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Biology

Instructor: Cheryl Gray Mitchell
July 12-16, 2021

Register for Biology

APSI Biology 2021 (Online* Version) - COURSE DESCRIPTION:

Over the course of this online workshop, new and experienced teachers alike will become familiar with the recently updated Course and Exam Description (CED) in AP® Biology (2020). The updated CED organizes the course into eight commonly taught units:

1: Chemistry of Life
2: Cell Structure and Function
3: Cellular Energetics
4: Cell Cycle
5: Heredity
6: Gene Expression and Regulation
7: Natural Selection
8: Ecology

The major focus of this online Advanced Placement Summer Institute will be on the changes to the CED, lab investigations, and the new resources available to teachers. The updated course framework clearly connects each learning objective to specific essential knowledge and includes biology–specific science practices that build skills to help students learn to think and act like biologists.

Particularly important will be the time and skill set necessary to support teachers in implementing more inquiry-based investigations and participants will be given tools and strategies for modifying traditional experiments into inquiry-based models. Participants will become familiar with both hands-on and virtual investigations in the updated lab manual AP® Biology Lab Investigations: An Inquiry-Based Approach (2019) as well as explore creative alternatives to these investigations. We will also examine the new AP® Biology exam design and essay grading. There will be time carved out for teachers to begin working on their AP® Biology syllabus specific to their school’s daily schedule and calendar so the AP® Course Audit process will be made easier.

*Online Learning Requirements: Participants must have a laptop/computer, WiFi/internet, Zoom app, access to certain lab materials (I am told APSI pricing was lowered by $50 to offset any cost to participants) and space to conduct safe hands-on lab investigations (kitchen/garage/patio) as well as a willingness to exchange effective teaching practices with peers in an online platform.

We will:

• Discuss teaching strategies and all of the 13 AP® Biology labs in the Lab Manual.
• Design and conduct a minimum of two labs for each of the four Big Ideas. Most labs for each Big Idea will be a hands-on investigation, with lab design, execution, and data analysis performed in small groups via Zoom Breakout Rooms that will be moderated by the instructor.
• Learn how to use existing resources most effectively in implementing the changes in the Curriculum Framework.
• Share alternative and supplemental lab activities and CER (Claim, Evidence, Reasoning) activities.
• Work together on preparing a course audit (as needed).
•Review pacing guides, sample syllabi, textbooks, and how to navigate the AP® Central website, AP® Classroom, and the course audit portal.

Key Takeaways for Participants include the following:

1. Understanding the redesigned course
2. Planning to teach the course
3. Teaching the course
4. How to assess student progress and understanding
5. Becoming a member of the AP® Biology Community

AP Central AP Biology Updates

Lab materials needed for this workshop (keep together near a place where you are able to conduct “kitchen chemistry” investigations)*

1. Two (2) potatoes (any type)
2. Small bag of mini-carrots
3. Leafy celery sticks - minimum three (3)
4. Table sugar - one (1) lb.
5. Distilled water - one (1) gallon
6. Clear plastic cups, 8-12 oz. (12)
7. Hydrogen Peroxide (3% from any store)
8. Table or regular fan
9. Notebook, pencil, calculator
10. Blender
11. Hole puncher
12. Coffee filters
13. Yeast packet
14. Tweezers

*Order ahead of time from Amazon (or anywhere you can find something similar for the price)

Pocket balance $12.99 (0.01 g to 300g)

Beakers and graduated cylinders $7.99

Session Hours/Timing: Mornings, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.  (with a.m. break) will be live/synchronous, while afternoons will be asynchronous.

