Course Syllabus

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Here is your course syllabus where you will find a number of important things like my expectations, class room procedure, my policies on late work and information on your projects among other things. You should have received a paper copy on your first day of class with me for your Science binder.

Yes, Science Binder.

It is a requirement, and it is where the bulk of your grades will come from. You will be able to store your binder either in our room or in a locker adjacent to our room, so you do not have to carry it with you. But you MUST keep it updated with our bellringers, lecture notes, classwork, homework, quizzes, and science news.  Those are also the dividers that you should have in your binder.

I will check binders every week.

You will be given at least one quiz, taken from our lecture notes, every week.
Bellringers- I will have some sort of bellringer for you to do when you come into class. You should begin working on it immediately when you sit down unless other instructions are given.
Classwork- any worksheets we do in class will be a participation grade. You must actually do it to get a grade, not fall asleep until we start going over answers and try and copy them down quickly.
Homework is Optional- but if you do it, it will be worth extra points on your test, or we can average out your homework grades to take the place of a low test grade.
Quizzes will be given at least once a week over lecture notes.
Science News- You are responsible for 3 Science news articles every 6 weeks. That is one every two weeks. You must print off the article (We have a library) and write a short (1-2 paragraph) summary over what the article is saying.

IMPORTANT- You must write your name and period on every paper- If you do not or I can’t read it you will get a ZERO.

Course Description and Goals

This course will introduce you to the fundamental concepts of scientific inquiry, the structure of matter, chemical reactions, forces, motion, and the interactions between energy and matter. This course will serve as a laboratory-based introduction to possible future coursework in chemistry or physics while helping you obtain mastery of the basics of each discipline. Science is the only class where you can ask questions then discover the answers by hands-on experimentation. Physics and Chemistry are applicable in everyday life in just about anything that you do. From skateboarding to cooking, physics and chemistry are what make them happen.

Gaining an understanding in these areas can help you far beyond the TAKS test. Learning Science is work, but it can also be fun. However, like everything in life, this class will only take you as far as you want to go and be what you make it.

My Goals:

  • To teach you Physics and Chemistry in a way that is relevant to you
  • To encourage you to ask questions and formulate logical and scientific ways to find the answers
  • To help you gain an understanding and mastery of the concepts that will allow you to succeed on the TAKS and in college and in the workforce.

My Expectations of You:

  1. You are expected to achieve and encouraged to excel
  2. You are expected to your best to learn the course content.
  3. You are expected to give me and the course content your attention and effort during the class period. This is your time to learn.
  4. Respect yourself and others.
  5. Be prepared and on time for class.
  6. Pay attention and participate during class. Science is about asking questions and getting answers. Do not be afraid to ask questions. Do not be afraid to answer and be wrong and do not be ashamed to answer and be right.
  7. Act responsible, be respectful.
  8. Please leave all negativity and inter-personal issues at the door.

Consequences:

  1. Verbal warning.
  2. Teacher-student conference.
  3. Sign a Positive Behavior contract.
  4. Call to parent, or a parent-teacher conference.
  5. Referral

PROCEDURES

  1. When you enter the classroom do not disrupt the other students.
  2. You are to be in your seats working on the warm-up for the day, at the beginning of class before the bell rings.
  3. All warm-ups and assignments are located at the front of the room on the board.
  4. Assignments are to be turned in on your way to your seat or when I ask for them after the warm-up. They should be placed in the appropriate folder for your class period.
  5. Papers should be passed all the way to the right, then to the front of the class.
  6. Raise your hand if you have a question during class. If you are working in a group have your question card visible and I will come around to you.
  7. It is your responsibility to get your absent work, it will be located in the appropriate folder at the front of the room. Absent work will be due two school days after every day missed. It is to your benefit to turn in absent work as soon as possible.
  8. Lab activities are to be turned in on time and complete. All names should be on the final report. The procedures for a Lab Report can be found on the first few pages of your laboratory notebook. You must follow the Lab Report format.
  9. Tutoring hours will be 8:00 a.m. to 8:40 a.m. Monday-Friday, or by appointment. After school tutoring hours are from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.

Do not come to class tardy. Your tardiness will count against your six weeks grade.

The class is dismissed when I dismiss the class.

Late & Make-Up Work

  1. Homework is due when specified.
  2. If you are absent the day of an exam or test you must take a make-up test within two days of your return to school.
  3. A student may retake a failed exam provided he/she attends one session of tutoring prior to retaking the exam.
  4. Most laboratory assignments cannot be made-up; however an alternative assignment will be given to cover the material missed in the laboratory.
  5. During laboratory activities each group member will be responsible for his or her own task in the activity.
  6. You will be given at least one opportunity to submit late work not related to absence.

A Note About Late assignments

  • 1 day late –   10% off
  • 2 days late – 20% off
  • 3 days late – 50% for the assignment
  • More than 3 days late- 0 for the assignment

* I have no toleration for academic dishonesty.  If you are caught cheating, copying, or plagiarizing all students involved will receive a zero.  Be smart and build a good reputation!

Required Materials

  • Course textbook
  • 3 ring IPC only Binder
  • Dividers
  • Lined paper for short writing assignments and quizes
  • Something to write with
  • Scientific calculator (graphing calculator is a better option)
  • Box of Kleenex
  • Bottle of Hand Sanitizer

STUDENTS ARE ALSO EXPECTED TO FOLLOW

ALL DISTRICT AND SCHOOL POLICIES AS WELL AS ALL LABORATORY POLICIES

AT ALL TIMES.

Grading

Six week grades will be based upon a combination of the following:

40 % = Class work / Homework

25 % = Tests

20 % = Projects/Products

15 % = Six weeks test grade

Projects:

  1. Science Binder– Students will compete within their classroom for the most organized and professional binder.  As you complete this course you must keep a 3-ring binder to maintain organized and retrievable notes, practice problems, laboratory reports etc.. The student that keeps the most organized binder for each six weeks will receive an extra 2 points on their six weeks grade.
  1. IPC & Me Report Due in May- Toward the end of the second semester all general students will write a report. The report must answer specific questions with room to include your own research. The report must be 3 pages minimum double spaced with 3 different sources. This is a formal report that will take two weeks to complete and I will go over the guidelines in class.
  1. Science News Journal– Students will be required to find one current science discovery/news article per week for their binder. Student will be required to write a brief summary including what the article is saying in their own words, how the scientific process is shown in the article, and the importance or practical application of the science news. Each Discovery Group will be asked present at least one of their articles once a week.
  1. Science Fair Project– This is an optional project, but highly encouraged if you have any interest in science (pre-AP mandatory).  Students who complete and compete with a project will receive extra points on their 3rd six weeks grade. Additionally students who want to take my AP Chemistry course next year must complete a project for AP consideration. This project is also a formal project that must include all criterion of an official science project: formal lab report, board, and the actual experiment.
  1. Laboratory Experiments: In this course you will complete laboratory experiments that will require full laboratory reports. You will be provided the format for writing lab reports. Keep in mind that your report must follow specific guidelines in order to be considered for grading. Your lab report is evidence that your experiment is valid and that your results are understood.

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