Welcome to AP Biology Class of Spring 2016

Advance Placement Biology Course

A. Introduction:
The course goal is to prepare each student for the A.P. Exam and hopefully earn a college credit. The goal is to open student’s eyes and interests to important information, new techniques that will make you curious with the study of the world around you, and understand the relevance Biology has in your life. Throughout this class, you will develop analytical skills, be introduced to new laboratory techniques, and refine your written communication. The AP Biology Curriculum is framed around four big ideas:
1. The process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life.

2. Biological systems utilize energy and molecular building blocks to grow, reproduce, and maintain homeostasis.

3. Living systems retrieve, transmit, and respond to information essential to life processes.

4. Biological systems interact, and these interactions possess complex properties.

These four big ideas will be tied up every single day in throughout the entire year. Please be prepared to work harder than you ever have before in this class, and hope to develop a passion for the subject matter as well as discover a real world connection. You are expected to come to class prepared each day (with reading and any daily work done before arrival) so you can be actively involved in classroom discussion.

B. Course Description and Prerequisites:
The Advanced Placement Biology course is designed to be the equivalent of a College Introductory Biology Course taken by science majors during their first year. A college biology course differs significantly from the usual high school course in respect to the textbook used, the range and depths of topics covered, the laboratory work done by students, and the time and effort required. Again, each night you need to read the material which will be discussed in class the next day. Without this preparatory work, you will be unable to participate in class discussion which is essential to developing a deep conceptual connection with the material. In addition, if you have difficulty when reading about specific topics, you may want to utilize “youtube.com” to find an educational video clip to help with understanding.
Students in class need to have taken Biology and Chemistry. Anatomy is also recommended.

C. Grading Scale
Since the purpose of the AP Biology course is to prepare for the national exam, calculation of grades will be predominantly on exam performance. Your grade will be a composite of the following areas and percentages:

Grading System:
Tests                                                    =  60%
Laboratory Experiment s & Write Ups = 20%
Homework                                           = 10%
Project s & Presentations                    =10%

Letter grades will be as follows:
90-100  = A
80-89    = B
70-79    = C
60-69    = D
Below 60 is failing

D. Text book:
Biology, Peter Raven. 8th Ed.

E. Missed Classes
• You are expected to make up all missed homework and tests as soon as possible.
• If you have a pre-planned absence you are expected to notify me ahead of time. If a test or laboratory is missed, you may have to take it before leaving.

Important Websites:
1. www.collegeboard.org
2. www.ravenbiology.com
3. Wuerthapbiology.wikispaces.com
4. www.explorebiology.com
5. www.biologyjunction.com
6. www.phschool.com/science/biology_place/labbench/
7. youtube