Honors Biology—Syllabus 2017-2018


Mrs. Cathy Laurencig




Room number




Course Description:

Biology 1          2 semesters/1 Credit

This course develops essential biological concepts and theories through experimentation, observation, lecture presentations, and discussion. Emphasis is placed upon the ability of the students to solve problems using laboratory and field experiences. Topics to be covered include cells, cell theory, cell processes - cell reproduction, cellular respiration and photosynthesis; basic biochemistry - classification and reactions of organic compounds of the body, ecology, molecular genetics - DNA replication, transcription and translation; Mendelian genetics, human genetics, genetic engineering, classification, and evolution. This course meets the Michigan Merit Curriculum requirements for Life Science. This course is a year course and part of the semester sequence consisting of Chemistry 1, Physics 1, Biology 1, and Earth Science 1, an additional semester of either Chemistry 2 or Physics 2, and Health, meets the State of Michigan and National standards and benchmarks for all science students.  Prerequisite knowledge: Chemistry 1, Physics 1.


Essential Learning Expectations:

Introduction to Science:

  • Explain how major systems and processes work together in animals and plants, including relationships between organelles, cells, tissues, organs, organ systems, and organisms. Relate these to molecular functions.


  • Explain the general structure and primary functions of the major complex organic molecules that compose living organisms, and recognize that they contain high energy bonds..

Cells/Cell Processes:

  • Relate cell parts/organelles to their function, and recognize the importance of homeostasis.
  • Compare and contrast the transformation of matter and energy during photosynthesis and respiration.
  • Explain the interrelated nature of photosynthesis and cellular respiration in terms of ATP synthesis and degradation
  • Explain cell division, growth, and development as a consequence of an increase in cell number, cell size, and/or cell products.
  • Compare and contrast the processes of cell division (mitosis and meiosis), particularly as those processes relate to production of new cells and to passing on genetic information between generations.


  • Describe how energy flows through a food web.
  • Recognize the relevance of biodiversity.
  • Explain the influences that affect population growth.


  • Explain how living things are classified based upon evidence.
  • Summarize concepts of natural selection
  • Describe the importance of variation and environmental conditions influencing evolution.

Mendelian Genetics/ Molecular Genetics

  • Determine genetic probability using Punnett squares
  • Describe the structure and function of DNA.
  • Explain the pathway of protein synthesis
  • Predict the consequences of mutations


Course Requirements:

Common PPS Final Exam


At the end of a nine-week marking period, Portage Public School grades are computed as described here.  Some teachers use weighted categories in computing nine week percentage grades while other teachers will total the points earned based on the completion of the assignments and assessments given throughout the course




The final semester grade is based on a composite of two nine-weeks’ grades and the final examination/culminating assessment/project.  Each nine weeks grade is worth 2/5 of the final grade while the semester exam is worth approximately 1/5 of the final grade.   For the total points classroom, the student’s percentage score is calculated by:


Total Points Earned X 100%

Total Points Possible


Student scores that result in .05 or higher should be rounded up.  The following percentage scale applies.  All Portage nine weeks letter grades are computed based on these percentages.


100-91.5 = A

81.4-79.5 = B-

69.4-67.5 = D+

91.4-89.5 = A-

79.4.-77.5 = C+

67.4-61.5 = D

89.4-87.5 = B+

77.4-71.5 = C

61.4 - 59.5 = D-

87.4-81.5 = B

71.4-69.5 = C-

59.4 - 0    = E


Grades will be rounded up only to the tenth place during this calculation.  Students will only earn a passing grade for a marking period if they achieve at or above 59.45%, which rounds to 59.5%.




The final semester grade is based on a composite of two nine-weeks’ grades and the final examination/culminating assessment/project.  Each nine weeks grade is worth 40% of the final grade while the semester exam is worth approximately 20% of the final grade.  


BIOLOGY: by Miller and Levine published by Prentice Hall

                    On-line textbook  





·        Students are to be in class before the bell stops ringing, or you will be marked tardy.

