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					                         AP Biology Syllabus for 2010-2011

Instructor: Mr. Mike Peracchio
Room 104
School phone: (860) 742-7346, ext. 104

Course Overview
Advanced Placement Biology is a full-year laboratory course, worth 1.5 credits, that is designed
to be equivalent to a college-level introductory biology course. Therefore, students will be held
to high academic standards and high standards of individual responsibility. This course will
allow students to develop a strong conceptual framework of biology and to apply biological
concepts to larger issues concerning society and the biosphere as whole. Students will also learn
how to become more effective independent learners as much of the reading and studying for this
course will be completed outside of the classroom, which parallels the format of college courses.

We will be using the textbook Biology, 8th ed., by Neil Campbell and Jane Reece, published in
2008. Students will be expected to read sections of the textbook nightly. These readings will
cover the topics that will be discussed during the next class meeting. Students will be provided
with guided reading handouts to complete as homework assignments as they read. Additional
readings and homework assignments will be given periodically, including free-response
questions from past AP exams. There will be weekly quizzes covering the material covered
throughout that week, except in weeks during which students take a test. Students will be doing
laboratory work on a weekly basis as well. All labs will require some degree of post-laboratory
analysis and discussion, and several labs throughout the year will require a full lab report.
Students will be required to do additional projects throughout the year as well as an independent
research project after the conclusion of the AP exam. All student are expected to take the AP
exam in May. It is important that students realize that I will not have time to address all topics in
the readings during class, so it is important to keep up with the readings and to develop good
independent work habits outside of class, possibly by forming a study group with one or more
classmates. This class meets four days a week, with four lecture periods and two lab periods.
Since two of the six periods per week are designated for lab work, approximately 30% of
instructional time will be dedicated to lab work and other hands-on activities.

Themes of the Course
This course will cover all of the eight major themes that are mentioned in the AP Biology
Curriculum Requirements, which include:

                                                         
                                                         
                                                            Interdependence in Nature
                                                            Science, Technology, and Society

Summer Reading
The first unit will be the Ecology unit, for which students will have read the chapters on Animal
Behavior and Ecology, chapters 51-56, over the summer. This unit will be covered quickly
during the first two weeks of class, with a test immediately following.

Course Planner/Schedule
    DATES         UNIT                    TOPICS                              READINGS DUE
  8/30 – 9/10      1   Animal Behavior and Ecology                           Chapters 51, 52, 53,
   (2 weeks)               Animal Behavior                                  54, 55, 56 (read over
                           AP Lab 11: Animal Behavior                       the summer)
                           Ecology and the Biosphere
                           Population Ecology
                           Community Ecology
                           Ecosystems
                           Conservation Biology and Restoration
                           AP Lab 12: Dissolved Oxygen and
                              Aquatic Primary Productivity
                           TEST 1
  9/13 – 9/24      2   Chemistry of Life                                     Chapters 2, 3, 4, 5, 8
   (2 weeks)               Intro to Course Themes
                           Chemistry of Life—Chemical Energy
                              and Bonding
                           Water, pH/Acids-Bases
                           Organic Molecules—Carbon Chemistry
                           Lab: Compound Microscope
                           Organic Molecules—Carbohydrates,
                              Lipids, Proteins, and Nucelic Acids
                           Enzymes
                           AP Lab 2: Enzyme Catalysis
                           TEST 2
  9/27 – 10/8      3   Cells and Cellular Communication                      Chapters 6, 7, 11
   (2 weeks)               Cell Parts
                           Cell Membrane Structure and Function
                           Cell Transport
                           Cell Communication
                           AP Lab 1: Osmosis/Diffusion
                           TEST 3
                           AP Lab 7: Set up Drosophila Genetics

  DATES         UNIT                    TOPICS                     READINGS DUE
10/11 –10/22     4   Cellular Energetics                          Chapters 9, 10
 (2 weeks)               Cellular Respiration
                         AP Lab 5: Cellular Respiration
                         Photosynthesis
                         AP Lab 4: Photosynthesis and Pigments
                         TEST 4
                         End 1 Quarter
10/25 – 11/12    5   Cellular Reproduction and Mendelian          Chapters 12, 13, 14,
  (3 weeks)          Genetics                                     15
                         Cell Cycle/Mitosis
                         Regulation of Cell Cycle
                         Meiosis
                         AP Lab 3: Mitosis and Meiosis
                         Mendelian Genetics
                         Lab: Human Traits Lab
                         AP Lab 7: Finish Drosophila Genetics
                         TEST 5
11/15 – 12/10    6   Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology         Chapters 16, 17, 18,
  (4 weeks)              DNA Structure and Replication           19, 20, 21
                         Lab: DNA Structure and Replication
                         From Gene to Protein (RNA,
                            trancription, translation, protein
                         Mutations
                         Lab: Protein Synthesis
                         Prokaryotic Gene Regulation
                         Eukaryotic Gene Regulation
                         Viruses
                         Biotechnology and Society
                         AP Lab 6: Bacterial Transformation
                            and Gel Electrophoresis
                         TEST 6
12/13 – 1/14     7   Evolution                                    Chapters 22, 23, 24,
 (4 weeks)               Darwin, Evidence for Evolution          25, 26
                         Lab: Evidence of Evolution
  Holiday                Evolution of Populations by Natural
  Vacation                  Selection
 12/24 – 1/2             AP Lab 8: Population Genetics and
                         Speciation
                         History of Life on Earth
                         Classification, Phylogeny and
                         Lab: Classification
                         TEST 7
 1/17-1/21           MIDTERM EXAMS- End 2nd Quarter

