Course Information and Policies
How do we learn in biology?
This is a college-preparatory course. Ultimately, the responsibility for learning will fall on you. Our role is as a guide to help you through your learning pursuits. Think of this course as a journey. In any journey there is a “quick way” and a “scenic route”. The quick way is often boring and you don’t get to see (or remember) much about the trip. The scenic route takes longer, but the experiences and views on the trip are memorable. We will try to take the scenic route as often as possible: you will be experiencing biology! Your job will be to get as much out of our experiences as you can – you need to be an active participant! Otherwise, we’ll get to the destination and you won’t know how we got there.
What are your resources?
- In class Textbook: Miller and Levine, Biology. Pearson 2010
- One Note Classroom - online resources and digital versions of notes
- Canvas - graded activities and assignments are listed here
- Your Personal Notebook – 3 ring binder (at least 1 ½”) is recommended with some loose-leaf lined paper
How is your progress tracked?
Most of your pursuits on a daily basis are NOT graded; the goal will be to learn!
Per Marking Period (4) (each are 1/5th of Final Grade):
Summative Assessments - 60% of the marking period grade
Summative assessments are your evidences of learning. These assessments will be similar to the assessments that all students in biology will be taking. You will be informed of the dates of these at least 1 week in advance and there will be an outline of material to be tested provided (e.g. Study Guide)
If you missed a summative assessment, it must be made up within 3 school days of your absence*. Mr. Bradley and Mrs. Braskey will be flexible with you in arranging a make-up time, but you must make it up!
*for prolonged illness or trip, these deadlines can be increased, as needed
- Other class pursuits – 25% of the marking period grade
Formative quizzes – these are small “learning checks” to see what you understand and what you don’t. Your notes serve as the study guides for these.
Laboratory experiments – these are hands-on learning activities, the goal of which is to understand a process and get practice doing science. You are graded for your participation and careful work in these activities. Occasional work at home to complete the analysis of these will be required.
Mini-projects – these are activities that last multiple days in class, the goal of doing these is to add enrichment and real-world connections to content learned in class. You are graded on your participation, completion, and careful work. We generally try to provide ample class time to complete these mini-projects, but occasional work at home may be required to complete.
- Homework and Qualities of a Science Learner – 15% of the marking period grade
The goal of homework (beyond completion of the above activities) is to review biology content. Each major content anchor will be reviewed with a homework assignment. The frequency of homework is dependent on the pace at which we go through the content and the need for review as deemed by the teachers. Homework reviews are graded in the following way:
Check for completion – day of review in class – you are expected to make corrections and add to this as we review. If you are absent the day of the review, you should arrange to review it with the teacher outside of class. (50% of grade)
Review grade – graded the day of the notebook check (have you made corrections, etc) (50% of grade)
Notebook Check – due the day of the summative assessment
You will be required to keep all of your classroom materials in chronological order – we will guide you to help with this. At the end of the unit, you will collect all class materials and create a packet that will “clear out” your binder. These will be graded and kept on file for your use later in the year. Each item in your notebook is assigned a point value and graded for completion.
Per Semester (2) (each are of 1/10th of Final Grade):
At the end of each semester (in January and in June), you will be assessed on the accumulation of knowledge you have gained from the previous semester (part 1 in January, part 2 in June).
What are your responsibilities as a student?
- Be on time to class and be prepared to learn.
- Be respectful of others! Harassment on any kind (even playful) will not be tolerated.
- Stay focused on class work. Cell phones, music playing devices, and conversations with each other should not be distracting to the learning of you or others. I will intervene (i.e. take away cell phone/iPod or move your seat or assign a detention) if distractions occur.
- Be honest in your learning pursuits. Cheating on any assessment will result in a zero grade on the assessment and an office referral (will be on your permanent record). For first offenses, alternate assessments will be given for a partial grade. For second offenses, no alternate assessments will be provided.
- Follow deadlines. Summative assessments will be scheduled well in advance. Unless there are extreme circumstances (which will be determined by my discretion), you will be held to the deadline. Anything that is not a summative assessment that is graded will be accepted at any time up until the last Friday before the end of the marking period, but they will gain only partial credit (up to a 50% deduction)
- Don’t fall behind! If you have a hard time with something we are learning in class or you are absent from class, be aware that this class builds on what we do every day. You are ultimately responsible for learning the content. You are responsible for anything that you missed and you must make it up in a timely manner (no more than 3 school days from the deadline for full credit).
How to avoid falling behind:
If you anticipate being absent, see Mr. Bradley or Mrs. Evans in advance (give at least a day’s notice) and they will be able to have your assignments prepared.
Any work that was due the day you are absent will be due the day you return. Make sure it is complete!
If you are absent for more than 1 day, email us or have a friend get materials so you can start working on missed work at home.
When you return, go to the front desk and look for the folder for your class. Your missing materials should be found there.
Today’s papers will be on Mr. Bradley’s front desk, pick those up as well.
The material you missed MUST be made up, even if it is not a graded assignment. You are NOT given class time to make up the material, it MUST be done during a time OTHER than class time. Your name will go up on the board when you are absent, if you do not come in within 3 days* (outside of class), you will be given a teacher detention and be forced to make it up.