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									                        ADVANCED PLACEMENT BIOLOGY
                                    Trinity Collegiate School
                                   2009-2010 Course Syllabus
                                           Ms. Puskarz

Course Description: Advanced Placement (AP) Biology is a college level course and there is a
tremendous amount of material to be covered before the AP exam in May. It is hard work, but I
hope you will enjoy it. As a college level course, the course requirements may be more rigorous
than you are used to, but I believe that the completion of this course will help you prepare for
what is to come in college.

Each student is required to do the following:
    Pay attention in class and during labs
    Participate in class discussions
    Keep up with reading assignments and accompanying guides
    Read thoughtfully and completely
    Complete all assignments on time
    Keep an organized notebook
    Keep an organized time schedule
Success in this course will depend on your motivation and your diligence.

Every effort will be made to prepare you for the AP exam in the spring. It would be impossible
to cover the entire 56-chapter text in great detail in the amount of time that we have. Therefore,
you must supplement class lectures with your own reading and note taking. Make no mistake –
there will be a large amount of outside work. Expect to work about 15 hours or more outside of
class time. Time management is essential to completing short-term and long-term assignments.
Due to the nature of this year’s schedule, students will be required to complete online as well as
written assignments. These assignments may be handed out and collected outside of class
periods. INTERNET ACCESS IS REQUIRED. Every test in this course will have AP-style
multiple choice and free-response (essay) questions. You will be taught how to approach and
answer these types of questions. Tests will be graded according to AP standards. These will be
discussed in class. Students will receive approximately one test per unit and a cumulative exam
at the end of each semester. Some tests and quizzes may have take-home components that may
or may not require internet access.

The class will be approached according to units as presented in your textbook. There are several
chapters per unit. Quizzes, announced and unannounced, will be given throughout the unit and
some may be take-home. Schedules will be handed out at the start of each unit. In each unit,
students will experience accompanying lectures, activities, labs, projects and tests. Class notes
are NOT optional; every student MUST take notes.

Laboratory experience is an essential component of the AP curriculum. All twelve of the
recommended AP Biology labs will be performed in some fashion. Some labs will be computer
simulations and others will be completed in the lab. There are some labs that will require a
traditional AP formal lab write-up. This method will be discussed in detail.

It is suggested that you form your own study groups for AP Biology to assist in class preparation
and AP exam preparation. Every student should also look into purchasing a review guide made
specifically for AP Biology. In addition, students are encouraged to communicate with each
other online in the website forum.

Since there is so much information, we are required to move at an accelerated pace. We will
follow the dates on the syllabus as closely as possible. I WILL NOT SLOW DOWN BECAUSE
OF LACK OF STUDENT PREPARATION. It is your responsibility to come prepared having
completed the reading and associated assignments BEFORE the lecture on that day. Attendance
and daily preparation are ESSENTIAL to your success in this course.

Course Timeline:
UNIT             TOPIC             CHAPTERS # OF DAYS                                                    TEST WEEK     AP LABS
  1         Chemistry of Life          1-5       9                                                         8/31/2009
 2A             The Cell            6,7,11,12    7                                                         9/21/2009     1,3A
 2B     Metabolism, Cell Energies    8,6,9,10    7                                                        10/12/2009     2,4,5
 3A     Genetics Part I: Heredity     13-16      6                                                         11/2/2009     3B,7
 3B    Genetics Part II: Molecular    17-21      8                                                        11/30/2009       6
  4             Evolution             22-25      7                                                        12/7/2009        8
        CUMULATIVE FINAL                                                                                                  1-8
 5A        Biological Diversity     26-28,31     7                                                        1/18/2010
  6      Plant Diversity, Form &   29,30,35-39   9                                                         2/8/2010       9
 5B         Animal Diversity          32-34      7                                                        2/22/2010       10
 7A    Animal Form and Function       40-45      7                                                         3/8/2010
 7B    Animal Form and Function       46-51      9                                                        3/29/2010      11,12
  8              Ecology              52-56      6                                                        4/19/2010
          AP EXAM REVIEW               ALL      10                                                        4/26/2010     Any not
* please note that I reserve the right to make changes to the syllabus at any time throughout the year

Textbook: Biology, 8th ed., by Reece and Campbell, required
          Biology Laboratory Manual for Students, 2008, The College Board, required
          5 Steps to a 5: AP Biology, HIGHLY recommended
          AP Biology Cliff Notes, recommended

Grading System: The breakdown for each quarter is listed below. At the end of the fall and
spring semesters, there will be a cumulative final. Material for that test will come from all
textbook readings, labs, lectures, activities and written material. After the AP exam in May,
students will be required to complete several projects. Semester finals will account for 20 percent
of the semester grade.
     Tests and Projects 40%:

              There will be approximately 1 test per unit. Make-up exams will be given for excused absences
               and may be different from the original.
              There will be assigned projects throughout each unit and may be completed individually or in a
               group. Points will be assigned according to the project.

