Pre-AP Syllabus

Course Review:

This course will be built around 8th grade Arkansas Science Standards. The primary objective of the course is to provide students with a fundamental understanding of physical science, biology, and science processes, building a foundation for success in AP courses to follow. Students will be responsible for their learning; therefore, they should be organized, prepared, and motivated to learn every day. The Pre-AP curriculum differs from the regular science curriculum in meaningful ways. The Pre-AP course places a higher priority on developing critical thinking skills by examining real world problems. The curriculum examines topics with more depth and includes more advanced resource material. Laboratory investigations play a more prominent role in the course. This class does not have a textbook so an organized 3-ring binder will be very important in this class.


  • Think critically

  • Design scientific hypotheses & experiments

  • Apply information, rather than memorize

  • Interpret & analyze scientific data

  • Solve problems

Required Materials:

  • 3-Ring binder with 6 dividers and paper

  • Pencil (Lead if mechanical)

  • Pen (blue or black only)

  • 2 Rolls of paper towels

Classroom Rules:

  • Cell phone policy is strictly followed

  • Be respectful

  • Be on time

  • Be prepared

  • Be courteous

  • Follow rules as outlined in school handbook

Test Rules & Procedures:

  • Always put your name on your test first

  • If I can’t read it, I will mark it wrong.

  • Test is due at the end of the period.

  • Read and follow directions carefully!

  • Use blue/black ink only OR pencil

  • No talking during test

  • Cheating is not tolerated

  • Make-up test will be different from original test given. You are responsible for making up the test. I will NOT remind you; therefore, if it is not made up on time, you will earn a zero.

Daily Class Procedures:

  • Enter classroom and get ready to begin class by sharpening pencil, reading instructions concerning objective, completing bell ringer in binder, and having “thinking cap” on with a positive attitude.

  • Write information in your planner.

  • When I dismiss class, push in your chair, clean your table, and leave in an orderly fashion


Laboratory experimentation and exploration are a large part of this course. It is vital that the students follow all laboratory procedures and safety rules/guidelines. Failure to comply with behavior expectations can result in removal from the class. A safety contract will be sent home and filled out by the students and the parent/guardian. These documents will be kept on file and are needed before a student can participate in any labs. Most labs cannot be made up if absent, so please try not to miss any labs. Labs will consist of a formal lab report to be completed by each member of the group. Since labs are conducted as groups, one lab report will be randomly selected and graded for the entire group.


Throughout the year, projects will be assigned. Handouts will be given explaining the project, criteria, and due date. The information will also be posted on my website. Most projects will be done only in class. If students feel like they are behind, they are welcome to come in class before school on designated days.


If you are absent, it is your responsibility to get the makeup work. Do not interrupt class to ask for makeup work. Makeup work will be given before school or can be picked up from the makeup work cart at the beginning or end of class only. If absent on lab day, it is important that you discuss this lab with me before school, because the lab will be included on your test. If absent on test day; you will be given a different test. The student handbook outlines amount of time allowed for makeup work and is strictly followed in this class.


Homework is very important, and consist of reading over each day’s notes daily for a minimum of ten minutes. Every student is expected to complete this assignment. This is key to be successful in any pre-ap/ap class.


Test will be over concepts covered in class, handouts, and labs. The test will consist of various types of questions from multiple choice to open response. Open response questions will require critical thinking & problem solving. All open response questions are to be written in complete sentences.


My web address is . It provides my contact information, homework, objectives, upcoming events, additional resources, etc.

Study Techniques:

The most common problem students have is that their study skills are not adequate. Studying for this class involves more than just “cramming the night before a test.” The following are suggestions to improve your grade. All students are expected to pass this class.

  • Prepare for class before coming by reading over your notes from the previous day for at least 10 minutes.

  • Keep your handouts, labs, and notes organized in your binder.

  • Pay attention and participate in class.

  • Study frequently and in small doses. Cramming does not foster long-term understanding!

  • Ask questions if you don’t understand.

  • If you are having trouble with material, get help early. DO NOT wait until TEST DAY!!!!

Units of Study:

First Nine Weeks:

Lab Safety and Scientific Method

Engineering Project--Building Hovercrafts

Second Nine Weeks:

Engineering Project--Hovercrafts

Earth Science--Solar System

Third Nine Weeks:


Fourth Nine Weeks:

Biology--Natural Selection