Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Standard Set #3: AP Biology Units 3 and 4

Two more units worth of AP Bio standards today. Unit 3 covers energy transformations, starting with basic energetics and enzymes. Energy capturing (photosynthesis) and energy releasing (cellular respiration) pathways are also covered. For the organismal aspects, the animal digestive system is covered, as well as some basics of animal nutrition. In the past, we had covered plant nutrition as well, but with the new curriculum guidelines from the College Board we removed most of that, and rolled it in to other plant information.

I was able to pare the animal digestive system and nutrition down to one standard, since these topics were not stressed in the College Board curriculum framework. However, these standards may be expanded in the future. When I shared these standards with the other AP Biology teacher, she felt as though there should be more specific standards for the different pathways (glycolysis, fermentation, Calvin cycle, etc.) Also, I am not sure that something as important as the digestive system can be adequately covered with a single standard. I will have to look more closely at the curriculum framework before making a decision about it.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Standard Set #3: AP Biology Unit 2 and Reworked Science Practices

Today I have two sets of standards to post: Unit 2 of my AP Biology Class and a reworked Science Practices standard set.

Unit 2 of AP Biology covers transport, beginning with the cellular and molecular details of diffusion, moving into cellular membrane structure, and how that structure regulates what enters and exits the cell. These principles are then applied to organismal processes such as the excretory and circulatory systems. Writing these standards made me realize that what had been a fairly large unit in terms of class time was able to be distilled down to a handful of standards.