• Lake Weir High School

    Mrs. Graham

    Room 03-216


    The following information is designed to help you understand the policies, procedures and expectations of this class.  Read and follow the School Rules that are listed in your Handbook, Agenda and Class.

    Course Objectives: This course is designed to follow the requirements that are established by International Baccalaureate.  Students will explore a variety of topics that will provide an appreciation of the concepts and principles of biology and an insight into how they are all connected. This course is set up to prepare students to take the set of IB Biology Exams in May which will require the study of the topics presented and development of laboratory skills. Students will academically grow and develop study skills that will prepare them for success in college.

    Required Videos, Readings, Units, and Projects: You will be given detailed information on the various videos to study, reading assignments and projects as they come up.  Reading assignments may be in your textbook, newspapers, journals, internet sources and more but remember that this is an advanced course so reading the assigned chapter information is necessary and will occur daily.  We will complete a number of projects in class and some of these projects will require some individual work at home. Units for this course include the following:

    • Scientific processes and Statistical analysis of data
    • Core Topic 1: Cells
    • Core Topic 2: Molecular Biology
    • Core Topic 3: Genetics
    • Core Topic 4: Ecology
    • Core Topic 5: Evolution and Biodiversity
    • Core Topic 6: Human Physiology
    • Option C: Ecology and Conservation

    Major Themes of IB Biology: There are four major themes that we will refer to throughout the course. These are areas that you will need to be able to tie all the information to as we progress through this course. Even though we will be working in some discrete areas, these themes will be referred to as we move through the information and they will cross all the lines to provide an overall connection.  The themes are: Structure and function, Universality versus diversity, Equilibrium within systems, and Evolution.

    Additional Information about IB: The IB program has a specific set of requirements for each course including Biology. IB Biology requires one IA (which is a student designed lab – don’t worry, I will give you the report format and expectations) and a big project called the Group 4 Project. Failure to complete these tasks will prevent you from earning your IB Diploma therefore you will be removed from the program so please make sure to complete these requirements.

    Class Rules: Be on time and come to class prepared.  This includes having your text book, agenda, paper, notebook, pen (standard blue or black ink only), sharpened pencil and any class work that is required.


    1. Listen to and follow directions the first time they are given.  You are responsible for the information that is given in class.
    2. Respect individuals and their property.  You are expected to conduct yourself in a responsible manner.
    3. Be in your seat before the tardy bell rings.  The school tardy policies will be followed.
    4. Prepare for class. Throw away trash and sharpen pencils before or after class or when given permission.  Do not disturb class to do these tasks.
    5. Talking in not acceptable during class instructions, lecture time, tests, quizzes, and announcements.  You will have plenty of time to talk so please be respectful during these times.
    6. Electronic Devices will be turned off and out of sight.  This includes wires hanging out or any other visible signs. There will be times when you will need to use a phone in class but those will be clearly announced times.
    7. Follow all Lab Work Rules and Instructions.
    8. No eating, drinking, or grooming in class. 
    9. Work that is to be turned in must be clear, clean, legible and on the acceptable paper.  If the work is illegible, it will receive a zero.
    10. Report any injuries or accidents immediately.


    Attendance and Make-Up Work:   YOU are responsible to find out what you have missed.  You must make up the missed work within 3 days of your excused absence or you must make arrangements to make up tests, quizzes or project with in that 3-day period. This may include having to schedule time before or after school to take tests and quizzes.  If you schedule anything before school, make sure you obtain a hall pass the day before.  I will not chase you down for make-up work.  If you choose not to do the work, you will receive a zero for the missed work.

    Tardy Policy: The tardy policy that is used by the school will be followed in this class.  Please refer to your handbook and agenda for this policy.  Since a tardy student can be very disruptive to class, make sure you keep track of time in the hallway

    Homework Policy: Remember that this is a college course with IB Standards and requirements. You will have homework to complete for this course every night because successful completion of this course you can earn college credit.  Each homework assignment will include what is expected and the day it is due.  Each and every day you have homework!  If you do not have a specific class assignment to be turned in, you should take at least 30 minutes (or more) to look over new vocabulary or to review information we have worked with in the past.  This course contains a great deal of terminology and vocabulary that requires time to learn.  If you take that time each day, you will find that you will be much more successful in this class and in school.

