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    6th Grade Science/STEM Curriculum and Expectations
     
    cat *Attention Parents: Once you have read over and discussed the Science curriculum and expectations below, please click on the following link and fill out the online acknowledgement form.  This will record your acknowledgement of having read and understood the information written below.  Acknowledgement of 6th Grade Science Expectations
     
    Please read through each part of this page.  However, for quicker access later, use the menu below to skip to the various sections:
     
    What does science look like in the 6th grade?
    We will be following the newly adopted state science standards.  To view them, you can visit the link below: 

    Some of the questions your child will be answering this year… 

    • What makes up matter?
    • How does pressure/temperature affect the states of matter?
    • What makes a substance a solid, liquid, or gas?
    • How does the proportion and size of objects in the solar system affect their interactions with each other?
    • How do the forces of gravity and velocity affect object in space?
    • What are constellations and why do they appear to move between seasons?
    • How does the Earth's tilt affect the seasons?
    • How does our Earth-Moon-Sun system affect tides, eclipses, and moon phases?
    • How do humans impact their environment?
    • How do biotic and abiotic factors affect an organism in its environment?
    • How do energy and matter flow in an ecosystem?  

    Assessments and Growth Mindset

    In our classroom, Growth Mindset is an important concept that guides what we do.  Please watch the following videos to find out about what Growth Mindset is, and why it is so important.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElVUqv0v1EE

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_oqghnxBmY 

    Part of the Growth Mindset cycle is to check in and see how students are growing and learning.  While everything your child does in my class is an “assessment” of some sort, I will take periodic assessments to determine what they are learning and provide feedback on how they could improve their learning.  This is the purpose of assessments.  Some of them will be entered in the grade book to give a physical record of that growth and let you know how your child is progressing.  

    Over the course of the year, there will be a few types of regular assessments.  The following is an explanation of those types: 

    Investigation Labs:  A large part of what we do in science is investigations into scientific principles.  Students are expected to conduct these investigations, take notes on what they discover, and report out those findings in a lab write-up.  Students will then be assessed on their write-ups and given feedback for both positive elements and ways they can improve. 

    Assessments: Once an investigation is finished, students will be given an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the scientific concepts behind the investigations.  They will be given a new scenario and asked to apply the principles learned to this new scenario.  They will be allowed to use their notes for these assessments.  However, waiting to look over and study the notes prior to the day of the assessment will not be helpful for them.  

    STEM Projects: An important part of learning is being able to transfer the learning to a real problem that exists in the world, and finding solutions based on the scientific principles learned.  Students will be given opportunities to do this through problem based learning projects.  In these projects, they will interact with other students to use the engineering design process to come up with a solution to a given scenario.   

    Grading Policy:
          A= 100%-90%
          B= 89%-80%
          C= 79%-70%
          D= 69%- 60%
          F= 59%- 0%

     

    Retake Contract:

    Growth Mindset means that sometimes the students don’t understand the material…YET.  For this reason, I believe in giving students opportunities to show their growth.  If a student is not satisfied with their progress and want to demonstrate further growth, I encourage them to take my feedback and demonstrate new understandings.   

    *Due to the nature of some assessments, including district assessments, students may not be able to retake an assessment.  An alternative assignment will be provided in such cases. 

    Absent Work:   If a student is to be absent, he/she should check with me to see what was missed or covered during this time.  If a student misses a lab, project, or assessment, he or she can make it up upon return.  If necessary, they can make arrangements to come in before school to do so.  Please understand that an ABS grade will be entered in the gradebook that is equivalent to 25% of the original points.  Once they turn in the work and I have a chance to assess it, the earned grade will replace this grade.  

    Missing/Incomplete Work: 

    Sometimes students forget to turn in assignments or turn in assignments that are missing chunks of information.  To encourage them to get the work in on time, and complete, I enter an INC (incomplete) or NTI (not turned in) in the grade book.  The score will be equal to 25% of the original points.  Once they turn in the completed work, and I have a chance to assess it, the earned grade will replace the grade. 

    Class Notes:

    Class notes are a vital part of student learning.  It is how they will organize their thoughts about what they are learning.  Students will be taught how to take notes and organize their thoughts.  We will be learning a visual note taking process called Sketchnoting.  It combines words, symbols and pictures that students use to help them process what we are learning.  It is very important that students regularly look over their notes and review the material in them.  If students wait until test day to look at them, they won’t make sense, and they won’t know where to find the information. 

    *It is the responsibility of each student to make sure that notes are complete and in order. 

