College Prep Biology
Ms. Alex Chicherchia
Welcome to College Prep Biology!
This coursed is designed to help you:
1) Understand and apply the scientific method of investigation, observation, and inquiry to gain knowledge about all the living parts of earth.
2) Foster an appreciation for the vast diversity of life forms, and to recognize how their basic needs and life processes are remarkably the same.
3) Foster an appreciation of how major discoveries and events have advanced science and technology and how that technology is used today.
4) Grow to love the learning process, and to assist you in achieving your full academic potential.
Materials for Class:
1) Three ring binder: 2-3 inch binder recommended.
2) A Lab Notebook – Composition Notebook
3) Textbook: Will be handed out the first day of school.
As there will be a lot of material handed out/handed back throughout the course of this class, organization will be KEY to your success.
At all times, your binder will be kept in orderly fashion. This includes the following expectations:
· Your very first page of your binder will be the classroom expectations
· The second page of your binder will be our class grading policy
· The third page of your binder will be the class Lab Report Format
· The fourth page of your binder is expected to be the Sample Lab Report
· ALL class notes, pulse checks, study guides, and graded assignments (handouts/ homeworks/ quizzes/tests/lab reports etc) are expected to be in your binder in the sequence they were distributed/assigned/handed back throughout the course of the year
Grading Policy/Assessment Plan
The number of points earned throughout the marking period will determine your grade. This will include the following:
Homework will be assigned purposefully, and have meaning. Homework will be assigned at teacher’s discretion and when felt is needed. Homework will allow you the opportunity to practice application of what was learned in class, serving as great practice and preparation for the unit exam. Homework assignments will be given in the form of articles, short videos, and practice problems to reinforce discussion and content.
Quizzes will take place after major topics covered during the course of each unit. Quizzes will include multiple choice questions and short answer questions. Quizzes will serve as indicators of how comfortable you feel with topics covered in class, and serve as feedback for what you may need extra help with before taking the unit exam. They will assess skills and ideas within units and will include open ended and data analysis to explain scientific phenomena.
Lab reports will assigned to complete tentatively once a week, after the experiment has been completed and appropriate data has been collected. Lab reports are due THE NEXT LAB PERIOD from assigned date. Lab reports serve the purpose to explore concepts discussed in class in further detail, understand and practice scientific concepts, as well as applying scientific content knowledge in a hands on approach. Laboratory activities will give you an opportunity to ask questions and investigate them in small groups. You will learn how to collect, document, and analyze data in an effort to explain scientific phenomena.
One project will be tentatively assigned for every unit. Projects may require students to work in groups, or individually. Projects will allow students to further explore/practice science concepts taught during class.
Tests will take place after each unit. Tests will be composed of multiple choice questions, as well as short answer questions. Questions will require you to APPLY what you have learned rather than regurgitate memorized definitions/terminology. Tests will require you to USE what you KNOW.
· Final grades for each marking period will be determined by the number of points you earned divided by the total number of points possible from all assignments.
LATE HOMEWORK WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. Major assignments (Lab Reports and Projects) will receive half a letter grade deduction for each day late. Students who continually do not hand in work on time will be assigned a time to meet with the teacher either before or after school. The student will use this time to complete missing work for partial credit.
Students are responsible for all missed work. It is your responsibility to ask me if you have missed work while you were absent.
Homework: If you are absent you have one day to make up missed homework. All assignments will be posted on Schoolwires. I will update it regularly to reflect course assignments and upcoming dates of importance.
Tests and Quizzes: When a student misses a test, he/she is responsible for scheduling a make up test. Students will generally have 2 days for each day absent to make up any work or quizzes/tests. In the case of an unexcused absence, no opportunity will be given for makeups.
Labs: Labs must be made up within one week of your return to school. After one week of the missed lab, a grade of a “0” will be assigned if the lab is not made up. Please make an appointment with me before or after school to make up a lab.
At the end of the marking period, one lowest homework grade and one lowest quiz grade will be dropped.
Students will be assigned into study groups. Tentatively, every Friday students will assemble into their assigned study groups and be given an assigned question to answer with a 3-5 minute time limit. The question will be based on what was covered that week in class. The first team to hand in the correct answer will receive bonus point coupons. Each student of the team will receive one coupon. Bonus point coupons will be worth +1 point each, and at the teachers discretion can be applied to a homework assignment, quiz, or test.
Student Engagement and Extra Help
If you need extra help on any material covered in class or on an assignment, make arrangements to meet with the teacher before, during or after school. will be expected to contribute to class discussions and more importantly, ask thoughtful questions that will drive instruction. Asking high level scientific questions gives you the opportunity to brainstorm and investigate phenomena using an inquiry approach. You will struggle; and it is the responsibility of each student to advocate for themselves. If you don’t understand a concept, ask. If you still don’t understand, ask a friend or look it up online. If you still don’t understand, set up time for additional help. Each student learns at a different pace. My expectation is for you to ask for help when needed and put in the necessary time and effort to succeed.
Other Classroom Resources:
In class we will be making use of the following resources:
Google Classroom- This will serve as an online community, where helpful/useful youtube videos will be posted, students can ask/answer each other’s questions, polls can be taken, as well as other helpful links and resources can be posted.
“Pulse Checks”- Pulse check will be given periodically throughout the duration of the lesson. Pulse checks serve the purpose of taking a “pulse” of the classroom, and how comfortable students feel with the material at that moment. Pulse checks serve to pause class for 2-3 minutes, stop and practice/apply what was just covered before moving forward with material. Pulse checks will NOT be collected or graded. These serve primarily as a indication to the student how comfortable they are with material, and what questions they may need to ask before moving forward.
Teacher Website- All PowerPoints covered in class can be found on schoolwires. The calendar will also be kept up to date with all exam dates/unit dates in the case of any unexpected changes due to unpredictable circumstances.