Spend a few moments reflecting on what you have learned over the years.  You are able to read, write, and do arithmetic.  These are pretty remarkable accomplishments, so don’t sell yourself short.  Science class provides an opportunity to put all your basic skills into practice and to stretch them a bit further.

     By this point in your education, you should have mastered basic skills that will allow you to get the most out of your experience this year.  I expect certain things from you; but am more than happy to help you if you are struggling in some areas.  The only way I can do this, however, is for you to communicate with me when you are having a tough time.

     If any of the following skills are difficult for you, spend some time reviewing them and let me know.  I can suggest ways to improve your understanding and mastery of them.  Although mastery of these skills will certainly help you in science, and in life; don’t let them distract you from learning science.  You will still be able to do well in science if you pay attention and do your best!

     MATH SKILLS:  Science and math are close partners and many math skills are essential in science.  Making measurements tops the list.  We will be making many measurements of length, mass, volume, and temperature.  For all of these, we will be using the metric system.  In addition, we will be learning equations for which we will need to be able to add, subtract, multiply, and divide.  Measuring angles with protractors and time with stopwatches will also be taking place.

     WRITING SKILLS:  Science requires communicating your findings to others.  When you write in science, don’t ask if spelling counts or if you should write in complete sentences (the answer is yes).  You should view writing in science as an opportunity to practice your skills of penmanship, spelling, grammar, vocabulary, and sentence structure.  Try to remember these things when you are writing in any class.

     READING SKILLS:  Science also involves reading what others have to say about a topic.  It is said that scientific accomplishments are achieved by standing on the shoulders of others.  This means we learn more by knowing what others have already learned.  This can only be done if we are able to read.  Practice this skill as much as you can.  Learn how to scan texts for important points.  Read captions of pictures and diagrams.  Don’t let technical jargon confuse you; use a dictionary frequently to improve your vocabulary.


Science Grades

     There will be a variety of assessments in science class.  These will include completing vocabulary, home activities, laboratory activities, quizzes, and tests.  At the end of each topic, students will be evaluated with a quiz.  They are required to be signed and brought back to me.  By doing so, you will be kept updated on the progress of your son or daughter.  Up-to-date grades are always available online as well.

     Please check the website frequently, and communicate with your child, to know what assignments are currently being worked on in class. For each topic, a regular routine is followed.  All assignments are checked at the end of each week during quizzes.

     If your child is absent from school and misses an assignment, activity, or a quiz/test as a result, there is a one-week grace period during which it can be made up.  After that, they subject to receiving a zero for the missed work.  It is the students’ responsibility to stay current with any missed work.

     Academic honesty is a must.  Not only does this prohibit cheating on quizzes or tests, it also means a student’s work should be their own.  Copying a friend’s assignments provides no help in developing the skills of completing the work.  Plagiarism, in general, will not be tolerated.  Students found cheating will receive a zero with no opportunity to retake the assessment or redo the assignment.

     Several options exist for earning bonus points in science.  These are applied to the weekly grade and can negate points lost for missing assignments.  Among these options include: knowing the scientist of the week and their claim to fame, asking “good questions” in class, answering the “weekly challenge” correctly, completing additional readings on the topic of the week, and other options as they arise in class.