Duxbury Middle School
7th Grade Life Science
781-934-7640 ext. 405
I am in my eleventh year of teaching science in Duxbury. I am an avid runner,
cyclist, fisherman, surfer, snowboarder and teach 7th grade Life
Science. A graduate of Ithaca College in
2002, I studied environmental science and have done research in both the US
and Canada, pertaining to birds, insects and fish. I hold a masters degree in
the field of Science Education.
7TH GRADE LIFE SCIENCE
Dear Student and Parent(s),
Welcome to the 2013-2014 academic year of Integrated Life Science in
Seventh Grade at Duxbury Middle School. This letter will explain our
course, basic requirements, methods of evaluation, and safety
Our course is a study of biology with an environmental-ecological
approach. This will be accomplished through an active lab-oriented
program of investigative learning. We will begin by defining life and by
applying life functions as they pertain to us and other species on earth.
As the year progresses the other sciences are integrated into the
curriculum as they relate to this theme. This allows the curriculum to
remain current with the State of Massachusetts Curriculum
Frameworks. In the spring, we will culminate our life science venture
with a comprehensive look at Duxbury's ecosystems. Our textbook,
will be our major resource and readings
should be done when assigned. The readings are an excellent
appendix to the activities, concepts and student notebook work
attained in class.
The Seventh Grade Science Program is unleveled. This particular
program has been given a very positive review by the Superintendent
and the School Committee. The program utilizes cooperative learning
strategies that are highly regarded in the teaching field today. Students
are evaluated as individuals within this program not only on what they
contribute to the class but on how they perform and develop individually
during the academic year.
Through various teaching strategies in an activity-based program,
students may perform very well and achieve high grades for their
individual performance that will indicate their own success, but may not
necessarily indicate that they are achieving at the same level of
excellence as another student.
Our requirements include the following:
1. Each student is expected to have a 3-ringed notebook for class.
Almost without exception there will be a daily entry made into this
notebook. Labs, notes, data, and activity sheets are examples. By
checking and discussing this notebook together, you may monitor the
progress of your child. A well-kept notebook ensures two things: that
the work is completed and that your child has a corrected, accurate
record of academics from which to build knowledge and concepts.
2. Each student is expected to have a pencil or tool of writing at the
beginning of class. Drawings are often required; colored pencils may
3. Each student is expected to be prepared to work at the beginning of
each class. This eliminates repetition and provides for more time in
4. Each student is expected to be honest. I care and want to know what
you are thinking! Use your senses and skills to perceive, not
necessarily your neighbors. If you are cheating, you will receive a zero
for the quiz, test, or activity with no chance for make-up.
5. Each student is expected to respect the instructor and your fellow
classmates. You do not have the right to disturb your classmates
opportunities to be educated.
Evaluation of student performance is based upon the following:
1. Homework - Homework is checked at the beginning of each class. It
is checked for thoroughness, not correctness. It is discussed and
corrected as an introduction to the days activity/lab. Therefore
homework cannot be made up for credit. It is essential that you come
completely prepared for class.
2. Class work and Lab work - A positive active participation in all
activities will be subjectively evaluated. It is of utmost importance that
you take the initiative in this course. If you are to learn in a lab-
oriented class, you must experience it or you will miss a majority of the
3. Written Lab Reports - Formal reports of lab experiments will be
4. Science Notebook - A well organized document of each terms work
will be reviewed periodically for all papers, table of contents, and
numbered pages. At this time grades earned on activities will be
recorded and progress report updates will be issued. Organization is
an invaluable life tool emphasized at this grade level.
5. Quizzes and tests - Periodic assimilation of material and concepts
will be evaluated.
6. Lab Practicals - Testing of your ability to actually perform certain
lab skills will be scored.
You can expect me to be clear in my presentation of material. If you
do not understand, it is your responsibility to ask for clarification. Daily
course itinerary and homework assignments are written on the
blackboards for reference. Extra help is available daily Monday through
Thursday unless teacher meetings are scheduled.
Safety is a primary concern in any laboratory situation. I want each
student to be able to be given the opportunity to participate in hands-on
science investigations. The basic safety rule is to use common sense
and good judgment at all times. Students who violate safety regulations
will be given non-experimental assignments and office referral. The
common safety of all students is my highest priority while working in the
I hope to make this class one of the most memorable learning
experiences in the Middle School. To do this, I need your help and
cooperation. The world of science will be an exciting one if you give it a
chance. Please feel free to contact me at any time if you have questions