Biology Newsletter

Mrs. Teece

New Year, New Class!

Welcome! I'm so excited to have your child in my class this year! This year is definitely going to be different than past years; so many things have changed. New principal, new grading codes, new exemption policy, and no Biology End of Course exam!!!, among many other things. With all this change, this newsletter is intended to keep you updated on our class and what we're studying, as well as how all of these new things will effect you and your student. I hope to highlight what we've learned and what we will soon learn. I'd also like to feature specific classes, students, or student work. We have a lot more leniency this year with how quickly we have to go since there is no longer an enormous test over every detail at the end. This means that we'll get to do more labs and go a little deeper into the material. I hope by the end of the year your student loves biology as much as I do and I look forward to working with you towards your child's success!

What We're Learning

Unit 1: Chemistry of Life

Our first unit is all about the chemical make-up of living things and how they work. We've already learned about the properties of water that make it so vital to life and have begun learning about how important enzymes are for living things. We've done observations of water properties by seeing how water can move up against gravity, dying the tips of celery blue in the process. We've also done a lab that tests the effect of temperature and pH on how well an enzyme works. Doing this lab started showing students how to conduct an experiment and how to analyze their results. Some worked out perfectly and some didn't work at all. Each result is just as important to the learning process and it's important for students to know that in the real world, experiments rarely work out the first time. Scientists often have to adjust the experiment and re-run it many many times.


Still to come this unit is organic compounds. This is a complicated topic that many students have trouble with because there are a lot of details; however, this topic will resurface in almost every unit from here on out. Knowing this will make future units easier. I suggest that students find ways to memorize the organic compound chart in their notes. Maybe make flash cards, a paper organizer, get a study buddy, or read over it each night to refresh their memory. We do have one more lab this unit that gives students a chance to work with testing for organic compounds in various foods.

Next Unit...

Our next unit is cells. Students usually feel pretty confident with this topic because they've had it in previous years. This is a fun unit where we'll get to look at our own cells and possibly extract our own DNA.

Dates to Remember:

All dates are tentative and subject to change.

Sept. 3rd (B day) and Sept. 4th (A day)--Chem of Life (CoL) Quiz 2: Enzymes & Chem. Rxns

Sept. 8th (B) and Sept. 9th (A)--CoL Quiz 3: Organic Compounds

Sept. 10th (A) and Sept.11th (B)--Unit 1: CoL Test

Sept. 14th (A) and Sept. 15th (B)--Begin unit on Cells

Things To Know

Gradebook:

The gradebook is currently up to date. Here are how the codes will be used in this class.

# or 0 = this is grade the student earned on the assignment that was turned in

blank = it has not been graded yet

N = not turned in, will accept until the next test date (cannot exempt the final)

Z = not turned in, will no longer accept (cannot exempt the final)

L = turned in after test, but no credit given (this is for labs only)


Late Work Policy:

Late work will be accepted until the unit test. After that, all N's will turn to Z's. The exception are some labs. Since students will see those again on the final, they do need to make those up. Therefore, a lab done after the test will receive an L in the gradebook.


Class Website:

I update the class website regularly, including putting copies of assignments and PowerPoints and updating the calendar. You can find the website by going to the Bentonville Public School or BHS websites and logging in to edline. If you or your student have trouble figuring out how to log in, let me know. Sometimes I can fix the problem and other times I can tell you who to talk to to get it fixed.