Biology with Lab

Instructor: Denise Boiko

Course Title: Biology with Lab

Course Length: Two Semesters

Type of Class: Group class through HEART Academy

When: Fridays, 10:05-11:20, Period 2

Cost: $70/month

Credit Classification: 10 credits, Lab Science

Lab Fee: $30 one time only

Minimum & Maximum Class Size: 6 and 25

Questions: Email Denise Boiko at or phone (408)375-5189.

Prerequisite: Ability to manage high school level course with maturity. Students should be 8th grade or above unless specific permission has been received from Mrs. Boiko.

Course Description: This course is designed to be your first high school science course. Heavily emphasizing the vocabulary of biology, it provides you with a strong background in the scientific method, the five-kingdom classification scheme, microscopy, biochemistry, cellular biology, molecular and Mendelian genetics, evolution, and ecosystems. Dissection labs for four organisms (earthworm, crayfish, perch, and frog) will also be included to aid in your understanding of animal anatomy and physiology. The course also provides a complete survey of the five kingdoms in Creation. (Description taken from

Biology is a class designed to involve you in the activities of science. In this class you will:

  • Learn the principles and vocabulary of biological science
  • Design and carry out experiments
  • Adapt the Scientific Method to interpret the findings of your experiments
  • Record, organize, and make interpretations of your findings
  • Recognize God’s hand in the uniqueness of each biological structure we study

You will develop an understanding of the role that biology plays in your personal lives. The knowledge and experiences in this class will allow you to act in an informed and intelligent way when making decisions about current issues that involve science and technology. It is our goal to enable you to be successful in a college prep biology course that provides a detailed introduction to the methods and concepts of general biology.

Honors credit: The course may be taken for honors credit. Additional assignments will be required; please see instructor for a list of these assignments. Students desiring honors credit must make this request by the first or second week of class. If you are not sure whether to take the course for honors credit, you may start in honors and later drop back to a standard course if desired.

Topics to Be Covered: 16 modules (chapters) paced at approximately one module per two weeks:

  • 1st Quarter: Basic Intro to Biology, Kingdoms Monera, Protista, and Fungi
  • 2nd Quarter: Chemistry of Life, Evolution (Christian perspective), Ecology, The Cell
  • 3rd Quarter: Cellular Reproduction & DNA, Mendelian Genetics, Invertebrates, Arthropods
  • 4th Quarter: Chordates, Fish, Amphibians, Plants, Reptiles, Birds, Mammals
  • Note:HEART classes will be on break during the holidays, from before Thanksgiving until just after New Year’s Day. In order to stay caught up in your textbook, you will read through two modules during this time. These modules will not have any labs assigned, and tests and study guides will be optional and not graded, but recommended for comprehension.

Class Expectations:

  • Attendance and punctuality (very important). Please be in class on time, ready to start, and prepared for the day’s material.
  • LISTENING to instructions given in class and FOLLOWING DIRECTIONS. This will save time and energy for all of us and is extremely important for safety and for good performance.
  • Participation in discussion. We will review the chapter in class to prepare for the test.
  • Participation in lab and turning in lab reports.
  • Completing other assigned homework (on time!) such as study guides and On Your Own questions. Specific assignments will be given weekly by email and by handout. Please stay caught up!
  • You will study on your own with your parent’s help as needed during the week (reading the chapter, possibly performing some household-based labs and reporting back during class, answering On Your Own Questions, Study Guides, and Module Summaries, studying for tests).
  • Tests will be completed at home and proctored and scored by parent. Since biological concepts continually build on important previous material, parents may choose to allow the student to take the test a second time if mastery has not been achieved on the first administration of the test. We can also discuss other ways to help the student assimilate the material.
  • Use of basic technology applications (word processing applications, email, internet). –
  • A willingness to learn how to apply a Christian world view in biology.
  • In addition to class time, this subject will require a workload of about one hour a day, five days a week. Additional hours will be needed for honors students.

My commitment as your instructor is to provide instruction and encouragement to you, supervise laboratory experiments during class time, review the chapter material in class before the tests, and grade or evaluate your work. I will be available to help you develop skills in scientific observation and analysis, and in understanding the complex concepts we will be learning. Please feel free to come to me with questions or email me during the week, so that this can be a team effort in learning together!

