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Class Policies

Page history last edited by Charles Forstbauer 10 years, 7 months ago

Purpose of the Course:

Biology is the capstone course in the Farmington science curriculum which prepares students to face the life science challenges of the 21st century.  As such, you will use scientific inquiry to explore what it means to be human and your place in the natural world in light of new discoveries and ecological challenges.  You will uncover consistency and patterns that describe the unity among the diverse life on Earth, how energy flow and transforms between living systems, and the understanding that all organisms and their environment are interdependent.  This will be accomplished through a series of challenging, engaging, meaningful and hopefully interesting learning experiences which will form the foundation for the lifelong ability to understand the basic principles that regulate how your own body functions, and how every individual functions as members of a global interdependent community.


What is your purpose for the course?



Expectations  EVERY DAY!


Ø      Notebook for taking notes and holding handouts.

Ø      Something to write with.

Ø      Your Brain - alert and awake.

Ø      Text (not used in class, keep @ home or in your locker)

Ø      USB thumb drive – highly recommended!

Ø      Computer access outside of class.


Mental preparation:

Ø      Prepare for class!

Ø      Read.

Ø      Be curious.

Ø      Understand that biology is complex and will require effort to understand. (it's like an onion- many layers and it might make you cry, but it's delicious when prepared properly!)


Effort 1:  This is a reading dependant course. There will be LOTS of new vocabulary that you will need to master.  Your understanding, and hence enjoyment, of this class will directly depend on the time and brainpower you put into your homework, reading, labs, and tests.


Effort 2: 20 - 30% of your grade is based on independent work; wiki, blogs, projects etc. This requires a sustained effort throughout the marking period.


Effort 3:  Change your perspective.  This might be the best class you ever have if you approach it that way. You will be uncovering the secrets of life for goodness sake, what could be cooler than that? Also keep in mind that if you don't make mistakes, you're not learning! Take chances and stretch yourself. I expect your best.



Attendance: You are expected to come to class on time and be prepared and ready to work. Late arrivals will result in detentions and loss of QB points. If you miss more than 15 minutes of class, you will be marked absent.  


     Missed classes: You are responsible for getting any handouts, notes, assignments and/or other class material presented. Any material handed out in class goes into a bin at the end of the day. Find what you need or have a classmate grab copies for you.

     *Period 9: if you are in a sport that will cause you to consistantly miss class your grade will undoubtable suffer! I'm not mean, but if you are not here, how can you expect to earn the credit?*


     Missed labs:  Labs will be made up at the teacher’s convenience after school.  Most times you will have about a week before lab materials are put away.  After that, labs can’t be made up and you will  have to complete the lab based on data generated by others. If you do not do the actual lab, your maximun grade will be 65% of the assignment value. If you miss a lab it is up to you to reschedule.


Grading:  Grading is based on a total point system with 800 - 1000 pts/semester. 


         Graded assignments: I usually get assignments back the next day. They will be on the lab bench when you come in. Obviously bigger assignments take longer but I will enter "collected" in PowerSchool.


        Revisions: Labs and certain assignments which are turned in early may be redone to receive more points, depending on the assignment.


Late Work/Drop Dead dates:   Assignments are due on the date given. Assignments will be accepted past their due date  up until the drop dead date. Any work turned in after the drop dead date will not be accepted.  Drop dead dates vary by assignment i.e. worksheets may be one day, written labs may be ten days. After the drop dead date don't bother, you get what you earned.  


Excused absences: Homework is due the next day.

               Quizzes are to be taken the next day- usually during class in the science tutorial room.

               Tests will be scheduled no later then 1 week after the original date. *Note: makeup exams will be primarily free response*


Un-excused absences:  You will receive a zero for whatever assignment is due and lose 4 QB  points for the day. Show up and talk to me! If your boy/girl friend dumped you (again), grandma died (again), your hard drive/OS crashed (again) or life is just plain crappy -  talk to me, we'll work something out - don't just cut and run, that never works anyway.


Extra credit:  There exists the possibility for extra credit each term. But before you even ask: has all of you work been turned in on time and are you always prepared for class?  You'll get the same answer.


Schedules: Generally I am in the office @ ~6:30 AM and stay as long as needed. My class schedule will be posted so you can track me down.



Website: http://www.mrfsscience.com/  Portal to class blog and wiki


Strategies for Success:

For many of you, this is your first reading-intensive science class.  It is a very different experience from physics and chemistry classes.  The basics are obviously sheer information (facts, concepts, examples, etc.), but the emphasis is on synthesizing that information and applying to new situations.  Often, there are multiple “right” answers to problems.  However, your answer MUST be based on solid scientific reasoning and be supported by data. You will need to apply your previous physics and chemistry knowledge to do this.


Notes: Since you will be adding information from multiple sources to what is discussed in class, your note taking methodology needs to accommodate this. Use a binder so hand-outs can be inserted and paper can be added as needed. Leave white space on the page for additional notes. If your notes are in order, preparing for exams is easier (Duh!)


Supplemental instruction: Ms. Shomo, Ms. Schriber and I all teach Honors Biology. Feel free to ask any of us for extra help.  Mr. Bridgman, the science tutor, is a resource for you and the science tutorial, room 715,  is a great place to study, do work and get answers! Ask for help from any teacher.  If your grades indicate the need, you will be assigned to science tutorial periods.


I am available before & after school if you need help. 



Teacher Responsibilities (your expectations of me):


              1.      That I will write all assignments on the board with due dates.

2.      That I will give aquate notice for major unit tests and quizzes. (However I reserve the right to pop in an unannounced quizzes  from time to time.)

3.      That I will be available for extra help. I will post a schedule of when I am available during the school day. Please do not wait until the last minute to seek additional help!

4.   That I will grade work and return it quickly.

5.   That I will be fair - no curve balls.

6.   That I understand that you have a life and it gets in the way from time to time.


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