Biological Science for Elementary Teachers

M,T,W,Th 10:10 - 3:00

Summer I 2004

Professor: Dr. Carol Wymer

Office: 327A Lappin Hall

Phone: 783-2956                            


Text: Mader (2004) Biology. 8th edition

Lab Manual: prepared by the Biology Faculty at MSU

Blackboard enrollment is also required. Additional course information can be found at:

Course description: This course is for elementary education majors and is an introduction to the study of life. Material covered includes the basic chemistry of life, cell structure and function, photosynthesis, respiration, reproduction, growth, heredity, evolution, ecology, and the kingdoms of life. More specifically, the material discussed in this course reflects the biological content of the National Science Education Standards and the Kentucky Core Content for Science Assessment.

Course goals:

1. To gain a strong understanding of the biological principles outlined in the National Science Education Standards and the Kentucky Core Content for Science Assessment.

           2. To gain an understanding of the vocabulary used in biology.

           3. To be able to recognize and apply biological principles in everyday life.

           4. To develop an understanding of the scientific method.

5. To begin to develop an understanding and appreciation for the diversity of life on Earth.

6. To develop an enthusiasm for sharing the study of life with elementary school students.

Course objectives: Upon completing this course students will be able to discuss the following topics using basic scientific terminology: chemical structure, cell structure and function, photosynthesis, cellular respiration, genetics, cell division, evolution, and ecology. Students will also be familiar with the major groups of living organisms.

Assessments: Grades will be based on the following distribution of 800 points:

           4 Lecture Exams                                           @ 80 points each       = 320 points

           8 Lecture Quizzes                                         @ 10 points each       = 80 points

           12 Lab Quizzes                                             @ 20 points each       = 240 points

           Lab Notebook             (examined daily)         @ ~8 points each       = 100 points

           3 Lab Reports                                                @ 20 points each       = 60 points

           1 Lecture Summary                                       @ 20 points

           Lecture Exams - 320 points in 4 exams of 80 points each

 * Four, 1-hour exams will be given. The exams will be a combination of multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, and short answer questions.

 * Students will ONLY be allowed to make up an exam in cases where there is a valid excuse (such as for illness, death in the family, or authorized University activity). Students MUST contact the instructor PRIOR to the absence and the exam must be made up within 2 class days, or a zero will be assigned with NO exceptions.

           Lecture Quizzes- 80 points in 8 quizzes of 10 points each

* These quizzes will take place during the first 10 minutes of the lecture period. Students arriving late for class will NOT be given extra time to finish the quiz.

                       * These quizzes will cover material that was presented in the previous day’s lecture.

* These quizzes will take place on every day that there is not an exam, except for the days immediately following an exam (see schedule).

                       *Students will NOT be allowed to make up a lecture quiz.

           Lab Quizzes- 240 points in 12 quizzes of 20 points each

* These quizzes will take place during the first 20 minutes of the lab period. Students arriving late for lab will NOT be given extra time to finish the quiz.

                       * These quizzes will cover material from the previous day’s lab exercise.

                       * Students will NOT be allowed to make up a lab quiz.

           Lab Notebook- 100 points

* Students will be required to keep a lab notebook which will be used during the course of each laboratory exercise to record data, make sketches, and answer questions posed in the lab manual. This notebook will be examined each day before the student leaves the lab room.

                       * The completeness and quality of the notebook will be evaluated.

           Lab Reports- 60 points in 3 lab reports of 20 points each

* Students will choose 3 lab exercises on which to write lab reports. For each of these lab exercises, students must (1) state the KY Core Content statement(s) that is being addressed, (2) write learner objectives, and (3) demonstrate mastery of the learner objectives.

* Reports are due no later than 2 class periods after the completion of the exercise.

           Lecture Summary - 20 points

* Each student will have a turn at summarizing one hour of lecture for the rest of the class. In this summary, the student will (1) state the KY Core Content statement that was addressed in the lecture and (2) elaborate on the KY Core Content statement using information covered in lecture. This summary will be presented to the rest of the class at the beginning of the next class meeting and it will be posted to Blackboard.

* The 20 points earned for this assignment will be used to replace 1 lab quiz grade or 2 lecture quiz grades. The student must notify the instructor in writing as to which grades should be replaced.

           Grading scale:

                       A = 90% or better                   C = 70-79%                E < 60%

                       B = 80-89%                            D = 69-60%

Attendance policy: Students are expected to be punctual in attending all lecture and laboratory meetings. Students are responsible for all information presented in the lecture and lab (whether or not the student is present). NO food or drink is allowed in the laboratory.

Diversity issues: This course addresses the diversity of biological organisms. Human diversity is not addressed directly, although it may be touched upon in the context of inheritance and human population growth.

Disability statement: Any student who feels that he/she needs an accommodation for any kind of disability should meet with the professor as soon as possible in order to discuss this issue.

Kentucky's New Teacher's Standards: Biology 110 will offer a constructive, flexible learning climate (NTS II) in which students will gain knowledge in the content area of Biology (NTS VIII). This course will utilize multiple teaching strategies (NTS III) including lecture, hands-on activities in the laboratory, and group discussions. Students will be encouraged to participate as active learners through their input during lectures and through group activities (NTS VI). Students will also be encouraged to take a constructivist approach to their own learning. Group activities will also be used to strengthen communication skills and encourage critical thinking (NTS III). Communication skills will also be addressed through a laboratory notebook and lab reports. The effectiveness of instruction (NTS V) and student learning (NTS VI) will evaluated using multiple assessments: exams, quizzes, lab reports, and by examination of the lab notebook.

Lecture and Laboratory Schedule


Lecture Topic (Chapter #)



Laboratory Topic (Exercise #)


June 7

living things (1) and homeostasis (33)



The effects of gibberellic acid on RCBr (1)



population & community ecology (46&47)



“Oh Deer” (2)



communities(47) & ecosystems (48)



Ecosystems and food webs (3)



Exam 1



Chemistry in life: Organic molecules (5)



chemistry (2 & 3)



lecture on energy and metabolism (6)



cells (4) and tissues & organs (33)



The microscope (7)



photosynthesis and respiration (7&8)



Photosynthesis and aerobic respiration (6)



Exam 2



Chemistry in life: Acids and Bases (4)



cellular reproduction & mitosis (9)



Diffusion and osmosis (8)



meiosis & sexual reproduction (10)



lecture on genetics (11-12)



genetics (11-12)



lecture on DNA to protein (13&14)



Exam 3



Taxonomy and the trees of Kentucky (9)



biological diversity (19-23)



Single-celled organisms (10)



biological diversity (24&29-31)



Kingdom Animalia: Invertebrates (13)



evolution (17 & 18)



Evolution of plants (11)


July 1

Exam 4



Kingdom Plantae: Flowering plants (12)