Brad Counts

Biology Teacher
Baseball Coach
Contact: [email protected]
Planning: 1:35-2:55

My Virtual Hours are 10-2.

Class codes for Google classroom are as follows:
1st block - 6m47deo
2nd block - j6vxe3d
3rd block - ra6btgk
Google voice # 276-455-1682

Biology I Syllabus

Mr. Brad Counts ([email protected])

 Biology is an exciting and ever changing field of study. The goal of this class is to help understand all aspects of life, from the smallest cells to the biggest whales, looking at topics ranging from genetics to ecology.  We will cover a wide range of issues dealing with how all life on earth functions and interacts with one another.  At the end of the semester, there will be an SOL test to determine how well you understand the major ideas and themes that will be covered. 


Course Outline

Unit 1 - Biology Intro.                       Unit 6 – Classification & Diversity of Life

            * Biology in the 21st Century                      * Classifying             

            * Chemistry of Life                                       * Characteristics of Life    

Unit 2 - Cells                                               Unit 7 - Plants                                  

            * Structure & Function                               * Functions and Responses

            * Energy Production                                              

            * Growth & Division                         Unit 8 - Animals   

Unit 3 - Genetics

            * Meiosis and Mendel                                             

            * Mendelian Genetics

            * DNA to Proteins

            * Biotechnology

Unit 4 - Evolution

            * Principles of Evolution

            * Evolution of Populations










The Biology standards that you will be tested on are as follows:





BIO.1        The student will demonstrate an understanding of scientific reasoning, logic, and the nature of science by planning and conducting investigations in which

  1. observations of living organisms are recorded in the lab and in the field;
  2. hypotheses are formulated based on direct observations and information from scientific literature;
  3. variables are defined and investigations are designed to test hypotheses;
  4. graphing and arithmetic calculations are used as tools in data analysis;
  5. conclusions are formed based on recorded quantitative and qualitative data;
  6. sources of error inherent in experimental design are identified and discussed;
  7. validity of data is determined;
  8. chemicals and equipment are used in a safe manner;
  9. appropriate technology including computers, graphing calculators, and probeware, is used for gathering and analyzing data, communicating results, modeling concepts, and simulating experimental conditions;
  10. research utilizes scientific literature;
  11. differentiation is made between a scientific hypothesis, theory, and law;
  12. alternative scientific explanations and models are recognized and analyzed; and
  13. current applications of biological concepts are used.


    BIO.2        The student will investigate and understand the chemical and biochemical principles essential for life. Key concepts include

  1. water chemistry and its impact on life processes;
  2. the structure and function of macromolecules;
  3. the nature of enzymes; and
  4. the capture, storage, transformation, and flow of energy through the processes of photosynthesis and respiration.


BIO.3        The student will investigate and understand relationships between cell structure and function. Key concepts include

  1. evidence supporting the cell theory;
  2. characteristics of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells;
  3. similarities between the activities of the organelles in a single cell and a whole organism;
  4. the cell membrane model; and
  5. the impact of surface area to volume ratio on cell division, material transport, and other life processes.


BIO.4        The student will investigate and understand life functions of Archaea, Bacteria and Eukarya. Key concepts include         

  1. comparison of their metabolic activities;
  2. maintenance of homeostasis;
  3. how the structures and functions vary among and within the Eukarya kingdoms of protists, fungi, plants, and animals, including humans;
  4. human health issues, human anatomy, and body systems;
  5. how viruses compare with organisms; and
  6. evidence supporting the germ theory of infectious disease.


BIO.5        The student will investigate and understand common mechanisms of inheritance and protein synthesis. Key concepts include

  1. cell growth and division;
  2. gamete formation;
  3. cell specialization;
  4. prediction of inheritance of traits based on the Mendelian laws of heredity;
  5. historical development of the structural model of DNA;
  6. genetic variation;
  7. the structure, function, and replication of nucleic acids;
  8. events involved in the construction of proteins;
  9. use, limitations, and misuse of genetic information; and
  10. exploration of the impact of DNA technologies.


BIO.6        The student will investigate and understand bases for modern classification systems. Key concepts include

  1. structural similarities among organisms;
  2. fossil record interpretation;
  3. comparison of developmental stages in different organisms;
  4. examination of biochemical similarities and differences among organisms; and
  5. systems of classification that are adaptable to new scientific discoveries.


BIO.7        The student will investigate and understand how populations change through time. Key concepts include

  1. evidence found in fossil records;
  2. how genetic variation, reproductive strategies, and environmental pressures impact the survival of populations;
  3. how natural selection leads to adaptations;
  4. emergence of new species; and
  5. scientific evidence and explanations for biological evolution.


BIO.8        The student will investigate and understand dynamic equilibria within populations, communities, and ecosystems. Key concepts include

  1. interactions within and among populations including carrying capacities, limiting factors, and growth curves;
  2. nutrient cycling with energy flow through ecosystems;
  3. succession patterns in ecosystems;
  4. the effects of natural events and human activities on ecosystems; and
  5. analysis of the flora, fauna, and microorganisms of Virginia ecosystems.




Class Materials

  1. Pencil or Pen (black or blue ink only)
  2. Paper
  3. Folder or Three ring binder



All grades are based on the school’s grading scale that can be found in the handbook.

Tests are 50% of the grade, homework is 35%, and quizzes are 15%.

There may be one drop grade for the semester.

Work that is turned in late will have 10 points deducted for every day late.

Missed work must be made up within five days.

**Missed tests must be made up the next day**




Attendance will be taken everyday.  Students are expected to attend all classes.  Any absence will require an excuse.  There will be a 1-point reduction in the final 9 weeks grade for each unexcused absence. Three unexcused absences will result in loss of the drop grade. All students are expected to be in class when the bell rings, ready to start.  Three tardies or check-outs will be counted as 1 unexcused absence resulting in a 1 point drop in a student’s grade average.     

It is your responsibility to find out what work, notes, or tests are to be made up if you miss class.  If you don’t ask, you won’t get the material.



Class Rules

  1. Be responsible (have class materials, be on time, do your work.)
  1. Respect others and their belongings.
  2. No talking during class(except when allowed), pay attention, & follow directions.
  3. No getting out of seat without permission.
  4. No cheating.  If caught, it is an automatic zero.
  5. No cell phones allowed.

All other rules in the student handbook also must be followed.




If you have any problems with the material, please let me know.  I cannot help you with any of the work if you don’t ask.


Good Luck and have a Great Semester!