Marine and Aquatics I and II
Welcome to the wonderful world of science! I am excited to teach Biology I, Genetics, and Marine/Aquatic Science this school year. With a background in both middle and high school level science, this is my 20th year of teaching and my 12th year at DCHS. I hold a Bachelors degree in Biology from the University of Tennessee at Martin. I later obtained secondary science teaching licensure from Christian Brothers University. My role as a leader in the classroom is an ongoing opportunity for me to learn along with my students. I invite you to explore the natural world with me!
1) BLAST NOTES: Always complete Blast Notes BEFORE class discussion. Students will be made aware of sections that will be discussed the following day. Those sections should be complete. Items are primarily key terms arranged as a graphic organizer. After tests, students are given Blast Notes for the next unit and have the remaining time after they have submitted their tests to work on the notes.
2) FLASHCARDS: On the first day of class, students were given a handout with questions/answers organized by topics. Each topic is assigned periodically. Students are expected to write each question on one side of 3x5 (required size) index card and the corresponding answer on the back. This is a graded assignment. Each new section must have a name card and the questions/answer cards must each be labeled with the section letter and question number (A1, A2, A3… or B1, B2, B…). If any one requirement is missing or wrong on the cards, the cards are returned for correction. If the cards are late or returned for correction, there is a 20 point deduction for 1 day late, 40 point deduction for 2 days late, and the student may have a maximum score of 50/F for any cards turned in more than two days late within the current grading term. Students may not get credit for cards if any of the previous sections have not been completed. Late or corrected cards must be placed in the make-up tray.
At the start of each class, students are signaled to start a 3-minute self-review of the flashcards. This serves an as an ongoing review of the topics discussed previously and may also be a preview for upcoming topics. This is extremely beneficial in preparation for the state test at the end of the semester. Students may even earn five bonus points added to each test average from questions that come directly from the flashcards. Bonus points are only offered to those students who take the test on the scheduled test day.
2) DISCUSSION/LECTURE: During discussion, students should be attentive and participate. Additional information, examples, diagrams, memory aids etc. are provided within lecture/discussion and Power Points. Students should add this material to their Blast Notes. Without basic information completed prior to class, it is difficult to listen, participate and add information.
3) GUIDED PRACTICE: In addition to Blast Notes, a Practice and Review packet is provided that corresponds to each unit. The packet summarizes the unit and students may check for understanding by completing practice items. This is not graded and the answers are usually discussed in class when time permits. Students are expected to complete the items when instructed and ask questions when they do not understand. Some of the practice items are similar to the types of questions on the test.
4) INDEPENDENT/SMALL GROUP PRACTICE: Several worksheets and activities are to be completed for each unit. These assignments are put together as a packet and turned in on test day of the corresponding chapter. This later due date is advantageous for those students who make work at a slower pace and require additional time to complete assignments. The assignment packets are graded.
5) HOMEWORK: Any work not completed in class should be finished at home. Students should briefly review material discussed during class and complete Blast Notes for the following day.
6) TEST PREPARATION: Review Blast Notes, Practice and Review packets and all assignments. The tests are application-based and require critical thinking. Basic memorization of terms will not be enough to pass the tests.
7) TUTORING: Tutoring is offered at 7:50 in the morning of each test day. If any of the content in the test preparation material above is unclear, students have an opportunity to ask questions. There is also a general review of the chapter.
8) TECHNOLOGY BASED STUDY TOOLS: There are several online tools that can be used to preview, reinforce or review the lessons. The following are a few suggestions:
- Khan Academy
- Amoeba Sisters (YouTube)
- USA Test Prep
- Create your own account
- School ID: desotoms
- Activation code: newton30
- When logged in go to MAAP > Biology, then select flashcards or strand test of desired topic.
- Create your own account
9) ATTENDANCE: Please make attending class a priority. Getting caught up after an absence or check-out from class can be quite challenging. A lot of information is covered each day. Be mindful that class is operated on block scheduling where one class meeting is equivalent to two classes of a traditional schedule.