AP Biology
Suan Sprunger 


AP Campbell Biology, Campbell, Neil and Reece Jane, 8th Edition, Pearson Publishing.


 In the new AP Biology Investigative Labs: An Inquiry-Based Approach (2012),

13 inquiry-based and student-directed lab investigations provide opportunities for teachers to engage students in doing scientific lab work with long-range labs using live specimens. In the new program, teachers are allowed more flexibility to insert labs other than the specific lab developed by the College Board.  Hence, teachers can use and conduct labs other than those in the manual to provide similar learning and investigative experiences that are student directed and provide a rich mixture of microscope, computer interfacing and fieldwork experience for students using primarily live specimens for investigation.  Upon completion of the AP Biology lab program students should be able to enter the next level college biology course.

 AP Investigative labs: An Inquiry-based Approach, College Board, 2012.

Advanced Biology, Vernier Software, Beaverton, OR

Biology Vernier Software, Beaverton, OR


Labs from AP Investigative labs: An Inquiry-based Approach will be modified to use Vernier equipment and Labquest devices in order to save time and reduce the number of days to complete the required labs when possible.

 Teacher made-labs for the Ecology Field Study, Macromolecules will also be used.


Assessment is an important aspect of any course.  A variety of assessments will be used to include formative and summative strategies to determine mastery of material.  Formative assessments include models, concept maps and homework questions, ext/bell work and white board reviews.  Summative assessments include chapter tests composed of old AP Biology questions, formal lab reports and writing questions.  Students will be required to keep an AP Biology Lab book in a composition book.  Each lab will be written formally following the AP Biology guidelines for lab reports.  The lab notebook also will include writing assignments given per chapter.


 AP Biology is taught as a college level course following the guidelines established by the College Board.  Students entering this class are juniors or seniors.   Students entering this class have taken Biology and Chemistry.  Students taking this class are interested in careers in Medicine, Nursing or related fields requiring a knowledge of Biology at the college level.


AP Biology is developed upon core concepts called enduring understandings and there application through a variety of science practices is designed to create an inquiry-centered approach to the curriculum. There are four Big Ideas listed below which provide the scaffolding themes throughout each chapter and topic. The four big ideas are:

•            Evolution

•            Biological systems using energy to maintain homeostasis for survival

•            Passing heritable information to provide continuity of life

•            The interaction of biological systems with biotic and abiotic factors taking skills.  

A variety of instructional strategies and tools helps to address students’ different learning styles and aids in their understanding of the concepts and application of the science practices. Some strategies and tools include biological process activities, Cornell notes, hands-on laboratory activities, use of whiteboards, demonstrations, and online activities.


 Millington Central High School utilizes a seven period day with the lunch period being 90 minutes long.  This class meets every day.  The district built new science labs two years ago and extra funds were let to equip all labs.  Millington Central High School has utilized Title 1 funding to purchase classroom sets of TI-83 calculators, multiple Ibook mobile computer carts, and equipment two computer lab rooms and furnish the library with a class set of Imacs.  As a result, computer based lab simulations are done at school since many students do not have computer access at home or a ride home if they miss the bus.

The science department has a class set of Vernier Labquest I and most of the probes sold by the Vernier company to run any Biology, Chemistry or Physics lab in their lab books at the high school, as well as, AP levels in all 3 subject areas.  Whenever possible, Vernier labs will be modified into AP Inquiry labs in order to save lab time.

Grading:                                Grading Scale                       Semester Grade

Class or Homework 10%      105-94           A                     Semester 1+2      = 80%


Assessment              15%      93-86             B                     Exam                  =  20%

Lab Reports             25%      85-77             C

Tests/ Quizzes         50%       76-70             D                    

                                                Below 70        F                                                                     

 Tests and Quizzes:

            Tests are taken over chapter or unit material and are worth 100 points each.  Students have the opportunity to retake a failed test to add up to 25 points onto the failing test grade.

 Homework and Class work:

            Class work is designed to develop note-taking skills, check for mastery of material or activities completed in lab.  Homework is given as added practice to be done outside of class time.  Homework and class work are graded by giving a check for completion.  This allows students to try difficult material and correct missed answers without being penalized.  One learns more from correcting mistakes than copying a perfect paper! These assignments are to be legibly written in pen or pencil, but not written in red. 

 Lab Reports:

            Lab reports are to be maintained in a lab notebook.  A lab report is used to explain the experiment completed.  These are written using standard English.  All graphs are to be on graph paper supplied by the teacher.  A lab report or series of reports is due ONE WEEK after completion of the lab.  It is to be turned in before the end of class on the due date. 

 Formative Assessments/Quiz

            The final formative assessments are used as a self-check before a test to measure student progress.  These are graded for accuracy and correct answers.  Problems are graded using a rubric so credit is awarded for the portion of the material done correctly.

 Excused Make Up Work:

            It is the responsibility of the student to turn in make up class work, homework or come in to take tests. Make up work or tutoring is done after school.


            1. Paper and pen or pencil.

            2. TWO  Composition Books

            3. Colored pencils or markers or Highlighter pen (Color of your choice.)

            4. Calculator TI 84 + ,  TI 83+  or TI 30.

Lab Fee:  All students are assessed a $5 lab fee to cover the cost of lab materials.

AP Biology Test Fee is $90.  Students are required to pay by October 6, 2015 to Ms Sprunger.

 Behavior Policy

            I expect students to act as ladies and gentlemen by demonstrating behavior which respects others property and safety while interacting cooperatively in class or lab activities. 

Class and Lab Rules

1. Always wear goggles and appropriate safety equipment when in lab.

2. Do only authorized experiments or labs, follow directions and safety procedures.

3. Never chew gum, eat or drink in lab.

4. Walk at all times and be courteous of others.

5. Respect school and other students property by not defacing books, equipment or furniture.

6. Ask questions.

7. Do your own work. (Cheating is not allowed.)

8. Be on time and have all supplies.

9. If an accident happens, ALWAYS tell the teacher !!

 Consequences of  Inappropriate Behavior

1. For the first infraction, a student hall conference will be held.  The student is asked to not

repeat the infraction. The problem written on a Behavior Policy Form as a warning.

2. A second occurrence of the infraction results in a change of seat, loss of privileges and a phone call to parents informing them of the situation. The problem written on a Behavior Policy Form as a warning.

3. A third occurrence of the infraction results in being sent to the office and a disciplinary referral written.

4. Since AP Biology involves the use of expensive equipment and computer interfaces to complete labs, it is important all students act appropriately at all times during these activities or labs.  Having the opportunity to do these experiments is a privilege not a right.  Therefore, any serious infraction that results in the compromise of the safety of others in class or lab will result in the removal of the student from lab or a class activity and sent to the office and a disciplinary referral is written for the first serious offense.  Any student who repeatedly demonstrates behavior that compromises the safety of others in class activities or lab will forfeit the privilege of doing class activities or lab and will receive alternate assignment for all subsequent labs or activities.

 Conduct Grade Policy

A conduct grade of E is awarded to students who follow all rules and do not require a student conference.  A conduct grade of S is awarded to students who require a single student conference and phone call to parents.  A conduct grade of N is awarded to students who require a two to four student conferences and/or phone calls to parents.  A conduct grade of a U is awarded to students who receive disciplinary referrals to the office or are removed from lab for safety violations.