High School Biology: Student Syllabus

When I’m teaching classes that are intended to prepare students for a regents or SAT subject test I like to give out a detailed syllabus at the beginning of the year.  Although a syllabus is a lot of work to create, it is so helpful to students, parents, and myself that the effort is well worth it.

I just finished my Student Syllabus for High School Biology for the 2015-2016 school year.  This class has an unusual structure.  We meet 30 time per year and have 2 hour classes.  That’s not enough time to teach SAT level biology in one year, so it is a two year class.  This is the second year.  Last year, the units were biochemistry, cellular biology, and genetics.  This year the units are anatomy and physiology, botany, and ecology.  Lessons on evolution are included in every unit.

I use the curriculum “Experimental Biology Daily Lesson Plans” by Kristin Dotti to help me organize this class.  Although there are some things I like very much about this curriculum, there are also significant flaws so I have modified it extensively.  Other significant sources include (but are not limited to) the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, Carolina Biological Supply kits, and NOVA.  The textbook is Biology by Miller and Levine.


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