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Syllabus

SYLLABUS 7th Grade Science

 

 Instructor: Richard L. Dubé M.S. Ed.Email addresses: dube_r@hcde.org or richard.dube@mycsla.org or naturedan50@hotmail.com

 

 

EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY and TEACHING STRATEGIES I believe in a context driven approach to science education vs. the standard Cartesian approach which is object driven. In other words, I believe that a child more readily receives and retains information if it is presented within the context of their world view and their experiences. Traditional object driven approaches tend to separate the object or idea from the rest of the world and explore it within the framework of a separate and complex and arcane language. Before the student can even begin to learn about the nature of the object or idea they must master an entirely foreign language. I still teach them this ‘language’ but only after they get a better idea of what we are talking about. In addition to standard teaching practices, I engage in a hermeneutic strategy for instruction. This is interpretive in nature and seeks to interpret meaning in such a way as to make the subject matter come alive for the student. As I get to know individual students better through the course of the year I can become ever more refined in my approach with your child. A major goal that I have is for the child to “get it” not to just to memorize facts or numbers. I believe that learning should be deeper and meaningful. I want my students to know how to think, process and reason. Our classroom culture reflects those beliefs. 

ANNOUNCEMENTS I try to post a weekly update as to anything pertinent on my website: http://www.awahili.educatorpages.com (By the way, awahili is the native American word for eagle, CSLA’s mascot) 

CONTENT AREA 7th grade science is often expressed as being one mile wide and one inch deep. In other words, we cover a great deal of ground in a relatively short period of time.  In the first quarter we cover: Thinking Safety, Scientific Method, Observation, Measurements Classifying minerals, 3 types of rocks, Rock cycle, Earth’s 3 layers, Continental drift, Plate tectonics, Volcanoes and mountain building, Renewable and nonrenewable resources In the second quarter we cover: Simple machines, Force, work, Distance, time, speed, velocity, Newton’s Laws, Waves  In the third quarter we cover: , Organelles, Cells, tissues, organs, organ systems and Organ system functions, Diffusion, Photosynthesis and respiration, Reactants and products, Oxygen-Carbon Dioxide cycle, Plant mitosis, Genes, chromosomes, traits, Punnett squares, Sexual and Asexual Reproduction, Flower reproduction  In the fourth quarter we cover: Atoms, Periodic table, Mixtures, compounds, States of matter, Classification keys

GRADE SHEETS / PROGRESS REPORTS / REPORT CARDS As a system we are going to be using Power School and Power Teacher. This will allow parents and guardians to access their own child's progress and deficiencies in real time. It should also facilitate communication with the teachers and administrators. Progress Reports will be coming out of the school. Report cards are produced by the school and should follow the standard format that you have seen in the past. Make sure you sign the appropriate progress and report card so we can verify that the parent has seen the grades. It doesn’t happen often but students have been known to forge signatures.  

HOMEWORK In Science, I only assign four nights of homework (Monday through Thursday) and the entire week’s assignments are given on one sheet which is distributed on Monday. Friday homework is sometimes given but is typically used as a makeup for a missing assignment. It is usually the most demanding homework so it is not recommended for the student to miss an assignment. There are three choices on most of the work: Option A is usually at grade level, Option B is at high school level and Option C is usually at college level. It is entirely the student’s choice. They are differentiated in order to provide a challenge for students that want to excel or to push themselves a little harder. This information is posted weekly on my website: http://www.awahili.educatorpages.com

ASSESSMENTS I use a variety of assessment tools. Most of the quizzes are fill in the blank or short answer but these start to include more multiple choices questions as the year unfolds since this is how most of the state mandated assessments are formatted. I monitor pre and post tests to see where learning is and is not taking place with not only the class as a whole but individual students as well. Over time I introduce some essay questions in order for the students to feel more comfortable with them when they get to high school and college. I also do not believe in a child failing a subject area so therefore, if a child fails any quiz or test, they will have the opportunity to come to me during coaching periods or early morning to make up the quiz or test with the potential of bringing it to a 70 provided they can demonstrate to me that they know the material that they didn’t know before. 