    Late Work:  Assignments are to be completed as directed and turned in by the due date.  You may turn your work in ONE day late for a 10% penalty which means that you can receive a maximum of 90% on your one-day-late work.  After that time, the work will receive a zero.


    Deadlines: Some assignments will be given a deadline for completion.  NO work will be accepted after the deadline.  You will have time to turn the work in before the deadline so make sure you schedule your time wisely.  What would happen if you worked for a newspaper and missed your deadline?


    Supplies:  You have been provided with a supply list that is necessary for this class.  Please be sure to have the required supplies in class with you each day.



    1. Work is to be completed in standard blue or black ink pen or pencil unless instructed otherwise.
    2. No correction fluid or tape (wite-out or white-out type) is to be used on your work.  To correct mistakes, draw a single line through the mistake and continue on with your work.
    3. Work should be neat and complete.  Do not use spiral paper that leaves torn edges.  If you must use this type of paper, please cut off the fringe.
    4. Doodling is not acceptable on work that is turned in.  This will be returned for recopy and therefore possibly late.
    5. Identify each page of your work and staple pages together before turning them in.  Do not risk loosing part of your work.
    6. If your work is illegible then you will receive a zero for the assignment. If the exam graders cannot read your responses to the questions, then you will not get credit for the answer.


    Laptops/tablets in Class: Laptop computers are allowed in class for note taking and various projects including some web-based projects.  This is a privilege and therefore any misuse will result in loss of that privilege.  Laptops can be a great tool but this comes with a great responsibility.  No game playing, web surfing at unapproved times or other inappropriate use of the computers will be allowed in class. Violation of this rule will result in immediate loss of privileges.  Please keep in mind that you will be responsible for your own computer.


    Grading System:  Grades are calculated by the District computer system.  Categories that are used for this class are as follows:                                                                           Scale

    Tests, Projects, Presentations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50%                  A = 90 - 100

    Class/Daily Assignments, Quizzes, Class Participation . . . . 40%                        B = 80 - 89

    Homework. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10%               C = 70 – 79

                                                                                                                       D = 60 - 69

                                                                                                                       F=  0 - 59

    Grading will be based on a point system within each category.  Each activity will be worth a certain amount of points.  If an assignment is worth a total possible 10 points and you receive 9 points, you will have 9 out of 10 points = 9/10 = 90% for that assignment.  The activity (test, quiz, class assignment etc.) is placed into one of the categories and each of the categories is worth the percentage of the total grade.


    Laboratory Policies and Procedures:  Throughout this class we will be completing a number of lab activities including the Group 4 Project and an IA Lab as required by IB.  You are to read, know and follow all the Lab Safety Rules and Procedures (on a separate sheet). Since many of these lab activities will take more time than our class period allows, we may have to schedule some time after school for the longest of those activities. If you miss a lab, you are still responsible for the information, for the lab work and for the report.  You will have to see me to make arrangements on how to make the lab up and this will depend on the nature of the lab.


    Formal Laboratory Reports: Some of the laboratory work you complete will require you to construct a formal laboratory report (the format will be given to you) and this will need to be in a digital format to submit to Turnitin.com and Managebac as well as a printed format for IB. You are responsible for printing of the complete reports and these reports will not be returned to you because they must remain on file for IB. You will be able to view the feedback to make appropriate future adjustments but the hard copy as well as the digital format must be kept on file and it is advisable that you retain a copy for your own records.


