(This course is taught at the college level)

Mr. James Pustay      

Phone: 321-242-4730 ext. 3202

Email: Pustay.James@brevardschools.org

Course Description

The purpose of the Advanced Placement course in Psychology is to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals.  Students are exposed to the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields with psychology.  They also learn about the methods psychologists use in their science and practice.  (From the Advanced Placement Course Description for Psychology, published by the College Board.)

Last year 97% of the students received either an "A" or "B" for the course as reported on their progress report.  Seventy-five percent received an "A." No one failed or received a "D" or worse.   In terms of the national exam, we always have beaten the national average, and last year was no different.   The key to success is reading and comprehending the textbook, and do what I ask you to do.  The average score for last year was at our highest - 3.61 (out of 5) and we nearly had 100 students with open enrollment where anyone could take AP PSYCHOLOGY who was an 11th - 12th grader.   Our overall percentage for passing with a 3 or above was 81%. 


Inclement Weather/Competitions/Field Trips/Early Sports Release/Family Vacations

The pace of this course is accelerated and missing class might cause problems.  Florida’s weather can, at times, create occasions when school must be unexpectedly closed or classes disrupted. This is especially true during hurricane season.  Students should understand that loss of classroom time due to any missed time does not change the date of the national AP PSYCHOLOGY exam, nor elimination of any class objective or chapter assignment.  We have 14 extended CHAPTERS as a minimum to complete.  West Shore cannot change this date no matter the absence or the reason for them. As such, students MUST continue to keep up with the reading calendar despite school being closed. Dates on calendar must remain intact to keep up the pace to prepare you for this national exam. If we miss a unit test day, it will be made up on the next scheduled test day in session.

Extracurricular Activities: The very nature of Advanced Placement courses requires that students commit substantial time to completion of readings, essays, etc. Students who wish to be successful in the course and on the AP Psychology examination must be willing to apportion their time judiciously. Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts.  It is entirely possible, even likely, that out of class preparation time will interfere with extracurricular activities, sports, work, etc. The choice of priorities is yours; however please understand that you must develop an organized and self-disciplined approached to AP Psychology.  Nothing can be omitted that is on the national exam.

 AP Exam

The Advanced Placement (A.P.) program is an opportunity for students to earn college credit while still in high school. To do so a student must take and pass the A.P. Psychology exam. This exam, administered Monday, May 5, 2014, includes two sections: a 70 minute multiple-choice section (about 100 questions) and a 50 minute free-response section (2 prompts). The multiple choice forms two-thirds of the grade and the free-response provides the remaining third.

The A.P. PSYCHOLOGY exam is graded on a five point scale. Generally, most public universities award credit to students who earn a 3 or higher while many private colleges require a score of 4 or higher. However, since each school is free to set its own policy, students are advised to check the policies of institutions they are interested in attending.

 All students enrolled in this class are required to take the A.P. Psychology exam.  



Myers' Psychology for AP.   This is written as a college-level text with a 1300 lexile score.  There are 14 chapters, but the material is learning a new language (language of psychology), so the course at time,  requires a self-disciplined approach to read it.  It is highly suggested not to try and read the assigned chapters in one setting, but is 20-30 minute increments.  Otherwise, most students begin to lose comprehension and it defeats the purpose.  Let me be very clear - you MUST read the text if you hope to pass the national exam or do well on the tests and unit exams.   We will have quizzes, unannounced short quizzes, exit cards, etc.

 Study Groups

It is strongly suggested that the students organize study groups of three to seven individuals. These groups can help each other prepare for tests and the AP PSYCHOLOGY national exam. They can also act as a support system for the students to rely on for help and encouragement.

Class Mechanics

We will experience many different methods of learning in this class, besides preparation for the exam.  The class will be a combination of lecture, discussion, video clips, role playing activities, demonstrations, surveys, essays, individual and group presentations, Socratic Seminars, and library and computer research. 

