August 2018Dear Parent
Welcome to 9th Grade Biology/Advanced Biology. I am excited to have your son or daughter as my student this year, his or her first year of "high school". Mountain Brook is fortunate that your child’s transition year into the high school curriculum is housed in the familiarity of the Junior High. As an upperclassman, your student will experience more rigorous coursework and higher expectations. We 9th grade teachers and the support staff hope to better prepare your son or daughter in becoming responsible, self-starting, engaged learners by reinforcing classroom learning skills and study habits. Your child will practice and use many learning strategies that will be taught and modeled throughout the year. These strategies you will find in the “Tool Box for Success” handout your child will receive the first day of class.So what can you do to help your child succeed? First, understand that I expect most of the learning to occur in class. My job is to teach students biology, and I will do so using many teaching styles (hands-on manipulative and model building, laboratory investigations, lecture and discussion, reflective writing) in a variety of settings (individual to whole class). I expect my students to be focused on the task at hand and actively engaged in the learning process. Second, reinforce the idea that I expect students to practice what is taught. Most homework activities review and strengthen concepts learned in class; some assignments may introduce new concepts and require exploratory thinking for discussion the next day. Your child will need 15 to 30 minutes each evening for biology practice. Remind your child of the strategies in the “Tool Box for Success” handout:
· have a place and time to study
· know what is your task/assignment
· have all necessary materials and supplies available
· limit distractions and put forth your BEST EFFORT
With these strategies, we better support your child achieve success in biology!The MBJH Biology Department includes Mrs. Debbie Stump, Mrs. Marisa Burns, and me. We meet regularly to collaborate on how best to teach and assess each learning target. The biology curriculum is mandated by the state, but we decide the methods for teaching the learning targets and evaluating student mastery. We share ideas and strategies on each major concept, coordinate assignments and labs, and provide common assessments. Your child will find that much of what he or she learns is the same across all regular Biology classes or Advanced Biology classes, although each teacher may use different illustrations and examples due to varying personal experiences and interests. You will also find that the State Science Standards focus on the application of information and on problem solving skills, not rote memory. You and your child may be unfamiliar with the teaching techniques or tools used to stretch student's minds and skills to meet the state standards. I assure you, the science department will do its best to help your child learn the skills needed to succeed.
I look forward exploring biology with your child this year. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me by phone or e-mail. Go Spartans!
School phone number 871-3516 ext. 7508
School email address email@example.com