I SURVIVED: Biology 10


Olivia Hess, Staff Writer

Biology is the study of life, which makes sense why it is such an important topic to learn about. 

B-A’s biology teacher, Ms. Shimel, is going to give a run-down on her class along with Alyssa Mills, a former biology student who mastered the class.

Ms. Shimel’s keys to surviving Biology

What do students learn in this class?

 Students learn that Biology is the study of life — living or once-living things and how organisms are impacted by the world around them and how we interact with our world. Students learn the 8 major assessment anchors for the Keystone Exam:

Module 1 = Cells & Cell Processes

Bio.A.1 = Basic Biological Principles

Bio.A.2 = Chemical Basis for Life

Bio.A.3 = Bioenergetics

Bio.A.4 = Homeostasis &   Transport

Module 2 = Continuity & Unity of Life

Bio.B.1 = Cell Growth & Reproduction

Bio.B.2 = Genetics

Bio.B.3 = Theory of Evolution

Bio.B.4 = Ecology

Do students need to bring any materials? 

I hope students show up with something to write with and their iPads. No binder or notebook is needed — but is highly recommended. Lots of content is printed on paper and lots of things are returned on paper to be kept with “notes”.

What is your favorite lesson to teach your class? 

I am a big fan of genetics so I like practicing with the Punnett Squares and looking at the outcomes from specific genetic crosses. I am always shocked and amazed how people can have healthy babies at any time just due to the nature of genetics and how there’s a million things that could go wrong any minute! DNA is super cool, in my opinion. I hope that students are intrigued and awe struck like I am!

What is one takeaway that you hope students remember from biology? 

As cheesy as it is, The Biology Song! What defines life? What does it mean to really be alive? This content is mostly from The Biology Song — which may be juvenile and/or silly — but it’s an awesome reminder of what it means to be alive and how we all function/work/maintain homeostasis to survive and thrive.

Do you have any advice for current or future students in biology class? 

I would ask students to think about what helps them to learn the best.  We do not all learn the same way.  So, what is your style and/or preference?  Do you like to read and write things down?  Do you like to make flash cards or play Kahoots?  What can you do to take the content delivered in class and make it your “own?”  How can you study to help you work through, retain, recall and process through the information to score well on tests, including the Keystone?  Do you need to talk to someone else?  Do you need to look at the colorings or edpuzzles a second time?  Do you have your own notes or read through old bell-ringers or the bell-ringer answers posted on Google Classroom?  What are you doing to help yourself?  What are you doing in class that might take away from your processing?  Are you reading a book, playing chess, or distracted on YouTube?  Do you have/want a paper to write on?  Keep a notebook?  Is there something that you could do to process or pay attention more/better during class?  Is class time the only time that you “look” at biology?  These are all relevant questions to ask students or remind them to think about or do to be a “good student” in Biology! 

Alyssa’s experience

What was your experience in biology class? 

From my experiences, I thought that biology was very interesting and a fun class. Ms. Shimel made learning fun and she was very easy to talk to. I was never afraid to ask for help in class. The class itself was a very comfortable environment because of Ms. Shimel’s positive attitude. I think that I came out of biology with a lot of useful knowledge that will help me in future classes.

What was your favorite part?

My favorite part of biology was the labs and dissections. I thought that looking at slides through the microscope was very cool because it showed things in improved detail. Getting to dissect and look at the different internal parts of different animals was informational and very intriguing. 

What piece or lesson from biology do you still remember? 

The lessons I remember the most from biology are homeostasis and the types and stages of cell division. 

What advice do you have for current biology students? 

Some advice I have for current biology students is to make sure to pay close attention and to make sure to continue to put in effort, especially if you’re planning on doing anything science-related for a career. Also, biology knowledge helps you greatly if you’re planning on taking Microbiology/Anatomy in 11th or 12th grade.