      Labs 30%:
              The lab grade includes lab preparation, behavior and procedure during the lab and the analysis of
               the lab (whether in the lab manual or a written report).

      Quizzes, Homework and Participation 30%:
              There will approximately one reading quiz per unit. The quizzes are designed to test whether the
               assigned reading has been completed and may or may not be announced. Students are expected to
               keep up with the reading assignments before the lecture. There will also be chapter quizzes that
               will cover a few chapters within each unit. These may be in-class or take-home.
              There are two sets of homework problems that need to be completed. Units packets with chapter
               specific questions will be handed in on the day of the test. In addition, students must complete the
               chapter assignments online at Each assignment is separated by chapter
               and again must be completed before the day of the unit test. More information will be given about
               the Mastering Biology program in class. It is recommended that students complete the packets and
               online assignments as they read; do NOT expect to complete all of the required assignments the
               night before the test. Any in-class and take-home essays, activities and group work may also be
               counted under this category.
              Students are also required to participate in class discussions and follow all classroom rules.
               Students that are continually tardy, disruptive in class and rude will have points deducted off of
               their grade.

Class supplies: Students are required to bring writing utensils to class. Bring multiples should
one fail. Students should also bring a notebook of some sort; it should have paper to copy notes
as well as folders to organize handouts and homework assignments that need to be handed in.
Students are responsible for their own organization. Textbooks should also be brought to class.
Once class starts, students will not be allowed to gather forgotten items.

Classroom rules:
   1. Arrive in class and be ready to work when the bell rings.
   2. Do not talk or disturb the class while the teacher or other students are presenting.
   3. Treat all people and property with respect.
   4. No food, drinks or chewing gum.
   5. Follow all laboratory safety rules.
   6. Comply with all school-wide policies and rules.

Extra Credit: Students have the optional advantage of obtaining extra credit every chapter.
Students may sign up to create a detailed outline of the textbook and then post it online for the
rest of the class. A sign-up sheet will be available at the start of each unit and are on a first-
come-first-serve basis. Remember that extra credit will not replace a grade, only supplement
them. Extra credit will be added to the “Quizzes, Homework and Participation” category.

Honesty Policy: In addition to the honor pledge that all students sign, it is expected that AP
Biology students will be diligent in their studies and not cheat in any manner. Due to the nature
of this year’s schedule, it may not be possible for both AP Biology classes to have a test or quiz
on the same day. Should this occur, it is understood by ALL AP Biology students that any
mention of the test – whether about a specific question or topic to the difficultness – will NOT be

tolerated. When given take-home test components or quizzes, students are expected to work on
their own, without any help from teachers, parents, students, etc. Determination of open-book or
closed-book status of the assignment will be made by the teacher and written into the directions.
Students are expected to read and follow all directions. If cheating is suspected, the Honor Court,
Dean of Students and Head Master will be informed. Consequences should be expected.

Late Work: Incomplete work will not be accepted. Late homework will NOT be accepted. Late
assignments are acceptable only one day after the due date. Ten percent will automatically be
deducted off the grade for those late assignments. Students will not be reminded of late
assignments and are expected to make it up on their own. Assignments that are turned in late
must have a note made at the top of the assignment indicating its lateness.

Make-up work: If students are absent due to unexpected circumstances such as an illness,
assignments due the day they were absent will be due the day they return. Points will not be
deducted. If a student experiences an extended absence, all effort must be put forth to catch up
with the remainder of the class fairly quickly. Remember that the AP exam date will not change.
It is recommended that the student complete as much as possible while absent and arrange new
deadlines for assignments upon return. If a lab, quiz or test has been missed, students are
responsible for arranging a time to make it up. Any missed assignments that have failed to be
turned in by the determined due date will automatically turn to a zero; the late rule will not
apply. If students are absent due to expected circumstances which include sporting events,
assignments are due BEFORE the class period. Points will be deducted should the assignment be
handed in the next day. Refer to the Student Handbook for additional information in regards to
athlete responsibility. Students are responsible for obtaining the notes from the missed classes as
well as any handouts.

Contact information: Students will find up-to-date information about assignments on the class
website. This address is It is recommended that
students register with wikispaces using the first initial of their first name and their last name as
their username. For example, John Smith would register as “jsmith”. The website will serve as a
forum of communication among students. Notes, additional problems and questions can be
posted and answered by fellow students. The website can be accessed directly or through the
TCS website. In addition, students are encouraged to contact me to ask questions via email or
phone. My email address is and my cell phone number is 860.368.9153.
Please allow a reasonable amount of response time, usually less than 24 hours.


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