21 years teaching experience; BA Biology; MS Ecological Teaching and Learning;1997 Murdock Partners in Science Fellowship; 2009 Burk-Brandborg Conservation Award; 2010 Montana Environmental Education Association (MEEA) Educator's Award; 2011 Fulbright Japan-US Teacher Exchange Program for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD); 2015 Adult Participant in American Youth Leadership Program's Trip to Thailand
Welcome to Biology! I've prepared responses to Biology FAQs for your convenience. Thanks for reading!
What will my student be learning about in Biology?
The sequence of content we offer at Big Sky is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards. We are currently finishing an introduction to Science as a Way of Understanding the World. The emphasis on scientific process skills will continue throughout the year. We are just transitioning into a unit on Ecology which will first emphasize fire ecology and then move into broader ecological concepts. From there we will move into Evolution and Natural Selection, Microbiology, DNA, Cellular Reproduction, and Genetics. A Unit Plan detailing the learning targets of each content area is given out during the unit.
Why doesn’t my student have a textbook?
We do not use textbooks very often in this class. Instead, students build a notebook (3-ring Binder) that serves as a reference for what they are learning in the class. Successful students keep this organized and ensure that materials that I hand out in class get completed. Students should STUDY the materials in their binders!!!!!!!
How can I see if my student is missing any work?
If you want to know if your student has missing work, check my calendar on the Big Sky staff page and then ask to see their notebook. Most assignments are completed during class, but if your student isn’t using class time effectively, he/she may not have finished. These assignments are then considered homework. I collect notebooks once a progress period to give students credit for this work via a notebook score, but because we go over the content in class, I do not give them a separate grade. This work is spot checked through other formative assessments that use what was covered in the lesson or the actual lesson itself!
I don’t see grade for an assignment in the gradebook. Why not?
I usually enter grades over the weekend when I can give the process my undivided attention. Please do not think that because something was turned in by your student, it will instantly show up in the gradebook. To keep everyone informed about major assignments I will put upcoming summative assessments and notebook checks in the gradebook and indicate that they are “not graded.” Once I switch that to “graded” if your student does not have a score, they have either taken it later than the rest of the class or they have yet to take it. If you have concerns, please ask them to communicate with me so we can schedule a time to get that done.