• Update 5/8    General Biology

    Wow - we are almost finished with the school semester, the school year and our google biology classroom experience. Although the vast majority of students have done great this quarter at home, the google experience is such a let down after being actually in the class with you, that I am glad that a least the google experience is almost done. And then it’s wonderful, free-from-school summertime, and then, hopefully back to normal education and life!

    This is our last week of work, with the last assignment, posted Tuesday, 5/5, due Monday 5/11. This last week we have been reviewing much of our genetics unit and applying that information to understand how genes work. We have to stop our genetics unit at a bit of an awkward point, but with the semester significantly truncated due to reduced on line expectations, there is little else we can do. Students have had the opportunity to develop a lot of knowledge about genetics to apply in life, and perhaps in a later biology class.

    The week of 5/11 is available for students to turn in late work (for assignments wherein answer keys have not yet been posted). Grades must be finalized and submitted the week of 5/18. Because these last few weeks fly by, please make sure you have addressed any questions you have about our class before 5/18.

    We are right at the end – I know you will finish Nighthawk Strong! Please email if I can help with anything.

    Update 4/17     General Biology

    Hello Nighthawks!!

    This note is primarily addressed to parents and responsible adults at home, but everyone should read it.


    Please contact me (email best) if you have any concerns about the biology work load. I anticipate that I have assigned approximately 2-3 hours of work a week but that might vary tremendously based upon the individual student and their work habits, abilities and goals. I have no doubt that a number of students can accomplish the assigned work in less time, but every student is different, with different skills and background, so it is impossible to say exactly how long your student will be working on biology each week. I am sure you are already, but please be talking with your student about their work load and monitoring their work habits to ensure that they are not overwhelmed, but also to ensure that they are reasonably fulfilling their academic obligations.


    Although expectations of work load and grading have been significantly reduced, work is still graded and grades still matter. The vast majority of students are doing very well but some have fallen far behind. Most of the delinquent students are repeat offenders, indicating they need a lot more guidance from home. Most students will finish the semester with grades equal to or better than they had earned when we left school, but a small number are not turning in assignments regularly and their grades are dropping. A student who fails to earn 60% of the available points for then semester does not earn a passing grade and will have to retake the semester in biology if they wish to graduate from IRHS.

    Grading Scheme

    As I have previously communicated, students have a significant amount of time to submit assignments. A new assignment is given approximately every three days. I generally will grade the work 2 – 3 days after the due date during which time students can submit their work with no late penalty. I will then post grades on Tyler and give students an additional 2 – 3 days to submit work, still with no late penalty. Approximately a week after the due date I will post answer keys, which are essential to make available in a timely fashion to aid in student understanding. Once the answer keys are posted however, no other work will be accepted for a grade for that assignment. This means a student has approximately 10 days to do an assignment (but not every assignment, or the student will fall far behind), which allows plenty of time for students to keep up and parents to monitor their success.

    I hope this is helpful information.



    Update 4/13      General Biology

    Now that we understand how and why cells reproduce new cells, and now that we’ve started to learn a few things about DNA and chromosomes we’re ready to take a look directly at genetics. Our first topic involves an investigation of the structure of DNA. An understanding of the structure then allows us to understand what DNA does – DNA holds information to make proteins, a process called gene expression, or protein synthesis. In our textbook the topic of DNA structure is covered on pages 344 – 348, and protein synthesis is covered on pages 362 – 371.

    In regard to work done, most students are keeping up wonderfully and doing a fabulous job. But this isn’t everybody. Some students are falling far behind. One thing to be aware of…

    • Although there is no late penalty for turning things in after the due date up to a point, once answer keys are posted late work cannot be accepted. I have delayed posting the keys for the first few assignments, but in general keys will be posted a week after the due date. Please email me directly if you have any questions in general or questions about how a particular assignment has been graded.

    A new assignment is being posted this morning, due Wednesday, 4/15.

    Be checking grades in Tyler!!                    Have a great week (present times considered)!


    Update 4/7 Grades Grades Grades!!

    Hello everybody,

    As of today, our first grades, reflecting work due on 4/1, were entered into Tyler. All grades will be entered into Tyler and not google classroom.

    The first assignment entered as grades was a look at the two power points (An Introduction to the Cell Cycle and A Detailed Look at Mitosis), followed by questions to answer, one set of questions for each power point.