Daily Breakdown:

Day 1:

A.M. Synchronous

  • Welcome, K-W-L sharing
  • Key Takeaway 1: Understanding the Course and Exam Description (CED)
  • Building conceptual understandings by linking Learning Objectives (testable) and Essential Knowledge (content) in each Big Idea
  • Applying content in new, relevant, and unfamiliar contexts using Science Practices (Skills) and Essential Knowledge
  • Activity: Teaching for Transfer by Applying the Science Practices
  • Practicing the Practices
  • Investigation #11 - Transpiration Set-Up
  • Investigation #13 - Enzyme Catalysis Using Yeast or Potatoes and Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Activity: Teaching for Understanding of Content and Skills
  • Activity: Understanding the Course Framework and Big Ideas

P.M. Asynchronous

1) Planning Your Course Using Unit & Pacing Guides with PPT Narrated on Loom (plan the first few weeks of your course on your own or with teachers who have similar schedules – three (3) hours
2) AP Biology Exam Structure - one (1) hour
3) Prep Sucrose Solutions (with directions)

Checklist for the day:

  • Required Topic 1 - Course and Exam Description (CED) two (2) hours: Examine each section of the CED and make connections to the Curricular Requirements
  • Required Topic 2 - Course Introduction - one (1) hour: Outline the instructional plan by Unit and Topic in an academic calendar
  • Activity: Exploring the Unit Guides (and treasure hunt map)
  • Applying the Science Practices to design, conduct & analyze two lab investigations

Day 2

A.M. Synchronous

  • Transpiration Data Collection Day 2 via Small Scale/Balance
  • Lesson 9 - Scaffolding and Spiraling the Practices
  • Lesson 11 - Instructional Approaches & Strategies
  • Practicing the Practices
  • Lesson 12 (p. 97 workbook)
  • Lab Experience #2: Investigation 4 - Set Up Diffusion and Osmosis in Potatoes or Carrots
  • C. Gray Mitchell Online Agenda APSI Biology 2021
  • Investigation 9 - DNA Gel Electrophoresis: Foodborne Outbreak (MiniOne kits supplied free of charge with return labels)
  • Key Takeaway 2: Planning the Course - Sequencing, Pacing
  • Activity: Analyzing Science Practices and Learning Objectives on Exam Questions
  • Activity: Scaffolding and Spiraling the Science Practices

P.M. Asynchronous (Google slideshow for support)

1) Lessons 10 & 13 - one (1) hour: Instructional Strategies & Planning Your Course
2) Assess and Reflect - one (1) hour: Practice interpreting data within the Instructional Planning Report to identify student strengths and weaknesses and reflect on implications for instruction
3) AP Classroom Deep-Dive (2 hours): Learn how AP Classroom can be utilized to develop each skill/practice using example student data provided by the College Board and develop lesson plans that reinforce topic and skill connections.

Checklist for the day:

  • Required Topic 5 - Strategies and Pedagogical Tools: Identify various instructional strategies and tools that teachers can incorporate in their lesson plans to teach the content and skills in the Course and Exam Description
  • Applying the Science Practices to design, conduct & analyze two lab investigations
  • Required Topic 3 - AP Classroom Deep Dive
  • Required Topic 4 - Assess and Reflect Practice: interpreting data within the Instructional Planning Report to identify student strengths and weaknesses and reflect on implications for instruction

Day 3:

A.M. Synchronous

  • Practicing the Practices
  • Lesson 12 Lab Experience #2 (p. 97 workbook)
  • Wrap up Investigation 4 - Osmosis and Data Analysis with Water Potential & CER
  • Lesson 20 Lab Experience #3 (p. 149 workbook) : Investigation #3: Using BLAST to Determine Evolutionary Relationships
  • Lesson 17: AP SP #5 Statistics and Data Analysis
  • Lesson 18: AP SP #6 Argumentation
  • Key Takeaway 3 - Teaching the Course: Teachers need a deep understanding of content and applications
  • Using effective instructional strategies to help develop course skills and content knowledge
  • Practice makes perfect
  • Creating community within a classroom

P.M. Asynchronous:

  • Transpiration Data Collection via Small Scale/Balance Day 3
  • Lesson 14: SP #2 Visualizing Info (0.5 hour)
  • Lesson 15: AP SP #3 Questions and Methods (0.5 hour)
  • Lesson 21: Connecting the Exam to the Curriculum (0.5 hour)
  • Activity: Planning Your Course Using Pacing Guides (plan the first quarter of your course with teachers who have similar schedules). (1.5 hours)
  • Investigation 8: Virtual pGLO Bacterial Transformation with instructions and teacher answer keys (1 hour) 

Checklist for the day:

  • Required Topic 5 - Strategies and Pedagogical Tools - Identify various instructional strategies and tools that teachers can incorporate in their lesson plans to teach the content and skills in the Course and Exam Description
  • Applying the Science Practices to design, conduct & analyze two lab investigations

Day 4:

A.M. Synchronous:

  • Practicing the Practices
  • Alternative to Investigations 5 & 6 Cell Respiration and Photosynthesis in Algae Beads (Biorad kits supplied free of charge)
  • Lesson 25 Lab Experience #4 (p. 201 handbook): Wrap up Transpiration Lab and Analyze Results in CER Format
  • Lesson 28 Lab Experience #5 (p. 219 handbook): Investigation 12 - Animal Behavior with Pillbugs (presenter demo OR find pillbugs and DIY choice chamber with two small clear water bottles)
  • Activity SP 5 – Statistics and Data Analysis
  • Activity SP 6 – Argumentation
  • Investigation 2 Overview: Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium (if time permits)
  • Key Takeaway 4: Assessing Student Progress and Understanding
  • Aligning assessments and instruction to learning goals and performance standards
  • Challenging students to apply their knowledge and skills in different contexts for deeper understanding
  • Time, practice and feedback
  • Understanding is earned over time
  • Lesson 23: Formative Assessments vs. Summative Assessments
  • Lesson 24: Scoring Free Response Questions

P.M. Asynchronous:

  • Key Takeaway 5: Becoming a Member of the AP Community
  • Lesson 27: Course Audit and Curricular Requirements
  • Lesson 29: AP Teacher Community and Additional Resources

Checklist for the day:

  • Applying the Science Practices to design, conduct & analyze two lab investigations
  • Required Topic 4 - Assess and Reflect: Practice interpreting data within the Instructional Planning Report to identify student strengths and weaknesses and reflect on implications for instruction
  • C. Gray Mitchell Online Agenda APSI Biology 2021
  • Required Topic 5 - Strategies and Pedagogical Tools: Identify and explain various instructional strategies and tools, in addition to AP Classroom, that teachers can incorporate in their lesson plans to teach the content and skills in the Course and Exam Description.

VIRTUAL BIOLOGY SESSION NOTE: Participants need to purchase the materials outlined in this syllabus in order to participate fully in the online session.  The participant is responsible for securing these materials in advance of the session’s start.   Fordham has adjusted the cost of this session from $970 to $920 to reflect the out-of-pocket expense this represents.

About the Instructor

Cheryl Gray Mitchell graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a B.A. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology and she has spent 20 years in the classroom sharing her love of the natural world and inspiring students to reach the high expectations inherent in every science program.

Cheryl's teaching experience encompasses all levels of biology and chemistry (AP®, honors, grade level) and, after spending 12 years as the science chair at The Hebrew Academy in Miami Beach, Florida, she moved to the Philadelphia area in 2010. Cheryl currently teaches AP® Biology and honors chemistry at The Episcopal Academy in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania.

Cheryl has been a faculty consultant for The College Board® since 2003, serving as a reader for the AP® Biology exam and a presenter for College Board's online events. She also leads workshops and summer institutes in AP® Biology, Pre-AP® Science Vertical Teams, and Transitioning to Inquiry Based Labs.

Most recently, she was invited to present the AP® Biology workshop for experienced teachers at the 2013 and 2016 AP® Annual Conferences. Cheryl's publishing work as a freelance author for McGraw - Hill Higher Education includes revising the test bank that accompanies Peter Raven's Biology textbook (2014) and the creation of an updated, standards-correlated AP® Biology practice exam for Sylvia Mader's Biology textbook (11th ed, 2013).

In 2015, Cheryl became a content author for the online STEM platform Albert.io (formerly Learnerator) and she began working as a consultant for the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) in 2016, providing Student Study Sessions and mentoring new AP® Biology teachers in different regions of the country. Most recently, Cheryl became a contracted writer for Educational Testing Service, writing test items for the official AP® Biology exam.

*College Board®, AP®, Advanced Placement Program® and Pre-AP® are registered trademarks of the College Board. Used with permission.