   DATES         UNIT                    TOPICS                       READINGS DUE
 1/24 – 2/11       8  Diversity of Life                              Chapters 26, 27, 28,
  (3 weeks)               Bacteria and Archaea                      29, 30, 31, 32, 33,
                          Protists                                  34
                          Fungi
                          Lab: Protista and Fungi
                          TEST 8
                          Plant Diversity
                          Lab: Plant Diversity
                          Animal Diversity- Invertebrates and
                          Evolution of Bacteria, Plants, and
                          TEST 9
 2/14 – 3/11       9  Plant Form and Function                        Chapters 35, 36, 37,
  (3 weeks)               Plant Structure, Growth, and              38, 39
  February                Lab: Plant Anatomy
  Vacation                Resource Acquisition and Transport in
 2/19 – 2/27                 Plants
                          AP Lab 9: Transpiration
                          Soil and Plant Nutrition
                          Angiosperm Reproduction
                          Plant Responses
                          TEST 10
 3/14 – 4/29      10  Animal Form and Function                       Chapters 40, 41, 42,
  (6 weeks)               Principles of Animal Form and             43, 44, 45, 46, 47,
                             Function (40)                           48, 49, 50
April Vacation            Evolution of Animal Body Systems
 4/16 – 4/24              Animal Nutrition (41)
                          Circulation and Gas Exchange (42)
                          AP Lab 10: Physiology of the
                             Circulatory System
                          Osmoregulation and Excretion (44)
                          TEST 11
                          End 3 Quarter

                             Immune System (43)
                            Lab: Immune System Simulation
                            Hormones and Endocrine System (45)
                            Animal Reproduction (46)
                            Animal Development (47)
                            TEST 12
                            Neurons, Synapses, and Signaling (48)
                            Nervous Systems (49)
                            Sensory and Motor Mechanisms (50)
                            TEST 13
  5/2 – 5/6             AP Exam Review

       5/9                 MAY 9: AP BIOLOGY EXAM

    5/10 – 6/9             After AP Exam
                               Students will work on independent
                                  research projects that will be presented
                                  during the last week of the school year.
    5/10 – 6/9             FINAL EXAMS- End 4th Quarter

Assignments: Homework is assigned. Reading your textbook every day is the first and most
important assignment. Other assignments include:

      Study Guides –this includes chapter reviews w/questions as well as guided reading
      AP Essay Questions: Essays are an integral part of the AP exam. Essays are assigned
       throughout the term to prepare you for the AP exam. They will be graded and sometimes
       we will evaluate why your answer received the score it did. These free-response
       questions might sometimes be completed as in-class assignments or even as quiz
       questions. Every test will also include one or more of this type of question.
      Practicing Biology W/S-these are review worksheets of the major concepts through
       problem based learning
      Case Studies- a reading of primary literature as well as secondary articles that may (or
       may not) include short answer questions and essay responses.

 Each chapter we study will be subject to any and all of these assignments. Some of the
 assignments will be collected and checked for accuracy and completeness; others will be simply
 be checked off and discussed in class. All assignments will be included in your notebooks for
 later grading. Review of the assignments during class time will be considered if a majority of
 students need assistance or clarification on particular items.

 Tests and quizzes are composed of previous AP exam questions and/or AP-style exam questions
 of both multiple choice and AP style essays called free response questions (FRQs). For unit tests
 time will be limited just as it is on the AP Exam. Tests will cover current and past material from
 class topics. All test, quiz, and exam questions come from the material covered in class lectures,
 notes, labs, and from the Campbell text itself. After a quiz or test you should take time to figure
 out why you missed questions – think about whether you misread the question or needed to study
 more. If you needed to study more, do it right away – the concepts build on each other AND you
 will be having comprehensive exams at the end of both semesters (MIDTERM and FINAL
 EXAMS). If you are still unsure about certain material from a test or quiz please see me for extra
 help and clarification. And, of course, remember you are always working toward your AP exam
 on May 9th, 2011. Anything and everything discussed in the class is subject to being assessed on
 both tests and exams!

