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AP Biology

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Mary Ann Ng Mary Ann Ng 3385 Points

How do your AP Bio classes look like ( from an instructional planning perspective)? This is my first year of teaching AP Bio. School started 2 weeks ago for us. I have been adjusting instruction according to the output at the end of class, class assessments and student feedback. There's been a lot of adjusting going on --it feels like being a first year teacher again without the classroom management issues. Based on these two weeks, this is going to be how my 2hr block will look like next week. 1.DO NOW ( 10 min )-> wherein they answer an AP test question 2.Talking about the Do Now question (5 min) 3.Direct Instruction (15-25 minutes)-- I did not want to do this, but the students requested that I do. I am going to focus on important and difficult-to-understand concepts. 4.Test ( 15-25 min)--This one they also suggested the time limit. 5. Inquiry for the rest of the period-> could be lab, modeling,etc. 6. Reflection/debrief I will also include pair share/class discussions throughout the lesson. I haven't really been debriefing in my classes, this is something I'd like to work on this year. Overall, I'm overwhelmed and stressed due to AP Bio planning. But I feel a bit better about the course when I got to talk at length with some students. We talked about our respective concerns about the course and came up with action plans. I know there is an AP Bio community and listserv on the college board website. This is one group I need to join, but I'm a bit confused as to where and how exactly do I join this community.

Cris DeWolf Cris DeWolf 11965 Points

Hello Mary Ann- I do not have much to say about how my class looks - it has been 4 years since we last tried to do an AP Biology course in my district. We just can't generate sufficient student interest (or willingness to take what is perceived to be a difficult course). But here is a link to the community website: https://apcommunity.collegeboard.org/web/apbiology

Mary Ann Ng Mary Ann Ng 3385 Points

Thanks for the link Chris. Yes, I encountered the same issues trying to get students for at least one class. Since this is my first year of teaching AP Bio, I am also constantly trying to figure out what is the right balance between rigor and hitting students' current capabilities; besides coming with concrete lesson plans, materials, labs.

Ruth Hutson Ruth Hutson 63625 Points

Mary Ann,

Another place you might look is Kim Foglia's AP Biology website found here. It may help with your lesson planning. Take some time to check out her laboratory section...she has some very creative ideas.

As far as your design of your class, it is really important to allow your students time to view previous questions and write about them (which you have done!). It has been several years since I taught AP Biology. However, I remember one of the skills with which my students had the most difficulty was how to support a scientific argument with evidence.

Mary Ann Ng Mary Ann Ng 3385 Points

Thanks Ruth. Yes, I noticed that about my students. I have been incorporating more and more inquiry activities and try to get them to ask themselves how they know what they know and to support their statements with evidence.

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