Environmental Science

Kristi Schertz

Kristi Schertz is an experienced professional development leader and coach for science, AP courses, literacy and technology. She is currently in her 21st year teaching and 14th year teaching AP Environmental Science. She is an AP reader and has participated in many AP scoring weeks as well as a mentor to new science and AP teachers. In addition, she is a published author of AP practice tests and environmental science test-prep guides. She also writes a popular blog site for AP science teachers.

Course Description

This course prepares both new and experienced teachers to effectively plan and teach AP Environmental Science. Participants will learn about the newly updated course format including units, big ideas and science practices and how to use the new “AP Environmental Science Course and Exam and Description” book.

Experienced teachers will be able to revamp their current course to align with the new course outline, units and materials. New teachers will be able to design their course using all the new College Board provided materials.

Participants will learn about the new AP test format and how to effectively prepare students. They will also gain experience with the new free-response questions and the new text-analysis multiple choice questions and strategies for all other types of AP questions.

AP Environmental Science has new Science Practices and participants will do new and revamped labs and activities designed to purposefully integrate the science practices of experimental design, data collection and analysis and math calculations. Many of these labs are designed in the 5E format for student inquiry.  

Participants will learn how to use textbooks, instructional materials and instructional strategies for all students to be successful. They will also have time to design their AP course including scaffolding, spiraling and equity and access strategies for all types of schools and students.

Participants will leave with essential materials, labs and lessons to have a great year teaching AP Environmental Science.

Items Participants Should Bring

Participants should bring a laptop or tablet that can access the internet, their chosen textbook (if they have one), a school calendar for the upcoming year, and closed toed shoes for labs and field studies.

Course Agenda

  1. Understanding the new, updated AP Environmental Science Course Framework
  2. Understanding the new Big Ideas
  3. Understanding the new AP Environmental Science Practices
  4. Understanding the new, updated AP Environmental Science Exam structure and strategies to prepare students
  5. Integrating science practices (skills) and content: Teaching for understanding
  6. Labs and activities that meet both content and science practice and may include
    1. Climate Change and Urban Heat Experimental Design Lab
    2. Trees, Forestry and Deforestation Lab
    3. Salinization Lab
    4. Air Particulates Experimental Design Lab
    5. Electricity Lab using Kill-A-Watts
    6. Cemetery and Medical Advances Lab
    7. Water Quality Lab
    8. Examining Climate using Tree Rings
    9. Toxins Lab
  7. New Unit Guides and other College Board materials
  8. How to teach new text-analysis questions multiple-choice questions
  9. Literacy strategies for AP science
  10. How to teach analytical multiple-choice questions
  11. How to teach and score free response questions (FRQs)
  12. Scaffolding and spiraling Science Practices
  13. Strategies to use the new AP Classroom website for formative and summative assessment
  14. Planning YOUR course and pacing calendar
  15. AP Exam test prep
  16. Textbooks, supplies and materials
  17. Equity and access
  18. Math strategies and lessons
  19. Instructional strategies-different ways to deliver content based on your student population and school.
  20. Online resources including AP Community
  21. Difficult content
  22. AP Syllabus discussion (Syllabus submission is delayed until 2021)

The course agenda will adjust with feedback from participants to address the needs of the group.