Class Subjectivity:  We discuss a wide range of topics that encompass the national exam.  Some may feel they may be too controversial, so my recommendation is to refrain from taking AP Psychology.  Why?  The national exam covers 100% of what is outlined in Myer's text (and more) we use, so coverage is essential as questions may be about these sensitive areas on the national exams.  In times of sensitivity,

I try to make references to step outside during these times, or you can step outside without causing attention to yourself; but every topic is tempered for grade level and covers what you will or might see on the national exam.   So, with this in mind, we only like Juniors and Seniors to take AP Psychology (Sophomores only after teacher, guidance and parents agree). 

In any case, please respect any disorders as happening to real people and because of that fact - we must be cognizant and respectful..   


1.   Writing Utensils:  Dark pens ONLY, Pencils (#2 for Scantrons), Highlighters.

2.   Loose-leaf, three-holed, lined, light colored (white, yellow, etc.) paper only.  These must be normal size 8 1/2 x 11 inches.  I will not accept ripped, crunched up or otherwise put together paper or paper of different sizes.  These will need to be placed later in the binders. 

3.  Supplemental materials?  I recommend either of the following two, but please understand these are optional.  Both supplemental aids help the student comprehend the new vocabulary and terminology of psychology, and helps in daily preparations for class.  These aids help in your understanding and a good review aids to help reinforce the material.  


 If you can remember your shoes and your cellphones, you can remember these materials.

Accountability and Independent Learning

Advance Placement psychology is intended to enhance development of student critical thinking, DSM-IV TR analysis, interpretive reading, information organization, synthesis, and writing skills. You are responsible for reading and studying the textbook.  The Myers’ Psychology for AP (as well as ALL other supplemental readings). You will be given an online prompt of the required chapters to assist you in this process.  However, please understand that all 14 Units are to be read and outlined.   While some of the textbook will be discussed in detail through our class discussions, seminars, and CRISS strategy activities, some of it will be covered through independent learning. You are responsible for ALL MATERIAL ASSIGNED, whether we discussed it in class or not.


Outlines typically fall into three (actually, four categories if you break out copying or cheating or "cut & paste" which will receive a failing grade) in APUSH.  Because of this diverse experience, grades differ between them too.  For example, an outline for an AP class should be detailed and able to stand on its own merit as a device which a student can reuse as a review and reinforcement tool.  It is not busy work!  First, any outline submitted that leaves out key areas of the chapter, or is incomplete will receive a grade no higher than a 69%.  Secondly, if an outline is submitted and is brief, but is generic and demonstrate some understanding but limited as a reinforcement tool will receive a grade no higher than 79%.  Thirdly, an outline submitted that is clear, concise and to the point and mostly covers 100% of the chapter material key areas,  but lacks details can expect a grade no higher than 93%.  However, a detailed outline which can be used to reinforce the chapter and stand on its own merit for the student will receive a grade of 94% or higher not to exceed 100%.  An outline that meets the higher mark AND includes notes can receive extra credit for attention-to-details, and usefulness as a review tool.   OUTLINES that are more than 10% "cut & pasted" will receive a "1" for copying on EDLINE.  Any students who share OUTLINES to copy among one another will receive a "1" for copying on EDLINE.  

HYPERLINK on and note the level of detail.  Without any notes, the OUTLINE receives 100%.  Please remember that these are only the first 2 pages, but gives you an idea of what it takes to get a 100%.  With notes, the OUTLINE received extra credit.   This level of detail allows the OUTLINE to stand on its own merit having never to go back to the textbook again.  Also, please note the OUTLINE has the student name, date, period and title.  Failure to have these items at the top will receive a 10% deduction from the grade.


This year there is no requirement to complete chapter vocabulary notecards on index cards.  However, students are assumed to comprehend and understand the vocabulary and terminology found within each chapter.  It is advisable to supplement the textbook vocabulary with the suggested aids discussed in this syllabus, but it is optional.  In addition, you will be assessed for a grade (unannounced normally) on the vocabulary in class found in the textbook.  It would be wise to not short-change your studying habits. 

