Good afternoon parents,
We have approximately five weeks remaining in the semester, which means several important events are coming up in your child’s Magnet Biology class. At this point in the semester, students in some cases have a tendency to relax their study and class preparation habits, reasoning that they have already demonstrated all that is required and that their grade will not change much in the final days of the course. This tendency needs to be avoided! These are actually the most critical days of the class. Take a look at what is coming up:
- Research Project: Students should either be finished completely with their experiments or nearly finished, and ready to begin focusing on compiling data, creating graphs, and discussing results. In the coming weeks we will devote some class time to discussing the expectations for the final portions of the project, including how to prepare an excellent display board and class presentation. Most of the effort in this area will need to be made outside the classroom, however. Detailed instructions and rubrics will be provided to students in a timely manner, including via their Google Classroom account. Your child should be ready to submit results, including at least one graph, by Wednesday, May 2.
- Units Remaining: We just completed a unit on various patterns of genetic inheritance and mutations. A test over this unit was given on Wednesday, April 11. A unit on biological evolution has now begun, with a test to be given Monday, April 30. We will conclude the semester with some lessons and activities on ecology, and students will take a unit test over those concepts on their final day in class.
- End Of Course Assessment: This state-mandated test will be comprehensive and will account for 20% of each student’s final grade for the course. The test will be given over two consecutive class days, May 7 and 8. In the week leading up to the test, we will spend time in class reviewing key concepts and students will be provided with study guides, practice test questions, and other assistance as needed.
As I have stated before, students should be spending at least 30 minutes most evenings doing biology homework and/or review. Most days there is not a specific individual assignment (though sometimes there is), but between test preparation and textbook readings and the research project, there should always be something for students to do.
Regular updates for parents about major due dates and test dates are posted at http://magnetbiology.blogspot.com.
As the semester draws to a close, feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns that may be able to be addressed before final grades are posted at the end of May.