·        Bring a notebook, folder, pen or pencil, and any work to be turned in to class every day.

·        No backpacks, hats or electronic devices should be visible in the classroom. On occasion MP3 players will be allowed, but must have teacher approval.


·        Disrespectful or inappropriate language and or behavior toward the teacher or other students will not be tolerated.

            1st offense = warning                 2nd = detention             

   3rd = disciplinary memo             4th = persistent disobedience

·        Any incident of cheating or plagiarism will be dealt with according to school policy as stated in the student handbook and posted in the classroom. Remember letting someone copy your paper is also cheating.


·        Follow lab directions carefully to ensure safety for yourself and others.

·        There will be NO FOOD or WATER allowed in the lab area, and only water will be allowed for drinking in the classroom.


            If you do what is expected you will be successful, and if you need help please ask!


ABSENCES:  Arrangements for make-up work is the responsibility of the student, and should be taken care of in a timely manner.  Make-up work will only be permitted for an excused absence.  Make-up labs, tests, and quizzes will be given at the teacher’s convenience.


HOMEWORK: Required assignments not turned in when due will be marked down 50%. Homework must be turned in by the test or a Z will be given.



            Always do your own work! Don’t feel pressured to copy, plagiarize, or collude. For definitions of these terms, consult pgs. 38 & 39 in your student handbook. Consequences  of cheating will include an automatic discipline referral and a zero (0) on the assignment. Administrative consequences will vary depending on the number of offenses.


            I do follow the school policy regarding electronic devices, and will be obliged to complete a disciplinary referral if you use one when not permitted. Since sophomores will now have Chromebooks, no cell phones will be allowed in class. Keep them in your locker or out of sight, or you will be written up! Pay attention to the sign, and when in doubt ask permission first before pulling it out.

MISC.  A folder and notebook dedicated to only biology is required for your notes and to keep your labs and other papers organized.

GRADING: Grades will be determined on a % basis of the total points completed in a marking period.

Points will be given for:                                          Grading Scale based on %

Assessments 90%                                                         90-100=A range

                            Practice/homework 10%                                                80-89  =B range

                                                                                   70-79  =C range

                                                                                   60-69  =D range

                                                                                   Below 60% is not passing

I am available for help, or assistance every  day 6th  hour, after school and mornings by appointment.




















Biology Laboratory Safety Rules and Agreement


1. ALWAYS prepare for an experiment by reading the directions before you begin the lab. Follow the directions carefully and note all precautions. Do not alter an experiment unless you have been given permission by your teacher to do so.

2. REPORT ANY ACCIDENT: even a minor injury, to your teacher at once.

3. Each student is responsible for the lab equipment he/she uses, the lab tables and the area around the lab tables. The person or persons responsible will replace equipment lost or misused. KEEP YOUR AREA CLEAN!

4. Equipment and resource books are not to be taken out of class unless permission is given and they are properly signed out.

5. You should know the location of the fire extinguisher, eyewash, and the fire blanket. Be able to use any of these if necessary.

6. Students are not permitted in the lab area without teacher supervision.

7. No running or loud conversation is permitted in the lab.

8. Throw all solids and paper into the wastebaskets. Never discard solids into the sink.

9. A CLEAN LAB IS A SAFE LAB. Return all materials to their proper place and keep your work area clean.

10. No food or drink allowed in lab!


I have read the above rules for HONORS BIOLOGY class and understand what they

mean, and agree to abide by them for the entire school year. MUST BE TURNED IN





STUDENT SIGNATURE:_______________________________DATE:_____________


STUDENT NAME (PRINTED):_____________________________________________


PARENT/GUARDIAN SIGNATURE:________________________________________


PHONE NUMBER #1:________________PHONE NUMBER #2:__________________


Catherine Laurencig,
Sep 8, 2017, 9:47 AM
Catherine Laurencig,
Sep 18, 2017, 1:36 PM
Catherine Laurencig,
Sep 18, 2017, 1:37 PM