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The Living Environment_ Regents Biology


Groton Middle School

Grade 7 Life Science Mr. DeVoe
Course Description and Purpose: In this class we will be studying the basics of life science (biology) including the scientific method, the microscope, plants and animals, reproduction and development, genetics, evolution, anatomy and physiology, and ecology/environmental science. This class is part of a multi-year sequence of science courses leading up to a state-wide science exam at the end of 8th grade. In addition to preparing for the exam, this class is intended to expose you to the science of life as well as preparing you for advanced study once you get to the high school and college. A background in the biological sciences will:     give you the tools to be able to understand life’s processes; allow you to analyze and interpret the environment around you; expose you to different jobs in science; provide you with tools to make informed decisions as a competent citizen and interact with others in a knowledgeable and reasonable way.

I believe that the information you learn in this course will not only be fun but also useful throughout your life, whether you go to college, enter the workforce, or enlist in the military upon graduation from high school. It is impossible to exist in a world where you will not interact with issues dealt with in Life Science. In this class we will meet (and extend beyond) the requirements set in the NYS Core Curriculum Guide for intermediate science available at: Course Requirements and availability I want all of you to succeed this year in class. I will provide you with the tools for success, not only in mastering the state exam, but for life outside of school as well. I will make myself available for you whether you require extra help or if you would like to learn more about stuff covered in class. I am available every day after school until 3:30pm (or later), during rec., and periods 3, 4, and 8 for extra help or parent/guardian conferences. Preparation for class and labs: You will need TO BRING the following every day for class: 1. Your notebook (three-ring binder w/ paper) 2. Pens and pencils 3. Work to be handed in

Tardiness and Absences: We have a lot to cover in this class so every day counts! Make sure you come to class prepared, ready to work, and on time. It is your responsibility to make up all the work you miss when you are not in class. Find out what you missed from classmates or from me. Being out is not an automatic excuse for handing assignments in late. Behavior: You are all old enough to know how to behave. This room, like any science classroom may contain substances and equipment that are potentially hazardous and/or expensive to replace. Because of this, I have absolutely no tolerance for horseplay. You should be in your seats and ready to work when the bell rings. Raise your hand to be acknowledged and no one will be excused for the bathroom unless it’s an emergency. At the end of class, Mr. DeVoe - and not the bell - excuses you from class. Blog: You should visit our classroom blog at for information, pictures, assignment downloads, secret extra credit and things like that. I think you will enjoy this because you can post comments, see your picture, and I update it 3-5 times a week with new stuff. This may also be used for homework once in awhile. Make sure you bookmark it. Twitter: You can get up-to-the minute updates about this class through Twitter. Simply go to, sign up for an account and search for/follow “MrDeVoe”. You can even set it for cell phone texts. Here I will post information about assignments, extra credit, school events, and science news. Grading: Your grade in this class is based on the following for each marking quarter: Tests/Quizzes Labs Homework Particip./Effort/Behavior TOTAL     = 40% * There will also be a couple = 35% projects given throughout the year. = 20% In such an event, the projects will = 5% be worth about the same as a test grade. 500 - 750 points each marking period

Late work will lose 10% of its value each day it is late. After 4 days it is a zero. You can always create a general idea of your grade. Just add up all of your points and divide by the total possible. Ex. 18/20 is a 90% Extra Credit is always available through the weekly stimulus picture/article and other opportunities that will come up. Check the blog! The blog also has a link to where you can check your current grade as long as you have your password. (info to follow soon)

I look forward to this year and know that each and every one of you has the potential to succeed. Hard work always pays off in my class!

Comprehensive Plan for Laboratory Safety
7th Grade Life Science – Mr. DeVoe 2009-2010
The biology lab provides an opportunity for hands-on experience, interesting discoveries, and excitement. We will be working in the lab roughly 1 or 2 times a week to provide the opportunity for students to develop scientific inquiry techniques and use common problem-solving approaches exercised in the scientific community. Not to mention, IT IS FUN. The biology lab, like any science laboratory, may present certain hazards so therefore I take safety very seriously. In addition, lab equipment can be expensive. Broken equipment means more tax money devoted to replacement instead of increasing your academic and social experiences in school. The following are rules that must be followed. There are no exceptions! 1. 2. 3. 4. Goggles are to be worn at all times unless otherwise instructed. Hair must be tied back and jewelry removed. Baggy and expensive clothing in general must not be worn. If something becomes broken or there are any injuries, contact me immediately and I will deal with the situation. It is my responsibility for your safety but your responsibility to follow instruction. Horseplay results in a trip to the principal’s office; no warnings. Do not use electrical outlets without asking. Chemicals are not for drinking or inhalation. During dissections, latex gloves will be worn. Probes and scalpels are never raised above 6” off the lab table. I will have all necessary lab equipment ready before class begins but all lab materials must be returned to their original place at the end of class and your area cleaned up. After school will be lab make-up time. Please see me to make arrangements. If you wear contacts, try to wear glasses instead – on days you know we have labs.

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Please sign and return to Mr. DeVoe ---------------------------------------------------------------I have read the course syllabus and comprehensive plan for laboratory safety. I promise to abide by/enforce the rules set forth. Parent/Guardian ___________________________ Date______

Parent Email (please print neat): _______________________ ****Email is optional: It will be used for a weekly science class update. Student Signature ___________________________ Date______

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