Class Introduction:

2019-20 (1 credit)

Chugiak High School - Science Department

Instructor: Mr. Brian Mason
Phone: 742-3050
Classroom #: 227
Periods: 1, 2, 5 & 6
Textbook: Biology by Miller and Levine

Course Objective:

"The task is not so much to see what no one yet has seen, but to think what nobody yet has thought about that which everybody sees." Arthur Schopenhauer

The primary focus of Biology is to develop a solid grounding in the principles of the biological sciences. This will:
• Provide the skills and knowledge necessary to pass this course and relevant exams with Biology content such as the ACT;
• Provide the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in future courses such as Chemistry, various AP science courses, etc.
• Give you a frame of reference in which you can look at the development and dissemination of science in a critical manner;
• Explain many of the natural phenomena that you may have questions about; and
• Help you create for yourself a richer understanding of our species' role in the natural world.

Course Overview:
1. Fundamentals of Biology
2. Ecology, Biodiversity and Extinction
3. Biochemistry
4. Cell Biology
5. Respiration & Photosynthesis
6. Cell Division
7. Oncology (The Biology of Cancer)
8. Fundamentals of Genetics
9. Genetic Technology
10. Adaptation and Natural Selection
11. Microbiology
12. Anatomy & Physiology

Course Assessment:

• Homework, Labs, and Quizzes: Students are encouraged to keep an up to date assignment sheet and day-planner showing all assigned work and due dates. To assist you, my website will be updated daily - check it regularly. Homework will be expected on its due date before class begins. Late work may be turned in for reduced credit - specifically, the assignment will be worth 65% of the earned grade but will not be accepted after a) ten days, b) the unit quiz, or c) the assignment has been graded and returned to the class as a whole. Quizzes will usually occur 1-2 times per month. Homework will be assigned on occasion, but generally it will be necessary only for those tasks that are not finished during class time. All assignments (classwork, labs, homework, etc.) will carry equal weight unless specified otherwise. Quizzes are worth twice as much as regular assignments. The way this will actually appear in the gradebook is that most assignments will be worth 100 points and quizzes will be worth 200. There will be exceptions to this approach and they will be noted in class.

• Exams: The final exam will be worth 15% of your overall grade.

• Assessment: You will keep all handouts, notes, readings, and completed work in a binder during the semester - keep it current and in chronological order. Your final exam will be comprehensive and I promise that you will do far better if you keep everything you receive in this class and keep it organized. Quarterly meetings will be held to review each student’s progress in the course. At this time a participation grade will also be assessed (it will be equal in weight to one assignment).

• Extra Credit: Students may arrange for extra credit projects by discussing them in advance with the instructor. EC work will only be arranged with students who have completed all of their regularly assigned work. On rare occasions the instructor may assign extra credit to the class as a whole, but do not expect it or count on it as a way to improve your grade. There is no substitute for regular and consistent effort.

• Hint: Reviewing and discussing course material on a regular basis - not just the night before a quiz - will help you greatly in this class.

Course Expectations:

• General Expectations:
1.Take this class - and your intellectual development - seriously.
2.Treat your classmates and instructor with respect.
3. Be on time and prepared to learn (materials and attitude).
4. Listen the first time instructions are given.
5. Follow all class and lab safety rules.

• Attendance: Come to class every day. Since something different will happen in every class, you could miss out on some important stuff by not attending. In addition, the textbook is supplemental to class lectures and activities, not a substitute. As an added incentive, active participation during class can improve your grade substantially. If you miss class, you are still responsible for any work assigned and/or material covered. According to the ASD policy, you will have 1 day to make up your missed work for each day that you are absent. When you are absent you MUST check either my website or the board/folder in class for missing work BEFORE you talk to Mr. Mason. Making up missed work is YOUR responsibility, though Mr. Mason will make every effort to help you catch up. The best time to talk to Mr. Mason about make-up work is during lunch or after class, not at the beginning of class when the bell is ringing.

NOTE: Fifteen absences from this class during the semester will prevent you from receiving credit.

• Tardiness: I take tardiness very seriously. Beginning on the 2nd week of school any student who is tardy (not inside the door when the bell rings) will be marked as tardy. I promise that this will be an active class; so missing even a few minutes is not acceptable. In addition, the Chugiak High School policies will be fully enforced. They are as follows:
5th and 6th tardy: Lunch detention
7th tardy: Referral to the discipline principal

• Materials: Come to class with your binder, assignment sheet/dayplanner, lined paper, and a writing utensil. Any deviation from this routine will adversely affect your success - and therefore your grade - in this class. No passes will be given to retrieve materials.

• Hall Passes: Hall passes will not be issued during the first or last ten minutes of class. Please don't ask. At other times passes will be given at a reasonable rate for valid reasons.

• Plagiarism and Cheating: Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. The first offense will result in a grade of zero for that assignment. The second offense will result in a parent/teacher conference and the involvement of the school administration.

• Disclaimer: This is not a complete listing of class rules; these will be covered in greater detail during class time. In addition, I reserve the right to add or delete specific rules during the semester as long as I give you prior verbal notice.