Answers to FAQs

  • Living environment


    Mr. Law and Mr. Mashewske


    Answers to FAQs


    What can students do to be successful in this class?

    Attendance is important.  Regents courses move quickly and even a short absence can mean lots of make up work in multiple courses.

    There is no substitute for a teacher’s well planned lesson.


    Pay attention.  Come to class rested, fed, focused on learning.


    Follow directions.  Keep a daily record of assignments and due dates.  Check webpage calendar daily.


    Do your homework.  Study for tests.  Ask for help if you’re uncertain about what you’re learning.


    Check your grade periodically as posted outside the classroom so you are not surprised when report cards go home.


    How will you determine student grades?

    Students are graded on a point system (e.g. Lab reports 20 pts, Tests 100 pts., homework 10-15 pts., etc.)


    Two or three test grades comprise about 50% of the quarter grade.  Lab reports about 25% and homework 15% and 1 project each quarter about 10%.


    How often will students have homework and how much time do you expect students to spend on homework per night?

    Short term homework is assigned as deemed necessary: as a learning exercise, or as practice, or sometimes as assessment, or sometimes to finish something we didn’t finish in class.  Generally, short term means it’s due tomorrow or the next day. 


    Long term hmwk will be primarily “Directed Readings.”  DRs are from our text and are an important learning tool for our students.  They must read the text chapter(s) and answer questions based on the reading.  It’s great for reinforcing what we’re learning in class and vital for filling in the gaps for some students and enriching the learning for others.


    In addition, lab reports are due weekly.  On each lab day (Day ___ this year) students submit the lab report for the last cycle’s lab.  This gives them a complete cycle including a weekend to write a lab report.  The lab report format is on Mr. Law’s HOME webpage (as is the rubric).  Students do the first report in class with teacher help and from then on are expected to follow the format for each report.  Lab data is published on the webpage (RESOURCES) so that students can access class data from any computer, even at home.


    Students shouldn’t have to spend more than 30 minutes/night on homework if they plan their time effectively.  However, if they wait until the last minute…a DR or lab report could take 2 hours if you try to do it in 1 night.  Students are expected to practice managing their time to accommodate their individual schedules.


    What is your policy about late, incomplete, or missing student work?

    It is our goal to provide students with ample opportunity to do their work at their individual pace.  Therefore, we provide considerable time for students to complete course work.  To receive full credit work must be submitted on or before the due date and 10% credit will be lost for each day late.  Failure to complete the work in the generous time frame allotted is not preferred and will be met with negative feedback that may include mandatory academic detention and communication home to parents, etc.


    Students are encouraged to seek teacher help if they have an issue with completing their coursework on schedule. 


    What should a student do if he/she is absent for a day or two?

    Students should check their classroom folder at the front of the room to see if there were any papers handed out.  See your teacher and schedule an appointment to discuss the instruction you missed.


    For extended absences, parents should contact the guidance or main office and a folder will be created for teachers to fill with class work for parent pick up.


    How often do you give tests and what are they like?

    Tests are generally biweekly.  Our tests reflect the NYS Regents Living Environment exam: mostly multiple choice, with some short answer, and a little extended response.


    What opportunities exist for students who want/need additional support outside of regularly scheduled class time?

    Teachers are available afterschool most days.  We recommend making an appointment on the clip board to make sure that your teacher will be available and prepared to help you.  All teachers also have OFFICE HOURS posted outside their classrooms during which students can walk in and get help if they are free during the day.


    Review classes are held on the afternoon prior and morning of any exam: that’s 3:45 pm the day before and 7:00 am the day of any test in room 376.


    If I walked in to the class during a lesson, what would I see?

    In our LE class you will see 2 teachers supporting each other and the students.  Mr. Law is the certified science teacher, Mr. Mashewske- certified special ed. [we also have a teaching assistant].  We try to divide our time evenly in class between teacher directed instruction and student activities.  Students often work individually or in small groups while teachers support.  We believe strongly that students will learn best when they experience the wonder of biology and realize its application to their personal lives.  All students are encouraged to actively participate and cooperate in learning with their peers.  Instruction is highly visual and enhanced by both laboratory and classroom technology.


    What is the best way for parents to contact the teacher if necessary?



    What will my child learn from your class?

    Students will become better students and life long learners because we place emphasis on teaching students to ask questions, to access information, and to think critically.  Students will be better prepared for next year because they are given responsibilities, resources, support, and held accountable for their learning.  Students will practice a variety of learning and working skills that they can use in any class or on the job.  Students will become scientifically literate: understanding the role of science, biology in particular, in their modern lives.  Students will improve interpersonal skills by working daily with a diverse staff and student body in a variety of activities.