Welcome to My Page
Welcome,Parents and students, this year will be very different and promises to be a challenge for us all in many ways. As your child's biology teacher and a former medical professional I understand what must be done to keep your student safe and have already been prepping our physical classroom and our virtual Google Classroom to proivide what the students need to be safe and to learn biology in keeping with state standards. Please have a look at my web page as well as my Google Classroom page, your student can show you how to navigate these so you can check out both of these learning tools. The majority of resources and daily lessons can be found in the Google Classroom created for each class period. There are also many helpful resources located on my page, these are additional resources that your student may find helpful. To be successful in biology your student must know how to navigate Google Classroom, so they should spend some time becoming very familiar with it. In my Google Classroom there is a calendar where all assignments and due dates can be found as well as a class drive folder for assignment documents and a folder for classroom procedures. In the classroom procedures folder you will find my classroom rules, syllabus, safety guidelines, & other important information needed. I send home only those forms I need to have signed and returned to me, there are only 2, the rest are on my web page & in the class procedures Google Classroom folder for you to view. My method of instruction is called the "Flipped classroom" model, we have an online textbook from Discovery Education as well, & use Study Island regularly to assess learning. It is very important that students have access to a computer, Chromebook, or other device with internet access. Palmer High is a one to one Chromebook school; Chromebooks are made available to all students for a nominal deposit. To be successful in my class, whether you are sitting in class or learning online from home, you will need to be motivated to login to my Google Classroom and complete the assignment for each day. When learning from home it is imperative that you submit daily work. This shows me that you are participatinf daily and are keeping up with what we are learning. I must count you absent for the day if I do not see work being done on time. If you do not understand an assignment you must contact me via email or bring this to my attention in the classroom ASAP; this class moves quickly. Due to the amount of material the state mandates I must teach we must maintain a steady pace to complete the state standards and be prepared for the state biology test. Staying current in assignment submission is the students' responsibility and will be treated as such. If you would like more information about the flipped classroom model please watch the video below created by Alan Sams, a pioneer in flipped class teaching style below. Click the link below to watch.
Parents & students, please check our electronic grade book weekly to monitor your/your student's progress. Ultimately, I hold students accountable for their grades. To maintain the integrity of our program late work will not be accepted unless under extreme circumstances, on a case by case basis. I highly recommend that students and parents read the information provided in my class drive folder entitled “Classroom Procedures”, these documents provide important information about my class. To login to the grade portal, you will need to contact the PHS office to get a username & password to login. I am very consistent with assignments & grading. Assignments can be found and will be done online in Google Classroom for both virtual and face to face learners. Biology students may be given discussion board questions, blogs, or current events homework once a six weeks...this is the only assigned homework we will have in biology. Other learning will be as follows:reading at least one concept per week in the Discovery Education Techbook,weekly Study Island assignment(s), & virtual labs or hands on labs (face to face only). I will be maintaining a strict schedule for each class day to provide structure for those students learning from home as well as those sitting in the classroom. Planned activities/assignments for each week are as follows:
Monday - Students will be asked to READ one or more concepts in the Discovery Education Techbook (our online textbook) and will use a graphic organizer (thinking map) which they will create with the Creately Chromebook Extension. On the graphic organizer students will note main ideas, key words, and important facts from the reading. Examples of the thinking map(s) I want them to create will be provided to them in the Google Class drive folder “Classwork documents”.
Tuesday - Students will reread the same Discovery Education concept they read on Monday (this helps them to better understand & retain the information. They will make additional comments or make changes in their graphic organizer as needed and will then complete a mini report (3 - 4 paragraphs) using the graphic organizer they created on Monday & textbook to help them. Students will also be taking a quiz over the material they read as they finish and will be allowed to use the graphic organizer and mini report they wrote to help them answer quiz questions.
Wednesday - Students will be watching a lecture or video over the topics discussed in the concept and will be discussing, journaling, and/ or answering essential questions about the concepts learned.
Thursday - Classroom & online learners will be participating in hands-on or virtual labs that allow students to apply what they have learned.
Friday - All students will be reading a Study Island lesson and completing the practice questions. The highest grade achieved will be added to the grade book as a test grade. The students will have the entire 45 minute class period to read the short Study Island lesson and make the best grade they can. They may practice the Study Island questions as much as they want at any time before the test each Friday. Practice may be done in class (if students are caught up with their work) or at home as needed. I recommend at least 30 minutes of practice twice weekly to ensure a passing grade on Friday’s test. I do not assign homework, however, if the student gets behind in class he/she is responsible for catching up through attending tutorials during the activity period. If they do not do this on their own I will assign a mandatory tutorial until they are caught up. If they skip the mandatory tutorial assigned they will incur an office referral that will result in after school detention. The afternoon detention is assigned to give them additional time to catch up. Please know that the internet signal extends to outside the school building, so students can login even when the school is closed. I use school email to communicate with my students and parents, so please make sure I have the correct information to contact you as needed. I welcome your input, constructive criticism, & interest in your students’ success & wellbeing, so please feel free to contact me at any time via email. I look forward to working with you & your student this year. Thank you for being supportive, concerned, & involved parents. Below I have included a link to my PHS page, Study Island, and Discovery Education. You will need your student username and ID to access both Study Island and Discovery Education.
PHS Page - Robin Sissell link https://www.palmer-isd.org//site/default.aspx?PageType=2&PageModuleInstanceID=4377&ViewID=d23c305b-e295-4186-9257-b05a61f233d9&RenderLoc=0&FlexDataID=0&Filter=StaffFullName%3Asissell%3BSite%3AHigh%20School
Study Island - https://www.studyisland.com
Discovery Education - https://www.discoveryeducation.com
Tutoring is held M-F during activity period, except on Wednesday (this day is reserved for mandatory turtorials only). Additional tutoring is available by appointment.
My conference period is M-F beginning at 8:40 - 9:25 a.m. please call or email to schedule an appointment.
Biology students, please check Google Classroom regularly to stay current with biology assignments. Check my Palmer page for additional helpful resources as well as other links added to my "helpful resources" tab on my PHS page to help you be successful in my class. I will be adding more fun and helpful links for biology as the year goes on, visit my page often to see whats new! I'm looking forward to having a great year! :-) GO BULLDOGS!!!