Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Welcome to AP Psych 2013-14!

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Greetings, AP Psychology Students and Parents!

We are now just a month 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 3, 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:

  • Plan to stop by the classroom (rm 136) and pick up your textbook 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, you get to meet me, which is reward in and of itself! :)
Wednesday, August 14: 8AM– 4 PM
Saturday, August 17: 10 AM – 5 PM
Sunday, August 18: 4 PM – 6 PM
Tuesday, August 20: 8AM –Noon

Please note that I will not be available to check out textbooks during the “Staff Work Days” August 27-29, as I am completing my internship (which should also explain the strange schedule of my availability). I do not know if my substitute will be available then, so don’t put this off assuming we will be around. If you absolutely cannot make it during any of the times listed above, email me at wellevk@chipfalls.k12.wi.usto set up a time so you don’t arrive to find a dark room & locked door.

  • As you complete your back-to-school shopping, be sure to obtain a 3-ring binder for use during this class. I do have a number of free binders that have been donated, and you may pick one up when you get your textbook if you like. You’ll need this 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 takes up space in 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.

  • Sign up for email updates from this course webpage (via the box on the top left of the page). 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.

  • “Like” us on Facebook if you are a regular Facebook user, or “Follow” us on Twitter if you Tweet: @Welle_APPsych. 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.
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.

  • 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 half.com. Many students have found these very helpful; others develop their own reading strategies and do just fine without one. 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 during textbook pick-up and am looking forward to it!

Mrs. Welle
AP Psychology Teacher
Chippewa Falls Senior HS

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

2013 AP Psych Exam Results for Chi-Hi

Hats off to the AP Psych class of 2013, who took no prisoners on this year's AP Psychology Examination! Like all of my students, I had to patiently wait for this year's scores to be released in early July, and I am just now getting around to sharing what I can about our aggregate results.

I will admit that having to be gone during the 4th quarter for my internship had me nervously fretting about whether my students were continuing their studies with due diligence. As it turns out, they did not disappoint. In fact, this year's AP Psych pass rates are the highest of any Chi-Hi AP Psych classes for which I have data available (FYI: I began teaching AP Psych during the 2005-06 school year and have records from as far back as 2003).

This chart is based on the data that I have available from previously released score reports. Note also that this chart does not reflect the raw numbers of students who passed the test. 
Some highlights:

  • 95% of this year's test takers (77 of 81) scored a 3 or higher. Scores of 3 and above are considered passing scores.
  • The average score for the group was 4.086
  • 34 students earned 5's, a top score on the test!
  • 75% of test takers (60 students) earned 4's or 5's!
  • Although, as a group, the class did better than the global average on the Multiple Choice section of the test (our group averaged 74 correct answers while the global mean was 66), where we really shined was the Free-Response Section. 58% of our students scored in the top quartile on the Free Response Section, with performance especially strong on Question 2, which concerned research methods.
While I know students sometimes claim luck in getting "good" questions--and this year's FRQs were "good" to us in the sense that they did not include terms and concepts not addressed in our text--these results reflect more than luck. They are evidence of a LOT of hard work from the AP Psych class of 2013, and that is to be commended.

These scores also set the bar high for next year's AP Psych classes, who will be picking up their textbooks in less than a month. I'm optimistic that they will rise to the challenge, and I'm anxious to join them once my internship ends in mid-September!

Congrats, AP Psych Class of 2013! Well done.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Online AP Scores

They're almost here!

Wisconsin AP students can access their AP Exam Scores during an early access period on July 6th (beginning at 5 AM). The early access window will close on Sunday, July 7th at 4:59 AM, so that students in other parts of the country can access their scores without the system crashing. Beginning July 8th, scores should be available again to all students.

You'll need to log in to the AP Score Website in order to find your results. You may have trouble if attempting to access early scores via a mobile device, as your network location must be verified in order to log in during your state's "window." Try a home or public wireless network if you encounter difficulty (or wait until July 8 when location no longer matters).

Good luck, everyone! Compiled reports for teachers are not available until July 10th, so I'll have to continue to patiently wait to see all my students' scores. But I'll be thinking of all of you over the next few days and hoping for awesome news!