Mr. McCormick – 7th Science South Scranton Intermediate School Room 207 Course Goals: The goal of 7th grade Life Science is to improve and enrich the students understanding of the living things around them and allow students to have a better idea of how/what living things need to survive. Textbooks: Prentice Hall: Life Science and www.ck12.org - Life Science (an online textbook). Textbooks are given to students to take home and are expected to maintain their condition. One of the new things we are trying this year is the online textbook provided by CK-12, a website designed to create free online texts. This website not only has reading material that we will use, but videos, online flash cards, and interactive tools the students can use to better their knowledge on a given topic. It is my hope that you encourage your children to take advantage of this website as often as possible. Assignments: All students are required to complete assignments within the time given. Students will lose points for any assignments that are not completed at the time they are due. In order to encourage students to complete their work, any missed work will be slightly penalized but accepted late. Students who do not complete their work by the due date will be able to earn up to 80% of the original grade as long as the work is in by the time we take the test on that topic. Homework: In addition to completing any assignments that are not finished while in class, students are required to read 5 science based article a quarter and hand in a short (6-10 sentences) summary of each article (able to be handed in any time, but due by the end of the quarter). Students may get these articles from the local newspaper, a magazine, or simply searching for “science articles for kids” on google.com. Plato Quizzes: The school district is fortunate enough to have a program that I feel offers information compatible to what I am teaching, but uses a more visual learning experience. So, to take advantage of that program, I am having the students complete 5-7 topics at home. The computer program is divided into a lesson section, an application session (where the student reviews what they learned), and a test section to gauge how much the students have learned. The test sections will be used as quiz grades applied at the end of the quarter. Grading Policy: Students will be graded by the following: Tests, Quizzes, Projects, Homework, Daily Classwork, Participation, etc. However, rather than assign each group a weighted percentage (Test = 50%, Quizzes=30%, etc), I am grading by a total points earned. I feel like this grading system is a more fair method of grading for students because it doesn’t make that one bad test/quiz grade count so much against them. This way, if they have a bad test/quiz grade, completing all the other work during the quarter may be enough to overcome that one poor grade. Extra Credit: It is my personal policy to not award extra credit assignments. Over the years I have found that students don’t do their daily work, homework, etc., but when it comes time for grades, they want to do an extra credit assignment. To me, that is not fair to those students who worked hard all semester. Any students wanting to try to pick up their grade will be allowed to do the missing assignments they have for full or partial credit (based on the assignment) as a way to pick up their grade. (on back) Expectations: I ask that you relay to your children one small piece of information. This class is designed for them to succeed, and I will do everything I can to help them, but only as long as THEY want to. THEY need to put forth the effort, THEY need to complete the assignments, THEY need to study, etc. If they are struggling with something, they need to ask for help in class, or even after, so we can find out where they need help. I cannot help them succeed if I don’t know they are struggling. Communication: As a parent, you are an integral part in the learning process. While science may not be something you enjoy, simply encouraging your child to complete their homework/class work, reviewing notes and quizzing them, etc. can go a long way to allowing them to have success as a student in science. If any other interesting or helpful things come up, I plan on sending a letter home with your child to explain what it is and how it works. Please feel free to call 348-3631 or email [email protected] if you have any questions/problems. *Please sign up for the Remind system. It is a simple way for me to quickly remind you, and your children, of upcoming assignments. It is a simple text message, or email, that you will receive from a third-party website that strictly controls information between you and me.