Gentry

Welcome to AP Biology!



Course Overview
The field of biology grows and changes almost daily as technology and communication allow for constant revision and discovery. Given the magnitude of information that continues to build, we need to contextually manage this information for better understanding and application. The Big Ideas found within the AP Biology course description serve as a foundation from which this AP class was built. As you learn the big ideas (i.e. evolution, bioenergetics, ecology, etc.), and connect them to each other within the course framework you will have the a solid foundation for understanding biology. The addition of inquiry in both laboratory investigations and student-centered activities will provide you with science practices that will allow you to be both scientifically literate and capable of conducting research.


Nature of the Class
Students need to complete all readings and assignments ON TIME. This ensures that when you come to class you can take part in class discussions as well as be prepared for planned activities, labs, and reviews. While lecture is a part of any college prep course, students need to become self learners. The only way to do this is to read the text and have questions written down that may be causing you confusion. There are many activities and simulations that the we will do in class to enhance the topics, so it is critical that you stay on top of things.


Each unit typically consists of 3-5 chapters of material. Throughout a unit, quizzes will be given to assess knowledge as we go and a unit test will be taken at its conclusion. Additionally, we will complete “hands-on” activities and inquiry-based labs that will be assessed both individually and on quizzes/tests.


Throughout the year students will prepare for the AP Exam with a variety of free response and practice test questions. While we will try to dedicate as much time as possible in class to these things, it is critical that you also prepare on your own.


Why AP Bio?
You will get great value out of taking this class if you are willing to work hard. You will experience what it is like to learn at a higher level and you will end being a better thinker than when you began. You will be pushed, and there will be times where you will struggle and feel frustration, especially in the early stages. However, once you get a system down for learning the material you will overcome and find success. In AP Bio you will learn what is expected of you in a tough class. This will help you more in the long run than receiving a higher grade in an easier class, I guarantee it. Keep in mind: this program has been very successful since its inception. You are now a part of the future successes.
In May you will have the opportunity to take the AP Biology exam and earn possible credit at your future university (up to 8 credits). Over the years, the vast majority of students have done this. But this isn’t just about the test...it’s about the experience. So always remember - this is a year long marathon, not a sprint.



Course Outline
The course is designed around the four big ideas in AP biology. This is an outline of what will be covered this year, but it is simply an outline. Each section will be broken down into greater detail.

Unit I: Intro to AP Bio and Biochemistry
Unit 2: Cells
Unit 3:Cell Processes
Unit 4: Homeostasis & Cell Signaling
Unit 5: Evolution and Phylogeny
Unit 6: Molecular Genetics
Unit 7: Mendelian Genetics
Unit 8: Biotechnology
Unit 9: Ecology



How to Study
The toughest part of this course is retaining large amounts of material for each chapter quiz and test. Therefore you need to study on a DAILY basis-if not, the class can become very overwhelming. When it becomes overwhelming, students displace their frustrations and begin to “hate” science, which is the last thing we want.


Some tips...
  1. Time management is tough for some students. Make sure you are dedicating enough time to your class(es).
  2. Look at your study habits: are you reading to just “get it done”, or are you reading for comprehension?
  3. Write down questions as you have as they come up and then bring them to class. This can be VERY helpful.
  4. If it is an option, purchase a cheap, used textbook on Amazon that you can write all over. Highlight, make notes, draw pictures, use post-its...anything to help you understand.
  5. Consider using an AP Biology review book. It should NOT be your sole tool for studying, but many have found it to be a helpful addition.
  6. Study with someone who does well in the class. The best way to understand something is to teach it to another person.
  7. Each student has access to the Campbell textbook website-USE IT! It has:
  8. practice test questions
  9. animations that teach difficult concepts
  10. investigations that reinforce an “inquiry” approach to science.
  11. MP3 tutor – this audio/visual presentation takes students through the more difficult topics in each chapter.


Docs


Links
AP Exam
Big Ideas
Bozeman Science Videos
How to Write a Scientific Lab Report


Email Mrs Gentry