AP Biology Course Information
- Welcome to the Advanced Placement Biology at Ridgefield High School. A.P. Biology is an intensive, in-depth study of biological principles. The course is comparable to a first-year college biology course, and the texts and materials used are those that are commonly employed in colleges and universities throughout the country.
- Class time is devoted to lecture and discussion as well as laboratory work. In addition, much outside reading and independent study is required. The meeting pattern of this course includes a lab period.
- All students enrolled in the course will take the standardized AP exam in May. The exam, itself, will cost each student approximately $91.00. Based on test scores, students may be eligible for advanced placement and/or college credits at their respective colleges. The test will be offered once on May 9, 2016.
- Chemistry and recommendation of previous science teacher.
- Mr. Brandon Rainbeau
- Room #: G328
- Email: [email protected] /* Email or Schoology messaging is best for quick communication**
- Biology, AP Edition, 8th Edition by Campbell and Reece. Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008.
- Book Companion Website
Websites Used in Class:
- A three-ring binder for notes, homework, and handouts.
- Plenty of lined paper – there will be copious notes.
- A folder kept in class to save lab assignments.
- Blue or black ink pens, red pens, and #2 pencils.
- 90.0 - 100% A
- 80.0 – 89.9% B
- 70.0 - 79.9% C
- 60.0 – 69.9% D
- ≤59.9% F
15%: Homework & Classwork
- Students are expected to come to class organized and on time. Students will earn points for having their binders out and prepared at the beginning of class as well as earn points for completing the warm-up and review exercises – these are basically free points and will help your grade a great deal if you are consistent.
- You will receive nightly homework, the extent of which depends on how readily we are moving through the material at hand. There will be a good deal of reading in this class – if you want to succeed, you must complete all of it.
35%: Labs & Projects
- Your labs will be graded not only on the work that you do but also your behavior during the course of the exercise. Because of the nature of this course, we will be doing a lot of hands on and group work; the students’ grade depends on them being able to complete this work in a mature manner.
- Throughout the year, students will be assigned projects such as papers, posters and presentations. Projects should be handed in promptly at their due date.
50%: Quizzes & Tests
- As a way to assess your progress in this course, quizzes and tests will be given regularly throughout the year. These assessments will usually be announced, however; I reserve the right to give pop-quizzes, so make sure you’re prepared.
- At the end of the first semester, students will be given a final exam. The exam will cover all of the material given up to that point and will be worth 10% of your final grade. A second semester final exam will be given before the AP test is taken in May.
Make-up Work & Absences:
- Check Schoology to see what work you missed. Each of you is responsible for keeping up with your own make-up work and missed material.
- If you miss a test or quiz, you will need to make up that test during class time upon your return. Test will be taken digitally, using Schoology. Feedback, except for short response and essay questions, will be available immediately upon test completion.
- Daily, punctual attendance is extremely important to your success in this course.
- Make-up labs are usually not offered due to the nature of perishable lab materials and time requirements to set-up and break-down the labs.
Classwork/Late Work Policies:
- Unexcused absences and resulting late work will result in a 10% per day late penalty per assignment.
Classroom Rules and Safety:
- Safety first. Students will follow all safety rules as defined in the safety contract provided the first week of classes. Zero points will be earned for missed labs due to unsafe practices. Ask questions if you don’t know so you can learn proper techniques.
- No food, this is a science laboratory classroom.
- No makeup in the classroom.
- No profanity in the classroom.
- High integrity and academic honesty is expected. Students should not do anything that would bring their integrity into question. All assessments (homework, labs, quizzes, exams, projects, etc) are expected to be completed only by the student. Collaboration and teamwork is allowed on classwork; however, individual work must always be distinctly original from the partners’ work. Students copying and students allowing others to copy their work are both academically dishonest. Make the right choices!
- If students do choose to copy assignments from other students, then those students will also split the grade on the assignment.
- If you are having a hard time following a concept, please arrange to see me as soon as you are feeling confused. Don’t put off asking for help. I am available after school most days. The easiest way to make an appointment is to stop by my classroom to see me, send me an email, or message me through Schoology. For other hints and resources check the class websites.
The AP Biology Curriculum:
The AP Biology Development Committee has identified four Big Ideas central to the course.
- 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.
The AP Biology Development Committee has identified eight major themes, built around the four Big Ideas, that recur throughout the course.
- Science as a Process—Science is a way of knowing. It can involve a discovery process using inductive reasoning, or it can be a process of hypothesis testing.
- Evolution—Evolution is the biological change of organisms that occurs over time and is driven by the process of natural selection. Evolution accounts for the diversity of life on Earth.
- Energy Transfer—Energy is the capacity to do work. All living organisms are active (living) because of their abilities to link energy reactions to the biochemical reactions that take place within their cells.
- Continuity and Change—All species tend to maintain themselves from generation to generation using the same genetic code. However, there are genetic mechanisms that lead to change over time, or evolution.
- Relationship of Structure to Function—The structural levels from molecules to organisms ensure successful functioning in all living organisms and living systems.
- Regulation—Everything from cells to organisms to ecosystems is in a state of dynamic balance that must be controlled by positive or negative feedback mechanisms.
- Interdependence in Nature—Living organisms rarely exist alone in nature.
- Science, Technology, and Society—Scientific research often leads to technological advances that can have positive and/or negative impacts upon society as a whole.
Additional Course Information:
- Please refer to the links below to view further important information about AP Biology @ RHS.