Class Green Sheet
(class supplies - see right margin)

Welcome! AP Biology is a first year college level course taught in high school in accordance with recommendations from the AP College Board.  The course is designed to provide you with the conceptual framework, factual knowledge, analytical and laboratory skills necessary to deal critically with the rapidly changing science of biology.  This is a fast-paced, intense course that will require students to put in substantial study time in comparison to an honors level course.  A significant amount of independent study will be required of AP Biology students.  All students are expected to take the AP exam at the end of the school year.  It will be given at 8:00 am on Monday, May 11, 2009.  Upon passing this exam, you may be eligible for college credit based n the University you are applying for.  Students should attend class regularly and come prepared to participate in discussions and activities.  My most successful students are those who make a daily commitment to their studies.

Course Content:  We will be covering the text Biology, Seventh Edition by Campbell, Reece, and Mitchell. I suggest that you get a study aid such as Cliff Noes for AP Biology to help you review concepts.  The approximate breakdown of the class will follow that of the AP exam and is roughly as follows:
Molecules and Cells      25%
Heredity and Evolution  25%
Organisms and Populations  50%

Class resource:  You will access to class material and online study material through the following website: http://apbio.savithasastry.com/biorulez.html.  Please make it a point to visit this site on a daily basis to review material. Handouts that I post on this website will often not be printed – it is the responsibility of the student to print/view them online on a daily basis.

Basic Expectations:

  • All lab reports, article reviews, unit objectives, and writing assignments must be typed.  When instructed, students will use  web based ‘turnitin’ service to submit their work to check for plagiarism
  • Reading assignments from the text and scientific literature will be given periodically. These require students to analyze and write critical reviews
  • Laboratory work – students will be expected to design experiments, at times perform data collection in the field, come into class during tutorial/lunch/after school to complete labs; write detailed lab reports (+ every student is expected to assist with one lab prep during the year)
  • Internet research – you will need access to email, internet, and a printer. Projects/research papers on specific topics will be assigned periodically
  • Tests and quizzes will be given on concepts presented in class and from the assigned readings
  • Note taking during lectures and discussions is required to succeed in this class – you will need to collect them in your portfolio. They will be checked for points.
  • Students will be required to keep ALL material from this class until the end of the year in a portfolio.  Unit Portfolios – with chapter notes, objectives, projects/papers, practice essays, presentations, etc. will be collected and graded at the end of each semester.

Grades:  Grades for all work are based on a point scale.  The weight of each of these categories in a student’s grade and the grading scale used are as follows:

Homework, Projects, Article Reviews – 25%
Labs, Activities – 35%
Tests, Exams – 40%

90% - 100%                A
80% - 89%                  B
70% - 79%                  C
55% - 69%                  D
less than 55%             F

Homework:  Homework will be given on most nights.  Assignments will be given for your benefit to reinforce concepts and ideas presented in class.  Not all assignments will be collected; some will be spot-checked while others will be collected and graded. Late assignments (submitted within 2 days of due date) will be marked for a maximum of 50%. Any assignment (HW/Lab) turned in after 2 day grace period will not be accepted. 

Labs:  We will be doing 13 substantial laboratory investigations in this class.  All labs will require some pre-lab preparation.  Because of time constraints, some of these labs may be extended into lunch and before/after school/weekends.  You are required to purchase a 60 page composition book/journal for your inclass lab workCalculators and a watch with a timer will be good to have handy for all labs.  You are also encouraged to keep color pencils for the genetics unit.  You may or may not be able to make up labs due to the substantial set up that is involved. Lab reports MUST be submitted on the day that it is due at the START of the period. Late lab reports can receive a maximum of 50%. Lab reports that are over 2 days late will not be accepted. Labs that do not have an originality 'turnitin' report will receive 50%.

Exams:  Tests will be given approximately every other week.  They will be comprised of multiple choice questions similar to those found on AP exams.  There will be take home/in class essay questions also representative of those on the AP exam. 

Absences:  If you are absent, you must come in before school, during tutorial, at lunch, or after school to pick up the assignments you missed.  Class time CANNOT be used to take care of these things.  You will have as many days as you were absent to make up the work.  You are responsible for making sure you get all of the assignments, handouts, and notes that you missed - use the website to assist you with makeup work. Remember all assignments and handouts are online - so not being in school should not be an excuse for incomplete work.

Academic Honesty:  Cheating is something I take VERY seriously.  Copying from a book/website, copying someone’s work, or letting your work be copied is cheating.  Students who are caught cheating will be given a zero for that assignment, and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken in compliance with the school’s policies.  I encourage collaboration and teamwork on labs and assignments, but each of you must phrase the answers in your own words so that I know that you understand the assignment.  This is especially crucial on essays.  Some essays may be take-home, and changing the order of words from the textbook is still plagiarism!  (And contrary to popular belief, it is quite easy to detect such efforts.) 

I am looking forward to a great year with you.  This will be one of the most challenging courses you will take in high school, but it will also be one of the most rewarding.  If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to contact me at school or send me an email. 

Ms. Sastry                                     

Tutorial: 7:30 – 8:10 am on B days; After school - almost everyday ; Rm 46;
savisas@gmail.com                                                                      Seek me out when in doubt !

Supplies for AP Bio: scroll up and see right margin!