SCIENTIST NOTEBOOK This year we are using one 3 ring binders for students to use that is modeled after a scientist’s notebook. It is a way of helping to more clearly focus the students attention on taking proper notes. I have given them information on how to organize it and to benefit from it in keeping track of their school work (notes, handouts, quotes, puzzles, warmups, etc.) This should aid in studying and review. Student’s will be graded on how well they keep and organize their notebook as a notebook grade and it will count as 10% of their overall grade.

 

 

 

SYLLABUS 8th Grade Science

 Instructor: Richard L. Dubé M.S. Ed. Email addresses: dube_r@hcde.org or richard.dube@mycsla.org or naturedan50@hotmail.com

 

EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY and TEACHING STRATEGIES I believe in a context driven approach to science education vs. the standard Cartesian approach which is object driven. In other words, I believe that a child more readily receives and retains information if it is presented within the context of their world view and their experiences. Traditional object driven approaches tend to separate the object or idea from the rest of the world and explore it within the framework of a separate and complex and arcane language. Before the student can even begin to learn about the nature of the object or idea they must master an entirely foreign language. I still teach them this ‘language’ but only after they get a better idea of what we are talking about. In addition to standard teaching practices, I engage in a hermeneutic strategy for instruction. This is interpretive in nature and seeks to interpret meaning in such a way as to make the subject matter come alive for the student. As I get to know individual students better through the course of the year I can become ever more refined in my approach with your child. A major goal that I have is for the child to “get it” not to just to memorize facts or numbers. I believe that learning should be deeper and meaningful. I want my students to know how to think, process and reason. Our classroom culture reflects those beliefs. 

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS I try to post a weekly update as to anything pertinent on my website: http://www.awahili.educatorpages.com (By the way, awahili is the native American word for eagle, which is the CSLA mascot) 

 

CONTENT AREA  We will be covering 8th grade standards. We are on the same page with our sister school CSAS. Our goal is to prepare them for Chemistry in 9th grade and also to be ready for TCAP in April. Content areas are Taxonomy, Matter and the Periodic Table, Biodiversity, Adaptation and Changes as well as Forces in Nature. After TCAP will be a unit on Pre-Chemistry which will be aligned with the 9th grade Chemistry Standards.

 

GRADE SHEETS / PROGRESS REPORTS / REPORT CARDS As a system we are going to be using Power School and Power Teacher. This will allow parents and guardians to access their own child's progress and deficiencies in real time. It should also facilitate communication with the teachers and administrators. Progress Reports will be coming out of the school. Report cards are produced by the school and should follow the standard format that you have seen in the past. Make sure you sign the appropriate progress and report card so we can verify that the parent has seen the grades. It doesn’t happen often but students have been known to forge signatures.  

 

HOMEWORK In Science, I only assign four nights of homework (Monday through Thursday) and the entire week’s assignments are given on one sheet which is distributed on Monday. Friday homework is sometimes given but is typically used as a makeup for a missing assignment. It is usually the most demanding homework so it is not recommended for the student to miss an assignment. There are three choices on most of the work: Option A is usually at grade level, Option B is at high school level and Option C is usually at college level. It is entirely the student’s choice. They are differentiated in order to provide a challenge for students that want to excel or to push themselves a little harder. This information is posted weekly on my website: http://www.awahili.educatorpages.com

 

ASSESSMENTS I use a variety of assessment tools. Most of the quizzes are fill in the blank or short answer but these start to include more multiple choices questions as the year unfolds since this is how most of the state mandated assessments are formatted. I monitor pre and post tests to see where learning is and is not taking place with not only the class as a whole but individual students as well. Over time I introduce some essay questions in order for the students to feel more comfortable with them when they get to high school and college. I also do not believe in a child failing a subject area so therefore, if a child fails any quiz or test, they will have the opportunity to come to me during coaching periods or early morning to make up the quiz or test with the potential of bringing it to a 70 provided they can demonstrate to me that they know the material that they didn’t know before. 

 

SCIENTIST NOTEBOOK This year we are using one 3 ring binder for students to use that is modeled after a scientist’s notebook. It is a way of helping to more clearly focus the students attention on taking proper notes. I have given them information on how to organize it and to benefit from it in keeping track of their school work (notes, handouts, quotes, puzzles, warmups, etc.) This should aid in studying and review. Student’s will be graded on how well they maintain and organize their notebook as a notebook grade and it will count as 10% of their overall grade.

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