2018-2019 IB Biology I Syllabus: Course Overview & Expectations

Mr. Rott (Pronounced wrote)

 drott@ttsd.k12.or.us

503.431.5272

www.mrrottbiology.com 

Course Description:

Welcome to IB Biology!  Biology, in the simplest definition, is the study of life.  As one of the many areas of science, it is a study and inquiry of the extraordinary interactions of life all around us. We will examine these amazing achievements through a variety of labs, inquiry activities, and group/individual projects over the course of the year; I am excited to explore this incredible subject with you in the coming school year.  This International Baccalaureate (IB) course is specifically designed and implemented to prepare students for the IB Biology Test and the opportunity to earn college credit in partnership with Oregon Institute of Technology; students must take IB Biology II in order to take the IB Biology Exam.  Topics will be discussed and presented at the college level with a corresponding degree of rigor and expectations.

Course Structure:

The course will be broken into a number of units, usually eight to ten hours each as designated by the IB curriculum in order to meet the requirements of IB standards; these IB standards incorporate both state and Common Core learning standards.  Units will include labs, inquiry activities, projects, presentations, reading from a variety of sources, discussions, graphic organizers, writing, models, demonstrations, etc in order for students to achieve proficiency of learning standards.  Classes will generally begin with a warm-up quiz to review previous lesson objectives or prepare students for the day’s learning standard; learning objectives will be presented in class and will always be available online.  Lesson activities will be designed to meet the needs of all learners and are differentiated by readiness, ability, and/or interest. To ensure that students designated as “Talented and Gifted” (TAG) receive academic instruction that is appropriate to their rate and level of learning, the curriculum and instruction of this course may be differentiated to include specialized groupings, compacting of curriculum, accelerated pacing, and providing of extension/challenge activities.  Please check and use Mr. Rott’s website as it will contain useful information.

This course will extensively use technology in order to further student learning and provide differentiation for students as necessary and appropriate.  This will fundamentally be structured through Mr. Rott’s website and Google Classroom; each unit will have a corresponding section on Mr. Rott’s website.  Most work will be turned in electronically via Google Classroom; students will need to use their TTSD Google Apps accounts.  Please let Mr. Rott know if you do not have reliable Internet access outside of school.

Course Assessment & Grading:

Assessment in IB Biology I will be conducted as similar as possible to the testing guidelines established by the IB Biology curriculum.  Course grades proportions will be based on the previous year’s IB Biology Grade Boundaries as identified by IB.  The following components will encompass IB Biology I grades:

Practical Work:

Practical (lab) assignments and classroom work are designed to provide students practice at both the learning standards and use of scientific method to conducted experimental investigations.  Some classwork may serve as practice and will not be for assessment but will provide opportunities for students to receive feedback on their progress.  Practical work will represent 25% of a student's overall grade.

Quizzes:

Most classes will begin with a short quiz (generally 5 questions) to assess students retention of the previous lesson's material and provide opportunities to practice the learning standards.  Quiz dates will be publicized and there will be no surprise quizzes.  Quizzes will represent 5% of a student's overall grade.  Missed quizzes will not be able to be made up.

Assessments

Summative assessments will be conducted at the end of each unit to assess student learning of the unit learning standards.  Assessments will be composed of two sections, similar to the IB Biology Exam: Paper 1 and Paper 2.  These assessments will model as closely as possible actual IB Biology Exams and corresponding grading.  A semester cumulative final will be held at the end of each semester.  

Students who do not earn at least the equivalent of a 4 on the IB Grade Scale (44.99%) on any learning standard (not the final) will have one opportunity to retake that standard to earn up to and no more than the equivalent of a 4 on the IB Grade Scale (44.99%).  Learning standard retakes are not required, but must be completed within 14 days of the return of the original assessment.  Assessments will represent 70% of a student's overall grade.

IB Biology I Final Grade Proportions

Final grades are determined at the end of each semester using the entire body of student work.  All individual learning standards will be input into ParentVue; a cumulative running total will be used for both Practical Work and Quizzes.

Letter Grade

A

B

C

D

F

Comparable IB Exam Score

7-6

5-4

3

2

1

Course Percentage

100%-72%

71.99%-45%

44.99%-28%

27.99%-14%

13.99%-0%

Getting Help

IB Biology I is a college level course and can be an extremely difficult subject.  I will do my best to be available to students and parents.  Each unit page on my website will have valuable resources to help students as well as contact information.  If you need help with any part of the class, ask for help!  This includes organization, unit material, studying & reading strategies, staying focused in class, or applying concepts.  I can’t help if I don’t know there is a problem, so ask!

Course Expectations:

Biology is an amazingly interesting and stimulating subject.  My promise to you is that I will do my best to make the subject interesting, engaging, and comprehensible (even if it may not be your favorite subject, yet).  Additionally, I will work to ensure our classroom is a place of enthusiastic rigor where learning can occur and everyone feels safe and a part of the community.  Tualatin High School’s three expectations: Responsible, Respectful, and Safe will be followed by everyone, including myself.  

Academic Honesty:

Students are expected to do their own work or contribute equally to group projects.  If another source is adapted or used to develop ideas it must be cited correctly (ideas, images, sentences, or work) using APA or MLA citation.  Credit will not be given for plagiarism.

Food & Gadgets:

I love to eat and to use my cell phone.  However, I put these away during class.  I ask you to do the same and save them for breaks or when asked to use them.  I will confiscate.  Water is okay, it’s important to stay hydrated, but please ensure it does not become a distraction or spill on technological devices.

Attendance & Tardiness:

In order to learn and process the massive amount of information of the IB Biology curriculum, it is important for students to come to class every day prepared to learn (writing utensil, completed practice problems, organized documents).  However, I understand emergencies and sickness are part of life.  In the event that you are absent, it is your responsibility to complete missed class work.  My website will contain both a calendar and unit assignments.  If you know you will be absent in advance, please see Mr. Rott. Being tardy distracts classmates, please be on time  I will follow the school’s tardy policy. Not all labs will be available outside of class at the teacher’s discretion.

Late Work:

The purpose of classroom assignments is to provide students with opportunities to practice and receive feedback on assignments to prepare for unit assessments.  Thus, turning in assignments directly before or after a unit assessment provides no benefit.  Students are expected to take responsibility for their learning by completing and turning in assignments on time.  Practical work with corresponding Lab Standards must be completed by the assigned due date in order to be assessed; late assignments will not be accepted.  If an emergency comes up or the student will be gone it is the student’s responsibility to plan ahead and see me before the due date if you will be absent, need additional assistance, or need an extension to work out a solution.