My Classroom Website

   Welcome to The Living Environment   

       "Science is built up of facts, as a house is built of stones; but an accumulation of facts is no more a science than a heap of stones is a house. " ~Henri Poincaré, Science and Hypothesis, 1905  

Big Dream High School

Ms. K. Nelson


About Me

I have always had a passion for science. I enjoy teaching and learning about biology and chemistry in particular. I attended SUNY Geneseo from 2004-2008 graduating with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. I originally planned to go to veterinary school, but changed my mind to go into education. I have always loved animals- both big and small. Out of college I started my first job working at a veterinary clinic. I have also been a volunteer for the last five years at Sunshine Horses, a horse rescue in CNY. Since 2008 I have worked with a local teen group as well as many other youth groups providing them a chance to learn about caring for horses and what it means to give back to their community. In 2009, I became the youth director. I love working with animals, as well as working with students. As your teacher I hope to share with you my experiences as well as provide any support or information to help you pursue your dreams and interests. 





Educational Philosophy

My roll as your teacher is to facilitate learning, stimulate inquisition, and help students develop the skills and framework to become independent life long learners. It's important to me to incorporate cutting edge information to support curriculum through frequent discussions of news articles and research studies. At the high school level I think it is important that students learn responsibility, develop lifelong learning skills, and know how to use the educational tools they will learn about to expand their knowledge base. 


Expectations of the Student

 I expect all students to be respectful of their peers, their school/classroom, and their teachers. I expect all students to understand and follow all high school code of conduct rules and regulations. All assignments should be completed upon the due dates discussed in class unless discussed with me before hand. Late assignments and unexcused absences will affect your grade in this class. All laboratory assignments that are missed must be made up, so if you know you will not be there for a lab, you need to make time to come see me outside of class. 


Academic Support

Students are encouraged to seek out academic support from me as needed. If you feel like you are struggling with something, need someone to talk to, or need me to review certain topics please come see me. I will provide students a chance to obtain extra help daily during my planning period or after school on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday till 5:00. I will arrange review sections before each unit test for anyone interested and they will be announced in class. If needed we can arrange different times/days. 



I encourage students and parents to contact me with any concerns or questions regarding experiences in my classroom. You can call me at 438-6227 or email me at Do not hesitate to contact me for clarification or resolution as soon as a problem or concern arises rather than letting it become a bigger issue. 



10% Homework

15% Classroom Activities

30% Unit Tests/ Final

20% Major Essays and Projects

20% Labs

5% Participation and Attendance



Living Environment Text Living Environment Text for 2010



Critical to understanding science concepts is the use of scientific inquiry to develop explanations of natural phenomena as a prerequisite for admission to the Regents examination in the Living Environment, students must have successfully completed 1200 minutes of laboratory experience with satisfactory written reports for each lab.  (NYSED.GOV, 2010)


NYS Educational Requirements

I.Students will use mathematical analysis, scientific inquiry, and engineering design, as appropriate, to pose
questions, seek answers, and develop solutions.

         --The central purpose of scientific inquiry is to develop explanations of natural phenomena in a continuing and
            creative process

        -- Beyond the use of reasoning and consensus, scientific inquiry involves the testing of proposed explanations
            involving the use of conventional techniques and procedures and usually requiring considerable ingenuity. 

        --The observations made while testing proposed explanations, when analyzed using conventional and invented
            methods, provide new insights into natural phenomena. 

II.Students will understand and apply scientific concepts, principles, and theories pertaining to the physical
setting and living environment and recognize the historical development of ideas in science.

          --Living things are both similar to and different from each other and from nonliving things.

          --Organisms inherit genetic information in a variety of ways that result in continuity of structure and function
              between parents and offspring. 

          --Individual organisms and species change over time.

          --The continuity of life is sustained through reproduction and development.

          --Organisms maintain a dynamic equilibrium that sustains life.

          --Plants and animals depend on each other and their physical environment.

          --Human decisions and activities have had a profound impact on the physical and living environment.


Useful Links and Resources 

  --Links to many different science resources 

  ---Science News Online

  ---Images and Information about life on earth

  ---Information on Genetics and Genetic Disease 

--Regents Review

  --Study Guides and Strategies 

  -- NY Sunshine Horses- Volunteer and Organization Information