McQueen High School AP Biology

Get ready to meet the challenge of Ap Biology


You have elected to take AP Biology. No matter the reason, you have made a wise choice in taking this class. You will learn Biology as a series of interconnected concepts that explains how life in the world exists, persists, adapts, and gets along. You will also learn how you learn, and how to make different learning styles work for you. Finally, you'll develop critical thinking and analysis skills that will serve you well, no matter what career or field of study you pursue after high school.

What kind of stuff goes on in AP Biology?

Concept Mapping
Reflective Writing
Model Making
Mathematical Modeling
Inquiry Lab Experiences
Data Collection and Analysis
Long term experimentation
Experimental Design

What AP Biology is like at McQueen High School

We are a Flipped/Blended Classroom

We are a Flipped/Blended Classroom

Our class operates on the flipped (or inverted) classroom model of teaching. You may have had other teachers that have used this model of teaching, and you may have heard that this particular AP Biology class is taught using this method. We are also blended in that we take the lessons you have watched at home and "play" with the material the next class period by doing different activities that use the information you collected from the lesson to help you learn it better.

A flipped classroom is one in which students are assigned a 10-20 minute video lesson or podcast to watch outside of class. This work is completed prior to the next period. Students may be asked to take notes in an interactive notebook, or other space to take notes.

So what does this look like for us?

  • designing lab experiments
  • completing pre-lab activities in Canvas, our learning management system
  • practicing free response questions as a part of exam prep
  • answering short answer questions about content learned the night before in our interactive notebooks
  • solving problem sets in our interactive notebooks
  • working with models of biological processes, whether we are constructing them or examining them
  • creating graphic organizers in our interactive notebooks to cement learning

We use an interactive notebook to facilitate the learning we will do in class. You will create this notebook on the second day of class, so be sure you have the quad ruled notebooks by then!

Below is a video that gives you an idea of what flipped learning is, and how it works.

Flipped Classroom - Improved!


2 graph paper composition notebooks to be used as an interactive learning log. Do not buy a spiral notebook for this purpose. Do not buy "wireless neatbooks" with perforated pages as they fall apart. I will demonstrate how you will assemble the two composition books into an interactive notebook on the second day of class, so be sure you have them on that day. You can buy these at Staples.
  • A supply of highlighters, black or blue pens, and pencils.
  • A copy of Campbell's Biology, 8th edition, to be issued during the first week of school and to be used all year long.
  • A good attitude, strong work ethic, and willingness to try new things.
  • Access to the internet via computer, tablet or smartphone. If this is a problem, please see Ms. McCarty-Puhl.
  • Solid time management skills. This is critical, as this course can and will place great demand on your time.
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    About your teacher

    I have been a teacher for twenty-nine years, experiencing ditto machines to fax machines. During this time education has gone from Madeline Hunter to Marzano. I have earned a bachelor's degree in Geology, and two Master's degrees, one in Curriculum and Instruction and one in Forensic Investigation.

    I am Nationally Board Certified and have been since 2001. I have received several national, state and local awards including the Presidential Excellence Award for Secondary Science Teaching, Nevada State Teacher of the Year, Nevada Excellence in Environmental Education Award. Here is a link to my resume. I am a member of NASA's Network of Educator Astronaut Teachers. In addition I have been a black belt in ju-jitsu for forty-two years and have now earned a sixth degree black belt. My hobbies also include gardening, needlework, playing my harp, hiking and camping in Yosemite and playing with my dogs Buddy, a white mix breed and Chom, a Tibetan Mastiff.

    I teach because I love my students and I am fortunate to teach two classes which are both challenging and fun. Forensic Science is my first love which I designed over fourteen years ago and has been adopted by my school district. I teach it as a full inquiry class with no lectures except for explosives. I work closely with the local crime lab and coroner's offices and bring in guest speakers and arrange student tours.

    My second course is Advanced Placement Biology. When I was assigned the daunting task of teaching this course I took a CUE sponsored class a few years ago on "Flipped Instruction". So far the inversion has proven to be successful and I am hoping that the students experience the same level of satisfaction during their advanced placement exam in May.

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    Oracle of Corvus

    This is my avatar for the AP Biology game, Maelstrom.