Objective and Syllabus

7th and 8th Grade Science Syllabus     

 Class Objective
The 8th grade science curriculum covers Earth Science and Physical Science topics, along with the Scientific Method incorporated with Engineering and Technology as a focus for students to learn the process skills, content, and concepts that have been identified as important for Middle School students.  Each student will participate in hands-on experiments and projects, reading and writing strategies, as well as have opportunities for group and individual discovery activities to best learn the content.  This exploratory learning method will be combined with the integration of technology, math, real world applications, reading and writing; and will provide a solid foundation for high school sciences.
The Core Ideas of the Middle School Earth and Space Science standards include:
            History of the Planet Earth and the Universe
            Earth’s Materials and Systems
            Plate Tectonics and Large-Scale System Interactions
            The roles of water in Earth’s Surface Processes
            Weather and Climate
            Earth and Human Activity
The Core Ideas of the Middle School Physical Science standards include:
Matter and Its Interactions
Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
Kinetic and Potential Energy
Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer
            Chemical and Physical Reactions
            Natural resources and human impact
Molecular level of solids, liquids, and gases
            Law of Conservation of Matter
            Construct, test and modify a device that releases or absorbs thermal energy
            Atomic models
Scientific Method: (Engineering Design) One for Each Unit
            Define and Delimitate Engineering Problems
            Develop possible solutions
            Optimize the design solution
            Develop models to generate data for iterative testing and modifications
            Clearly and Accurately Communicate Results
            Meeting Human Needs With Science and Technology
            Use Scientific/Safety Equipment, Recognize Hazards
Classroom Rules
  • Follow teacher directions
  • Be prepared for class and be ready to begin after the transition bell
  • Keep an organized Science Binder
  • Use all class time efficiently for other privileges at the end of class
  • Respect classmates, teacher, self and classroom environment (plants and totes)
  • Practice good cooperative skills
  • Take responsibility for work missed during an absence. Collect your While You were Out Form for missing work
Homework/Class work/Late Work
Late work is always accepted versus turning in incomplete assignments.  Any late papers are equivalent to a 10% letter deduction.  For example an A paper, now turns into a B paper.  I allow papers to be turned in until a final notice during final grades of each semester. I encourage the assignments to be completed in your interest of best learning the science content.  Each assignment is valued in learning the critical content.
  • Check your class period folder for missed handouts and returned papers (While You Were Out Forms).
  • Ask your lab partner for any missed work and notes.  It is your responsibility to copy missed notes.
  • Check with me before or after school if you have any problems or questions.
  • Missed tests or quizzes need to be made up promptly upon your return.
Discipline Procedures: If a minor discipline issue occurs, I will speak to the student about it and this is considered a verbal warning.  If a second discipline issue occurs, there will be a conference with the student and a minor consequence.  Step 3 will be to contact the parents.  Students may also receive an after school detention, or lunch detention with me. The consequence for further disciplinary measures will be a referral to the office and a request for a parent conference.  Severe behavior problems will result in immediate removal from class and parent contact.
Laboratory safety is very important.  Everyone must follow the specific guidelines for labs and return the lab safety contract.  Anyone not following the guidelines or not behaving in a safe manner will be removed from the lab and receive a “0” for that assignment.  Severe cases may result in the removal of the student from all laboratories and written assignments will substitute for labs.  There are some labs that require no makeups, while others allow for the student to complete a teacher approved article review or make-up assignment in lieu of a lab-supply dependent assignment.
3-Ring Binders
Each student is required to maintain a neat and organized 3-ring binder to document what happens in class, by content area.  This includes reading assignments, demonstrations, lecture notes, class problems, etc. These binders are to remain in your locker and brought with you to class each day.  Every Thursday we will do a binder check. A 1.5” binder works the best, set up with 5 Tab Dividers.  We will set these up together.

  • 3-ring binder (1.5 inch recommended)
  • Loose-leaf paper
  • Tab Dividers (5)
  • Pens and Pencils for class
  • You may decorate you binders with DUCT TAPE If you wish!!!
  • One item of choice to donate to classroom: Hand Sanitizer, Kleenex, Scotch Tape, Glue, or Glue Sticks
  • Science Grading Policy

Category Percentage of final grade ARE weighted!

- Worksheets, Class Projects 20%
- Labs and Quizzes 30%
- Tests 40%
- Bell Work/Closing Activities 10%

                                                                                                Vocabulary work
Grades are reported to students using rubrics and letter grades.
A (Excellent) = (90 - 100%) B (Good) = (80 - 89%)         C (Average / Grade Level) = (70 - 79%)
D (Below Grade Level Expectations)  = (60 - 69%)          F (Failing) = (below 60%)
Homework may be a reading assignment, a worksheet, review questions for a quiz or test, or unfinished class work.  I try to avoid giving homework unless deemed necessary.
Labs To ensure that students have fun and succeed in the laboratory, it is important that they have a good understanding of safe lab practices. We do an average of 1 lab or activity per week. 
Quizzes and Tests To ensure that students are regularly completing and understanding their course work, I usually administer warned quizzes. I assess student progress with a more formal test, and give many quizzes over vocabulary.
Projects I anticipate assigning at least one project per grading period. Special projects are fun and challenging additions to your regular course work.
Participation I expect for science that students will work well collaboratively.  Students will be graded on participation as well as the content of group projects and individual contributions.  Students are not penalized for missing class, as long as absence is excused and work is made up within another class period.
If you have any questions about the class or your child’s progress, please feel free to contact me at 605-661-6256 or e-mail me at