An assignment sheet will be made available every week. It is designed as a communication device for you, to clarify your weekly work process and help you focus on the topics we are discussing in class. Please read it at the beginning of every week and use it as a working guide. Once you have read the assignment sheet, please store it in your binder for future reference.

Laboratory Exercises: Exploring Creation With Biology contains three types of laboratory exercises:

  • Household labs – Only household equipment is used. Some of these will be done in class, and others may be done at home (either required, or for extra credit), with the results shared in class.
  • Microscope labs – Require a microscope and slide set (will always be done in class).
  • Dissection labs – Require a dissection kit (will always be done in class).

Materials: A few very common household materials may occasionally be requested from you and your family. We will be performing the microscope and dissection labs in class. They will be beneficial to you (especially if you are science-oriented). We will be purchasing microscope and dissection equipment and specimens in order to have a ratio of three or four students per microscope and dissection kit. Your lab fee of $30 will be paid at the beginning of the year.

If you miss a lab due to an excused absence, the lab generally cannot be made up due to equipment considerations, though sometimes we can try to make arrangements for you to catch up in some way. Alternate activities may be assigned if you miss more than two or three labs.

Handing in Assignments: Assignments are due at the beginning of class. All work should be done neatly and reflect your best efforts. Strive for excellence and do your best work. Extra credit will be available for students who need to enhance their grades. Extra projects are also available for students with special interests, gifts, or those needing a more advanced course – please ask instructor.

Bring to class every day:

  1. A 3-ring binder with spine size approximately 1 1/2” to 2”. Insert two plastic sheet protectors at the front of the binder to store latest assignment sheet and important reference information. If it is a view binder, you may decorate the cover page any way you like. Insert dividers, labeled as follows. Have a small supply of college-ruled paper in each section.
    1. OYO Questions
    2. Class Notes and Handouts
    3. Study Guides and Module Summaries
    4. Tests
    5. Extra Credit
  2. A second 3-ring binder with spine size about 1 1/2” to 2”. This will be the lab notebook, and will periodically be turned in for grading. Insert two plastic sheet protectors at the front to store lab writeup instructions and drawing instructions. Have a supply of lined paper and plain white paper in the binder, for lab reports and drawings.
  3. Sharp pencils with good erasers, for sketches and drawings. Mechanical pencils are useful.
  4. Pen.
  5.  6” ruler for drawing straight lines for labels on lab drawings.
  6.  Colored pencils for biological drawings (at least 6 colors).
  7. Zippered pocket for pencils, erasers, etc. (place this in your main Biology binder which stays with you and doesn’t get turned in).
  8. Textbook.


  • On Your Own Questions – These are to be answered as you come to them in the reading of the module, and kept in a labeled section of your notebook. Start each new module on a new sheet of paper.
  • Experiments – All experiments will be done on Fridays, along with a short review of the module. Occasionally, experiments involving only household materials will be done at home (sometimes for extra credit).
  • Study Guides – These should be done in writing or typed on the computer, neatly and completely, at the end of each module. They should be used to help you study for the upcoming test and will be turned in with the test.
  • Module Summaries – These are found at the back of the textbook in Appendix B and are a useful way to review the module before the test. You may type out the entire question and entire answer, or photocopy the summary and fill in the blanks.
  • Tests – A module test will be done every two weeks to evaluate your learning. Tests will be completed at home, proctored by the parent, and turned in to instructor during the next class, to be graded, recorded, and examined for further evaluation. Tests may be typed or handwritten. Tests should be done “closed book” unless otherwise instructed. In some cases, parents may allow open book tests depending on student’s needs, but closed book is strongly preferred for best preparation for college courses.
  • Lab Writeups and Drawings – Each lab experiment will require either a short writeup (hypothesis, materials, results, conclusion), neatly labeled drawings, or both. Writeups and drawings will be filed in a lab notebook to be turned in for grading periodically.
  • 5-4-3-2-1 Summaries of Modules – Extra credit, but highly recommended to create a personalized wrap-up of the module. Use 5-4-3-2-1 handout. (Required for honors credit – one per module.)
  • Quarterly Tests: Extra credit. Found in the paperback Solutions and Tests Book. Do Quarterly Test after we have covered all the material from the 4 chapters on each quarterly test (1-4, then 5-8, 9-12, 13-16). Review and study your previous module tests to prepare for the Quarterly Tests. (Required for honors credit: one first semester, three second semester)
  • Current Events – Extra credit or for honors credit. Description of a scientific news item of your choice. Current event form questions will be filled out to describe the event or discovery. (Required for honors credit – two per semester)
  • Book Report – Extra credit or honors credit.1 or 2 page summary of a book from a recommended list, or of your choosing with approval of teacher (Required for honors credit – one per semester).
  • Semester Project – Extra credit or honors credit. An extra experiment, detailed drawing, game, poem, report, or other project of your choosing, to augment the learning experiences in the class (Required for honors credit – one per semester).

