Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Biology of Memory: H.M. Revisited

Most AP Psych textbooks introduce students to the case study of Henry Molaison (known anonymously in the research literature as H.M)., a long-studied patient with anterograde amnesia resulting from a surgery meant to control his epilepsy. Several years ago, when H.M. passed away and donated his brain to science, we watched as researchers sliced his brain into microslices so that his condition could continue to be studied, even after his death.

Now, his entire digitized brain is available for viewing online.

Want more info? This video clip from Nova Science Now details how H.M.'s brain is being studied, and summarizes other research on memory, including the chemistry of long-term potentiation.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Testing & Intelligence: Cold Day Stuff to Do

Greetings, all!

No doubt this finds you reveling in the knowledge that school is closed, once again, due to cold weather.  I love a good snow day just as much as the next gal, but they sure do throw a wrench in my plans to get you all the content you need prior to the AP Psych Exam. With "too-cold-for-school" days piling up this winter, we're going to have to get creative about how to handle all the material for second semester. Pushing back any more tests and quizzes is NOT an option, since the College Board doesn't delay the AP Psych Exam no matter how many snow days we have.

This means you'll be doing a little more outside of class this unit than I had planned.

For example, for Tuesday (or whenever the heck we are back in classes again), I need you to complete a worksheet with practice items on statistical interpretation (because it is a secure document, I will be texting you the link AND sending it to your IC mailbox). It will help you brush up on what we discussed on Friday. I was going to use it as warm-up on Monday, but, well...you know the rest. Optional: If you are finding yourself baffled by the questions, please view this video on Standard Deviation by fellow-AP Psych teacher Mr. Schallhorn.

Then, since you are trapped indoors for the next 24 hours or so, I figure you'll have plenty of time to watch the playlist embedded below: Battle of the Brains. I usually show this video in class after we've learned about theories of intelligence, but given what I've already had to cut from class time and this new cancellation, it just became a take-home assignment. You'll need to view the playlist below and complete this accompanying worksheet by Friday, January 31st.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Psych Sim: Descriptive Statistics

Best part about this unit: Now you understand Stats jokes!
AP Psych is currently in the middle of Stats Bonanza, with students practicing calculating and interpreting various psychological statistics. For practice this weekend, I'd like you to complete this handout using PsychSim 5 (click on the Descriptive Statistics module in the menu screen).

NOTE: When giving this a trial run today, for some reason the module seemed to load better in Internet Explorer than it did in Chrome. If you run into problems, and are using Chrome as your browser, try a different browser and see if that solves the problem.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Syllabus Updated


You will receive a printed copy of this in class, but I thought I'd make this available ASAP for those looking ahead to next semester. I've updated the syllabus to reflect test/quiz/study session dates that have been altered due to the January cancellations and adjustment of the finals schedule. If you want to view a copy, click here.

The "Syllabus" tab on this page has also been updated, as well as the calendar page.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Lip Dub News: Psych Club

Wednesday is the day that filming will take place for the Chi-Hi Lip Dub video. Psych Club has some great real
estate for this event, and even if you are representing other clubs/sports you may be able to throw on your t-shirt and join us.

Important Instructions:
  • What to wear: Psych Club T-shirt (this year's or last's) and sunglasses. Reflective, aviator sunglasses would be awesome, especially if you want to pull off that Jim Jones look. Don't have a t-shirt? See Mrs. Welle for extras (to borrow or buy).
  • We need volunteers to step forward to carry the sign for Psych Club, hold the brain, hold the phrenology head, wear visual displacement goggles, and whatnot. Everyone else will be doing something pretty simple (maybe throwing confetti?), so if you want to be a star, here's your chance! Note: Sadly, the Bobo doll we ordered had a hole in it...so that part of the act is out. :(
  • Stop by rm 136 to see where we are located on the map (especially if you will be joining us after appearing in a group filmed earlier). We are next to the Cray Commons area and will be filmed at approximately 7 mins & 30 seconds into the shoot. That means we'll likely be showing up near the start of the 3rd song: Dynamite (by Taio Cruz). I've embedded the song/lyrics below, so you can practice your best lip syncing.
  • We're going to need some help setting up (and getting organized) around 1:30 PM. Meet in Psych Club's designated area and we'll get things ready to go. 
  • At 2:00 PM, everyone will be meeting in the gym for instructions, then there will be a practice walk through, followed by two filmed takes.

Need to know lyrics for the earlier songs? To help you out, here are (1) "Let's Get It Started" by the Black Eyed Peas and (2)  "September" by Earth, Wind, & Fire.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Review Links for Your 1st Semester Final

If you feel ready to tackle review for your first semester final (which means you probably have already completed your review of Thinking & Language, see previous post for resources), here some resources to get you started:
  • First, you want to know what you are up against. You will get a copy of this in class (was scheduled to hand out this on Monday, Jan. 6, but obviously the weather interfered). It describes what the final will look like, and has some basic tips for study.
  • As the above handout suggests, you'll want to systematically review each unit/chapter. Here's a handy list of terms/concepts from first semester (which should help speed creation of concept maps or outlines). I will also make copies of this available in class. 
  • Check out the Study Resources page for lots of general review resources. Including this Learnerator site for AP Psychology with practice multiple choice items (some require paid access, but many you can try for free). 
I've also created a Quizlet flashcard set that combines all of the flashcards from 1st Semester this year. It's a whopper, but if you want to brush up on your vocabulary there is no better tool. Use the settings to shuffle & randomize terms (or better yet, complete the "Learn" mode) for a recall challenge.

Also, many students find reviewing the important "names" in psychology to be a helpful study approach. Below, I've embedded the Famous Psychologists quizlet. Please note that it contains the big names from the WHOLE year, so there are folks in here you may not be familiar with. But many will be familiar, so study away!

Review Links for Cognition & Language Exam

With the weather in Wisconsin unusually cold, we've had some interesting schedule changes lately. The staff is currently in the process of deciding how to adjust the finals schedule to account for the missed school days, and how I schedule the Ch. 10 test will depend (to some extent) on that determination. For example, I am rather averse to the idea of having the Ch. 10 test AND your final on the same week...but this may not be up to me. Regardless of when it actually happens, here are some links to help you review for your test on Cognition & Language

Chapter 10 Review - Cognition & Language