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Student Voice in the Classroom

Having a student centered classroom is far from a new idea in the realm of pedagogically sound instructional practices.  I would go so far as to say that if you're reading this blog post, you pride yourself in having a mostly student centered classroom, or at least strive to have one.

But let me ask you this...

At the end of any given school day, even in your student centered classroom, do your students talk more than you do?

What is Student Voice

This week's post is all about student voice, knowing what is student voice, and even considering some student voice examples.

There are so many meanings for student voice, so it's important to consider from the start which type of student voice I'll be focusing on this week and in the near future.

Student voice in the student centered classroom doesn't have to be the super formal kind, the kind where students are developing their unique style or even standing at the front of the room delivering a well-planned speech.  It CAN be...

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An Educator's Take on EdChoice in Ohio

Disclaimer: This is a blog.  This is a blog run solely by a classroom teacher who is stepping into the coaching and entrepreneurial realm with hopes of making an impact on other teachers and their classrooms.  The opinions shared in this post are completely and exclusively the opinions of the writer with evidence from Ohio's recent changes to the Edchoice laws provided at the EdChoice Scholarship Program website.

Using a single state's decision to shed light on a bigger issue

I live in Ohio - always have. 

I educate in Ohio - always have. 

There have been some recent changes in laws on school choice that will impact public schools in Ohio, big time.

So, I'm taking the opportunity NOT to just spout off about those changes (although, if someone is going to spout off about education, it should be mostly teachers that we listen to... just my humble opinion).  Instead, I'm using this opportunity provided by these recent changes to shed a little light on how...

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AP Psychology Resources for Unit 6 Developmental Psychology

Holy moly, can you believe we are over half way through the content as we plan for and start unit six of nine.  When you get back from your break at the half-way point you're probably working on starting Developmental Psychology, at least if you follow Collegeboard's new CED you are.  If not though, that is NOT a huge deal.  Really, these units would go well in just about any order.

Development is fun and short unit.  Fun because it applies to all humans, including the ones sitting in seats in your classroom, making retention a bit more likely.  But short because well, there's just not many standards or dedicated class time to it.  But here's the thing... there are LOTS of stages and vocab terms that are unique and a bit foreign in this unit.

The great part is, if you've followed along with the pacing I've provided (and give in great detail in my AP Psych Teachers Membership), then you can see that you've got a decent bit of time to spend on Unit 6 -...

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New Year's In Your Classroom: Reflection & Goal Setting

Hey hey Teacher Friends!

I've taken a bit of a break from bringing you weekly content on our blog here at Teach On A Mission, and I've been using that time to do some major reflecting and planning.  Teach On A Mission is approaching its one year anniversary and I'm super excited to see what year two has in store.  In all my reflecting and planning, it got me all in my New Years Resolution vibes and wanting to bring your some good plans and ideas around what reflection and goal setting in your classroom looks like.

In the past few years I have become a huge fan of New Year's.  I have some mixed emotions because I normally cry when the bell drops due to the harsh recognition that time is FLYING by and I'm no spring chicken anymore, but I also love the celebration and, mostly, the reflection that comes with a new year and a fresh start approaching.

Most of us recognize that not just a new year, but a new decade is beginning - it is the ultimate fresh start, and with that...

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AP Psychology Resources for Unit 5 Cognitive Psychology

Phew!  Cognitive Psychology is a beast!  Seriously, CollegeBoard took what was already a huge unit that included encoding, storing, retrieval (of memory), forgetting, thinking, and language, and added intelligence to it.  Not just intelligence though... all intelligence theories, no doubt, and psychometrics and measuring of intelligence.  These are not simple concepts to wrap one's mind around.

If you are a newer AP Psychology (or non-AP Psychology) teacher, this unit can just about deflate any energy you have left as you come into some difficult weeks of the school year around the holidays.

I want to help you.

The BIGGEST piece of advice I can give you is to ORGANIZE students' thinking in this gigantic unit.  Organize the unit into cohesive subcategories that are formatively assessed, showing students the "map" so to speak of the whole unit.  I was always quick to show students the calendar each day in class so they understood what topic we were on,...

