Biology Class Syllabus

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

Biology and the History of Life is a course that will take us from the beginnings of the universe, our solar system and planet, to the formation of the smallest building blocks of life, through biological evolution and biological classification.  Topics to be covered include:  The Scientific Method, Ecology, Cells, Genetics and Heredity, Evolution, Biological Classification, and Animal Behavior.


GENERAL INFORMATION:                                                                         

Name:  Mr. Jerrid Johansen                                                  Room 2238/E10

School Phone:  (402) 829-4600                                            Email: jjohansen@paplv.org

Website:  www.jjohansen.com


Email is the best method of contact and responses will be sent in a timely manner. 
 

From August - October, I am available for assistance BEFORE SCHOOL ONLY. (XC)

From March - May, I am available for assistance BEFORE SCHOOL ONLY.  (Track)


TEXTBOOK:

Miller and Levine Biology published by Pearson 2010

Because I don't teach directly from the textbook, students are not required to check out a book for the year.  I will have books in my room that students can check out and take home as necessary.  Think library, with only one book available.  

There are a couple of other options available for students to access the book at home:

  • There is an online version of the book available by clicking on the following
    • Open Book is self-explanatory.
    • You can click the Explore tab near the top to get a very brief overview of the key points from each section in the book.  This is extremely helpful.
  • Students can purchase the book through iBooks ($14.99) for an iPad or iPhone


SUGGESTED MATERIALS:

  • 3-Ring notebook (2” – 2.5” will work well)
  • Notebook paper (8.5” x 11”) with clean edges
  • Notebook dividers or tabs will be helpful, but not needed
  • Pencils and a good eraser
  • A SIMPLE scientific calculator will be useful 
It is your responsibility to bring these items with you to class and take them with you when you leave class, each and every day.

2016-2017 CLASS SCHEDULE:

Period 1 – Honors Biology                                     Period 5 – Honors Biology

Period 2 – Biology                                                Period 6 – Plan

Period 3 – Success Study Hall                              Period 7 – Honors Biology

Period 4 – Biology


GRADES AND GRADING:

The Papillion-La Vista School District adopted a weighted grade policy beginning with the 2011-2012 school year.  Under the new policy, a minimum of 70% of the grade will come from exams and tests, and 30% of the grade will come from homework, assignments, and reports.

  • General Biology will have the 70/30 ratio
  • Honors Biology will have an 80/20 ratio

Here is an example of how the grading system works.  Let's say a student earns 400/500 points on all of the tests during the semester, and earns 300/500 points on the assignments/homework.   

For the GENERAL SECTIONS
First take 400/500 and multiply by 0.70 to give you 0.56.  Then take 300/500 and multiply by 0.30 to give you 0.18.  Add 0.56 and 0.18 for a grade total of 0.74 or 74%. 

For the HONORS SECTIONS
First take 400/500 and multiply by 0.80 to give you 0.64.  Then take 300/500 and multiply by 0.20 to give you 0.12.  Add 0.64 and 0.12 for a grade total of 0.76 or 76%. 

With this grading policy it is evident that your successes or failings in Biology will depend on how well you prepare for the quizzes, tests, and exams.  At the same time, it is not possible to completely ignore the assignments/homework and achieve an "A" or "B".

The grading scale for biology will be the same as the one found in the student handbook.


RULES AND REGULATIONS:

Guideline #1:  Follow the TITAN WAY:  Be RESPECTFUL, Take OWNERSHIP, Be SAFE.

Guideline #2:  If you don’t make it an issue, I won’t make it an issue.

Guideline #3:  Don't take advantage of my patience

Guideline #4:  Cell phones and smart phones are not allowed in my classroom unless you ask for permission to look something up, or to use it as a calculator.  I will ask you to put it away after a first offense.  After a second offense I will ask to hold onto it until the end of class.


CLASS ATTENDANCE:

Expect every minute of class time to be utilized. It will be much more difficult for you to learn if you are not in class each day, largely because I don't teach directly from a textbook.  Each time you miss class for any reason, IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to find out what you missed and what can be done to make it up. 