Grading and Assessment: Parent involvement in discussion and evaluation of student’s work is a priority. Parents will score each module test before the student turns it in, and I will double check the scoring, sometimes allowing more points or partial credit. I will be available to parents as needed, to assist in evaluating performance against priorities, answer questions, or simply be a sounding board for discussion. I want to do everything I can to assist you in this endeavor.

A teacher-created evaluation will be provided for every student, which may be used as a record of accomplishment for students planning to attend college, and as an aid to help parents ascertain grades for report cards. All evaluations include the number of tests, homework, labs, and other assignments completed, a description of challenges and accomplishments, a review of student’s progress and performance, test scores, and recommendations for future work. While the parent gives the actual letter grade, this evaluation will be an individualized assessment of the student’s progress and effort and will help in assigning the grade. The basis for this assessment will be the following items:

Tests: 55% Performance on tests (usually closed book, proctored and graded by parent but reviewed also by teacher). Partial credit is given for partially correct answers.

Homework: 10% Completeness (not necessarily correctness) of study guides, module summaries, and OYO questions. For honors students, homework grade also includes 5-4-3-2-1 summaries, current events, and book reports.

Lab: 35% Effort, enthusiasm, and performance during the lab experiments. Neatness and thoroughness of lab writeups in lab notebook. Maintenance of biology notebook as directed. For honors students, lab grade also includes project grade.

Extra credit, as applicable

Extra labeled drawings, quarterly tests, current events, book reports, optional lab experiments, and other extra efforts in the class. Extra points will add on to student’s existing point total. Student will also be evaluated on preparation, participation and attitude in class.

Curriculum REQUIRED: Exploring Creation With Biology (Second Edition) by Dr. Jay L. Wile and Marilyn F. Durnell, Apologia Educational Ministries, 2005. ISBN 978-1-932012-57-6 2 volume set: The first book, hardbound, is the student text, which contains all student material, On Your Own questions and solutions, laboratory exercises chapter study guides, color illustrations and diagrams. The second book, softbound, is the solutions and tests manual, which contains answers to chapter study guides, tests, and test solutions. (B&W). Available at discount from CBD, Home Science Tools, or Lifelong Learning Resources (

OPTIONAL ITEMS AVAILABLE: MP3 Audio CD Apologia also has an MP3 Audio CD available for the Biology course. This MP3 CD has audio of the student text being read aloud. If your student has difficulty reading, this is the perfect companion to the textbook or the full course CD. It will run on a computer or in a MP3-compatible CD player. DVDs, Companion CDs, and other resources are also available at These are not required for the HEART class but some families may find them helpful. Website: This site contains helpful hints and links for the parent and student which can aid in your study of the subject. A

Contacting the Teacher: Please contact Mrs. Boiko (course questions) or Mrs. Allen (administrative questions) if there are any questions during the year. The best way to contact Mrs. Boiko is via email at The next best way is by phone at (408) 375-5189 (cell).

Assignments for the first week: (to be completed prior to the first class)

Parents: Read iv, v, and vi in the Solutions and Tests Book. Carefully read the course expectations from this descriptive document. Be ready to go over the handouts I give the students on the first day of class.

Students: 1. Read iv, v, and vi in textbook. 2. Read pp 1-24 in textbook. 3. Do On Your Own questions 1.1-1.10 on notebook paper, and file in the OYO Questions section of your notebook. 4. Read procedure for Experiment 1.1, prepare your lab notebook, and be ready to do this experiment together in class. 5. Carefully read the course expectations from this current document (Biology Class Information). On the first day of class I will be giving you many handouts. Be prepared to go over these with your parents.