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Help! I'm teaching AP Environmental Science.

Updated on June 12, 2012

Do these things immediately.

Attend the AP training. If you haven't attended recently do a short refresher course.

Submit your course syllabus to the college board.

Join the electronic discussion group.

Textbooks

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

Ecocolumn from my APES classroom 2011-12 school year.
Ecocolumn from my APES classroom 2011-12 school year.

Ecocolumn

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.

Food based

Two types of crackers needed-Mark and Recapture Activity One type of cracker needed-Tragedy of commons (you also need straws and plastic bowls)
Two types of crackers needed-Mark and Recapture Activity One type of cracker needed-Tragedy of commons (you also need straws and plastic bowls)
Any small candy-Tragedy of commons Candy with logo (like m&m's or skittles)-Radioactive decay
Any small candy-Tragedy of commons Candy with logo (like m&m's or skittles)-Radioactive decay
This is best for Tragedy of the commons because  popcorn goes a long way!
This is best for Tragedy of the commons because popcorn goes a long way!
Radioactive decay
Radioactive decay
A variety of cereal is needed but one box goes a long way.  Biodiversity Activities
A variety of cereal is needed but one box goes a long way. Biodiversity Activities

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.

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