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Step 1: Read “Rubrics and Writing: Demystifying Essays in AP Psychology” by Amy Fineburg Step 2: AP Psychology Essay Grades: Essay 1:  Student YY: o For this essay, I scored it a 10/10. From going through each point of criteria, I thought the student met each point well. They included at least one portion of every criteria. o 1A: 1 point-mentioned start eating/stop eating o 2A: 1 point-included brain function-lateral medial nucleus o 3AB: 1 point-stated sympathetic nervous system and included fight or flight response o 4C: 1 point-mentions that the parasympathetic nervous system returns the body back to normal o 5: 1 point-mentions “opponent-color processing theory” o 6B: 1 point-explains color pairing o 7B: 1 point-mentions that drugs cause a response o 8B: 1 point-mentions the opposite response to drug o 9A: 1 point-mentions action potential o 10A: 1 point-explains refractory period Student XX: o For this essay, I scored it a 2/10. The student mentioned how the parasympathetic nervous system counteracts the sympathetic nervous system and also mentions the action potentials. They also mention many of the other topics, but do not explain according to the criteria. Most of the time the student was heading in the right direction but did not explain enough to earn the points. o 4B: 1 point-mentions the counteraction of the sympathetic nervous system to the parasympathetic nervous system o 9A: 1 point-mentions action potential Student ZZ: o For this essay, I scored it a 3/10. The student lost many points for only stating topics that the scoring guide said not to award points for. They seemed to be on the surface level of their knowledge of the topics, but did not go deep enough to earn the points. o 5-1 point- mentions opposite process theory o 7B-1 point- mentions response o 8B-1 point- mentions euphoria

Essay 2:

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Student YY: o For this essay, I scored it a 9/10. The student clearly defined the terms and gave correct examples. o 1- mentions everything revolving around the child o 2-example-only Jessie has an interest in the fire station o 3-provides correct definition o 4-example-learning to slide down the fire pole from observing o 5-provides correct definition o 6-example- “go-ed” o 7-correct definition o 8-example-confusing details of lunch o 9-correction definition o 10-example of Dalmatian Student XX: o For this essay, I scored it a 4/10. The student restated many of the definitions from the prompt or gave incorrect definitions. However, for the restatements, they provided good examples, which is where they earned points. The student provided their responses by using bullet points to separate each term instead of writing out in essay format. o 1-correct definition o 4-correct example o 7-correct definition o 8-correct example Student ZZ: o For this essay, I scored it a 1/10. The student did not give definitions and only provided a correct example for point 3, observational learning. The student did not write their response in essay format. Instead, they simply listed each concept and jotted ideas down without full sentences. o 3-correct definition

Step 3: Reflection on Fineburg article: Fineburg provides steps for teaching students how to write successful essays on the AP Psychology test. She suggests that teachers assign students to write two essay prompts during a

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50-minute time period, which I think is excellent practice. Students need to correctly prepare for the time constraints they will have when they are taking the test. They will need to split their time wisely between the two essays, with the ability to think, craft, and execute their responses. Asking students to identify the verbs is a helpful way to start. Knowing what the examiners will want from their essays will help steer the students in the right direction. I also agree with the hints for students to use separate paragraph for each concept, and to skip the lengthy introductions. The essays I read were scored better when they directly answered the questions and it was easy to score them when each point was in its own paragraph. No points are awarded for introductions, since the essays are not scored for formatting.

Step 4: Reflection on scoring process: As a teacher, knowing the rubric will help with both scoring their essays and knowing what to teach them. On our own tests, we can properly word questions and essay prompts to help students familiarize themselves with what will be on the test. The students should be provided with the rubrics so they know what is expected of them. Then, grading their exams and essays accordingly will emphasize those expectations. It may also be useful for the class to peer edit each other’s essays to become even more familiar with the topics, rubrics, and grading scales. To help prepare my own students, I plan to include weekly essay practice in the curriculum. Perhaps choosing a day in which we dedicate to essay practice every week. At first, we will explore the prompts as a class, reading through samples, and dissecting elements of the prompt, such as Fineburgs idea of focusing on the verbs used. This will teach students what to expect from the prompts, as well as what they should be looking for in them. Then we would move to how to organize their thoughts, practicing outlines and drafts. After students learn how

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to format and write essays, we will move to grading each others, in order to become familiar with the rubric and what correct responds looks like.