• Dr. Li’s Pre-AP Biology Syllabus Fall 2017 


    Teacher: Dr. Li                                                                                                                                                              Room: 334 

    Email: hli1@houstonisd.org                                                                                              Conference time: 5th period on B days 


    Course description: 

    Biology is the study of the structure, growth, and function of life and living systems. This course will encompass historical contributions to biological concepts; energy production, transfer, and use in living systems; and the interrelatedness of organisms with each other and with environments. Below are the requirements and expectations for this course.  You will be responsible at all times for your behavior in this course, and if you choose to deviate in any way from this contract, your actions will directly result in appropriate and immediate consequences.   


    Textbook: Biology, Miller, Kenneth and Levine, Joseph (2004) Pearson Prentice Hall or online edition. Every student has a free access to the online edition through houstonisd.org/HUB > Digital Resources.) 


    Class Rules:  

    1. No phone is allowed inside of the classroom unless it has been particularly permitted.  

    1. Usage of the laptop and internet should follow teacher’s instruction.  

    1. Follow the Bell Schedule. Bring all materials daily. This includes your required supplies and homework assignments. Fill out the “Late Sign in” book. 

    1. No food or drink is allowed during class.  

    1. Be courteous and respectful to others. Give your full attention to others in discussions. Raise your hand and wait for acknowledgment before speaking. Respect the properties of other students, the teacher, and the school. Remain in your assigned seat unless you have permission to get up.  

    1. Be productive and participate in class. Ask questions, contribute to the answer, and play an active role in the laboratory exercises.  

    1. Follow the teacher’s directions the FIRST time they are given. This rule is especially important during the laboratory activities.  

    1. Pay attention to the instruction about voice level. Level 0=no voices; Level 1-whisper voice; Level 2=inside conversation voice; Level 3=calling voice.  

    1. You are allowed to leave the classroom with my permission, but no permission is given during a quiz or a test.  If you need to leave, fill in the “Hall Pass Sign Out/In sheet” by the door with your full name, destination, and departure time.  Upon your return, enter the time in and sit down quietly.  Only one student will be allowed to leave the room at one time. If the student is gone for an excessive amount of time, they will lose the hall pass privilege for the semester.  This policy may change depending on classroom behavior and abuse of the privilege.   

    1. Please take care of any personal needs during the passing period. 

    Penalties for choosing to break a rule:  

    First Offense: Verbal warning. 

    Second Offense: Personal conference with the teacher. 

    Third Offense: Detention, completion of an action plan, and telephone conference with parents. 

    Fourth Offense: Detention, revise your action plan and parent/student/teacher conference. 

    Fifth Offense: Referral to the principal  


    Supplies (prepared by students, and bring to school no later than the 2nd week): 

    Blue, black, red pens, Pencils, 1 box colored pencils 

    Ruler, Glue stick, Scissors, Scotch tape 

    1 BOX Kleenex  

    1 Regular 8oz bottle Hand Sanitizer (optional for personal use) 

    Other supplies may be required for class projects (TBA).  


    Grading Policy  

    Major (tests and projects)                        60% 
    Labs, quizzes, and daily assignment        30% 
    Homework                                               10% 

    Grading instruction: 

    This course will move at a rapid pace and if you fail to actively participate for even one class period you will be choosing to increase your risk of failure and/or less than ideal performance.  Every student at DeBakey High School is capable of earning a high score in this course.  Your grades are not given to you, however, they are earned.  Your accomplishments in high school will be a part of your character for the remainder of your life, and I therefore encourage you to take yourself and your actions seriously and always remember to think before you act instead of the other way around.   

    1. Tests and quizzes:  

    During each cycle (one cycle=6 weeks), there will be 2 tests (Unit test and Cycle test) and 1 project. Students will always be given adequate notice that a test will take place. Therefore, students should manage their time during this course to prevent the need for excessive study the night before a test. Please note: There are no retakes for Unit tests and Cycle tests. There are no Extra Point assignments. 

    Tests and quizzes will be over class material, lectures, book chapters, lab, and homework. All electronic devices are ABSOLUTELY PROHIBITED during test and quiz. Graded tests and quizzes cannot be taken outside of the classroom. Some tests, quizzes, and assignments will not be released, but students are welcome to review their answers.   

    2. Project and lab: 

    At least one project will be assigned per cycle (one cycle=6 weeks). A project grade is a major grade and is equivalent to a test grade. Most project work will be done outside of the class period. Some projects include individual or group presentations. If presentation needs to be done as a group, every student must talk. No opt out! Rubrics must be followed to get a high grade for each project.  

    During laboratory activities, safety is the top priority. Every student is required to complete the pre-lab assignment and read the lab procedures BEFORE performing the lab. If the requirement is not met, no lab is allowed and the maximum grade for the lab will be a “70%”.  

