8th Grade Physical Science is the study of the properties of matter and energy and how matter and energy interact. We will also study the physical and chemical properties of the universe.
Semester 1– The Nature of Science and Chemistry
Semester 2– Astronomy, Physics, and Mousetrap Cars
1. Be on time to class and bring materials and homework.
2. Follow lab safety rules. No eating in labs.
3. Show respect for others and their property. Do not touch lab materials or teacher property.
4. No backpacks on the lab tables or lab aisles.
5. No electronic devices on in the class unless noted for a lab.
1. Sharpened pencils (please have more than one)
2. Separate Section of Binder for science notes, handouts, corrected homework and labs. This must be with you in class everyday!
3. Red pen
4. Notebook paper
5. Calculator (you may not use cell phones or iPods for tests)
I am changing my system of grading this year. It is important that you understand how your knowledge of key concepts will be evaluated. Be aware of cut-off dates for improving grades on learning outcomes. Keep all labs, homework, and assessments in the science section of your binder.
Grades will be determined by scores in the following categories:
Semester Final 15%
Learning Outcome Scores -
This includes all labs and
than finals. 65%
The purpose of homework is to review vocabulary, practice and think about concepts discussed in class. Homework will be assigned about two times per week. You will receive credit for completing the homework and we will spend time in class reviewing homework questions. Expect to see homework questions again on assessments. I do not accept late work unless students are absent.
Midterms and Semester Finals
Midterms and Finals are multiple-choice exams. They may not be made up.
Science content each semester will be divided into 9-12 Learning Outcomes. Examples of first semester Learning Outcomes are Density and States of Matter. You will receive a score of 0-4 on each assessment (lab or test) based on your ability to communicate understanding of a particular learning outcome. Scores for a particular learning outcome can and will change as your understanding of the concept improves over time. You will have the ability to improve your scores within a particular Learning Outcome if you are not happy with your evaluated grade. There will be cut-off dates where no score improvement can be attempted. Make sure you are aware of those dates.
You will receive rubrics for how you will be evaluated on each Science Concept. Rubrics will also be posted during assessments.
Labs and experiments will make up the majority of work in 8th grade science. Some labs will be student designed and others will be teacher directed. I expect safe and controlled behavior in the lab at all times. I will assign lab groups. In labs you should:
- Be focused on the problem and complete work
- Be respectful of group members
- Follow lab safety rules always
- READ and follow directions
Labs will be scored under the “Learning Outcomes” section. The Learning Outcome being evaluated will be clearly stated on each lab. Labs are not homework. You will need to complete labs in the time allotted. If you are absent you will be held accountable for lab material. You may copy data from a partner and complete the lab at home.
8th grade students participate in science fair in the spring. Projects are due the week of Open House. Projects should be “open-ended” (which means that you don’t know the outcome of the experiment when you start), controlled, and interesting to you. This year projects need to be based on a current issue in science. Examples are global warming, water issues, recycling, etc…
Students should avoid absences when possible. When you are absent I am less concerned about you making up homework and more concerned about the class time you have missed. You may need to make up labs, lecture notes, warm-ups, and discussion notes. You are responsible for following through with this. I will not be checking up to see if you have completed something or are up-to-date with notes. I am not able to provide early work. If you are going on vacation you will need to plan time when you get back to complete work unless you are on an independent study plan.
High School Recommendations
At the end of 8th grade, teachers recommend students for placement in high school classes. Students have the option of taking Honors Biology in 9th grade. Honors Biology is a challenging class that uses a college-level textbook. Students are expected to be able to read and write at a high level. My recommendations will be based on superior work in science as well as language arts.
Photos and recordings are not allowed at school. There are times when you will be able to use electronic devices for calculations and as timers. If you want to use the Internet in class to look up a topic we are discussing, please ask first. No texting, emails, phone calls, etc…
Final Important Notes about Grades
Although I am always here to help you and I will offer ample opportunity for you to demonstrate knowledge in science, YOU are ultimately responsible for your learning and your grade. If you want to be a part of groups like Honor Society, you need to do superior work to EARN your acceptance into honors groups and classes. It is not my responsibility to round grades and gift you with scores that you didn’t earn. Set your goals now and do the work necessary to achieve those goals.
There is no extra credit available. Your grade is based on your knowledge of 8th Grade Science Standards only.
CSI - Forensic Science
1. Single- Subject Spiral Notebook OR Composition Book
2. Sharpened Pencils
3. Colored Pencils
4. Red Pen
5. Notebook Paper