F.A.Q. For Colleagues

In the interest of saving your time (and mine), this page addresses the most common questions that I get from colleagues.  If you still have questions after reading this page, don’t hesitate to contact me (if your question is about something on this page, please indicate that you have read this page so as to avoid getting a form email referring you to this page).

Materials Usage

Can I use the materials that I find here for my own class?

Of course you can, as long as you adhere to the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License that the materials that you find here are made available under.  Essentially, this license allows you to use/modify anything you find on this site for any purpose as long as:

  • You attribute the original source of the material (maintain any original attribution on any materials you use.  If you are attributing modified work, please use something like “based on the work of David Knuffke, from mrknuffke.net).
  • You do not make any money off of the usage of the materials.
  • You make any derivative work available under a similar license.

Can I use materials that I find here in a capacity different from the above?

You are welcome to contact me and ask, but generally my answer is going to be “no”.

I think you are using something of mine without giving me proper credit!

That is certainly something I have tried my very best to avoid.  Please do not hesitate to contact me if you think this is the case.

Can I give you money for your awesomeness?

I mean, I won’t stop you if you really want to, but please don’t feel like you have to.  There is a non-negligible expense involved in hosting a website, etc.  To that end, I’m not going to say “NO!” if you really want to pay me back for what I do here.  Here is a list of ways that you can support the site and the work that I do.

Technical Support

I need permission for one of your resources in Google Drive, so I’ve sent you a request

Nope.  You don’t need permission for any resource I have made available for sharing (they are all publicly accessible without needing to request permission).  To that end, if you think you need to request permission, you are mistaken.  Either you are getting an errant permissions notification (see below), or you are trying to access something, or in some way (maybe you are mistakenly trying to request editor access for one of my master copy docs), that I won’t grant permission for.

I get multiple permissions requests every day.  And every day many multiples more teachers access the same resources without a problem.  That established, I don’t even generate my form “check the FAQ” email for permissions requests.  I just delete the request and move on with my day.

But I’m trying to access a resource and I’m getting a notification that I don’t have permission in Google Drive!

All materials provided on this site are provided to anyone with the link without needing special permission from me.  That said, I do get occasional reports that permission warnings may be triggered if you try to access drive-hosted resources from a web browser that is not current and updated.  To that end, make sure you are using a modern and updated browser when trying to access resources.  Any requests for permission will be ignored, and I no longer reply to them.  In short, if you’re running into this issue, the problem is on your end, not on my end.  Sorry if that sounds snippy, but I don’t have the mental bandwidth to serve as your personal tech support on this kind of thing, hence my making everything freely accessible to begin with.

A link on the site is not working correctly.

Please contact me with a detailed message about the problem that you have encountered, and I will go about fixing it.

I want you to add a link to your site.

Literally the only people who contact me about this are link-spammers.  I hate link spammers.  Seriously, you are terrible people.  But if you aren’t a link spammer and you want me to add a link, contact me here.

Pedagogy

What do you teach?

I teach AP Biology and Honors Chemistry.  AP Biology is a senior-level class, and Honors Chemistry is taught to sophomores.  I meet with AP Biology for two 40-minute periods every day, and I meet with Honors Chemistry on an alternating 1 period/2 period schedule.

Is your AP Biology course “post-curriculum shift?”

Of course it is.  I couldn’t possibly be teaching it if it wasn’t (actually, there are probably still some folks out there who have convinced themselves that they can just keep teaching the same old course in the new era).

What is your preferred sequence of instruction?

The one that is demonstrated on this website is my sequence of instruction.  But that doesn’t mean that it should be your sequence, too.  There is no such thing as a “better” or “worse” sequence, as long as you have a clear narrative flow to your course that is obvious to your students.

What textbooks do you use?

The cheapest ones I possibly can.  Seriously.  My students consistently indicate that they have almost no use for textbooks, and prefer other types of content structures.  All Honors Chemistry students are given access to a physical text along with the CK-12 Chemistry Flexbook.  AP Biology uses Principles of Life and the OpenStax Biology textbook.

How do you teach your classes?

My students are expected to initially encounter material prior to our discussion of that material in class.  For Honors Chemistry, this involves watching the course videos that I have created and taking notes on them using one of several different structures that most appeal to the individual student.  AP Biology covers the material via the course prezis that I have created and taking notes addressing a series of Pre-Discussion Questions (aka PDQs) that are provided for each section of course content.  You can find individual PDQ’s on the AP Biology Domain pages, (and also linked as HW assignments as they come up).

After interacting with material outside of class, we then discuss it in class, and skills are practiced.  For both classes, this involves the Google Slide Presentations that you will find on this site.  Most of our in-class time is spent working on student-driven structures to apply the material, and in the laboratory setting.

This is what the 2014-2015 Schoolyear looked like from the perspective of what my class did every day.  This is not to say that any other year will ever resemble this one, exactly (in fact, I imagine they will diverge substantially as the years pass by).

Here are selected moments from one week in my AP Biology class in the spring of 2016.  Please keep in mind that this is a snapshot of a particular year.  It’s only intended to give some notion of how I endeavor to structure my course.

It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this.