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  • MS = Middle School
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SCB612: APBio+ (2014-2015)

CURRICULUM PROGRAM: Advanced Placement
CALENDAR YEAR: 2014-2015
SUGGESTED PREPARATION: Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Algebra I, Algebra I Lab

About the Program:
AP Biology provides an understanding of the unifying themes and fundamental concepts and principles of biology with an emphasis on inquiry and critical thinking skills including problem solving, mathematical reasoning, and experimental investigations. Technology including graphing calculators, probe ware, graphing and data analysis software, and biological apparatus is used throughout this course. Though our system has an open enrollment policy, students should understand that this course is designed to be a second year biology course, and the equivalent of a two-semester long introductory, college level biology course. The course requires a working knowledge of biology, and chemistry. The breadth, pace and depth of material covered exceeds the standard high school Biology course, as does the college-level textbook, laboratory work, and time and effort required of students. This course provides the biology foundations for college majors in biology. Students are expected to take the AP Biology Exam at the end of this course.

Laboratory Requirement: Students who take this course spend a minimum of 30% of their time engaged in hands-on laboratory exercises

Major Concepts/Content: AP Biology is a college-level course which differs from a high school Biology course in terms of depth of coverage, the type of laboratory work and time commitments for study. Course content is organized into four Big Ideas which encompass the core scientific principles, theories and processes governing living organisms and biological systems. These Big Ideas are: Big Idea 1: The process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life. Big Idea 2: Biological systems utilize free energy and molecular building blocks to grow, to reproduce and to maintain dynamic homeostasis. Big Idea 3: Living systems store, retrieve, transmit and respond to information essential to life processes. Big Idea 4: Biological systems interact, and these systems and their interactions possess complex properties.

Major Instructional Activities: AP science revisions focus on seven overarching practices that capture important aspects of the work of scientists. Science practices describe the knowledge and skills that students should learn and demonstrate to reach a goal or complete a learning activity. • Science Practice 1: The student can use representations and models to communicate scientific phenomena and solve scientific problems. • Science Practice 2: The student can use mathematics appropriately. • Science Practice 3: The student can engage in scientific questioning to extend thinking or to guide investigations within the context of the AP course. • Science Practice 4: The student can plan and implement data collection strategies in relation to a particular scientific question. Note: Data can be collected from many different sources, e.g., investigations, scientific observations, the findings of others, historic reconstruction and/or archived data. • Science Practice 5: The student can perform data analysis and evaluation of evidence. • Science Practice 6: The student can work with scientific explanations and theories. • Science Practice 7: The student is able to connect and relate knowledge across various scales, concepts, and representations in and across domains. AP science instruction incorporates any teaching method that encourages students to construct and/or discover knowledge with an understanding of how scientists study the natural world. Teaching using the seven science practices expands beyond lab investigations and field experiments to include classroom experiences, such as scientific model development and revision and peer-to-peer critique of explanations. The approach to instruction may vary for investigations, field experiments, and classroom experiences, depending on the science practices and content being developed, the amount of necessary content or skills scaffolding, the extent of teacher involvement to support that scaffolding, and student readiness.

Major Evaluative Techniques: The AP Biology curriculum provides frequent student-directed opportunities to demonstrate understanding of the underlying content. This includes inquiry-based lab experiences where students design experiments, collect data, apply mathematical routines and methods, and refine testable explanations and predictions. At least two investigations should be conducted per Big Idea. These investigations may take place in the laboratory, during field studies, or in a virtual environment.

Course Objectives: To develop a conceptual understanding of the major themes of modern biology (evolution, energy transfer, continuity and change, structure and function, regulation, and interdependence) as a vehicle to investigate the concepts, principles, and topics of biology. To develop and apply science practices which enable students to establish lines of evidence and use them to develop and refine testable explanations and predictions of natural phenomena. To develop skills in communication, teamwork, critical thinking and commitment to lifelong learning. To apply an understanding of biological knowledge and scientific methodology to environmental and social issues.

Course Notes: Weighted - Must Take AP Exam (+ indicated Weighted)