    The vast majority of students turned in work on time although a number of assignments were turned in late, hence the delay in entering grades. A number of students, however, answered only one of the two sets of questions and some students did not turn in any assignment. Two or three students turned in some unrelated assignment entirely. If you did not turn in a complete assignment, I sent you a note through google classroom.

    Please look at grades over the next 24 hours and contact me via email if you have questions or concerns. If you did not turn in a complete assignment email it to me by Thursday noon if you would like to receive credit. At that time I will be posting a key, which will be helpful for students to read. After I post the key, I cannot accept late work.

    Update 4/6

    Hello Nighthawks!

    I hope everyone is healthy, staying at home as much as possible and excited about the rest of this year and also, very importantly, our next school year, when things are back to normal!

    This week we are going to finish our study of the cell cycle, mitosis and meiosis These topics are important in themselves in that they tell us how and why cells reproduce new cells. These topics also introduce us to concepts that will be critical in understanding our next unit, genetics. This week we will be working with a power point on meiosis and filling in Notes 19 (The Cell Cycle – The M Stage: Division of the Genetic Material). We will also work with our first power point in our genetics unit.

    Pace of Study

    Some of you may have noticed that we are moving rather slowly through the material. We are moving slowly because we recognize that many students and families face obstacles in dealing with the new, temporary, online format of education. In addition, we are all struggling with the difficult times that we currently live in, some more so than others. Therefore, requirements for finishing up the semester will be lightened, compared with the earlier part of the school year.


    This being said, if students have free time and families would like them to use this time enhancing their education, I would recommend that students read the suggested sections of the textbook (given with the assignments) and view the suggested supplementary videos (see earlier updates).


    Late Work and Posting Answer Keys   

    Work is being accepted several days after due dates without penalty. However, allowed time to turn in late work is limited by the need to post answer keys within an acceptable period following the due date. Keys are posted a few days after due dates so students may reference them as an important part of their learning experience. Once keys are posted late work cannot be accepted.


    Office Hours

    In an attempt to be helpful, I am offering “Office Hours” at regular times of the week. “Office Hours” means times during the week wherein I will be sitting at my computer and available to answer questions in “real time”. Up to this point of our enforced absence from school I have been checking my email and google classroom numerous times a day, and I hope I have been able to help all who have reached out to me in a timely fashion. However, if real time interaction is helpful, I can be directly reached during the following hours of the week…

                  Monday, Wednesday, Friday                    11:00 – 12:00 am

    But of course, please feel free to contact me at any other reasonable time.                            


    Tech Line

    The Amphi school district has established an assistance email to help families with computer and technical issues. Please use the following service if you are experiencing these types of difficulties.


    Update 4/1 Biology

    Hello young people and families,

    So far lots of great work turned in, and thank you to everybody who has helped others, either directly in google classroom or in some other way. Try to keep on track with getting assignments turned in on time, because new assignments might be added at any time, although I will certainly try to keep the workload manageable. We do have one assignment added for this week, mentioned below and available in your google classroom. **


    Some info to remember…

    • To facilitate communication, I am posting all announcements and assignments in three places (google classroom, your school listed email address, and on my IRHS website).
    • I can be reached at my school email address or by posting questions on google classroom. This week I have been checking these sites about 100 times a day. Next week I will be establishing “office hours” when I am sitting at my computer if anyone needs back and forth instruction.
    • So far, all assignments can be completed by just typing answers onto a google or word document and then submitting through google classroom. Work can also be scanned or attached and sent to my school email address.
    • If students are having trouble understanding the assigned material, additional resources are available. I have included a list of supplemental resources below.


    Supplemental resources

    • Our textbook… Generally, I will list relevant pages for different topics with assignments as they are given. (I am not yet assigning reading as I am not sure all students do in fact have the textbooks, although all students were to pick up textbooks at the beginning of the year.)
    • On line videos – many videos are available. In addition to what we are assigned to watch I suggest “Bozeman Science” (“Biology”, not “AP Biology”), “Khan Academy” or “Crash Course”. Many high school biology teachers post podcast lectures on line.
    • I can help with questions directly (via email or google classroom) and can even arrange video tutoring if necessary.


    A Word About Late Work

    As of now work that is late within a few days of the due date will not receive a penalty. I will assume at this time that reasons for late work are legitimate. But please keep up. Work that is unreasonably late, with no communicated reasons why, will receive a penalty. Work that is not turned in will earn a zero. 


