AP Biology

INSTRUCTOR:  Suan Sprunger email:  ssprunger@millingtonschools.org


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 AP Biology.  Whenever possible, Vernier labs will be modified into AP Inquiry labs in order to save lab time.

AP BIOLOGY EXAM is required of all students.