Updated Life Science Syllabus2

Life Science Syllabus
Jennifer Weyant
Course Description:
This hands-on course is designed for students to learn the basic characteristics of living things
via the investigation and comparison of cellular structure, organization, and adaptation of various
organisms. Heavy emphasis is placed on the relationship between organism structure and function as
well as the importance of connecting classroom knowledge with life experience and prior knowledge.
Through lab activities and investigations, students will expand their ability to ask a salient question,
design an investigation, gather evidence, formulate an answer, and communicate the investigative
process and results. Students will be asked to do these both verbally and in formal written lab reports.
Concepts include the basic characteristics of living things, classification, cellular organization,
dissection, marine ecology, the use of microscopes, and an in-depth inquiry of viruses, bacteria, protists,
fungi, plants, and vertebrate and invertebrate animals. Each student will also complete a research based
final exam project on a national park of their choice at the end of the second semester.
Continue to introduce students to scientific inquiry and processes
Promote hands-on science exploration through investigative lab work
Analyze data and record information in a lab environment
Methods and Materials:
Pearson Interactive Science
o Diversity of Life
o Cells and Heredity
o Ecology and the Environment
Pearson eText available on the iPad
Myscienceonline.com (www.pearsonsuccessnet.com)
Discovery Education Streaming Online
Investigative labs
National Park Final Exam Research Project
Field trip- Maritime Aquarium, The Triskelion vessel trip if time permits in the spring
Each semester cumulative grade will be based on the following:
Tests—25 %
Final Exam/Final Project—15%
1. Exam: A final exam is given at the end of the first semester and a final project exam
equivalent is given at the end of the second semester.
2. Tests: Tests account for 25% of total points earned. They are given every 2-4 weeks
at the completion of a major chapter and vary in format. They may include a mixture
of multiple choice questions, fill-in-the blanks, short essays and diagrams.
3. Quizzes: Quizzes are given on an as needed basis in between tests in order to assess
student progress.
4. Lab Exercises: Labs are completed sporadically throughout the semester. For
instance, you may not have to complete a lab or exercise for 2 weeks and then do 3 in
a row, depending on the course material. Every lab or exercise differs in content and
5. Homework – Approximately 20 minutes of homework is assigned each night.
Homework should be done neatly and on time. It is essential that you complete your
homework assignments on time. The purpose of homework is to help you review
concepts learned in class. If you do not complete nightly homework assignments,
you will quickly get lost and will fall behind in class. If you miss a homework
assignment, you may hand it in the following day for half credit, after that it remains
a zero. If you are absent, you are responsible for all missed work and it is due the day
that you return to school- even if you don’t have science class that day!
6. In addition to the letter grades, students will receive effort grades.
1 = Exceeds Expectations
2 = Meets Expectations
3 = Needs Improvement
In assigning effort grades, teachers will assess students for the quality and consistency of their
homework, their preparedness for class, their level of engagement in class activities, their
cooperation with classmates and teachers during group work, and their efforts in keeping
materials organized and in good condition.
Classroom Expectations:
Safety comes first, especially in the lab!
Respect classroom/lab materials
Be on time, prepared and ready to learn
Be respectful and kind
Participate thoughtfully
Always put forth your best effort
Academic Responsibilities:
Materials: Bring your textbook, binder, and writing utensils to class every day.
Attendance and Participation: Students will need to attend class regularly and participate actively
on a daily basis.