    The Week Ahead

    So far this week we have reviewed our introduction to the cell cycle and looked more closely at the mitotic cell cycle. We are going to move forward with a closer look at the meiotic cell cycle before we formally begin our genetics unit.

    **In addition to the assignments already given this week please watch a video about the meiotic cell cycle and complete the accompanying worksheet by the end of the weekend. Details of the assignment and resources are available in your google biology classroo

    Update 3/29

    This week we are going to move slowly as we get used to this new, on line format of school, but we are definitely going to get back to learning about new and important things, as well as review some of the topics we were studying before spring break.

    We will certainly be working on line for the next two weeks, from 3/30 – 4/10. If, in order to promote public health, we are still required to stay home after that, we will of course continue with this format. We will start with fairly simple objectives (power points, videos, etc.) but will progress to more involved activities (virtual labs, research projects, etc.) if we must continue on line for an extended period.

    For the first week (3/30 – 4/3) we will be reviewing our introduction to the cell cycle (covered before spring break) but also taking a more detailed look at the two different types of cell cycles, one involving mitosis and one involving meiosis. Much information relevant to our next unit on genetics will be introduced here.

    Students will have mandatory assignments but will also be informed of supplemental readings and videos if they would like enrichment of our topics. Textbook pages will be supplied for each topic, but reading will not be required (although each student should have a textbook at home some may not and at the moment, with the school closed off we have no way of providing textbooks).

    As of now I am checking my email numerous times a day and am happy to respond directly to any questions. Although I am not very proficient with all of the technology, I will be establishing a way to video conference for tutoring purposes, if it turns out that such a service would be helpful.

    This week’s work will be graded!! But have no fears – we are all new to this sort of thing and know that glitches will occur so problems can be fixed if they happen. We will eventually all be back at school and as a last recourse any potential problems can be solved then. Stay tuned!! Please email me if you have any questions or concerns.

    Update 3/27

    I hope everyone is doing well. Please use the codes listed below to join your class on google classroom if you haven't already. I can be contacted through my school emial if you have any questions. I am just now learning about google classroom so many questions might be better answered by friends, but I can try, or get an answer if need be. Again, no graded assignments this week but review materisl given below. On Monday we will start SLOWLY with graded work so please be sure to check google clasroom and this website by Monday for new assignments. Take care!!


    Update 3/26

    Really nothing to update here - you should be getting emails from the school and checking the school website though. Due to various legalities involving equal access, credited work cannot be given this week so spend some time reviwing this semester's info in our text. We have already looked at viruses a few times in class this year and talked a little about corona before we left but I'm sure you've all learned a lot about it yourself. Our textbook discusses viruses in Chapter 20 and many excellent resources are available on line (for example The Corona Virus Explained and What You Should Do). By Monday we should all have information about how we are moving forward.


    Hello Students and Families,

    As of 3/23 – 27 everything is still on hold. I have listed below a review document (attached on documents page) and review chapters in the book, if you want to review and keep abreast of the material we have covered so far this semester. If we are still quarantined next week we will switch to Google classroom so we can communicate better. I hope you are all well and I see you soon!!

    Mr. Fletcher

    Review: A Quick Summary of What We have Studied So Fat This Year in Biology

    The Cell and the Cell Membrane                Chapter 7

    Biomolecules, including Enzymes              Sections 2.3 and 2.4

    Photosynthesis                                         Chapter 8

    Cellular Respiration                                   Chapter 9

    Cell Growth and Division                            Chapter 10


    For google classroom (starting next week) follow this link and use the following codes Google classroom

    Period 2       gmbakvc

    Period 3       pziejmj

    Period 4       azmsfj4

    Period 5       wxchc3q

    Period 6       ayvgy3d

    Period 7       cu3mjqh


    Contact Information


             (520) 407-4165


    Welcome to General Biology

    The science program at IRHS provides students with many opportunities to develop skills that can be utilized in any area of future endeavour. A student participating in IRHS Science also has the opportunity to learn a tremendous amount about the physical and biological sciences.


    General Biology

    General Biology is an introductory biology class for freshmen. We investigate a wide range of topics, from molecular biology to ecology, and lots in between. The class is designed to help students develop academic skills, but is also geared towards promoting interest in the sciences, which statistically drops off in the high school years.