Lab Component
Labs are an important way for students to develop an understanding of the process of how
science is done as well as to learn and develop some of the skills used to do science. Students
will gain experience in generating hypotheses, designing experimental procedure, and collecting,
analyzing, interpreting, and discussing data that can then be applied to larger scientific concepts.

Our class meets for two lab periods per week, one short and one long, both of which are part of a
double period, and we will often need both periods to complete a lab. These lab periods will be
used to complete the 12 suggested AP labs as well as some additional labs and hands-on
activities, accounting for greater than 25% of our scheduled meeting time throughout the year.
The 12 recommended AP labs include the following:

   1.   Diffusion and Osmosis                             8. Population Genetics and Evolution
   2.   Enzyme Catalysis                                  9. Transpiration
   3.   Mitosis and Meiosis                               10. Physiology of the Circulatory
   4.   Plant Pigments and Photosynthesis                     System
   5.   Cell Respiration                                  11. Animal Behavior
   6.   Molecular Biology                                 12. Dissolved Oxygen and Aquatic
   7.   Genetics of Organisms                                 Primary Productivity

Students will be given a short pre-lab quiz prior to each of the 12 AP labs to ensure that students
are reading the lab procedure ahead of time so they have a good understanding of what they will
be doing when they perform each lab. All labs will require some sort of post-lab work, while
others will require full lab reports consisting of an introduction (background information,
problem statement, hypothesis, if applicable), safety, materials and procedure (if not provided),
data, discussion, and conclusions. Students will write up a research proposal prior to their
independent research project after the AP exam and they will write a full report and give a
presentation on their results of the research project at the end of the year.

Student Evaluation
Students will be evaluated based on their performance on the unit tests, quizzes, labs, free-
response questions, homework, projects, and in-class activities such as debates. I score students
using a total points system in which all assignments are given a point value and a student’s grade
is the total points earned on all assignments divided by the total points possible for all
assignments. The following is an approximate breakdown of my grading emphasis:

       Exams and Quizzes                             60%
       Labs and Lab Reports                          20%
       Homework/Classwork/Projects                   20%

To improve communication of student progress to students and the parents/guardians, grades will
be available online at You may check for current grades and
missing assignments by entering a classword/login from the list below and a password, which is
your student ID number.

Classword: PeracchioFAPBio10_11                       Password: student ID number

**CHEATING: All work must be completed independently unless otherwise specified, and
any instances of cheating will result in a 0 for the assignment as well as a notification to
your parent/guardian.

Required Materials
              Textbook: Campbell, N. A. and Reece, J. B., Biology, 8th ed., Benjamin
                Cummings (2008)
                **NOTE: This is a college-level textbook, hence its size and weight. Students
                should be prepared to spend a great deal of time in reading and studying the text
                so that we can cover the required material in the time allotted. Some chapters will
                be covered by student self-study.
              Personal notebook for lectures & discussion / handout materials
                   o Notebooks should be a 3-ring binder divided into clearly divided and
                       labeled sections. The following sections are suggested, and papers should
                       be kept in chronological order within each section. Notebooks will be
                       collected periodically throughout the year as part of your participation
                   o Class Notes
                   o Classwork or Handouts
                   o Labs
                   o Homework
                   o Tests/Quizzes
                   o Reference Materials
              Daily internet access, either at home or school
              Scientific calculator

Class Website
There will be a class website that you will have access to throughout the year at Please use this website to see upcoming assignments and to
review previous PowerPoint lectures and animations show during class. There might be links to
websites with information that supports topics we have covered in class.

Extra Help
Please ask questions whenever something is unclear during class, and do not be afraid to seek
extra help whenever there is something you are having difficulty with. I am generally available
after school and sometimes before school, but a little advance notice makes things easier. There
will be some scheduled extra help time at certain points throughout the year. I am happy to
provide extra help to anyone who needs it but remember you are responsible for your own
education. If you need extra help you must seek it! The longer you wait to seek help the worse
the problem will become.

When you come for extra help, please bring your notebook, a writing utensil, and any other
necessary materials and be prepared to identify specifically the difficulty you are having. Extra
help will not replace the need for you to think independently and attempt all of your assignments.

Feel free to email me at anytime throughout the year at

                        AP BIOLOGY EXPECTATIONS
                         Please sign and return to Mr. Peracchio

I/We have read the expectations for this class and understand what
is expected for successful performance.

__________________________                     ____________
Print student name                             Period

__________________________________             _________________
Student signature                              Date

__________________________________             _________________
Parent/guardian signature                      Date

                     THANK YOU AND HAVE A GREAT YEAR!!