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Are Teachers the Top Influence on Student Learning?

The conversation and debate around what is best for students, and what impacts learning most is not a new one in the human experience.  It's been hotly debated for quite some time.

What impacts student learning most?

Are tests the best way to measure student learning?

Or, wait, don’t tests hinder learning?

How does technology impact learning?

Standards-based, flipped classroom, project-based, problem-based, student centered, backwards planning, flexible seating...

Wow - so many things.  So many ways to impact student learning.

How in the world do we know what strategies impact students the most?

That's just it... there is no ONE strategy that will impact student learning more than another.

But...

... there is one person.

If you're reading this post, this is probably no surprise to you that teachers are the number one influencer on a student's learning.

But I don't want to just say that and claim it as truth.  I want you to see for yourself.

And that’s...

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3 Steps to a Successful Year in AP® Psychology

Guess what!?!  Teach On  A Mission, LLC, is growing, and I am so excited to introduce you to Rachelle Dusso in this episode.  Rachelle is a five-year teacher in Wisconsin who is joining our team as the Content Coach for our Sustainable Psych Teacher membership for AP® Psychology teachers!

In this episode she not only  introduces herself, but brings us 3 steps to a successful year for all our AP® Psychology teachers out there.  But that’s not all… she’s got 7 more steps (plus a bonus)... that’s right 7 more actionable steps you can be taking this summer to make sure your school year is successful and sustainable in AP® Psychology.  

Grab the full download - AP® Psych Done Right Teacher Workbook - at the link here.

To hear the full interview with Rachelle, please listen to the episode at the top of this page or on your favorite podcast streaming app - just search for Sustainable Teacher.

Rachelle is a fifth...

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AP Psychology Resources for Unit 9 Social Psychology

The LAST unit of the content (if you follow College Board's CED which is not mandatory)... can you even believe it?

I can't.

But I do love rounding out new content with this unit, social psychology.  The reason being twofold.

  1. It may be the most applicable material of the entire course - students can easily make connections and recall examples from their own lives, but are also challenged to think of their behavior and judgements in ways they never have before. And,
  2. Instead of focusing on activities or guided practice, this unit is more dedicated to demonstrating the concepts, rather than memorizing or simply encoding them.

So you'll want to present the unit in exactly those two ways... the foundational concepts with notes and readings (as usual), and then application through demonstration, simulation, and reflection.

And, I'd like to provide you with some resources to help you do all of that for the social psychology unit.

Social Psychology Resources

First, be sure to have...

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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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