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Advanced Placement Biology Syllabus

Teacher:
Michele Weston
michele.weston59@gmail.com
Classroom phone number: xxx-xxx-xxxx
Rationale
Advanced placement (AP) Biology is a course designed by Collegeboard with the opportunity for
earning college credit at the end of the year. Whether the student takes the AP exam at the end of the
year or not, an AP class is a valuable way to prepare for the rigors of college. In addition to preparing
students for the science content encountered in college, AP Biology offers opportunities for students to
use the skills and practices that scientists use. In doing so, students get to design investigations that
answer questions that are interesting and meaningful to them.
Overview
The AP Biology curriculum highlights four big ideas that come up over and over throughout
the year. The big ideas reach across scales from molecular, to organismal, to global, and at any given
time, one or more of the big ideas will have explanatory power for the topic we are covering. The four
big ideas are:
1) The process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life
2) Biological systems utilize free energy and molecular building blocks to grow, to reproduce, and to
maintain dynamic homeostasis
3) Living systems store, retrieve, transmit, and respond to information essential to life processes
4) Biological systems interact, and these systems and their interactions possess complex properties
The AP Biology curriculum is also tied together through the scientific practices (SPs) that
students engage in throughout the year. These SPs are skills that students will need to master in order
to authentically take part on the process of science. They include practices necessary for building
knowledge and using knowledge to answer questions and make explanations. The scientific practices
are:
1) The student can use representations and models to communicate scientific phenomena and solve
scientific problems.
2) The student can use mathematics appropriately.
3) The student can engage in scientific questioning to extend thinking or to guide investigations within
the context of the AP course.
4) The student can plan and implement data collection strategies appropriate to a particular scientific
question.
5) The student can perform data analysis and evaluation of evidence.
6) The student can work with scientific explanations and theories.
7) The student is able to connect and relate knowledge across various scales, concepts and
representations in and across domains.

Expectations
Participation
Most days in class will be spent on in-class activities, and full participation is required. Work in
class will help students engage with the material and prepare for assessments. Participation during class
discussion is also a requirement for this course. Class discussion will help us all to deepen our
understanding of the content, and to practice communicating and supporting our ideas.
Classroom Respect
Respect is a vital part of a successful classroom. That means treating each other how you would
like to be treated, and avoiding any rude or unproductive communication. In particular, we want to be
sure that we are respectful of other during class discussion. Respectful discussion means you listen to
each others ideas openly, and respond as a critical friend, or someone who has the persons best
interests in mind. It is okay, and even expected, to disagree with each other in class, but it is not okay to
treat each other poorly as a result.
Academic Honesty
Students are strongly cautioned not to copy any text verbatim on class quizzes, tests, reports,
projects, or other class assignments without using appropriate quotations and source citations. This is
includes text found online or from each other. Incidents of plagiarism are taken very seriously and will
be pursued.
Grading
Category
Homework
In-class assignments
Labs
Tests
Quizes

% of Grade
20
20
25
25
10

Schedule of Topics

Timeline

Topics

AP Standards

Sep. 1-5

Diversity & populations

LO 4.11 - 4.13
SP 1.4, 4.1, 2.2, &
6.4

Sep. 8-19

Evolutionary theory

LO 1.5, 1.9
SP 5.3, 7.1

Sep. 22-Oct. 2

Origin of Life & Biochemistry

LO 1.27-1.32, 2.12.3, 2.5. 2.8


SP 6.1-6.5, 4.1,
1.2, 3.3, 4.4

Oct. 5 - Oct. 9

Energy, matter, and the biosphere

LO 2.1-2.4, 2.9
SP 1.4, 3.1, 6.2

Oct. 12-23

Reactions and Enzymes

LO 2.2-2.3
SP 2.1, 6.4, 7.1

Oct. 26-30

Origin of cells and cell structure

LO 1.15, 2.10-13
SP 7.2, 1.4, 3.1,
1.1, 7.1, 6.2

Nov. 2-13

Photosynthesis and cellular respiration

LO 2.4-5
SP 1.4, 3.1, 6.2

Nov. 16-20

Central dogma, DNA, and chromosomes

LO 3.1-3.2
SP 6.5, 4.1

Nov. 23-27

The Cell Cycle

LO 3.3, 3.7-8
SP 1.2, 6.4

Gene expression, regulation, and technology

LO 3.4-6
SP 1.2, 6.4

Dec. 14 - 18

Meiosis and reproduction

LO 3.9-11
SP 6.2, 7.1, 5.3

Jan. 4 -8

Growth and development

LO 2.31-32
SP 7.2, 1.4

Inheritance Patterns and Nonmendelian genetics

LO 3.12, 3.14-17
SP 1.1, 7.2, 2.2,
1.2, 6.3, 6.5

Nov. 30 Dec.
11

Jan. 11-22

Jan. 25-Feb. 12

Feb. 15-26

Feb. 29 - March
4

Population genetics, microevolution, and speciation

LO 4.25-26
SP 6.1, 6.4

Biodiversity and phylogenetics

LO 1.9-1.13, 1.1719
SP 5.3, 5.2, 4.2,
7.1, 1.1-2, 3.1
LO 2.31-2.34
SP 7.2, 1.4, 6.1,
7.1

Cell to cell communication

March 7 - 18

Multicellular organization, nutrition, and transport

LO 2.31-2.34
SP 7.2, 1.4, 6.1,
7.1

March 21
April 1

Responding to the environment

LO 3.43-50
SP 6.2, 7.1, 1.1-2

April 4-15

Defense systems

LO 2.29-30
SP 1.1-2

April 18-29

Community structure and species interactions

LO 4.11-4.13
SP 1.4, 4.1, 2.2,
6.4