Biology IA: Testing this change

January 2013 Newsletter

In this issue...


The bell has rung, and the semester has begun!

Welcome, parents and students, to the exciting and challenging journey that is Biology: the study of LIFE. My name is Mrs. Madden, and I strive to make this course engaging, fun, personally relevant, and challenging at the same time. I expect my students to meet this challenge head on, and so far, we've had a fantastic start. Parents, I look forward to a partnership that results in success for your student.

This month's focus lies primarily in introducing the science of biology to your student. They will explore the characteristics of life and the nature of science through the eyes of the scientific method. Be ready for kitchen experiments that are simple in design, but big on meaning! Building the basics of scientific thought means thinking, acting and speaking like scientists - what better way to immerse yourself in learning Biology!?

Always feel free to contact me - I am here and available for each of you. I look forward to a productive semester!

Tips for Biology Success:

As discussed in our Welcome Chat (see User Links Widget in course for recording), here are some helpful suggestions for maximum results:

  • Be Present: check course/email daily; watch chats, actively participate
  • Be Organized: follow schedule; submit all assignments on time; follow directions
  • Communicate: seek help regularly and early; read feedback
  • Do your best, high quality work: engage your brain while working; use the language of biology

Parents: Do You Have A Parent Auditor Account?

Parent Auditor Accounts allow parents to view student progress and grades within a course. If you need to create an account with us, link it to your student, or want to know more about how to use it, click on the helpful links below:

How do I create a Parent Auditor Account?

How do I link my Parent Auditor Account to my student?

How do I use my Parent Auditor Account to monitor grades and student progress?

Biology as a Second Language

One of the biggest hurdles at the onset of a Biology course is the vast vocabulary. The amount of new vocabulary in a Biology course has been compared to that in a first-year language course. That can be impressive and daunting, no?

The *best* way to get through that vocabulary is to immerse yourself in the language; I encourage students to use that vocabulary during assignments, weekly chats and even to talk to their parents/siblings/friends and "tell them a story" using those words. If the Biology student can do that, they truly know biology.

So, parents, ask your son or daughter what they learned about today in Biology class; Expect a story, and expect to learn a new language, too!

Students will find links for decoding Biology words on our Biology IA Homepage.

Upcoming Important Dates

Next Benchmark/Assignment Due Date:
February 1, 2013

D2L Help Sessions:

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 11 AM

Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 7 PM

A link to the Help Session is located below.

Click here to enter the Help Session.

Helpful Links:

GAVS Helpdesk/Knowledgebase - student and parent can find answers to questions about how to navigate courses
Online Biology Textbook - fantastic additional resource to our online content from Estrella Mountain Community College

Stay tuned for next month's newsletter!