  •     In addition, as an optional opportunity to earn EXTRA CREDIT, (OPTIONAL) There are TERMS AND CONCEPTS TO REMEMBER for each unit at the end of each chapter .    On a sheet of paper (FRONT & BACK is okay) write the TERM or PERSON and define in a narrative sentence.  This MUST BE hand-written and not word-processed.  Make sure it applies to the specific psychological content of that Unit.  You may go to outside sources, but make sure they apply to the psychological concept.  You MUST turn in 100% of the TERMS AND CONCEPTS TO REMEMBER  in order to receive EXTRA CREDIT POINTS. 


 Internet access is a class requirement. Classroom assignments, handouts, links and grades will be provided through the website & EDLINE.


Class notes are given during class time. It is absolutely essential that you take accurate, legible notes that will help you better understand the class. A lack of note-taking denotes poor participation, insufficient study-skills and may cost you in your overall grade.

One of the most difficult things to master is effective note taking.  Often in class you will not have time to write down every word from the board/overhead projector/computer screen.  You need to get in the habit of filtering the information presented and putting it into your notes.  This means that you need to listen and digest.  I know this is hard for some of you, so see me about some study strategies that might be helpful to you.  Copy main ideas and concepts that are placed on the board/projector/computer screen.  Take down the main points of a class discussion--listen for verbal clues (words that are emphasized, the tone of my voice when I am discussing a concept, etc.)—they will point to the main ideas and important information that you should jot down in your notes.  This is very important—write down possible questions that you may have [especially when doing your homework] and then ask them in class.

It is your responsibility to get notes from classmates if you are absent, so get yourself a “study-buddy” in the class [exchange email addresses or phone numbers] and be responsible for each other.  Review your notes frequently and if you don’t understand something—please ASK!

Open-note,  notebook quizzes will take place occasionally and sometimes frequently.  Other quizzes will not be open notes.  If we have a pop open-notes quiz and you do not have your notebook with you or if your notes are incomplete you must take the quiz anyway. Although I will not post all PPT slides on the web, I will try to post some PPT notes on-line before tests if I get several students who are interested in receiving them.


We will use exit cards to effectively gauge the students comprehension of the discussed material in class periodically AND/OR the connection to the assigned text chapter.  These are a form of an effective process of formative assessment.  These will help identify which students are struggling and need additional support as well as which students provided average and above average work.  Exit cards may be short essay, bullets, vocabulary words or terms, short answer or reflection based on lecture and text.  Purpose is to ensure daily preparation and understanding.

Grading Policy

Like the activities of the class, assessments will also be varied.  Much of the course though will be based on the following sorts of assignments.  Percentages are approximate and are subject to change.

