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Honors Biology

2015 - 2016
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Ms. Emily Fox efox@mattawanschools.org (269) 668-3361 ext.1106
Office hours will be held Tuesday and Thursday after school until 4:00 pm (or by appointment)! Please take
advantage of this time.
Course Description: Honors Biology is a more rigorous and fast-paced version of biology. Students in this course
are expected to take more initiative in their classwork and will be expected to do more work at home. Biology
is the study of living organisms, their relationship to each other, as well as their relationship to the
environment in which they live. This course is designed to allow all students, regardless of career choice, to
fully understand and appreciate the fundamental features of living organisms. Biology includes studentdesigned projects, lab investigations, and classroom discussions. Students are encouraged to think and become
productive members of our living world by discovering how relevant biology is in their lives. The major
disciplines covered throughout the course will include: biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, microbiology and
ecology.
It is further the goal of this classroom that every student achieves personal success. This can be accomplished
by developing a partnership between students, parents, and teacher, following rules and procedures of the
classroom, students maintaining high standards for themselves and working toward their personal best.
Investment of time and desire will ultimately lead to academic success; failure is not an option. As a student in
this class, it is expected that you will be an active participant!
Major

Outcomes:
To understand how biology developed and what constitutes a living thing
To recognize weaknesses in arguments that are presented as scientific
To design and conduct an experiment
To compare and contrast ways in which selected cells are specialized to carry out particular life
functions and the distinctions between cell types
To describe common ecological relationships between and among species (including humans) and their
environments
To explain how energy flows through familiar ecosystems and how human activities can alter this flow
To understand the structure and function of nucleic acids and the mechanisms of gene inheritance and
expression
To explain how a new species or variety may originate through the process of natural selection
To classify major groups of organisms within the five kingdoms
To understand how human systems function together to maintain homeostasis
To compare the structure and function of major organic molecules that compose living organisms

Assessment Strategies: A combination of assessment tools will be utilized including labs, activities/projects,
models, homework, quizzes and tests. Class work, homework and labs will count for 40% of the semester grade,
while quizzes and tests will count for 60% of the semester grade. The resulting semester grade will be
combined with the exam for the final grade.
A cumulative final exam will be given at the end of each semester. It will count for 20% of the final grade. The
final grade each semester will be determined by combining the existing semester grade (80%) and the final
exam (20%).
Course Materials: Supplies are necessary in order to be prepared for class and get the most out of your
learning experience. Many of the items listed below are key to remaining organized and, therefore, play a
critical role in your success. The following materials are strongly recommended and should be brought to class
by Monday, September 14th.

1-2 inch binder for Biology only


70 pg. spiral notebook OR/ lined paper
Multiple pens or pencils
Returned classroom policy sheet with parental signature

Course Policies and Procedures: My expectations for you in this class are high. Throughout the year, it will be
pertinent for you to set high academic and personal goals for yourself, think critically and question what you
see, approach problems from multiple perspectives, help those around you, and ask for help when needed.
The 5 Ps
Be Prompt Be in your assigned seat before the bell rings. Meet deadlines.
Be Prepared Bring necessary materials to class, including homework. Study for tests.
Be Polite Respect yourself, the teacher, your peers, and school property.
Be Productive Participate wholeheartedly in all class activities. Follow instructions. Use your time
and energy wisely. Finish all work. Everything has its time!
Be Positive This class will provide many opportunities for interaction; that interaction must be
positive and good-natured. You are young adults and will be treated as such. However, no one has the
right to interfere with the teachers right to teach and every students right to learn.
Absences, Tardies, Late Work, & Extra Credit
Students are responsible for their own work. I expect every minute of class time to be utilized productively
(and you should too!); therefore, it will be much more difficult for you to learn if you are not in class.
Unforeseeable circumstances do arise, however, and as a result there are procedures in place to ensure that
you can obtain any work missed during an absence. The following rules have been set in place in order to
promote student responsibility:

Excused Absence: Per school policy, you will be allowed two days for each day of your excused absence
to complete your work. To schedule missed labs and activities, you must see me within two days of
your return. Any assignments, quizzes, etc. that were announced prior to your absence are expected to
be made up on the day of your return. Please remember, you are responsible for the work missed
during your absence.
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Figuring Out What You Missed: A daily agenda will be posted at the front of each file folder
hanging in the blue Absent Bin. Students will be able to find the days corresponding
handout(s) behind the appropriately labeled tab. Students should pick up their missing work
before or after class, NOT once class has begun! Completed assignments are to be turned in to
the bin labeled Biology. Please do not place assignments on the teachers desk.

Tardies: Please refer to the student handbook; the schools tardy policy will be strictly enforced
throughout the school year.

Late Work: Assignments not handed in on time will receive a 10% deduction for each day that they are
late. Late assignments will only be accepted up to one week past their due date.

Extra Credit: Rarely, if ever, will extra credit be offered. Please do not count on this to replace
assignments you did not complete. If an opportunity does arise, it will be offered to the entire class,
not on an individual basis.

Integrity
Confidence in your abilities comes with hard work, setting high standards, and achieving the goals that you set
for yourself. This develops strong character and integrity, which is not at all possible if your level of
commitment is not at your personal best. Students sharing or copying the work of others will receive no credit
for that assignment and will be subject to disciplinary action.
Technology
Use of phones or electronics while the teacher is giving instruction or during class discussion time is prohibited.
During work time, using electronic devices to perform research for class is permitted, however, students should
not be texting, gaming, listening to music, etc. The use of an electronic device that causes a student to be off
task will result in the device being confiscated and held until the end of the hour (1st offense), day (2nd
offense), or turned over to your Dean (3rd offense). A formal misuse of technology behavior referral will be
made to the student's Dean after the third infraction. Refusal to relinquish possession of the electronic device
when requested will additionally be formally referred to the Dean as an insubordinate action.

Honors Biology Class Website: All assignments will be posted to the website in a timely fashion, along
with a daily agenda (on the class calendar). Materials can be accessed at
www.msemilyfox.weebly.com.
Remind 101: Text message notifications will be used in this class to remind you of due dates and tests.

How to Sign Up:


Text @foxhonorsb to the number 81010 OR/ (269) 216-6816
You will then receive a text message asking for your name.
Respond with your full name; you will now receive messages.
Parents please sign up too using these same instructions!
Grading Policy: Your grade in this course will be a composite of points earned through tests, quizzes, labs, inclass activities, participation, and homework. Please remember that your grade reflects the effort that you put
forth in class, as well as your performance; I do not give grades, you earn them.
Homework, Labs, and Participation
Tests or Quizzes
Grading Scale:

100%-93% = A
92%-90% = A89%-87% = B+
86%-83% = B
82%-80% = B79%-77% = C+

40%
60%
76%-73% = C
72%-70% = C69%-67% = D+
66%-63% = D
62%-60% = DBelow 60% = F

Additional Information: This syllabus is a tentative outline of the course and may be changed as deemed
necessary by the instructor. Failure to adhere to above policies may result in a reminder by me, detention, ISR
and/or visits with your counselor or dean. Steps may be by-passed due to the severity of the infraction.
Teacher discretion applies at all times.
Lets get ready for a great year!

The previous policies have been explained to me and I agree to adhere to them.
______________________________
Please Print Student Name

______________________________
Student Signature

I have read the Honors Biology classroom policy sheet.


______________________________
Please Print Parent/Guardian Name

______________________________
Parent/Guardian Signature