Mrs. Reddish: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Roskelley, email@example.com
Learn to value and use science as a way to gain knowledge based on observable evidence and to develop the skills associated with scientific inquiry.
The 8th Grade Science Core has one major theme, which is the idea of change. It consists of 4 unit topics that will each take about a quarter a piece: (1) Chemistry – changes in matter. (2) Geology – changes in Earths Structure and materials. (3) Physics – changes in energy focusing on movement, sound, and light. (4) Ecology – changes in ecosystems from natural and human influences.
Each student is accountable for his or her own actions and behavior. Treat everyone and everything in the classroom with courtesy and respect. You are responsible for your own actions, assignments, and studies.
Science is a field that requires students to ponder, explore, and think outside the box. It must be done with curiosity and an open mind. Students in this generation have become known as the “Google Generation”. They live in a world of instant gratification and feedback at the speed that technology and social media can give it. Science takes time and most importantly IT TAKES WORK, students must give both to fully appreciate the joy science can bring.
Work is due on time, completed, and finished at a high quality. On Time means that it is passed forward when the teacher asks for it. All work that is not turned in when asked for by the teacher will be considered late, no excuses (saying I couldn’t find it, or it’s in my locker means the assignment is late). Completed means that every predication, diagram, data table, graph, question, etc. on an assignment must be finished as instructed. A high quality means that the assignment is neat, free of rips, tears, stains, random drawings and all answers are written with complete sentences. Complete sentences start with a capital letter, rewrite part of the question, contain minimal pronouns, have full meaning, and end with a period. Turning in an assignment that is not neat, has rips, tears, stains, or random drawings, or does not have complete sentences (based on this definition) may mean that the assignments will be returned to the student to be redone on a new handout and WILL receive a penalty of 50% of the points on the assignment.
In 8th grade science we have worked hard to make sure that the curriculum is “hands on” meaning it is full of labs, activities, and demonstrations that may be impossible to make up. If your child is absent for any reason (sick, vacation, or extra curricular activity) they will miss the assignment planned for the day and to make up the work will be given a book assignment to do from home. Yes, in some cases this may seem unfair, however it is the only way to insure that student received the missing information and gets appropriate practice at home on their own time. Students that miss class will need to talk directly to the teacher or go to the teacher’s website for the appropriate makeup assignment. It is the student’s responsibility to talk to the teacher about homework or missing assignment. Students will have only two weeks to make up missing work from absences, after those two weeks the assignments are considered late.
All work is due on the assigned day at the beginning of class as explained above. Late work is accepted until the day of that unit’s final test (will be posted on website). We will follow a progressive late penalty policy. The first quarter late assignments will be docked 10% when turned in late. The second quarter the penalty moves up to 20%, third quarter, 30%, and the fourth quarter, 40%. Students that constantly turn in late work may cause this late penalty inflation to occur faster.
Measuring student progress is very important and we have developed sophisticated ways of measuring student learning. Every unit will begin with a pre-test that will show us what the students know about the topics before we start. The unit will then end with a final unit test (100 points) to measure each student’s growth and understanding. Every unit will have quizzes, both planned/announced, and surprise, (20-50 points) focusing on multiple topics in the unit. Everyday, class will begin with a small quiz called a Bell Ringer (4 points/day) to measure understanding from recent topics of study. Helping students retain information from unit to unit is one of our biggest goals. Some test/quizzes will include questions from a previous unit to help this.
To help students learn, understand, and retain information in this class we have developed a tool to help students prepare for tests, quizzes, and bell ringers by involving parents/guardians in the daily study program. Everyday, or a few times a week, students are expected to come home and teach what they learn in class to a parent or guardian. If parents feel that the information taught to them by their student was sufficiently clear that the parent/guardian now knows what the topic is describing then the student has done their job and a signature is placed next to the objective in the “taught it” box. If a student struggles to explain the topic so the parent/guardian can’t understand what it means, then they put a check in the “Unfamiliar” box, so they can come back to the teacher for more assistance. If the Unit Map is filled in with individual signatures or initials next to each objective in the “taught it” box and returned on the day of the test, the student will not only be fully prepared for the tests, quizzes, or Bell Ringers, but they may also earn 10 extra points on their unit test score.
State Final (CRTs):
We must mention that students will be taking the Utah State Criterion Referenced Test for 8th Grade Science in April/May as a way for the state to assess students learning, teacher, and school performance in the school year. This test will act as a final cumulative test for everything they have learned and count on the students’ grades (200 points).
Student citizenship is an important part of middle school philosophy. We not only teach students about science we also train them how to act in public, treat each other, and be responsible for their actions. This is a critical time in their personal/social growth and while some students know how to act in class, others still struggle with self-control. We will be preparing students for High School and therefore treat them how high school students are expected to act. Student who cannot control talking, off-task behavior, disruptions, and tardiness will receive a verbal warning, and then lose citizenship points after every offense. Students will start with 100 points at the beginning of every quarter. (100 = H, 95-75 = S, 70-50 = N, 45 of lower = U)
10% – Citizenship
30% – Tests, Quizzes, and Bell Ringers
60% – Classwork – Class Participation, Activities, Labs, Homework
- Cheating in any form will not be tolerated and will result in a 0 score on the assignment and maybe a call home – this includes tests, quizzes, and class assignments.
- Cell phones/Ipods are never allowed (you will not need them) – School rules will be followed
Please have the following materials with you every day of the class:
- Pencils – NO PENS ALLOWED
- 1+ inch, 3-ring binder (just for science)
- Lined paper
- Dropbox account (teacher will give info)
- USB flash drive (1 GB minimum)
- Calculator (simple 10-function or better)
We desire to help each student achieve his/her best. We are available 30 minutes before and after school. We want to make Science enjoyable for every student. Please contact us about any concerns or problems you may have with the class. – Mrs. Reddish, Mr. Roskelley, and Mr. Scott