  •   Quizzes                                   10 - 75 points

  •   Tests                                       100 - 200 points     

  •   Unit Tests (online)                  100-200 points

  •   Pretests                                     50 - 100 points     

  •   CASE STUDY/PSA                200 points

  •  Vocabulary Assessments     10 - 50 points                                   

  •  FRQs/Topic Questions          varies – 100 points               

  •  Surveys                                   5- 25 points               

  •  Other Assignments                50 - 100 points

 Unit Exams/Tests

Exams are rigorous because they are intended to challenge students at the AP Exam level. Moreover, they are designed to give students frequent experience with the types of multiple-choice questions and free-response questions that appear on the AP Psychology Exam. Frequent chapter tests also ensure that students read the textbook and supplementary readings, consistently check for understanding, and take copious notes that are thorough and well organized.  Unit exams are made up of past actual national exam questions which cover topics in class or interpreted from the textbooks, supplemental readings, discussions, and lectures.  The design of each test/ exam will be determined by the instructor but will usually be objective multiple-choice.  As I mentioned, Unit Exams will come from past AP Exams, but cover the topics learned in class.   Unit Exams normally are comprised of 3 chapters of the textbook, notes in class, lectures, supplemental readings and independent study.  These exams are cumulative and go back to the beginning of the course.  It is imperative you develop a reinforcement procedure to review the material successfully.  I will clarify the extent of each Unit Exam prior to students taking them.  Each student will sign an honor policy stating that he or she will not reveal nor discuss questions from an exam.  All material covered in your Myers’ Psychology for AP readings and/or in your notes (lecture, discussions, etc) is eligible for any exam or quiz. Students who know they will be absent on the day of a test must inform the instructor several days prior to arrange an alternate time. They will receive a make-up test which is different from the original, missed test.  

Test Retake

My policy allows students who fail a test to retake it once in a nine-week period, but no test retake if it falls within 5 school days of the end of any grading period because there will not be any time for retakes.  You can ONLY DO THIS ONCE in a 9-week grading period - so choose wisely.  The highest grade that you can receive on the retake is a 75. The retake must be coordinated with the teacher on the date and time.    If you decide to take the retake, it is the grade you will receive, and not the average of the two.  So, please carefully weigh your decision as it is possible to receive a lower grade on the retake. All retakes will be completed outside of class and conducted at our morning makeup dates. You must notify the instructor if you plan on taking a retake after you receive the test back. You must demonstrate the same level of understanding on the retake that you were required to demonstrate on the original test.   However, there are NO RETAKES on the UNIT EXAMS.   No retake can be taken within 5 school days of the end-of-the-grading period. 


Pretests can be a highly effective tool to help prepare students for a chapter test or unit exam.  From time-to-time, students will be assigned a take-home pre-test which the students can complete and obtain a high score as well as prepare for the actual test.







DUE DATE:  April 15, 2014 

 The CASE STUDY is GOOD, except for the new DUE DATE of April 15th. 

    CLICK on CAPTAIN AMERICA to view an example of last year's CASE STUDY        which met and exceeded expectations




This is a college-level course and participation in discussions, activities, readings, etc. is critical to the success for each class meeting. You are expected to keep up with the readings (text, online or distributed). Participation grade is based on a rubric discussed in class and posted to the bulletin board.

Student is always prompt to classes. Student is late to class (unexcused) once Student is late to class (unexcused) twice Student is late to class (unexcused) more than twice
Level Of Engagement In Class
Student proactively contributes to class by offering ideas and asking questions more than once per class.  Student actively takes comprehensive notes in class Students actively engage in individual and group assignments. Student proactively contributes to class by offering ideas and asking questions once per class.  Students actively take notes of the majority information discussed in class. Students engage in individual and group assignments. Student rarely contributes to class by offering ideas and asking questions.  Student takes some notes in class.   Students are asked (once) to get back on track for individual and group assignments. Student never contributes to class by offering ideas and asking questions. Student does not take notes or rarely at best takes notes. Students are asked (more than once) to get back on track for individual and group assignments.
Listening Skills
Student listens when others talk, both in groups and in class. Student incorporates or builds off of the ideas of others. Student listens when others talk, both in groups and in class. Student does not listen when others talk, both in groups and in class. Student does not listen when others talk, both in groups and in class. Student often interrupts when others speak.
Student almost never displays disruptive behavior during class. Student rarely displays disruptive behavior during class. Student occasionally displays disruptive behavior during class. Student almost always displays disruptive behavior during class.
Student is almost always prepared for class with assignments and required class materials. Student is usually prepared for class with assignments and required class materials. Student is rarely prepared for class with assignments and required class materials. Student is almost never prepared for class with assignments and required class materials.

Tardies: Be in class on time prepared to work when the second bell rings. Two unexcused tardies may result in a detention and/or reduction in your participation grade! You are tardy if you are not in your seat when the second bell rings.


