2018 Summer Work for AP Biology
Welcome to AP Biology! I am very happy that you have decided to take this course and embark upon what I believe will be a challenging and rewarding educational journey. Below is an outline and brief introduction to the work that is required for this class over the summer. This is not intended to be “busy work.” By completing these relatively small tasks each week (i.e. NOT the week before you return to school), you will perform a lot of review of concepts you learned in earlier science classes, practice skills that we will be using throughout the year, discover resources that will help you throughout the course, and be better prepared and more confident to begin the school year. I want you to understand that I, like you, enjoy summer break, so find a good balance between work and play!
First Steps for the Summer:
- IMMEDIATELY: Sign up for AP Biology Google Classroom (code ejm7ga). To help you balance work and play over the summer, there will be periodic announcements on this Google Classroom telling you which chapter(s) of the book to read and any other work. It is important that you stay up to date on this, so that you do not get behind.
- BEFORE the end of this school year: Check out the textbook Principles of Life from my room (307). This summer, read chapters 1 and 2. We will occasionally use the textbook in class, but you will need to read it at home to clarify and reinforce concepts that you are learning about and you will have homework from it. I will also provide links to free electronic textbooks as additional resources.
- During the first week of summer break: To supplement the textbook, there are LOTS of AP Biology videos online on every topic. I will post links to a few good series on Google Classroom for you to preview - some are weird, some are funny, some are serious - choose whichever suits your style best and go to those throughout the summer and next year to review or clarify concepts.
AP Biology is a challenging field of study. Unlike some college courses, it is impossible to simply memorize the information or cram in some study the night before an exam – you must have enough mastery of each concept to be able to apply it in completely new and unexpected situations using scientific practices. A good percent of our class time will be spent doing hands-on laboratory investigations. This is a full-year course that is the equivalent of two semesters of an introductory college course in biology. Therefore I expect college level work habits from my students. The AP Biology exam will be held in the morning on Monday, May 13, 2019, therefore class time is very precious. We will use half of April reviewing for the exam. This leaves us with about 6 months, including breaks and holidays, to prepare for the AP Exam. It is imperative that we use our time as efficiently as possible.
Our learning will constantly be viewed in the context of the AP Science Practices: using representations and models, using math, asking questions, planning and implementing data collection strategies, analyzing data and evaluating evidence, working with scientific explanations and theories, and connecting knowledge across various concepts.
The major biology topics we will be covering this year are:
- Chemistry and energy of life
- Nucleic acids, proteins, & enzymes
- Cell structures and functions
- Cell signaling
- Energy pathways: Photosynthesis & Respiration
- Cell cycle & cell division
- Genes, chromosomes, inheritance
- DNA and gene expression
- Regulation of gene expression
- Mechanisms of evolution
- Using phylogenetic trees
- Bacteria, archaea, viruses
- Form & Function
- Nutrition and transport
- Growth, development, and reproduction
- Nervous system
- Endocrine system
- Immune system
- Distribution of ecosystems
- Interactions within and among species
- Global implications
I look forward to our year together!