Thursday, August 18, 2011

Getting Prepared for AP Psychology

We are now just a couple of weeks away from the start of the school year, and I hope you are all getting ready for a fantastic experience in AP Psychology! I know I am.

We will have many exciting adventures together in psych class starting September 1, but there are a few things students can take care of before classes begin in order to get off to a smooth start in AP Psychology. Students should:

1. Plan to stop by the classroom (Rm 136) and pick up your textbook next week during one of the times listed below. You will get directions on your first reading assignment (in preparation for your first quiz, which comes up quickly). Many students, whether they have taken an AP course before or not, need time to adjust to the pace and density of the reading load in AP Psych, so getting started before classes begin will help you ease into the process. AND…there might be treats (if I get my act together in time to make them).

Monday, August 22: 8AM – Noon & 1–3PM
Tuesday, August 23: 8AM – Noon & 1–3PM
Wednesday, August 24: 3-5 PM
Thursday, August 25: 8AM – Noon & 1–3PM

Please note that I will generally not be available to check out textbooks during the “Staff Work Days” August 29-31, as I will likely be in planning and training meetings much of those days, so don’t put this off assuming I will be around. If you absolutely cannot make it during any of the times listed above, email me at to set up a time so you don’t arrive to find a dark room & locked door.

2. As you complete your back-to-school shopping, be sure to obtain a 3-ring binder for use during this class. Because exams are cumulative and you will need to save most materials for studying for the AP exam in May, all former AP Psych students can attest to the necessity of the 3-ring binder! I’d recommend looking for one that is sturdy and at least 1½ -2 inches wide. (Three inches is excessive, though, and just weighs down your backpack.)You will likely fill it up by May, which is the point. This may seem obvious, but I’ll mention it anyway: you’ll also need a notebook or loose-leaf paper (your choice) to go in the binder. This is where you’ll keep your notes.

3. Visit the course - and sign up for email updates (via the box on the top left of the page), if desired. If you regularly access your email, this will be a great way to stay on top of what is happening in class, as you will receive email notifications each time the blog is updated with links, assignments, or class news. Many parents have found this a helpful resource in the past.

4. “Like” us on Facebook if you are a regular Facebook user. There is a “like” box on the course website, for your convenience. I post reminders about upcoming quizzes, deadlines, course links, and fun video links on this page. “Liking” it means those posts show up in your Newsfeed. However, I will not have access to your personal page (nor will you have access to mine) so we both preserve our privacy.*

5. Consider ordering the textbook companion study guide. I will be posting more information about this resource as I update the website for this year. This is an OPTIONAL study guide that helps students focus their text readings, so the school does not provide copies. You can purchase them for ULTRA CHEAP on used book sites like Many students have found these very helpful; others develop their own reading strategies and do just fine. I’ll be happy to answer questions about the study guide (and have copies for display) when you pick up your textbook. The reason I mention it now is that it generally takes a while to ship, and the wait can be frustrating if you’re counting on using it to prepare for an important test.

Welcome to AP Psychology! I’m sure reading through this has got you thinking about what this class will be like, so please, bring any questions you have when you come to pick up your book. I hope to meet each of you next week and am looking forward to it!

*FYI: Please don’t take it personally, but as a general rule I don’t accept personal friend requests on FB from current Chi-Hi students or parents. Once you graduate, if you want to stay in contact, you are more than welcome to send a request to Mrs. Welle. Before then, it’s probably best to maintain some teacher-student (or teacher-parent) boundaries.

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