Advanced Placement Biology (2008-2009)
Mrs. Dee Gess

What is AP Bio all about?Edit

First of all, welcome!! I am glad you decided to challenge yourself and I look forward to working with you this year. The class will be work but we will have fun along the way and I promise you will be prepared for your freshmen college classes. At the end of the school year you will have a huge accomplishment behind you and you will be confident in embracing life’s upcoming educational challenges. Your goal should be to pass the AP exam at the end of the year! I plan to equip you to do this.


This is a college-level course taught in a high school setting. As such, you will be required to do college-level work in order to be successful. AP biology differs significantly from a traditional high school biology course due to text content, depth of material covered, lab work, and time and effort required to achieve mastery in subject area. This course is designed to be taken by students who have successfully completed high school biology and high school chemistry.

Because of time constraints, your success in this class and on the AP exam will depend on meeting your individual responsibilities. Keep in mind that in a college setting this class would be taken with many more hours of class and lab time. Because of the scope of the curriculum and our time limitations, some areas may be skimmed over and others will be omitted. You must assume responsibility for filling in the gaps by reading your text on your own. I do not want to scare you away but I want you to be aware that you should make allowances for substantial reading and study time at home. I ask that you take this class seriously every day, not just before major tests. It will be such a reward to be able to “skip” freshman biology and move onto other classes in your major. On that note…please list your top three colleges and their AP requirements below:

Course ContentEdit

We will attempt to cover all topic areas found in the AP Biology Curriculum set forth by the College Board. Please take time to browse their website for further information: and for college requirements.

Text: Biology, Campbell & Reese 7th ed. This is an awesome book used in many colleges for science majors. It is also a heavy book! You may keep the text at home for your reading program. I will let you know ahead of time if you need to bring it to class.

Class ExpectationsEdit

  1. Excellent Attendance: Since this will be a much faster paced course than a normal high school course, missing class will put you at a disadvantage. You are responsible for any missed material. It would be in your best interest to arrange a time with me to make sure you get all covered material. If you are absent on lab days, you may not be able to make the lab up depending on set-up time. You will have another assignment to replace the lab so I can make sure you gain experience with the material.
  2. All assignments and course work should be completed on time. Class time will be much more beneficial to you if you have prepared adequately ahead of time. If there are any extenuating circumstances preventing your completion talk with me before the due date.
  3. You will learn to use a college text as a tool for your own learning.
  4. You will become proficient in common lab procedures and perform basic college-level laboratories, as well as take responsibility for your lab areas.
  5. You will write numerous essay responses in both homework and unit tests as a preparation for the AP exam.
  6. All work turned in must be your best work and neatly completed with complete thoughts. I will not accept incomplete or messy work. Blue/black pen or pencil is preferred.
  7. You must go over notes nightly and ask questions in class the next day if you are having a hard time grasping a concept. Again our pacing will be fast, so it is important you learn as you go and stop me when needed.
  8. You will come to class prepared and on time and be ready to work when the bell rings. I will not wait for you to get forgotten materials from your locker or car.
  9. I will be posting notes and assignments online. Be sure to have access to a computer and printer. Plan ahead if you need to use our school computers.

Required MaterialsEdit

  • Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel. Search Amazon or for a good price. We will be reading this book throughout the year and it will be a great book for you to keep. (Do not buy the student edition)
  • Three-ring binder – You will accumulate a lot of notes and handouts this year. You may wish to have a larger binder than most classes or develop an organized filing system at home for completed units.
  • Plenty of dividers – These will help you organize the units and you will have a separate section for labs.
  • Notebook paper
  • Pencils, Blue/black pens
  • Colored pencils or fine markers
  • Calculator
  • Index cards (optional)
  • Your brains…daily! Don’t zone out on me just because you are a senior. We are not done until the AP exam is over!!


  • 60% Exams: will be on major units and will consist of multiple choice and free response questions, most of which are taken from previously released AP exams.
  • 20% Quizzes: may or may not be announced and will be over assigned reading and previous material. This portion may also include graded homework assignments.
  • 20% Labs and Larger Assignments: this may include research papers, poster or power point presentations of material, projects, formal lab reports, etc.

I encourage you to start good study habits early on and be consistent. Read your text, learn how to take notes on your own, meet with study groups outside of class, make flash cards, learn vocabulary, etc. Do not expect to cram information before a test or before the AP exam and get a good grade. This class is much more in depth than what you are used to. Feel free to see me any time. I am here for you and to help you be successful. You would have not been admitted into this class if you were not capable of excelling.

Please keep this at the front of your notebook for reference.

Help HoursEdit

Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 7:30, Monday through Thursday from 3-3:30. Other times available upon request. Please make arrangements with me ahead of time so I can make sure I am in my room. I prefer for you to write in your “appointment” in the designated calendar.

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