AP Biology

                                   AP© ADVANCED PLACEMENT BIOLOGY
                                      Course Description and Expectations
                                                              2017-2018

 Teacher: Mary O’Connor                                              Office/Phone: 284-7100          Email: mary.oconnor@mps.k12.al.us                        Tutoring: Wednesday 7:55-8:25 AM                            Lab fee: $25                                                                  Tuesday &Thursday 3:35-4:05 PM

Course Description
AP© ADVANCED PLACEMENT BIOLOGY (220014) is a rigorous and demanding program of study equivalent to an introductory college course for biology majors. Content is covered in more depth, and greater expectations are placed on interpretation and analysis of information than in previous biology courses. In addition, statistical analysis of data and modeling of concepts will be expected. The AP© Biology curriculum places major emphasis on scientific inquiry and analytical thinking. Therefore, the course is structured to allow class time for labs and discussions  A significant amount of study, reading, and note taking must be completed outside of class in preparation for the in class inquiry based labs and discussions.

 The  AP© Biology curriculum encompasses 4 ‘Big Ideas’, with Essential Knowledge and  Process Skills that  support each one:
 Big Idea 1: Evolution – the process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life.
 Big Idea 2: Cellular Processes (Energy and Communication) – Biological systems utilize  free energy and  molecular building blocks to grow.
 Big Idea 3: Genetics and Information Transfer – Living systems store, retrieve, transmit,  and respond to  information essential to life processes.
 Big Idea 4: Interactions – Biological systems interact, and these systems and their  interactions possess  complex properties.

AP Exam College Credit: Colleges vary in what score they will accept for credit. Generally a student needs to score at least a 4 for credit, but some schools will accept a 3. Check with the schools you are applying to for details.

The AP Exam: Test Date: Monday, May 14, 2018 @ 8:00 a.m. More information will be provided later. Students who enroll in AP© classes at BrewTech are expected to take the AP© exam for those classes. The cost of each exam is approximately $93, and the students must incur the cost. Students who have taken the Advanced Placement national exams and have five (5) or fewer combined excused or unexcused absences, check-ins, tardies, and/or check-outs may be exempt from the final course exam when the student's average is at least a 75 (C) when the third and fourth quarter grades are averaged.

 Class Expectations:

  • Be prepared and ready to learn - in order to facilitate class discussions and reduce lecture time in favor of labs and knowledge enhancing activities, you must complete all required assignments. AP© assignments are not “busy work”; they are designed to help you learn difficult material.
  • Come to class! The work we will be doing during class cannot be replicated at home, labs in particular. You have committed to an advanced class and that requires your presence in the classroom. Missed labs cannot be made up and will receive a score of zero.
  • Study at home – the convention for college courses is 3 hours of independent study for each hour of class. In order to have productive class discussion you must review the material at home.
  • No whining! This is a college course. It will be challenging. It will require a significant amount of time outside of class.
  • You are expected to write in complete sentences. You are required to show all your work. You will need to write out procedures, data tables, and label graphs. You are expected to show a higher level of understanding on ALL of your assignments.

Class Policies:

1. Bags, purses, jackets, etc. will be properly stored in designated areas of the classroom.
2. Food and drink are prohibited in working science labs and we will follow the same policy.
3. Late work will be accepted. However, a deduction of 10% per day will be assessed on late assignments. No exceptions, no excuses. If you know you are going to be absent, let the teacher know ahead of time so arrangements can be made for turning in work.
4. Do not throw any class-work away. You will need it to review for quizzes, tests, and the AP exam.
5. Academic Integrity: Brewbaker Technology Magnet is an academic community dedicated to the achievement of intellectual growth. The faculty expects students to meet the highest possible standards of personal, ethical, and moral academic conduct. Cheating is unacceptable in any form. Cheating includes, but is not limited to: copying homework, copying lab analysis answers, plagiarizing written assignments, copying test answers, use of electronics to find test answers. The first time copying occurs, all people involved will receive a zero on the assignment and your parents/guardians will be notified. If it occurs again, you will be referred to the principal. Cheating DOES NOT help you learn.
6. Class may start with a data set, synthesis question or quiz. If you are late to class (excused or not), or if you have an unexcused absence you will receive a zero. In the case of an excused absence you must come to tutorials within 3 school days of your return to make up the work. Make up work for extended excused absences will be dealt with according to MPS policy
7. You are responsible for your lab station. Keep it clean and organized to make lab breakdown easier at the end of class. Lab groups will not be dismissed until their lab station is cleaned completely.
8. POSSESSION OF CELL PHONES OR TELECOMMUNICATION DEVICES. Cell phones are not to be used unless given specific permission. Cell phones should be placed in the designated location as you enter the room, and retrieved only with teacher permission, or when class is dismissed. If phones are not placed in the designated location, they will be confiscated and held until the end of the class period (1st offense), or turned in to the office (2nd & 3rd offense).  If a cell phone is confiscated for a 3rd time, an office referral will be written which may result in an out of school suspension for one day. Earbuds are not to be on the student unless they are being used for an assignment and permission has been given. If seen, they will also be confiscated and held until the end of class.
       
Grading:
Grades will be assigned according to MPS policy.                                                                                           (100-90 = A, 89-80 = B, 79-70 = C, 69-60 = D, 59 and below = F).

The grade will be broken down into the following categories:
65% - Tests, Major Labs, Projects         
35% - Quizzes, Minor Labs and Class-work

Material Requirements:
-3-ring binder (2-2.5 inch) with college ruled loose leaf paper (No spiral notebooks)
- 5 dividers for binder
- Black pens for lab, green pens for grading. 
- 1 ream of white copy paper
- 1 roll of paper towels
- 25$ Lab Fee for lab consumables and AP BIO EXAM prep book.

Labs
:
This course has $25 lab fee which will pay for lab supplies and an AP exam prep book. Labs will constitute at least 25% of the course work. The curriculum places major emphasis on inquiry based labs, which means you will design your own experimental procedures for a significant number of labs. In order to have as authentic a lab experience as possible, you will keep a lab notebook to record procedures and observations during labs. All labs will be done in black pen. If you make a mistake, cross out (do not scribble out) the information and rewrite. In the scientific world, lab notebooks are considered legal documents and all information must be accessible. Formal lab write ups will be completed for a number of the labs. You will turn in the formal write up, but keep your lab notebook. Lab notebooks will be reviewed for a grade each semester.  

Homework:
Homework should be completed every night. Usually it will consist of reading assignments, viewing lectures (Kahn Academy, Bozeman biology), taking notes, finishing labs. Even if a formal assignment is not given, you are expected to spend time reviewing content each night. AP© Biology is a challenging class and can’t be just ‘picked up’ during class time. In order to be successful in AP Biology, you MUST be willing and committed to invest a significant amount of time outside of class.

Tests/quizzes:
We will have unit exams at the end of each unit (larger units may be split up into 2 smaller exams) which will consist of multiple choice, grid-in questions and free response questions. Exams are a large part of your grade (similar to a college course) and it is important that you prepare for them. Graded quizzes will be given often to assess understanding. All exams, tests and quizzes will be timed in order to acclimate you to the AP testing process. Keeping current with lessons throughout the semester will help with quiz, test, and exam preparation. 

Absences:
AP© courses are fast paced and cover a significant amount of content each day. It is extremely important that you attend class every day. If you are ill, check the website, call a friend, or email Mrs. O’Connor. You are still responsible for the content covered in class on the day(s) of your absence. As previously mentioned, missed labs cannot be made up.

 Participation:
Always be prepared for class so you can fully participate. The goal this year is to promote more discussion and small group analysis of information, more lab time, and less lecture time. For this to work, you must be committed to completing the work required outside of class, and to actively participating during class time.

Course Calendar:
Students should check the calendar on the BrewTech website weekly for assignment and project due dates, quiz and test dates, as well as other valuable course and school informatio
n.