    Tests: The tests for this class will be written in the IB style and will include both multiple choice questions and essay.  You will have the opportunity to make test corrections for the multiple choice portion for ½ credit added back to your grade as long as you follow the required format and meet my conditions. The following will need to be accomplished for you to earn some of your points back:

    1. You will have only 7 days from the time you get your test results to complete the set of corrections. There are exceptions to this but you will need to contact me immediately.
    2. You may only complete the corrections in my classroom at a SCHEDULED time before or after school. Note that after school is better for me.
    3. You will only have one session of test correction per exam so you will have to complete all your correction work in the one scheduled period of time.  Get as much accomplished as you can during that time so you will want to prepare for this ahead of time.
    4. You may use your book to look up answer but you can only work by yourself during the scheduled correction time.
    5. If you schedule a time for correcting your test and you do not show up, you will not be able to reschedule.  This is a privilege so if it gets abused, it will no longer be an option for the class.
    6. You will need to use the form that I set for making your corrections and I will only accept professional work (hand written but neat) but it can be in pencil or appropriate pen. The form includes the following:
      1. writing out the question
      2. writing out the answer completely (as well as the letter of the correct response).
      3. explain in detail why the answer you selected was incorrect. This means explain not just rewrite the correct answer.


    Study Skills: If you have not already done so, now is the time to develop some college level skills.  This course will require you to become very active in your own education.  You will need to get stubborn with anything that you do not understand and fight back by seeking out the information.  I will be able to help you with some of these skills but it is up to you to invest in your future.  When you go to college, you will be presented with information one time and one time only.  From there, it is up to you to take the time to really learn the information.  Please realize that we will be moving quickly through the information and there will not be time to elaborate on topics over and over. This is not a passive class so jump in and take control of your education.


    Resources: I will provide you with a wide variety of resources and it will be up to you to find what works best for you.  Our text book is the starting point but be sure to keep up with information that I put on my webpage. You will find additional help in some of the sites, tutorials, and other sources that are listed there.  Since this is a very fast paced class, you will need to check my website often for updates.  Finally, you will find that study groups may be of great benefit to all who really participate.  If you want some information on how to form a productive study group, see me.


    Group Work: There will be a number of activities that require you to work with a partner or in a group. With some of these activities, I will allow you to select who you wish to work with and other times I will place students in groups to work together. You are expected to be able to work with anyone in the class. In some of the laboratory work, you will be working in lab groups BUT you will be expected to write your own lab report or complete your own work. There will be times when you will share information but the only things that are expected to be the same are the procedures and data. The discussion of data results and conclusions are all expected to be your own work.


    Plagiarism and Turnitin: Claiming someone’s work as your own or not giving credit for ideas, information and more is considered plagiarism and will be reported accordingly. We will go over in detail, how to avoid plagiarism and appropriate citation requirements.  For some work in this course, you will be required to submit your work to Turnitin.com for review.


    Internet Access and Technology: There will be a number of activities and assignments that will need internet access and the use of technology such as a computer and printer. Due dates and deadlines must be met BUT technology issues or problems will not be accepted as an excuse. With any of these activities and assignments, some class time will be provided and you have access to all you need at school. You must plan your time wisely to make appropriate accommodations if technology is an issue. Check with your friends, go to the public library or seek out the resources you need.  I am available some afternoons for you to come into class and use the class computers.


    Managebac Program: (yes it is spelled correctly – strange isn’t it) Managebac is an online program that provides all kinds of tools and resources for IB students. This will be where you will submit many of your assignments and projects and where you will find due dates, deadlines, handouts and much more. This provides a great tool for communication where all the information is in one place. Check there often.


    IB Requirements: IB has many very specific requirements so make sure to hold onto each and every handout I provide because these resources will provide you with all kinds of information about the laboratory work, the group 4 project, laboratory safety and more. Always be prepared to show evidence of your work.


    Signature Page of Acknowledgement:  You are to read and follow the above set of class policies and procedures.  Please sign the signature page of acknowledgement and fill in the appropriate information.  This page will be kept on file through this school year. The signatures acknowledge that you have read and agree to follow the class policies and expectations and the laboratory safety rules. You must return the acknowledgement page to me by the end of the first week of school.


    Contact:  Please feel free to contact me at Pamela.Graham @marion.k12.fl.us or by phone at the school.  You may also find useful information at the LWHS website.