Web Page / Show Assignments & Announcements
Biology Course Profile 2012-2013
For all Biology Sections
Dr. Eric Thomas
Welcome to Biology. Throughout the year we will work together to cover many difficult and yet interesting topics and concepts. While the class is challenging, it is definitely possible to do very well in this class. I will do all I can to help you receive the best grade possible, as long as you are willing to put forth diligent effort-- both in the classroom and at home. Diligent effort means full attentiveness to the teacher and fellow students in class, studying at home every night, taking notes, attending all classes and labs, and a willingness to ask for extra help.
When it comes to extra help, I cannot stress enough that you must look to do this immediately when you realize you do not understand a concept. If you wait and try to get help right before a test, you will most likely be unable to fully grasp that concept. I promise to respect all of you and I will address reasonable concerns and take time to work with any student who asks it of me. I look forward to a great year with all of you and I am very excited to be teaching this class.
If a student or parent/guardian needs to contact me, please feel free to email me at email@example.com call me at 610-544-3800 (extension pending). I will make every effort to respond as quickly as I can, but that may be one or two days in some circumstances. I will be happy to address any student or parent/guardian questions and concerns.
1. During this class, topics will be chosen from the following branches of biology: scientific method, ecology, cell biology, genetics, evolution, animal kingdom and human anatomy and physiology.
2. I hope this course will prepare you for AP Biology that is offered at Cardinal O’Hara High School. If you choose to take a biology course in college, the materials and subjects we covered in this course will prepare you well for that endeavor.
3. Regardless whether students continue with additional science classes, I hope that every student develops an interest in science, an appreciation for the logic and factual grounding that science provides, and an understanding of how science affects many different areas of our lives.
Expectations and Evaluation:
1. Time required for success in this class: I anticipate that students will need to spend, on average, half an hour every night. This might include reviewing notes, doing homework assignments or projects, and studying for tests. While this is true for many classes, good study habits are especially important for this class since much of this material will be new to you and challenging to grasp at first. If you do not prepare for class and study, your grade will almost definitely reflect it. Studying the night before a test will not suffice and you will be unable to understand the material sufficiently.
2. Reading: Students must bring their textbook home most nights. Reading assignments should be completed before class and review should take place after a subject is covered in class. One approach is to read each chapter twice -- first as assigned before a class, and then again in preparation for tests or quizzes.
3. Class notes: It is critical that you take extensive and accurate notes in class. Most often, the material that I feel is most important will be the material that is covered in class. Students are required to have a notebook in which all class notes are recorded. Notes should be in order and dated. At this point in time, I do not plan to collect notebooks although that is subject to change. From past years teaching this class, I know that if a student does not take good notes and look over them, the student almost always does poorly.
4. Homework: ALL assignments will be posted on Grade Connect. It is the student’s responsibility to look at Grade Connect every night. For written homework, the student will have two or more days to complete the assignment. If a student is absent, he must check Grade Connect for the assignment. Homework will not be accepted late. Homework is due at the beginning of the period and it will be collected at that time. If a student cannot find homework until after homework has been collected, it will not be accepted. This is meant to prevent students from using this time to complete or copy homework. . If a student is absent, the student must turn in his homework the next class period he returns. If the student fails to do so, he will receive a zero.
5. Lab reports: All laboratory reports will be due 7 school days following the completion of the lab. There are absolutely no extensions on lab reports. Each lab report will be worth 10-40 points. Lab reportsmust be typed—no exceptions. If you type up your report the night before and realize your printer is out of ink, email your lab to a fellow student and have that student print out your report for you. Only a hardcopy will be accepted. No emails will be accepted. As stated before, there are no excuses for not having a typed report. Just like with homework, lab reports will not be accepted late. Students must complete their labs individually, unless I have assigned a group project. If a student misses a lab, he must write a 2-3 page typed report. The student must contact the teacher for the topic. The report will be due at the same time as the next lab report.
6. Projects: Each semester, the students will be assigned a project that is equal to a test grade. The project is to help a student boost his or her grade. Details about the project will be given out in class.
7. Class work: Students will sometimes be given class work that must be completed by the end of the period. The student will be given plenty of time to complete the assignment and the assignments will be collected at the end of the period. If the student uses his time wisely, the student will have no trouble completing the work on time. If an assignment is not completed by the end of the class, the student will receive a zero.
8. Tests and quizzes: There will be a minimum of three 100 point tests per marking period. Proper preparation for a test includes reading and re-reading the materials, reviewing class notes, and seeking extra help as the class progresses. If a student misses a test due to an excused absence, the student must make up the test within two school days of his/her return. I will not look for the student, so it is the student’s responsibility to contact the teacher and work out a new time to take the test. If the student does not contact the teacher in time, the student will receive a zero on the test or quiz. There will be quizzes given during all of the marking periods. The quizzes will sometimes be announced and sometimes be unannounced. Each quiz will vary in points. If you miss a quiz, the procedure is the same as for tests.
9. Midterms and finals: There may be a midterm examination. There will be a final examination.
10. Cheating: DON”T DO IT. If two lab reports or homework assignments look very similar and cheating is suspected, both students will receive a zero. Plagiarism is an automatic zero for any written assignment. An important part of the teaching process in my opinion is teaching responsibility for the job world. In the job world, excuses and cheating will not be tolerated. Cheating on tests, work, lab reports, etc. is strictly prohibited and will result in the student receiving a zero. I will also contact the student’s parent(s) or guardian(s).
11. Extra credit: I do not offer extra credit because too many students use that to avoid doing the required work. Instead, grades are based on a variety of tasks, allowing everyone an opportunity to succeed. Also, I believe that extra help – rather than extra credit assignments – results in better overall accomplishments.
12. Supplies: Students must bring two to three sharpened #2 pencils or pens, an eraser (if needed), calculator, notebook, textbook and loose leaf paper everyday to class. The textbook must be covered. Students will also be told periodically to bring in colored pencils.
13. Behavior: When the bell rings to begin class, the students must be in their proper seats and silent. If you are not in your proper seat and you are marked absent, you will be written up for “cutting class” unless you have an excused note from another staff member. Lavatory passes will be given sparingly. Violation of class and/or school policies will not be tolerated. Students are expected to act respectfully and properly. Anything less will not be tolerated.
14. Grades: All grades are on Grade Connect. Parents and students can know at any time how the student is doing. There are no surprises. If you notice any mistakes or have questions, bring them to the attention of the teacher immediately.
I look forward to meeting everyone and I hope that each of you has a productive, enjoyable and successful year of school!