Susan graduated with a degree in Ecology and Systematics from San Francisco State and pursued graduate work in limnology at Uppsala University, Sweden. This was interrupted when she accidentally fell into teaching and joyfully stayed, working in private and public high schools in Northern California and Utah. She completed her Master’s degree in Science Education from Montana State University where her studies focused on the role of student affect in science course success. Susan Berrend is the Science Chair at Pacific Bay Christian School in Pacifica, California. She has been involved with the AP* Environmental Science exams since 2000 as both reader and a table leader and has had the honor of being a consultant in Environmental Science since 2005. For the 2021 online exam, she served as the question leader for several questions where she helped develop their scoring rubrics and oversaw constancy in their scoring. Believing in teaching as an ever-developing craft, Susan has recently incorporated her students' service-learning projects into the AP with WE Service program, as well participating in local programs that support student agency in environmental justice issues. She stays busy dabbling in calligraphy, backpacking, gardening and being a fantastic dog aunt.
AP* Seminars Silicon Valley - 2023
This Environmental Science workshop will cover the Advanced Placement* course and recent changes in AP* including AP Classroom, the structure and grading of the examination, appropriate assignments, labs and texts, and the relationship of these materials to the preparation of students for college-level work. This course is designed to benefit both new and experienced AP* Environmental Science teachers. We will explore instructional strategies and assessments using a variety of texts. We will examine course syllabi, structure, and pacing. We will also break down the parts of the May exam and investigate instructional approaches for appropriate level vocabulary, logic, math skills and experimental design. We will discuss how to scaffold students’ development of expected science skills, helping prepare students for the tasks found on exams, and how to manage the workload of an AP* course. The recently expanded resources from the College Board will be explored, with ideas on how to make best use of them. Participants will engage in researching, crafting, and sharing new course materials. We will share activities designed to cultivate the critical thinking skills necessary for student success in the AP* classroom and beyond.
We will participate in mock scoring sessions of the exam using current rubrics. Teachers with experience in the AP* program will review a variety of approaches to course structure, and they will gain numerous teaching strategies to add to their toolboxes. New AP* teachers will learn about the course requirements as well as various curriculum strategies and teaching techniques that will assist them in offering students a successful AP* Environmental Science course.
Labs: This integral part of the course will be covered in a variety of ways: activities that participants will do with lab partners and share their findings during the workshop; other labs will be experienced by viewing videos of labs and field trips created by experienced APES instructors; participants will share with each other applicable labs, and brainstorming and crafting labs and data sets that would work in their classroom situations.
What to Bring: Participants should have a laptop and access to the text they will utilize in their AP* class as they work to develop lesson plans and units aligned to the curriculum requirements.
• To identify and apply the standards of the AP* Environmental Science Exam to classroom practices
• To explore and develop effective and engaging AP* Environmental Science units, lessons, and syllabi
• To expand participants’ “toolboxes” with successful instructional strategies
• To explore course resources
• To network with colleagues and learn from each other
• To return to classrooms with ready-to-use instructional activities and labs
AP Seminars Silicon Valley 2023: Agenda