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AP Psychology Resources for Unit 4 Learning

Ok, let's get real.  Learning is hard.

Not just that... the statement, "learning is hard" takes on a whole other meaning in psychology, because it's an entire unit!

Not to mention it's not about the stuff you might think of when you say "learning" - stuff like memory and studying... o no, that all goes in the next unit, Cognitive Psychology... stay tuned for that post.

So let's chat about learning and how you might use your time on Learning effectively so students get all the rather confusing terms adjusted in their brains correctly the first time.

Unit 4: Learning

Introducing Classical Conditioning and Operant Conditioning to your students is best done slowly and with examples.  I mean visual examples where students can work through the principles of classical conditioning at their own pace.  My favorite video to use is this one where a sister conditions her brother- it seems to resonate with students, especially those with younger siblings.

Before you get to...

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AP Psychology Resources for Unit 3 Sensation & Perception

By this time of year, no matter what you teach, you are rolling right along in content yet only holding on for dear life through the awfulness that is October, November, and December when it comes to having motivation and patience.   Remember, you can do this!!

Seriously, this time of year is hard.  It's hard because there is not really a chance to come for air in the near future.  You just have to keep your head down and keep at it.  That's why I hope to provide you with resources that are quality, reliable, and engaging for your students in AP Psychology.

Unit 3: Sensation & Perception

Sensation and Perception is also a large unit, meaning lots and lots of vocabulary and new concepts, but it's not necessarily worth it's weight in vocab terms.

Here's what I mean... Sensation & Perception is dense, but it's not big.  It's percentage of how many questions on the test will be dedicated to this unit is not as high as biological bases or cognitive...

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AP Psychology Resources for Unit 2 Biological Bases

 Once you've set up your course and laid the solid foundation that is Unit 1 Scientific Foundations, it's time to take a bit of a turn into a more anatomy-focused unit.  One that I've always called "sciency" because of the focus on, well, science.

It's easy to get trapped in the tunnel of "What do I cover?  What don't I cover?"... more like a black hole you could spend three weeks in.

My biggest advice is to be sure you are focused on the standards as laid out by College Board's CED, and don't stray too far from that because then, you're just wasting time.

As with the first unit, I want to provide you AP psychology activities and resources in hopes that you get to focus your time elsewhere in being effective with your students - you are the number one influence on their learning after all.  So let's get to it.

Unit 2: Biological Bases

Whereas Unit 1 was focused on history and the mathematical basis of psychological research, Unit 2 is focused...

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AP Psychology Resources for Unit 1 Scientific Foundations

Psychology is such a unique subject that makes for an incredibly unique course for students today.  So unique that no certification in any of the "core" subjects (you know, math, english, social studies, and, yes, even integrated science) prepares teachers to teach.

But that's not necessarily bad, it just means we need a little more assistance and support when we go to teach this course.  Not that we don't need that support in other, less unique courses (I'm thinking like an American History, which I taught for a couple years), but for unique courses like psychology (and human geography, for instance), the extra support makes a world of difference as we try to learn the content as we teach it.

As I wrote about in a previous post, my hope is to give you that support through quality, effective resources, and possibly even coaching.

But let's take it one unit at a time.  And, let's start with the first unit... Scientific Foundations.  I will provide you AP...

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How the Flipped Classroom Changed Everything For Me

I've been thinking about this post for a while and how to go about writing it.  Better yet, I've been thinking about all of the things I'd like to include in it because it's hard to put the words together to describe how the flipped classroom changed so much for me.

To me, flipping is such a simple idea.  Just flip how you deliver the content with what is traditionally homework, and you've done it.  But I guess that's a bit of an oxymoron to say that flipping something on its head is simple.

Truly it is simple, and so are clear results you'll see in your classroom and your students.  But the process of making it happen, once I step back and think of all that goes into it, really isn't the simplest process in the world.

And that's why I want to support you on your journey of flipping your classroom.  It's not an easy journey.  It certainly wasn't easy for me when I took on the task on my own about nine years ago, and that's not something I want for...

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