September 9, 2015 Dear 6th Grade Parent(s), Welcome back! I am

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September 9, 2015
Dear 6th Grade Parent(s),
Welcome back! I am looking forward to this year in your child’s quest to become a life
long learner. As I did last year, I am sending home a syllabus in an effort to help you understand
my expectations and other important information that will enable us to make this a positive and
rewarding year. Please take the time to read the syllabus through carefully with your child to
help you both understand what will make this a successful year in science.
I strongly feel that open lines of communication between home and school are key to
promoting an environment that is conducive to learning. I regularly update my webpage to keep
you aware of current and upcoming assignments at home. I also utilize the REMIND system to
send friendly notices and reminders of such assignments. Feel free to contact me at any time if
there is a question or situation you would like to discuss, and I will do my best to respond as
quickly as I can. I look forward to meeting you at Back to School Night on Thursday, September
24th and building a relationship with you and your child this school year, thus building the
foundation for the best education that we are capable of giving.
After you have read through the syllabus, please sign and return the bottom portion no
later than Monday, September 14th as this is the first homework assignment of the year.
Sincerely,
Mrs. Jaime Welte
Middle School Science Teacher
[email protected]
6th Grade Science Curriculum*
This year our curriculum will coincide with the New Jersey Middle School Science Model Curriculum:
Earth Science – Weather & Climate, Earth’s Systems, Space
Life Science- Cells, Reproduction
Physical Science- Scientific Method, Measurement, Waves
* Order of curriculum may be subject to change at the discretion of the teacher
Grade Breakdown
Each student’s final grade will be weighted into four main categories:
Tests/Projects
50%
Quizzes
25%
Homework
15%
Classwork/Participation
5%
Grades will be updated weekly on Genesis. Students will also be shown how to calculate their final grade
in class at the beginning of the year and be given the opportunity to track their grades throughout the
course of the semester. In addition, all tests and quizzes will be sent home for parents to view together
with their child(ren). Any student that scores an 84 or below on a quiz or test is required to obtain a parent
signature before it can be returned to the teacher.
Tests
Each unit listed above (see curriculum) will conclude with a summative assessment. These tests are
devised entirely by the teacher and are meant to test the internalization and application of the objectives
for the unit. Each test date will be announced in class one week in advance as well as posted on my
webpage. We will spend two days in class prior to the test reviewing for the assessment together.
Students will also receive a study guide and (optional) extra credit at this time. However, students should
refrain from only using the study guide to study The study guide is intended to narrow all of the topics
from the unit down for students; this will help students decide what information they should eliminate
altogether when studying from their notes, allowing them to focus on just what is important. Students
should be reviewing their notes each night for 5-10 minutes throughout the course of a unit. This will help
students internalize concepts prior to the announcement of the unit test, prevent “cramming” all the
information from the unit in a few nights, and lastly, give students the opportunity to address any
misunderstandings before it is too late.
Students will be assigned one project, which will count as a test grade, each semester. These projects will
vary between in school or at home assignments. They will also vary between individual, partner, and
group assignments. Five points will be deducted from the final grade each day the project is late. In
addition to this one mandatory project each semester, students will also have the option to complete an
additional project for extra credit. An extra credit project grade will only be used if it will heighten, and not
hinder, a student’s grade. Guidelines and rubrics for each project will be posted on my webpage the same
day they are announced in class.
Quizzes
There will be multiple quizzes in between unit tests. The number of quizzes will vary, depending on the
length of the unit. Quizzes will be a direct reflection of the key terms and notes taken in class. Quizzes will
be announced at the beginning of the year and will focus primarily on key terms for the unit whereas
quizzes towards the end of the year will be more “pop” quiz like in that the teacher will give the students
2-3 days notice and will incorporate more notes than key terms. If students are reviewing their notes 510 minutes each night, they should never be caught off guard when a “pop” quiz is given in class.
Homework
Students will be assigned homework each night and should come to class prepared the following day.
Homework is assigned with the intention that it should take 15-20 minutes to complete, with the
exception of long-term projects that occur over the course of several weeks. Students are encouraged to
use their notes and textbooks to assist with the completion of homework, but should not copy answers
word-for-word from the textbook (nor from a friend and/or classmate) for they should start to get into the
habit of putting writing into their own words. Each adequately completed homework assignment receives
a + (100); any incomplete assignments receive a (80), and a student who fails to complete a homework
assignment will receive a - (60) for that given assignment. Any student that repeatedly has incomplete or
missing HW assignments will be required to take corrective action either at recess or after school at the
discretion of the teacher.
Classwork/Participation
Each week students will receive a classwork and participation grade. This grade reflects a student’s
readiness for class (preparation, tardiness, etc) as well as their engagement in class discussions. This
includes listening to the teacher, contributing, and asking questions. The weekly classwork/participation
grade is based on a ten-point scale. Each student begins the week with an 80, which is equivalent to a C
(or average), the more frequently a student participates on a consistent basis, the higher their grade (90
or 100). A student that comes to class each day prepared and ready to learn but does not participate in
class discussions will not receive more than an 80 for class participation.
Thank you for taking the time to read through the Science Syllabus for the 2015-2016 school year. You
will receive additional information at Back to School Night and throughout the course of the school year.
Please remember to sign and return the bottom slip by Monday, September 14th.
_________________________________________________________
I have read through the science syllabus together with my child, __________________________________,
and understand the expectations for the 2015-2016 school year.
Parent signature: ______________________________________
Date: ____________________
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