Quizzes are a combination of identification, multiple-choice, or fill-in-the-blank questions that are designed to review essential material that students must master if they are going to succeed on the quarter exams. Expect at least 1-4 quizzes for each topic studied. Reading Checks occur frequently, even daily to reinforce daily readings.  Anything assigned, read, or discussed in class is eligible on a quiz.

For me, "spot quizzes" are a "snapshot" of your knowledge at a particular period of time.  I need to know if you are reading your textbook and reviewing your outlines, lecture notes, discussions, etc.  "Spot Quizzes" are designed not to be too difficult and normally only 10 questions and worth 20-50 points.  Unlike tests, unit exams and announced quizzes, I want to know if a student is reinforcing material (that is reviewing periodically), so these are designed with the intention of not expecting students to study for them.  I am more interested in are they routinely studying to gain an elaboration (reinforcing material into long-term memory).  Otherwise, cramming the night before or right before a quiz only gives me insight into short-term memory.  


One-third of the Advanced Placement exam is the ***essay portion. Therefore, considerable time will be spent learning and practicing how to write effectively. Specific FRQ guidelines and expectations will be discussed at a later date. Those essay guidelines must be carefully followed. (Students also enrolled in A.P. English must take care to follow the A.P. Psychology guidelines and not the A.P. English guidelines when writing A.P. Psychology exams.) Students will usually be required to write FRQS/Short essays every week or every other week, starting in September 2012. It is anticipated that all essays will be in class “timed writes.” These essays will be similar to the type given on the A.P. Psychology exam and will be graded on the same  point scale. Students who need to make-up an essay/FRQ due to an absence can expect a different, perhaps more difficult prompt and will makeup the FRQ on the first following makeup day in the morning. Failure to show up to makeup the exam will result in an automatic 49% of the overall grade. 

Oral Essay.  The class will be divided into groups, not more than five people to each group. Groups will be assigned a topic by means of a "grab bag," and will develop a thesis statement, and supporting evidence which will be shared orally with the class which may take 1-2 days to develop then present.  Grade based on a rubric.


Presentation Rubric










Audience cannot understand presentation because there is no sequence of information

Audience has difficulty following presentation because student jumps around.

Student presents information in logical sequence which audience can follow.

Student presents information in logical, interesting sequence which audience can follow.


Subject Knowledge

X 2



Students do not have grasp of information;  Most objectives not met;

Students are uncomfortable with information and focuses on broad topics and themes only, and fails to elaborate; some objectives met;  

Students address comprehensive discussions into the assigned analysis ; all objectives met;

Students demonstrates full knowledge (more than required) addressing significant broad to narrow focus analysis with explanations and elaboration; all objectives met 



Less than 1:30 minutes; 

1:30 - 3:00 minutes; 

3:00 - 4:30 minutes; 

4:30 - 5:30  minutes


Eye Contact 

Students makes no eye contact and only reads from notes.

Students occasionally uses eye contact, but still reads mostly from notes.

Students maintains eye contact most of the time but frequently returns to notes.

Students maintains eye contact with audience, seldom returning to notes.


Verbal Techniques 

Students mumbles, incorrectly pronounces terms, and speaks too quietly for audience in the back of class to hear.

Student' voice is low. Student incorrectly pronounces terms. Audience members have difficulty hearing presentation.

Students voice is clear. Student pronounces most words correctly. Most audience members can hear presentation.

Students use a clear voice and correct, precise pronunciation of terms so that all audience members can hear presentation.


Group Work

Severe disparity in amount of presentation among group members

Significant disparity in amount of presentation among group members

Minor disparity in amount of presentation among group members

No disparity in amount of presentation among group members



No Thesis developed

Generic thesis, but doesn't answer the question

Somewhat vague, but does answer the question 

Well developed thesis which addresses the question


Roadmap No roadmap developed Too vague roadmap developed Somewhat broad roadmap developed narrowly constructed roadmap  
Overall Objectives  Did not meet  Met partially Met Exceeded  

Total Points:








Free writing Exercises/Topic Questions

 Students will be given 5-8 minutes to write continuously on an issue discussed in class. Written exercises will not be graded, or will be given a pass/fail score, but students will be expected to share their writings in class which will be a part of the student’s class participation.


