Honors Biology

Honors Biology: A 9th/10th Grade Core Course

Teachers: Mrs. Langley; E-mail: jlangley@mvusd.net &
Dr. Vasquez; E-mail: cvasquez@mvusd.net

Course Description:

This course is designed to be a bridge between the regular high school Biology course and an A.P. course. Upon exiting this course, students will be prepared to take Honors Chemistry and continue on towards A.P. Science Courses.  It will be particularly useful to those students seeking to pursue studies in Biology and Medicine as well as other sciences. Honors Biology is laboratory based, requires analytical problem-solving techniques, development of laboratory writing skills, and involves dedication and study.

Goals:

1. Develop a strong foundation in Biology that provides students with the ability to be successful in more advanced science courses including university science courses.

2. Develop problem-solving skills

 3. Use and apply technology in the laboratory

 4. Prepare for the SAT II exam in Biology

 5. Develop Science style writing skills.

Comments from Past Students (Class of 2015):

Criteria - “Potential students must…”

  • Do not procrastinate
  • This class really helped me be a better student
  • Work within a lab group and do your work for your lab group
  • Be willing to ask questions in class and as well as out of class.

 How do you know if you are prepared?

 You meet the pre-requisites for reading, math, and grades:

  •  Reading – Grade level
  •  Math – Algebra 1 or equivalent
  •  High Test scores on standardized tests in English, Math and Science

Comments from the Instructor

  • This course is paced faster than Biology and topics are explored in more depth.
  • Students, who keep up with all their work, retake tests, and are willing to ask questions, always pass this class with a C or better.
  • Future AP Biology students are expected to know much of the course material when they enter AP Biology.

 Instructional Methods and/or Strategies

  • Lecture, group work, readings, student projects/presentations, and lab work

 Sample Unit :  Evolution

  • Darwin’s Observations
  • Inherited Variation and Natural Selection
  • Evolution as Genetic Change
  • Genetic Variation in Populations
  • Natural Selection on Phenotypes
  • Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium
  • Fossil Record
  • Fossil Dating
  • Processes of Speciation
    • Reproductive Isolation
    • Darwin’s Finches
  • Brief Discussion of Earth’s History
  •  Chapter text and class notes in Cornell style for Ch 15, 16, 17, 18
  • Lab activity with lab report: Using and creating Dichotomous Keys
  • Activity - Phylogenetic Trees and Cladograms
  • Lab Activity with lab report - Simulation of Natural selection in Peppered Moths in which the following concepts are studied: Natural selection acts upon phenotype.  Using Hardy-Weinberg to study the effect of Natural Selection on allele frequencies of a population.