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    6th Grade Science/STEM Curriculum and Expectations
     
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    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 State Science Standards adopted in 2018.  To view them, you can visit the link below: 

    The standards have taken on a phenomenon based approach in which students take a deep look at a particular phenomenon.  Then they will discover particular scientific concepts behind those phenomenon.  Finally they will pull it all together to explain how those concepts explain the phenomenon.  This gives them a deeper understanding of how science explains the world around them.  

    Some of the phenomenons your child will be looking at this year are… 

    • A railroad car implosion. (properties of matter)
    • Planet orbital patterns (how gravity keeps the solar system in check)
    • Solar Eclipse (Sun-Earth-Moon system)
    • Removal/Reintroduction of the Wolf to Yellowstone
    • Great Pacific Garbage Patch(Mans impact on ecosytems)

    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: 

    End of Unit Assessments:  At the end of a unit of study, students will be asked to perform a task or assignment that is directly related to the standard that we have been studying.  The standards all ask students to produce something, so that is what the assessment will do as well.  The standards can't be accurately measured using a multiple choice format.  Instead, students will be asked to build a model, create an argument, analyze and interpret data, plan and carry out an investigation, etc.  These tasks will be assessed using performance level descriptors in a rubric. 

    CER Investigations:  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 in which they make a claim, provide evidence to support that claim, and reasoning to elaborate on how that evidence supports the claim.  

    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%

     

    Growth Mindset and Retakes:

    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 absent for any reason, all work is online in our Canvas LMS.  If your child has been here at SV for the past 2+ years, he/she is already familiar with this system.  If not, he/she will become familiar quite soon, as I always take time at the year to train the students on our systems.  It is an expectation that students are keeping up with the work while at home, if possible.  Please help remind them to log in and complete the lessons, as long as they are healthy enough to do so.  

    Missing/Incomplete Work: 

    Sometimes students forget to turn in assignments or turn in assignments that are missing chunks of information.  Canvas automatically marks the assignments as missing, once the due date passes.  There are no points assigned for lessons or practice work.  This is the first time students are introduced to this material.  However, it is critical that they complete this work, as it is their opportunity to learn skills and knowledge.  

    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 using an online notebook.  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. I will be providing the lists as well as study aids on Canvas in the Studymate App.  It is a great tool for helping them to learn the 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 assessed within the context of their labs and their assessments on correct usage and inclusion of vocabulary words.  It is an expectation that they use the scientific vocabulary to explain their thinking. 

    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 when ever possible.  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 PEAK
    • 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. 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 Canvas LMS along with Google apps to deliver content in the classroom.  Canvas is an awesome tool that allows me to deliver content so students can operate at their pacing.  It integrates well with the Google Apps which 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: PEAK

    •      In science, is it important to use critical thinking skills and be a Problem-Solver 
    •      Students should be Engaged in what we are doing and learning each and every day. 
    •      Students need to be Accountable for their learning and actions.    
    •      Be Kind to your fellow students.  

    PBIS Rewards and Grit Cards:

    Part of being a student is learning how to work well with others and participate in a organized community.  We expect all of our students to be model students and citizens showing PEAK.  We want to reward these behaviors to reinforce positive interactions.  To do this we will be using the PBIS Rewards system.  We will award students points when we see these positive behaviors being displayed.  Students can then use those points in the school PBIS Rewards room as well as in our classrooms. 

    Occasionally, students need to be reminded that a particular behavior is not conducive to a positive school community and environment.  When this happens, we use a GRIT card system to help remind them. Students will be given a Grit card to carry with them at all time.  The GRIT card has spaces to mark occurrences where the student is not being respectful, responsible, safe, or having a learner’s attitude.  After a given number of these occurrences, students will earn consequences such as lunch detentions and office referrals.   These are listed on the cards. 

    "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.  We use the email address you provide to the school.  Make sure the one you provide is accurate and one that you check so that you get our communications.