We conduct many demonstrations and surveys throughout the year to facilitate an understanding and appreciate an application for the many terms discussed in AP Psychology.     For those I collect, students will receive a PASS/FAIL.


Homework Policies  (Read carefully here students)

Homework assignments will appear on my web site on the calendar page and/or will be given in class, so you will have  as a minimum one weeks’ worth of work posted somewhere at any one time.  You should print out the topic sheet and keep it in your "working" notebook although this is not a binder requirement.   You will note there is an icon which to access last week's homework if you need to see what we did at that time.  I will try very hard to keep to the posted assignment schedule, but there is always the occasional unanticipated situation. 

All of your work should be as thorough, thoughtful and neat as possible.  We will be moving very quickly, so get all your work in on time.  Unexcused late work will receive half credit, but must be turned in NLT 3 school days prior to the end of the first grading period (and no later than 3 school days prior to the start of mid-terms (or finals) for the second grading period or end-of-the-year).  

 If you have an excused absence, you have as many days as you were absent to make up the material   You are responsible for getting any assignments you missed at a time I designate.  If you are turning in work late because you have an excused absence, be sure to write ABSENT, and highlight the word at the top of each assignment.  Any work due to a field trip, sporting event, or preplanned absence must be turned in NLT the morning of the assignment or the day before or it will be considered late.

Here are a few situations if you get yourself in in terms of an absence:

  • If a student is present in school the day an assignment is due, even if they check out before their class, the assignment is expected to be turned in the day before, in my mailbox, front-office or to me in the morning UNLESS the student went home for medical reasons.  However, we have lots of scheduled field Trips, competitions, sporting events, etc and failure to properly prepare for your class absence, by your responsibility for completing the assigned work will result in following the same procedures for any due homework and credit earned.

  • If a student knows that they will be absent the day an assignment is due and it is a scheduled non-medical absence (i.e., vacation, competition, sporting event, etc), I expect that they will turn in the required assignment before they leave if it is known beforehand and/or on the web (Homework Site). Student can elect to turn in the day before too. Otherwise, we will follow the same procedures as any due homework.   

  • It is your responsibility to copy and/or print what you need from the web homework NLT Wednesday of each week as the web changes perhaps on Thursday evening.   Copy to flash drive, hard drive or annotate the web URL if it is the assignment.  Or, you may simply want to print the homework page, but before make sure you have the URLS. You can use a planner to write the assignments as we go over the coming week each first day back from either the weekend or holiday (if it is a Monday).  

  • Logistics:  all work turned in must be on lined, 3-hole, loose-leaf paper.  Number 2 pencil or dark ink pen only.  Why?  My corrections or comments will be in another color.  There are times a particular color may be exchanged.  Those times will be addressed beforehand.  Neatness and readability is critical.  It is your responsibility to HAVE THE RIGHT PAPER, RIGHT WRITING TOOLS and STAPLE any work which needs it.    Absolutely  No CHADS accepted unless the student is prepared for a 10% deduction.   Make sure your name, title of class, and class period is located on the top of the paper.  Page numbers on sheets requiring more than 1 sheet of paper.  One-inch margins all round.       Multiple sheets must be stapled (top left) before you come to class.  Failure to adhere to the policies will result in a 10% deduction.  Incomplete work will either result in a 20%, 40% or 80% deduction.  I make that determination based on the assignment.   Be careful trying to "slip in an assignment" as I frown on that practice.   Essays follow the MLA guidelines.  I like attention-to-details and generic or general comments unsubstantiated with evidence will receive low marks. 