     Vocabulary:

    Students will be learning many new words this year that are specific to the content we are learning.  While they will be given time in class to process these words, it is vital that they spend time at home learning the vocabulary words.  Students will be assessed on these words by two methods. First they will be given a periodic vocabulary test to make sure they have a basic understanding of the definitions.  Next they will be asssed within the context of their labs and their assessments on correct usage and inclusion of the vocabulary words.  It is an expectation that they are using the scientific vocabulary to explain their thinking. 

    It is my recommendation that students pick a strategy for studying vocabulary that best suits them.  I will provide a unit vocabulary Quizlet that will be pushed out to students on Google Classroom.  Flashcards and flipbooks work as well.  Whatever the method, it should be done regularly for anywhere from 5-10 minutes 3-4 days per week. 

    Agenda:

    Students are expected to have their agendas in class every day.  Students will be given time during class meetings to fill out their agendas with upcoming due dates on assignments.  Students should use their agendas to help them plan for assessments, lab completions, and projects. 

    LAB Expectations:

    •  Science is best learned with hands-on/lab activities.  It is important to use good judgment and safety at all times.
    • The lab is a privilege that can be taken away if the student does not use caution and safety required in order to use the lab equipment and supplies.
    • Treat all lab equipment and supplies with care.
    • Inappropriate lab behavior will result in the loss of the lab session and an alternative assignment will be given.
    • Follow the 4 Bs: Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Safe, and Be Kind
    • Have a YES attitude!

    Technology:

    This year, each 6th grader will be given a Chromebook to use in the classroom.  They will carry this Chromebook throughout the day, and return it back to their homeroom at the end of the day. The use of the Chromebooks is intended to enhance the learning environment for all students.  Students will be expected to take care to use the technology in which it is intended to be used.  Students must sign a COPPA form and adhere to the rules and procedures in that form when using the technology in the classroom.   

    We use the Google suite of apps along with Google Classroom to deliver content in the classroom.  Google Classroom is an awesome tool that allows me to deliver content so students can operate at their pacing.  It integrates well with many educational sites that we use often.  Students can watch videos more than once to truly understand the content.  This doesn't replace class discussion or group work.  However, it does cut down on the passing out of lots of papers and keeps things nice and managed.  

    Restroom Use:
    It is the expectation that students will use the restroom before school, during lunch breaks and after school. Using the restroom during academic time should be reserved for emergencies ONLY.  Students are encouraged not to use the restroom during instructional time. In the event that one needs to leave the classroom, students must sign in/out using the log sheet located on the counter.

    Behavioral Policy:

    The following is an outline of parameters that must be followed in order to ensure optimal success in the classroom and provide for a smoothly run class. This program is designed to promote positive cooperation between parent, student, and school. School wide expectations are based on Viper Pride and Grit.  

    Class Expectations: 

    •      Be Respectful  
    •      Be Responsible  
    •      Be Safe  
    •      Have a learner's attitude ~ YES
      •       Always be safe, responsible and respectful
      •       You may not verbally or physically disrupt the educational process of any student
      •       Bullying will never be tolerated - either physical or verbal
      •       Always be prepared for class with homework and supplies
      •       Follow all class and school rules 

    Grit Cards:

    Students will be given a Grit card to carry with them at all time.  On one side is space to mark occurrences of positive behaviors.  These are instances where the student has gone out of their way to help others, be kind, or work hard and show effort.  After a given amount of positive behaviors, students will have an opportunity to earn rewards. 

    On the other side is space to mark occurrences of negative behaviors.  These are instances where the student is not being respectful, responsible, safe, or having a learner’s attitude.  After a given amount of negative behaviors, students will earn consequences such as lunch detentions, after school detentions, and office referrals.   These are listed on the cards. 

    Each quarter, students who have more instances of positive behaviors marked on their cards than negative marks, will earn a reward party.  Those who have more negative marks than positive marks will earn an opportunity to think about their actions. 

    "Communication is key":

    We look at the academic success of each student as the result of the student, parents/guardians and teachers working together as a team. With the access of PowerSchools, parents and students will be able to constantly monitor academic progress so there should never be any surprises.  Beyond this, every parent/guardian should feel free to contact any teacher if they have a question or concern. Please note that for a quicker response, e-mail is usually the most efficient way to correspond and this can be found under teacher contact. As a grade level, we send out weekly newsletters with information about what we will be doing in class the following week.  Please send me an email from your preferred email account that you want to receive emails from me.  I will then add you to our group email list.