Help! I'm teaching AP Environmental Science.
Do these things immediately.
Attend the AP training. If you haven't attended recently do a short refresher course.
- AP Central - Institutes & Workshops
Find out more about AP training.
Submit your course syllabus to the college board.
- AP Course Audit - AP Environmental Science
Find out about your AP syllabus.
Join the electronic discussion group.
- AP Central - Registration for Electronic Discussion Groups
The electronic discussion group has been a great tool for me because it does more than provide lesson plans/labs/activities...it also provides support and a sounding board. Who better to understand what is going on than other APES teachers?
My district selects the textbook, so this isn't really an issue for me. One suggestion is to take a look at the college board's website (above) for suggested textbooks. Regardless of your selection, treat your text as a resource. In other words, your textbook should be one of many resources that you use. If this is your first year teaching APES keep in mind that it is an interdisciplinary course and if all you can do is use one other resource that's okay too.
If you are making the decision about which textbook to use, ask the publisher for a desk copy of the text you are considering.
LABS & OTHER ACTIVITIES
This is an Ecocolumn. You can find detailed instructions by searching keyword Ecocolumn or use the book Bottle Biology. The design shown used five 2L soda bottles resulting in three sections to be filled. The lowest section is the aquatic section (with organisms), the middle section is the decomposition chamber and the top section is the terrestrial chamber (with seeds). Ecocolumns can be used for water testing, soil testing, primary productivity.... I provide a variety of Ecocolumn designs and allow my student teams to select a design with the requirement that three chambers are needed. It takes about two hours of class time which includes discussion, bottle cutting/construction and filling the bottles.
I hope all of the activities mentioned above sound familiar. If not, you should be able to easily search them. I usually start off the school year with a reading of Garrett Hardin's Tragedy of the Commons and the Activity.
Enjoy your school year.