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

Day 1

  1. Introductions and housekeeping
  2. How to use various online portals
  3. Agendas for each dayItems to gather for labs
  4. Required Topic 1: Unwrapping the CED Part I: Big Ideas, Science Practices and Format
  5. Equity and Access in AP
  6. Textbooks
  7. Lab #1-Soil Salinization Lab.
  8. Set demonstration via video.
  9. Participants set up lab at home using household items (salt, cups/bags)  and seeds.

Day 2

  1. Required Topics 1 and 3: The AP Exam and
  2. Introduction to AP Classroom
  3. Required Topic 5: Brief overview of 5E learning cycles
  4. Lab #3-Owl Pellet Lab
  5. Participants watch video on how to set up and do the lab along with follow up questions.
  6. FRQ #2 Practice
  7. Go over any questions from grading FRQ #1 and #2
  8. Required Topic 1: AP Science Practices- Resources and Teaching Strategies
  9. Required Topics 2 and 5: Unit #1
    Topics, Resources, Planning etc.
  10. Required Topic 3: Using AP Classroom to help with Unit 1
  11. Planning for Unit 1

Day 3

  1. Required Topic 4: Assess and Reflect using Instructional Planning Reports.
    Equity and Access and Scaffolding
  2. Introduce Pacing
  3. Required Topic 2: Pacing exercise for entire year
  4. Lab #4 Soil Testing Lab using testing kits mailed to participants
  5. Required Topic 5: Content Delivery Ideas
  6. Required Topics 2 and 5: Unit #2
    Go over topics, resources and Planning
  7. Required Topic 3: Using Resources in AP Classroom
  8. FRQ #3
  9. Pacing Plan

Day 4

  1. Required Topic 3: Using AP Classroom–Videos provided by CB
  2. Required Topic 3: Presentation on tips with how to use AP Classroom along with question and answer.
  3. Participants upload a video describing a favorite lab or activity they do
  4. Course Audit-watch instructional videos and time to develop their own audit.
  5. Lab #5: Tree Rings and Climate Lab
  6. Participants set up and use tree slices mailed to them
  7. Results of Soil Salinization Lab
  8. Course Audit

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