FOR PARENTS OF AP BIOLOGY STUDENTS

Given the speed with which scientific discoveries and research continuously expand scientific knowledge, many educators are faced
with the challenge of balancing breadth of content coverage with depth of understanding.
The revised AP® Biology course addresses this challenge by shifting from a traditional “content coverage” model of instruction to one that focuses on enduring, conceptual understandings and the content that supports them. This approach will enable students to spend less time on factual recall
and more time on inquiry-based learning of essential concepts, and will help them develop the reasoning skills necessary to engage in the science practices used throughout their study of AP Biology.
To foster this deeper level of learning, the breadth of content coverage
in AP Biology is defined in a way that distinguishes content essential
to support the enduring understandings from the many examples or applications that can overburden the course. Illustrative examples are provided that offer teachers a variety of optional instructional contexts to help their students achieve deeper understanding. Additionally, content that is outside the scope of the course and exam is also identified.
Students who take an AP Biology course designed using this curriculum framework as its foundation will also develop advanced inquiry and reasoning skills, such as designing a plan for collecting data, analyzing data, applying mathematical routines, and connecting concepts in and across domains. The result will be readiness for the study of advanced topics in subsequent college courses — a goal of every AP course.
The revised AP Biology course is equivalent to a two-semester college introductory biology course and has been endorsed enthusiastically by higher education officials.
The Emphasis on Science Practices
A practice is a way to coordinate knowledge and skills in order to accomplish a goal or task. The science practices enable students to establish lines of evidence and use them to develop and refine testable explanations and predictions of natural phenomena. Because content, inquiry and reasoning are equally important in AP Biology, each learning objective described in the concept outline combines content with inquiry and reasoning skills described in the science practices.
The science practices that follow the concept outline of this framework capture important aspects of the work that scientists engage in, at the level of competence expected of AP Biology students. AP Biology teachers will see within the learning objectives how these practices are effectively integrated with the course content, and will be able to design instruction with these practices in mind

CLICK HERE FOR CONCEPT OUTLINE

HOW TO HELP YOUR CHILD SUCCEED IN AP BIOLOGY…

1. Quiet structured study time

Help your child to establish a study routine by setting up a quiet study area and a
consistent quiet study time nightly. The routine will help them practice good study
habits for college.

Should the study area be their bedroom or a family area, like the dining
room?
That depends on your household and your child. If your child is self-motivated and
can work steadily without supervision, then a quiet desk space in their bedroom
would work well. However, if their bedroom is equipped with distractions like a
stereo or TV, then this might not be conducive to concentrating on homework and
the family area may work better.

2. Work on Biology based on your schedule
Your child is assigned homework over several days. This gives him/her the opportunity to do the work based on their extracurricular schedule and other course work. This also gives them responsibility and shows them respect for their schedule.
For your child to stay up-to-date in this course they need to pace theirselves and commit the time needed to cover the materials.. This would include textbook reading, note taking, viewing podcasts, text CD, lab assignments, and test preparation.

3. Support Study Groups
Encourage your child to arrange a study group with other students in the class.
Each student will have different strengths and weaknesses in this course. In one
unit, your child will be the teacher to other students and in a different unit they will
be the student. Putting two or more heads together is always a benefit. You never
learn something as well as when you have to explain it to someone else. However
let me emphasize that, while study groups and cooperative effort are strongly
encouraged; on final written work, all students are required to craft their own
answers and must have a completely uniquely worded answer for each question

4. Use a Lifeline
Encourage your child to ask for help. I am available before school every day, and
after school by appointment. Students also have my e-mail address and they can
readily e-mail me for help at any time after school hours and I will make every
effort to reply to them immediately. Do not allow them to feel like they are
intruding, I am here to help them understand and learn to love the subject of
Biology as much as I do.

5. Buy a study guide EARLY
Go to Barnes and Noble, have your child take all the different study guides
, sit down, look at them.
Eliminate the hardest and easiest ones. Have them pick the one
they like from the remaining guides.
After studying for a test, use the condensed chapters in the study
guide to test their knowledge.


    6. Don’t Panic! Stick with it!
    Some parts of this course will come more easily than others. Encourage your child to work steadily and not to be discouraged. Success will build as they improve their critical thinking skills and their writing ability through practice. This is a college course and they are working on more than learning biology; they are working on skills that they will use to succeed academically for years to come.

    Your child needs to work hard and work steadily and they will be rewarded in this course!

Ms. Vitale is available before school at 7:20 am and after school by appointment.

Information about the exam

email me at cvitale@summit.k12.nj.us

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