Testimonials (Curricula)

I am writing to you because I just saw my student’s scores on the AP Exam from this past year. This is the first group of students I taught the whole way through using the Catalyst Curriculum. (The previous year I used it for half of the year.) I am so pleased with how they did! It was not an easy group, as many had individual difficulties of one type or another, yet each of them was able to demonstrate knowledge on the exam – there were even a couple of surprise 5’s that I would not have necessarily predicted. I already believe this is the best way to teach, and to learn, but now I have the numbers to back it up with administrators, parents, and students. Not only is it more fun every day, but the students achieve greater success as a result. Thank you again for giving me to tools I needed to start teaching a better way. — Joy Ting, Biology Teacher, The Covenant School, Charlottesville, VA

I first became acquainted with Kristen Dotti three years ago when she was presenting at a regional NSTA conference. I took samples of her curriculum home with me and tried them out with my students. What impressed me the most was the eagerness of the students to take charge of their learning. As their mentor, I walked around and listened to their discussions which were full of critical thinking and high-order questions. It was such a rich experience for me as well as the students. At the end of that year, I purchased the entire set of AP* Biology Daily Lesson Plans and have used it for the last two years. This curriculum is a gold mine for all AP teachers. From the daily planner to the specific activities, it is so organized and easy to implement. Each section is aligned with a practice Free Response question from previous AP Biology exams. And the modeling activities and graphic organizers not only help the students remember the content longer, but serve as great reviews before the exam. In my thirty years of teaching, it is by far, one of the best resources I have ever used and I recommend it to all pre-AP and AP Biology teachers. — Peggy Welch, Jessamine Career and Technology Center, Nicholasville, KY

I used your curriculum this year to teach my pre-AP bio courses. Quite frankly I was worried about changing things in AP and not sure if I could make it happen. The [AP Biology Daily Lesson Plans] was quite different from the style of teaching I had been using for the past 12 years. However the outcome has been better than I ever imagined. I wish now I had taken the leap with my AP class as well. There was quite a bit of outside preparation time I put into making sure I knew what I was doing and to have materials…but, in-class time went so smoothly with lots of student participation and demonstrations of such a deep understanding of topics discussed…I was in awe. I gave the same tests as in previous years as a control and found that comprehension and test scores went up dramatically across the board. More students were being successful and they enjoyed trying to figure out what I had up my sleeve for the next topic. The visuals and games we played have given us many opportunities to go back and revisit key concepts with recall. I am a believer. I will never go back to lecturing again. — Julie Gallagher, Serrano High School, Phelan, CA

I have been a teacher for 31 years. I have taught Biology for 24 and AP Biology for 15 years. Over a year ago, I was able to purchase the AP* Biology Daily Lesson Plans Curriculum from Catalyst Learning Curricula. I began implementing the curriculum immediately. The premise of this program is that students are being trained to actively learn while teaching each other. I have found that my students have done a far better job of extracting important information from the book we use and from the daily projects and writing assignments that are proposed within this curriculum. Another finding is that the best students continued to perform very well, while the performance of students with lesser ability has improved dramatically. One hundred percent (100%) of my students passed the AP Biology exam last May. I have found the AP* Biology Daily Lesson Plans Curriculum are a convenient way to develop a young person’s love of biology while remaining a truly relevant and rigorous plan to survey the AP Biology Curriculum. — Dan Shannon, Archbishop Moeller High School, Cincinnatti, OH

*AP and Advanced Placement are registered trademarks of the College Board, which was not involved in the production of these products.