In order to assist you in case of an absence, I have created this webpage to keep you updated and on pace.  After an absence it is your responsibility to look at the page and see what was missed.  Additionally, you should also talk to a friend.  If you have further questions or concerns about what you may have missed, then you need to talk to me at a time when I am not working with the class or with another student.  You are not allowed to ask me what you missed during the 5-minute passing period, nor are you allowed to ask me at the beginning of class.  The time to catch up and ask me questions is before the 7:45 bell.  If you miss class on the day before a  test you will take the test unless you come and talk to me before the start of school, and make arrangements to makeup the test outside of the normal class time.

Tardy and truancy policies are per building policy. 

 

TESTS AND TEST CORRECTIONS:

  • Tests (>150 points) or quizzes (<150 points) will be given approximately every other week.
  • Mostly they are multiple choice tests--they're more difficult than multiple choice tests you've taken before.
  • At no point will I give you an unannounced “pop quiz.”

I do not give EXTRA CREDIT in my class, but If you follow the directions below you can earn back up to 60% of the points you missed on the test.  

  • Follow the directions and and answer correctly you will earn (+3) points for each question.  
  • Answer correctly but do not EXPLAIN the answer with enough detail, you will receive (0) points.  
  • Do not follow the format, or answer incorrectly, you will miss (-2) more points for each question.  

    Directions for making test corrections

  • Do all corrections on a separate sheet of paper.
  • You must put the corrections in numerical order – DON’T SKIP AROUND!
  • You must staple your original test/scantron to the back of your corrections sheet.
  • You must neatly write the number of the missed question and write the ENTIRE QUESTION.
  • Beneath this put the letter for your answer, write out the entire answer, and explain why your answer is the wrong answer.
  • Then write the letter of the correct answer, write out the entire answer, and explain why the new answer is the correct answer.
  • Your answer must be based on knowledge and must add a new piece of information. Please see below: 


    Sample Question:

1. Where in the cell does photosynthesis take place?

     a.   mitochondria

     b.   cell wall

     c.  chloroplast

     d.  endoplasmic reticulum

 

    Sample Correction

1. Where in the cell does photosynthesis take place?

     b.  cell wall is incorrect because it is outside of the cell membrane in plant, algae, fungi and bacterial cells. It serves to protect the cell and to provide structure.

     c.  *chloroplast is the correct answer because both the Light-dependent reactions and Calvin Cycle of photosynthesis take place in the chloroplast.

 

    In other words, it would not be OK for you to say:
       b. The answer is not cell wall because photosynthesis does not take place here.
This should be obvious since it is not the correct answer. You must tell me something new about this topic, in this case, the real function of the cell wall. 


LATE WORK POLICY:

If a student turns in late work then 25% will be deducted from their score for each day it is late.  If the assignment is not turned in within 3 days of the due date the student will receive a zero on that assignment.

 
 

HONORS COURSE vs. GENERAL COURSE

The content covered in the honors course and general course will be approximately the same.  However, the depth at which we cover the material will be much more involved and in much more detail in the honors section.

Students in the honors sections will be required to complete more work on their own time, and will be held to a higher standard of quality and completion.

The tests for the honors sections are more detailed and written in a way that require a deeper understanding of the material. 


MY EXPECTATIONS OF YOU:

I have very high expectations of my students, and very little of it has to do with them being good students, or loving Biology as much as I do.  Regardless of their academic ability, or whether or not they Like Science, all students will leave my classroom in May and demonstrate the following characteristics:
  • They are RESPECTFUL.  In some ways, everybody should be treated equally.  However, recognize those who are your superiors and act an address them accordingly.
  • They take OWNERSHIP of their work, their words, their actions, and of their school.
  • They work to ensure the SAFETY of other by listening to directives the first time, and by reporting unsafe conditions to a person of authority.
WHETHER YOU ARE AN "A' STUDENT WHO LOVES BIOLOGY, OR ONE WHO BARELY PASSES THE COURSE, YOU WILL WORK ON THESE THREE ITEMS.


Biology Syllabus Form


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