Maria Vita
AP* Psychology
AP Seminars Silicon Valley 2023
New and experienced teachers are welcome to this workshop. A strong emphasis will be placed on the College Board’s structure and resources, including those available in AP Classroom. For each course unit, participants will be provided with effective teaching strategies, demonstrations, labs, retrieval practice, and mnemonics for difficult topics. The scientific practices of content application, research methods and design, and data analysis are themes that run throughout the scope and sequence of the course. Participants will gain confidence in applying these practices. Many teachers certified in Social Studies feel the content of this course is daunting; however, new and experienced participants will be given strategies that help even the most reticent student (and teacher) feel enthusiastic and motivated to learn. Although the new Course and Exam Description (CED) will not be authorized until the 2024-25 school year, we will briefly discuss possible changes and what you can do now to prepare. Participants will develop a strong understanding of how the free-response questions are graded analyzing examples from the most recently released exam. Participants will leave this interactive workshop with a plethora of resources that encourage student use of scientific practices and the application of psychological science to relevant situations.

Note: Since changes the College Board proposed in draft form have not been finalized, the workshop will focus on the current Course and Exam Description (CED).

Items you will need for the week: 
• A laptop computer or tablet
• If possible, a copy of your school's academic calendar
• If possible, a copy of the textbook you will be using and any supplemental materials
• If possible, please consider bringing a favorite lesson, review, assessment, or demonstration you have found useful in the classroom, even if the idea was created for a different subject that you are willing to share. The exchange of ideas is key to continued growth in the field.
Day 1: Welcome!
● Introductions - What resources do you LOVE and can’t live without?
● Goal setting: What topics/concerns do we want to make sure we discuss?
Big CED topic: What is AP Psychology? Equity/Access
● Skills: Concept Understanding; Data Analysis; Scientific Investigation
● Structuring your AP Psychology Course. Tour of the CED & planning sheets.
● Sharing our organization systems, discussing advantages and disadvantages of different examples
● Choosing a textbook
● AP Course Audit
● First day activities
Psychology Content: Scientific Foundations of Psychology
● Discussion of terms, concepts, activities, teaching methods, and student projects.
Day 2:
Revisit Day 1 - Questions?
Big CED Topic: The AP Psychology Exam - the Multiple Choice
● 2022 Exam performance
● How is the AP exam designed?

Psychology Content: Scientific Foundations of Psychology (Research methods); Biological Bases of Behavior, Sensation & Perception
● Discussion of terms, concepts, activities, teaching methods, and student projects.

Day 3:
Revisit Day 2 - Questions?
● Big CED Topic: The Free Response Questions
● Purpose of the free-response questions
● History of the free-response questions, and what we might expect in the future
● AP Reading Simulation
● Grading the free-response answers with a rubric
● How should we prepare our students to answer free-response questions?
Psychology Content: Learning & Cognition
● Discussion of terms, concepts, activities, teaching methods, and student projects.
Day 4:
Revisit Day 3 - Questions?
Big CED Topic: AP Classroom - What is it, and how can we use it?

Psychology Content: Development; Mot/Emo/Personality; Clinical; Social
● Discussion of terms, concepts, activities, teaching methods, and student projects.
Maria Vita, MA, teaches AP Psychology at Penn Manor High School in Millersville, Pennsylvania. She started the program at her high school in 2008-2009 and has expanded it, requiring additional staff. For the past 20 years, she has maintained a laboratory where students have the opportunity to ethically replicate research by B.F. Skinner using live rodents. She has served as a reader for the AP Psychology exam since 2011 and has also held positions of Table Leader and Question Leader. In 2013-14, she served on the American Psychological Association’s TOPSS committee as member-at-large and she was the TOPSS Committee chair in 2018. She currently serves on the College Board’s Test Development Committee. She earned her BA in History and Secondary Education at Messiah University and an MA in School Counseling from Millersville University. She has co-presented at various workshops including the Advanced Placement Annual Conference and the National Council for the Social Studies. Maria was honored to be the recipient of the APA TOPSS Excellence in Teaching Award in 2012, a finalist for the Pennsylvania State Teacher of the Year in 2019, and the recipient of the Mary Margaret Moffett Memorial Teaching Award from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology in 2023.