    Lab reports are to be independently written, only the data may be shared among group members.  Lab reports should not be plagiarized!  If found to be plagiarized, the assignment will receive an automatic “0%” for the lab grade and the students (both the one copied from and the student who copied) will be referred to the office for cheating. Due to the nature of many labs, an alternative lab assignment may be necessary in some cases if a lab is missed.   

    3. Class assignments will include, but are not limited to: Notebooks for daily notes in-class 

    • Miscellaneous daily assignments meant to review in-class learning 

    • Chapter reviews meant as test/quiz preparation 

    • Lab and project participation 

    4. Homework will be assigned and graded on a regular basis. Quality of homework will be checked by quizzes. Homework is designed to help you learn the material and hence is graded for effort or for accuracy. To earn full credit for effort, attempt every question and show your work. Ask questions in class or during tutorial to clarify any difficulties discovered doing the homework.  

    5. Retake:   

    If you fail a quiz or project (below 70%), you may have an opportunity to retake a similar assessment covering the same topics or redo the project. If you choose to retake it, you are responsible for requesting the retake or redo in writing during the class period that the graded assessment/project is returned. Retakes are offered within the week of review of the graded test and are scheduled for outside regular class time. It is strongly advised that you attend one tutorial session before the retake of a test. For projects, you will have 5 days to redo and turn it in. Once complete, your retake/redo grade will be averaged with the original for a final grade of no higher than “70%”. Again, retakes are NOT allowed on Unit/Cycle test and Final tests. 

    6. Late work:  

    Late work may be turned in ONE class day late at the beginning of the period, but will receive a maximum score of “70%” or less. No late work will be accepted beyond that time and the assignment will be marked as a zero. All students should maintain a record of their graded assignments.  

    7. Academic Dishonesty:  

    Please assume all works are to be your individual work unless informed otherwise.  

    Academic dishonesty takes many forms and can sometimes be confusing for students and parents.  Some forms of academic dishonesty include but are not limited to: Plagiarism, falsification of data, providing false information to an instructor including excuses for late work or falsely claiming to have submitted work, any form of cheating in which a student has an unfair advantage on an assessment by using notes or other materials not allowed by the instructor, providing unauthorized assistance or information to others on homework, projects, tests, quizzes, etc., intentionally preventing other students from completing their work, impersonating another student to give them unauthorized assistance.  This is not a comprehensive list and teacher and administrator discretion will ultimately decide whether a student has committed an offense. Only lab data may be shared. Copying any other work is plagiarism! A “0%” given for academic dishonesty cannot be redone or retaken. Academic dishonesty will be reported to the administration and action will be taken according to the school’s policy. 

    Many written assignments will be turned in through the web site Turnitin.com.  Students will need to create their accounts within the correct teacher's class.  A demonstration will be performed in class.  This site compares the student's work to published works and others turned in to check for plagiarism and copying.  Work that is found to be directly copied or plagiarized will be given a grade of 0% and a referral for cheating to the administration. 


    8. Internet/Online assignments:  

    Routinely, some assignments will be completed and submitted online.  If this is needed, students will be taught how to sign in to their own accounts in class. Deadlines are designated.  Note that most assignments cannot be redone and the first submission of work is what will be graded.  If necessary, computers and online access is usually available before and after school and at lunch in the library.  



    I am available for classroom tutoring either during scheduled midday tutorials or after school. To request tutoring, please see me to plan for a convenient time to meet. If at any time you or your parent would like to discuss your progress, please request an individual conference with me by e-mail (hli1@houstonisd.org) at least one day in advance.  

    Fire Alarm/Fire drill: 

    At the sound of a fire alarm, do not panic. Quickly push in your chair and walk in a silent single-file line.  We will take stair C and our destination is the sidewalk by Pressler St next to the parking garage.  While I am checking the roster, you may quietly talk to your friends. Any students fail to follow these directions will automatically receive an “S” in conduct for the 1st offense.  If the student continues to act inappropriately, he/she will receive a “P” in conduct following the second offense and will additionally be sent to the principal’s office.   



    Semester Fall 2017 

    Unit 1: The Nature of Science 

              Chapter 1: The Science of Biology 

              Chapter 2: The Chemistry of Life  


    Unit 2: Energy Flow/ Ecology 

              Chapter 3: The Biosphere 

              Chapter 4: Ecosystems &Communities 

              Chapter 5: Populations 

              Chapter 6: Humans in the Biosphere 


    Unit 3: Cells 

               Chapter 7: Cell structure and Function 

               Chapter 8: Photosynthesis 

               Chapter 9: cellular Respiration 

               Chapter 10: Cell Growth and Division  


    Unit 4: Genetics 

               Chapter 11: Introduction to Genetics  

               Chapter 12: DNA and RNA 

               Chapter 13: Genetic Engineering 

               Chapter 14: The Human Genome