Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Getting Ready for the Big Game

I feel like I'm in training, getting prepared for high school fall sports all over again. Only this time, I'm getting prepped and ready to teach like I've never taught before. My son, who will be a freshman in the fall, wants to take AP Biology. I will be his teacher.

Gulp.

The boy pursues science with a passion and I feel like I would be an irresponsible parent and home educator to not support him in it to the fullest. So here we go. I never took an AP science class myself in school, and am thus approaching this with a fair amount of trepidation, but the boy is pumped. We will tackle this together.

I've been doing a bunch of research and want a place to organize it online where I can come back to it whenever needed, so I'm going to put it all here. I suppose I could put it on my sister blog, Crooked Pine Academy, but I haven't used that one for so long that it is not even on my radar much anymore. Nope, it's going right here. You may click out of this post now and move on to something more interesting.

The Official AP Biology course page by College Board: teachers' guidelines, suggestions, sample syllabi, further resources, sample tests

Biology Education Online: Educator-submitted articles and interactive study aids

Mrs. Muskopf's AP Biology Page: a very detailed resource site for AP Biology teachers and students

The DNA Learning Center: a collection of media rich interactives and links to other 2/3-D sites

UC College Prep's Open Access Site for AP Biology LABS: comprehensive interactive online versions of the 12 required labs

UC College Prep's Open Access Site for AP Biology: an online textbook with some multimedia and interactive elements

Khan Academy: contains useful teaching videos on a wide variety of school subjects, including nearly 70 videos on high level biology topics

Are we crazy for attempting this course at all, with me not being a biology teacher? Probably. Are we REALLY crazy for attempting this when Tano is only a freshman? Likely. Are we going to at least make a valiant attempt anyway? Yes.

Best-case scenario: We learn to use our resources, work together, study hard and actually do it--get the boy to pass a college level biology exam when he is only 15 years old.

Worst-case scenario: Tano learns a heck of a lot of biology at an intense level, but doesn't pass the AP exam and tries it again next year. I can live with that.

1 comment:

Sherry C said...

Good to know, and good to remember to tell Tano:

I just took the multiple choice section of a practice test (the released 1990 exam)--having not taken a biology class since the 10th grade, and even then not an AP course. I managed to score a 47% without knowing much, just by using good test-taking skills to narrow down choices, answering the ones I knew, and guessing the same consistent letter on all the rest.