  • OUTLINES:   Let me start off here by saying OUTLINES are not busy work.  Students are expected to have these completed in the format I described and have them available each day.  All OUTLINES must be completed by the date annotated on my WEB PAGE HOMEWORK.  I conduct NO-NOTICE checks.  Failure to have them out at the beginning of class results in a zero for that tasking.  Time is precious and I will not wait on a student socially distracted to pull out the work.  All OUTLINES for the particular material MUST be present on the desk ready-to-go at the second bell.  It helps for elaborate rehearsal to help students retain, recognize and recall information.  

Taking Notes

Taking notes is a required and independent activity for this course – these are to be done in class. Notes for each chapter will be stored in your notebook binder and at times, spot checked in class or asked to be turned in after class.  Notes will be important element for any curve to be applied on unit exams.

CRISS Strategies

Throughout the academic year, we will be utilizing activities employing CRISS Strategies developed to enhance comprehension, engage critical thinking, analysis and recitation.  Strategies include (but, not all inclusive) Socratic Seminar, Carousel Brainstorming, KWL, etc.

Case Study

There is ONE CASE STUDY this academic year.  You will receive instructions in class regarding them.

Reaction/Response Papers

 Reaction or response papers are usually requested by teachers so that you'll consider carefully what you think or feel about something you've read. The following guidelines are intended to be used for reacting to a reading although they could easily be used for reactions to films too. Read whatever you've been asked to respond to, and while reading, think about the following questions.

  • How do you feel about what you are reading?

  • What is your analysis?

  • How knowledgeable are you on the topic?

  • What would be the best solution?

Charts and Tables

Charts and Tables are evaluated on a regular basis.  Every student will be able to utilize charts and tables to interpret psychology.  Please do not skip them in your textbook or supplemental readings.

Read Arounds

“Read-Arounds” are one of the most valuable in-class activities we do approximately a couple of times this academic year. The procedure is fairly simple. Students will be assigned a free-response question inclass. These are graded as an FRQ.  However, the next day or so your teacher will hand out scoring guidelines following the standard scale. Students exchange essays/FRQs and score them.. Students will receive exceeded, met or did not meet guidelines for a grade.   This activity not only helps you to see the essays from an AP Reader’s perspective, it also helps them internalize the scoring guidelines.. Also, keep in mind this is an easy grade; and every year students say that peer assessment is among the most effective activities we do in the course.

Graphic Organizers

Graphic Organizers are visual representations of knowledge, concepts or ideas learned or comprehended from readings in the course.  Handouts are given (or created by the student) at the beginning of class.

Original Work

It is expected that all work submitted by each student will be his/her own work. In the event that an assignment has been specifically noted as a group project each student must productively contribute to the group‟s product. Any form of cheating (giving OR receiving any form of assistance not specifically authorized by the teacher) and any form of plagiarism (unauthorized and/or undocumented use, even in part, of another person‟s work, whether directly copied, quoted or paraphrased) will constitute a score of “1” being awarded for the tasking and entered on EDLINE for both students and parents to recognize the consequences of their actions.     Please reference the West Shore Honesty contract for further information on this topic.

Make-Up Work

 It is the responsibility of the student to contact the teacher regarding any assignments missed due to the student‟s absence from class. This should be done on the very next school day that the student is in class. School Board policy, as noted in the Student Handbook, states that if the absence is due to a school related activity it is the responsibility of the student to turn in the assignment PRIOR to the absence. If the missed assignment involves a quiz or a test the student must take the quiz or test in class on the next morning makeup day (all make up essays, 50-point quizzes, tests and exams).   if the student comes in late, the same policies apply if there is insufficient time to complete the tasking.  In any case, makeup work will not be the same test, but a different essay, test or unit exam.  If you have an excused absence, you have as many days as you were absent to make up the material   You are responsible for getting any assignments you missed at a time I designate.  If you are turning in work late because you have an excused absence, be sure to write ABSENT at the top, and highlight the word at the top of each assignment. 


