A.P. Biology is a college level biology course. You will be expected to master an amount of material considered by the College Board to be the standard first year curriculum in colleges and universities in the United States. To that end my goal is to help you attain a comprehensive understanding of the biological sciences. Students who so desire should be able to pass the AP Biology exam in May.
The course will consist of lectures, in-class activities, and laboratory experiments. The course will be paced so that the presentation of new material will be finished at least three weeks before the AP Exam in May. The final exam for the course will be given a week before the AP exam so students will have time to adequately prepare for the AP exam. The last month of class will be devoted to a unit on neuroscience, no tests will be given for this unit, students will be graded on a class presentation.
Since this is a college level course examinations will be emphasized. This will also facilitate preparation for the AP exam which can be taken in May.
The percentage breakdown is as follows:
10%: Homework, class activities
5%: Class participation, punctuality, attendance, note taking, etc.
The grade will be based on a running accumulation of grades throughout the semester and will be based roughly on the percentages listed above.
Percentages are as follows:
A: 90% and above
F: Less than 50%
All exams and quizzes will be “curved” with an average class grade of 85%. Labs, homework, notebooks, class participation, etc. will not be “curved”.
Since this is an AP class I expect professional behavior and discourage turning in late work. However I realize that many of you get really busy, especially those taking other AP courses. As a way to balance this and yet be fair to those who strive to get their work in on time late work will be accepted but penalized as follows: one day late, 20% off the grade you would have received otherwise; two days late, 30% off. No work will be accepted after two days.
If you are absent you will be given as many days as you were absent to make-up the work you missed once you have returned. In the event of extenuating circumstances if you talk to me before your make-up days have elapsed you may be given an extension. If the extension is granted it must be submitted in writing and signed by me with the agreed upon due date. The late work policy will apply to any make-up work that is not turned in according to these rules.
Cell phones are not to be used in class (before or after class too- while you are in my room). Please keep them in your back packs at all times (this includes before class and after class). Consequences of cell phone use are as follows:
First infraction: Cell phone is taken away and returned during tutorial of the same day.
Second infraction: Cell phone will go to “cell phone jail,” for one week. Parents will be contacted.
Third infraction: Cell phone will go to “cell phone jail,” for the remainder of the semester. Parents will be contacted. Student will be given Saturday school.
Forth infraction: Referral is given, parents contacted again, cell phone will go to “cell phone jail,” for the remainder of the school year.
One and Only Rule
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
I am excited about this course and am looking forward to making it the best possible experience for everyone. My desire, first and foremost, is to give you an appreciation for the study of life in all its different manifestations. I also hope to challenge and inspire you academically. Let's have a great year together.
Here are several quotes, from three of my heroes, which I would like you to think about and take to heart as you begin this course in AP Biology.
"To a person uninstructed in natural history, his country or seaside stroll is a walk through a gallery filled with wonderful works of art, nine-tenths of which have their faces turned to the wall."
Thomas Huxley (a.k.a. "Darwin's Bulldog")
"Be excellent to each other."
Bill and Ted