Biology Course Update Newsletter

February 4, 2014

Grades Updated!

At each Assignment Due date, grades are updated by the teacher. Zeros are entered for any missing assignments from the student's schedule. Students and parents should view grades and notify the teacher of any issues. Students are encouraged to turn in missing work for partial credit according to GaVS late policy.

You will receive a course update email from me every two weeks, immediately after an Assignment Due Date.

Please read through the newsletter for helpful information.

Students May Submit Late Assignments ... for ONE WEEK only.

After the assignment due date, we accept late work for one week with a reduction in points each successive school day. Please note that this has been adjusted because of the inclement weather in GA last week (click image to enlarge)

Follow Your Teacher on Twitter for Updates, Shout Outs and More!

@MsMaddology - follow me
#maddbio - follow course tweets with this hashtag

Tips for Success!

Peer Tutoring Available!

Parents: Did you know that GaVS has a Peer Tutoring Center that offers free tutoring in this course? Click here for a brief PowerPoint presentation that provides a little more information about the GAVS Peer Tutoring Center.

Please send me an email if you are interested in peer tutoring and I will help to facilitate a connection.
Whether your goal is to increase or to maintain your current grade, all of these strategies boost student learning potential. If you are unhappy with your grade, challenge yourself with one (or many) of the following to establish some good student habits for success.

Strategy 1: Follow That Schedule!

The biggest mistake students make is not completing assignments on time.

Print out your schedule and use it as a daily checklist. The expectation is that students stick to the schedule and work in the course each day for at least one hour or more. Turn in all your assignments on time. If you have a late assignment - turn it in by Monday so that you only lose a meager 10%!

Strategy 2: Read Your Feedback!

Did you know that every assignment you submit gets a personal response from your teacher for you to view? Feedback helps you focus on your study needs. Discussion feedback is viewed in the Gradebook. Quiz and Dropbox feedback is viewed where you submit those assignments. When you are notified of a graded assignment - immediately look at the feedback!

Here is a tutorial on how to see each type of feedback: Quiz, Dropbox and Discussion:
Viewing Feedback

Strategy 3: Communicate!

Students are expected to read email and News Announcements in the course daily. Email or call your teacher with questions as they arise. Participate fully in class discussions and chat sessions where you can.

Strategy 4: Interact with the Course Content!

The content (our course textbook) contains all the information for the course. The assignment schedule is taken from the content. The content explains the assignments, how they are graded and where to submit them. Print out pictures or other important information from the content. Print the rubrics for projects and use them! When you are taking an online course, the content is your textbook and guide for independent learning.


You have a number of study materials at your disposal in the User Links Widget within the course:
  • Weekly Chat Recordings (by topic): watch teacher/student interaction, download supplemental materials
  • Topic Pinboards: resources related to our content compiled by your instructor (games, practice quizzes, videos, etc.)
  • USA Test Prep: Take practice tests for each topic and earn bonus points on the test

The Parent Account gives you information about your child’s grades and progress in their course. If your child’s grade drops below a 75, you will receive an automated phone call. If your child’s grade drops below a 70, you will receive a phone call from me.

If you already have a parent account please do NOT create a new one.

1) Please check to see that your parent account is linked to your student’s account.

2) For more information click Help on the Log in page or click this link.

If you are uncertain about whether you have a parent account or not,

1) Log in to GAVS at and at the Log In page type in your username and password.

2) For more information click Help at the top of the Log In page or click this link.

*Information for parents who have NEVER created a parent account.

1) Login to our website

2) Click the “Log In To GAVS” icon

3) Click “Create An Account” from the navigation bar.

4) You will need to know your child’s GTID and date of birth.

5) Please follow the directions on the screen.

6) Be sure you have linked your parent account to your student’s account.

7) For more information simply click HELP at the top of the Log In page or click this link.

D2L Help Sessions

When: (attend any of the following)

Thursday, February 6 at 7PM

Tuesday, February 18 at 11AM

Thursday, February 20 at 7PM


This is an online event in the Adobe D2L Help Classroom

You will join by entering the meeting as a Guest. Your username is your first and last name. Here is the link to join each D2L Session:

Adobe D2L Help Classroom

The space for each session is limited. We ask everyone to join the session using only ONE computer at your home. If the session is full, the recording will be posted within the learning management system and you will have an opportunity to review the recording OR attend another upcoming meeting. The schoolwide D2L meetings are separate from individual Welcome sessions held by each teacher. Please plan to attend the meeting with your teacher as well. Your teacher will notify you about the date of that meeting.

Contact Me!

Weekdays, 10am-10pm by email or phone.