Missing name, dates of assignment, class and period will have up to 10 percent deduction assigned to the grade.  The same applied to any assignment not turned in IAW MLA paper format guidelines, or for not following the teacher’s minor instructions and will have up to a 10 percent deduction assigned to the grade.  No incomplete or partial assignments will be accepted.  Major omissions of teacher instructions will not receive any credit.  You will be wiser to turn in the assignment late to receive ½ credit.  

Behavioral Expectations

All students are expected to:


1. adhere to all rules and regulations as outlined within the Student Handbook (attendance, behavior, restricted electronic/telecommunication devices, dress code, etc).

2. be in the classroom (or other designated area) and ready to work when the tardy bell starts to sound, otherwise the student will be counted as tardy.

3. take care of personal matters (drinks, restroom visits, personal grooming, socializing, etc) prior to arriving within the classroom.  You may visit the restroom, but following specific class procedures, but no one will be allowed out of the room the first and last 10 minutes of class. 

4. bring all necessary supplies (binders, homework, pens/pencils, paper, etc) to class each day; failure to have necessary items may result in lower class participation grade and/or detention.

5. pay attention to all directions and due dates that are given in class.

6. be respectful of all classmates and the instructor Treat others with respect at all times, be prepared to learn once entering the class, be on time, one person will speak at a time, and do not interrupt other students from learning.

 Failure to follow the listed expectations:

First and foremost - I do not anticipate ever reaching beyond any minor infractions by students.  However, please note that we must have an appropriate disciplinary ladder as follows: 

  •  1st Time:  Verbal Warning and/or private conference and/or 15-minute detention (8:00 am)

  •  2nd Time: Verbal Warning, parent notification and/or conference, and/or 30-minute detention (8:00 am) and/or 250 word essay and discussion with guidance

  •  3rd Time:  Parent notification and request for conference with parent and guidance, and/or 30-minute morning detention (8:00 am) and/or 500 word essay;

  •  4th Time:  Written referral to grade office/principal

  •  Severe Disruption: Student will be sent IMMEDIATELY to office/principal

 ***Issues of fairness:  These are my rights to a fully functioning classroom, but you too have rights, and among those is your right to speak with me regarding course work or class expectations.  I may not be able to speak with you regarding your concerns right when you wish, but I will be available outside of regular class time.

 Course Calendar (subject to revision)


COURSE CALENDAR 2013 - 2014 (SUBJECT TO REVISION)   Each UNIT  breaks down the topic, but this year we may mix it up.  Each UNIT is equal  in weight and 100% of the topics must be covered.   This is just a tentative schedule.

(hyperlink on the student to access the course calendar)


Course Texts and Readings:

  •  Text: Psychology for AP. David G Myers - New York City - Worth Publishers - 2010

  •  Various articles and handouts. Some other works consulted for handouts to accompany daily lessons and to produce homework assignments and FRQs are listed below and are referred to in abbreviated form throughout the syllabus.

  •  A variety of AP level textbooks and resources are also used in the course.

Final thoughts

Each of you has a lot to bring to this class, so be ready to share your area of expertise.  Doing so will enable you to have a great year in my class, but more importantly it will help you gain greater insight into the environment around us and ultimately lead to your expanded world view.

 Open Door Policy

Consider me one of your advocates here at West Shore.  I will do everything within my power to ensure your success in my class.  If you need to speak with me about anything I am here most time after 8:15, most lunches, and immediately after school.   Just say the word and we will set a time.  Good luck!








 This is an optional opportunity for those high school students who may desire to extend their experience in AP Psychology to a potential career opportunity in psychology.   THIS IS STRICTLY OPTIONAL, NOT REQUIRED FOR THE CLASS, AND COMES WITH A DISCOUNTED MEMBERSHIP FEE.  Only those seeking to go beyond and interested in a future career may be intererested.





   Hyperlink to the David Meyer's Psychology for AP Edition Online Site and register for online access to this valuable and free service.  When it asks you for your instructor's email please type in the following: ap_wsman@yahoo.com