Welcome to the Teachers' Center at Explore Biology. Here you will find resources to help you teach biology at the high school level.
TEACHER CENTER ANNOUNCEMENT
: The password access to the Vault has been updated for 2010-2011, so your old password will not work. Please follow these directions
to gain access for the year.
Some of my Regents lectures are supported by Powerpoint presentations
. If you are not familiar, Regents is a 10th grade very simplified introduction to Biology, that is limited by a state-wide exam. These PPTs are not
appropriate for AP Biology courses! I have just started to upload these, so please check back if you need. You may need a compression program to unzip some of them, like WinZip (PC) or Stuffit Expander (Mac), but most are posted as native PPT files.
Check out what we're doing online to expand beyond the classroom to the virtual world
-- to catch students wherever they hang out and entice them to think!
These daily worksheets are aligned with the Raven (7th ed.) textbook. The goal is to give students a daily assignment to get them to open the textbook, read it, and think about the material each night.
NOTE: I have moved all the molecule building activities over to AP Biology Lab & Activities Section
Post-AP Activities -- what to do with the students after the AP exam
An archive of syllabi submitted for the AP audit to help you develop your own. These are presented by permission of the authors to help other AP Biology teachers.
A resource for AP teachers developing their curriculum. This is an Excel spreadsheet. Input the total number of teaching days that you have in your school year and the spreadsheet will automatically calculate how many days you can devote to each AP Biology unit, roughly based on the percentages recommended in the College Board's AP Biology Course Description "Acorn" book.
Here is a list of review PPTs and activities. If you would like to add a contribution, please e-mail me directly.
- CB AP Biology Practice exam -- This is how to download the practice exam from the CollegeBoard Audit site.
- Lab Review PPT -- a PPT that reviews each of the AP "Dirty Dozen" labs and reviews past essay questions that target them.
- Lab Essay Questions
These are sample essay questions related to the 12 AP Biology Labs. Use this document to practice answering the essays.
- Course Overview
Have students use this to help check their understanding of each topic and to review the concepts they need to know for each unit.
- Confounding Terms Cards (Version 1.0) -- These are sheets of terms with similar roots that may have nothing to do with each other except that students can confuse them since part of the word sounds alike. They often get clusters like these in the Class Sets in the second half of the exam. I envision copying these sheets on cardstock and then cutting them up into individual cards and putting each set in an envelope. Then give the envelope to a small group of students and they must discuss, define, and clarify. I hope it gets students to review across units by having to go into random access memory.
If you would like to add a contribution to improve these, please e-mail me a term and a proposed answer at
- alphabet soup -- common AP Biology acronyms. Make sure they tell you where this shows up in biology (where it is important and what function it serves), not just what the acronym means.
- -ation -- terms with an "-ation" or -tion" root
- co- -- terms with a "co-" root
- -cyto- -- terms with a "-cyto-" root
- -derm -- terms with a "-derm" root
- eu- & hetero- & hypo- -- terms with a "eu-" or "hetero-" or "hypo-" root
- glu- & gly- -- terms with a "glu-" or "gly-" root
- -osis -- terms with an "-osis" root
- -phyll & hydro- -- terms with a "-phyll" or "hydro-" root
- trans- -- terms with a "trans-" root
- Pairs across the Phyla (Version 1.0) -- These are sheets of terms organized in rows. The items are functions and structures paired across different phyla. I envision copying these sheets on cardstock and then cutting them up into individual ROWS and handing each row to a PAIR of students.
Their task: HOW ARE THEY THE SAME? HOW ARE THEY DIFFERENT? For each pair, one person in the team should research the first item and the partner should research the second item. Highlight the most important commonalities and differences and list that information on an index card. When the team is finished, review the cards together. The goal is to review and also to see new connections between living organisms that are classified in different groups.
If you would like to add a contribution to improve these, please e-mail me a paired question and a proposed answer at
The original idea for these pairs came from another teacher on the AP Bio Listserve. If this is your brainchild, please contact me at
so I can give you credit.
- Top Ten Lists -- Ask your students to develop quasi-Letterman "Top Ten" lists for each unit. "If I learned anything from this unit I should have learned these ten (or so) things." We share & develop a class list on the board (which I make students write as we go, so it serves as a review/refresher for them) and then we practice MC and essay questions that test those concepts (which I have collected from old AP exams). Afterwards I give students a copy of my "official" lists (linked below) as reference, but I still make sure they have written down our class-developed list as we write it on the board. I have ordered & numbered these units based on the Holtzclaw review book.
- Unit 1. Biochemistry Unit
- Unit 2. Cells Unit
- Unit 3. Metabolism Unit -- Respiration & Photosynthesis
- Unit 4 & 5. Genetics/Heredity & Molecular Genetics Unit
- Unit 6. Evolution Unit
- Unit 7. Biodiversity & Classification Unit
- Unit 8. Plant Form & Function Unit
- Unit 9. Animal Form & Function Unit
- Unit 9. Ecology Unit
- Thematic Review Cards -- These are sheets of concepts organized by the eight CB AP Biology themes. I envision copying these sheets on cardstock and then cutting them up into individual cards and placing each set in a thematic envelope (different color cards for each different theme). Then give the envelope to a small group of students and they must research, discuss, explain, and clarify. I hope it gets students to review across units. If you would like to add a contribution to improve these, please e-mail me a question and a proposed answer at
The Vault is the password-protected private Teachers' area -- where I store the files for teachers' eyes only. To gain access, you need to have received a password from me by contacting me directly. When you e-mail me, you will need to prove you are a teacher by mailing me from your school e-mail address and by giving me the following information: (1) your school contact info (address & school telephone), (2) chairperson's contact, (3) principal's contact, and (4) if you have, a link to a Web page listing you as faculty member. Please include the word "Vault" in the subject line of the e-mail. For security purposes, I may follow up first to confirm your status as a teacher, so access to this section is never immediate. Enter the Vault. PLEASE NOTE: The password access to the Vault has been updated for 2009-2010, so your old password will not work. Please e-mail me from your school e-mail address to gain access for the year. For security purposes, if you had access in 2008-2009, tell me last year's password.
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