP Psych

Greetings, AP Psych Students and Parents!

I hope this message finds you enjoying a pleasant Wisconsin summer. However, according to virtually every retail establishment I’ve visited during the past two weeks, it’s time for back-to-school shopping. Whether that thought excites you or makes you cringe, I figured I’d give you the heads up about what you’ll need for AP Psych. That way, we can streamline your shopping trip (whenever it happens).


  • Be sure to pick up a 3-ring binder for use throughout the year in AP Psych. You’ll need this to keep your notes and handouts organized by topic area. Look for one 1.5 to 2.5 inches in width (3 in is usually too unwieldy to carry in a backpack daily). Note: I do have a number of free binders generously donated by the parent of a former student (her workplace was discarding them). I’ll have them available at textbook pick-up on a first-come, first-served basis. If you want to save some cash, you are welcome to take one at no cost!
  • You’ll also want paper for note-taking (loose-leaf or notebook, your choice). Student preference is the key here: some folks like to use loose-leaf paper so they can insert notes into the binder by topic area, others like keeping their notes all in one notebook (post-it tabs to mark chapters/units can be helpful if going that route). If you like notebooks, be aware that many students fill up their notebooks by spring in AP Psych, so having more than one on hand will help. Also, some students prefer to keep their book notes and class notes separate (not a bad idea), so you’ll want to think about your “system” when shopping.
  • Pens and pencils are going to be necessary. Perhaps this is obvious, but I thought I’d be thorough.

Some students like to purchase these items to assist with their studying and test preparation throughout the year (and prior to the AP Psych Exam). However, they are not required. (Tip: Parents sometimes purchase these as very practical gifts at birthdays and holidays, so you may want to hang on to this for future reference).

    Additional test-prep book(s). There are a lot of these on the market (and you can find them online or at large book stores in the test-prep section), and are not many differences from one brand to another. Cost is usually $17-20. Some students like using them (especially the practice tests usually found in them) as the AP Exam approaches in the spring, but this is completely a matter of personal preference. If purchasing one of these, be sure to look for the 2014-2015 version or later, since our curriculum changes slightly this year (and previous versions will not be up to date). I’ve got examples of these for viewing (or classroom use), so feel free to take a look at them when you come in for textbook pick-up if you want to see what they are like.
  • Strive for a 5 Study Guide (cost $30; accompanies the textbook). This workbook helps students process what they read in the text and practice skills in preparation for unit tests and the AP Psych Exam. The district provides each student with a copy; HOWEVER (and this is a big drawback, I think), because the district’s copies will be reused from year-to-year, students cannot write in them. That is a bummer, because they are set up like workbooks and would be much easier to use if students could write in them. Because I think that students might be interested in purchasing their own copies (to be able to write in them), I’m happy to organize an order for those who wish to do so. Students will be getting the copies provided by the district at textbook pick-up in mid-August, so you are free to take a look at the item and decide if you’d like to buy your own instead. If you know you would like to order your own, payments will be accepted at that time (then I can hopefully get the order submitted in time for them to arrive for the start of the school year). Depending on interest, I may place a second order in September (if students would like to wait and see how the first unit goes before buying). Unfortunately, the publisher does not have a direct retail website, so all ordering will have to be organized through the school.
  • Flash card sets. Like the test-prep books, it’s easy to find these online or at large book stores, and some students appreciate not having to print/make 1000+ flashcards on their own. (Note, however, that online flashcards are linked up to the class website for free;  this would be for folks who like having physical versions on hand for study.) However, if you wait until March or April to buy them, you may have trouble, since they tend to be in high demand as the AP Exam approaches (when, suddenly, 260,000 AP Psych students decide to simultaneously purchase them). Like the test-prep books, I’ve got sample sets for classroom use, so you can peruse them before deciding if it’s worth buying your own.
If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email ( or ask when you come in to pick-up your textbook in August. Enjoy the rest of your summer, and happy shopping!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

AP Exam Scores For Students

Next week AP Exam Scores from 2016 tests will be available for students. I know you're excited to see how you did, so here are some things you can do to be ready:

  1. Visit the AP Scores for Students site and check the access schedule. Remember, your ability to access your scores at a particular time depends upon your geographic location when you log in, NOT where you took the test. So, if you are planning on being in Wisconsin next week, then you will have access to your scores at 7 AM on July 7th.
  2. Remember that you will need to log in using your College Board account. In my AP Psych classes, I prompted students to either create an account (or attempt to log in to an existing one) the day following our test. If you were gone that day, you might still have to complete that step.
  • You may have trouble accessing scores via your smartphone. This is because the website might be unable to determine your location (and access is determined by your location). You might have greater success if you try using your home computer instead.
  • Score reports have already been sent to colleges by the time you see your results. As long as you requested that your scores be sent to your college/university during preregistration (by entering the school code), there is nothing more you need to do. However, visit the AP Score Reporting Services Website if you have other issues or questions about score reporting.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Results from the AP Psychology Exam Reading

Greetings, all!

This year's AP Psych Exam Reading wrapped up last week in Louisville, Kentucky. I had the honor of spending the week with "Danny" the main character in the application scenario for Free-Response Question 2 on this year's test. As always, though it was a lot of work, I gained some important perspective on what students are likely to misunderstand about the concepts in that question.

Since the FRQ scoring is now over, that means we're just now getting word about aggregate data from the nationwide test.

Trevor Packer, head of the Advanced Placement programs at the College Board, tweets results from each subject area as scores become available. He has some good news for AP Psych students, but keep in mind we won't know how CFHS students did until July when school reports come out (and when students can access their individual scores).

Check out what he had to say below:

Let's hope it was a Chippewa Falls student who earned the perfect score he's referencing in that last Tweet. :) 

Regardless, this means that now the wait continues for our own results in early July. Wisconsin students are scheduled to have access to scores beginning on July 7th, so it won't be long!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Presentation Links Docs

Hi all,

Today in class I shared with you some documents for adding links to any presentation materials you need to access during your Final Presentation. Although you should be able to find the document in your email inbox (or via a search of shared docs), I thought I'd post them here, too.

[Note: You only have permission to edit the document from your class hour, so be sure to be signed in if you are trying to edit.]

1st Hour

2nd Hour

3rd Hour

6th Hour

7th Hour

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

CES-D Scale

Today in class we'll be exploring more research in Positive Psychology, including an article that references use of the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D) symptom survey. You may choose to complete the scale if you wish to learn more about how symptoms were measured in the study under consideration.

Monday, May 23, 2016

End of Course Survey: Study Strategies and Class Activities

Good morning, AP Psych students!

This morning I'm hoping you could provide me with some feedback on another end-of-course survey. This one will ask you questions about resources, activities and study strategies. Your responses will be kept anonymous and will be used to guide future planning.