Welcome to Science
What we will study:
Science Process Skills
Basic tools for success in Science
Your own science experiment
Clues to the history of Earth in rocks and fossils
Rock types & rock cycle with focus on sedimentary rocks
Diversity of Life
Characteristics of life
Cells structure and function
Macroscopic life (bigger plants & animals)
Where we will get all this information:
Science Process Skills Unit is based on the book: Teaching Science Process
Skills published by Carson-Dellosa.
Earth History & Diversity of Life Units are kits designed and built by FOSS
"What Is FOSS?"
FOSS is a research-based science curriculum for grades K—8 developed at the
Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California at Berkeley. FOSS is also
an ongoing research project dedicated to improving the learning and teaching
of science. The FOSS project began over 20 years ago during a time of growing
concern that our nation was not providing young students with an adequate
science education. The FOSS program materials are designed to meet the
challenge of providing meaningful science education for all students in
diverse American classrooms and to prepare them for life in the 21st century.
Development of the FOSS program was, and continues to be, guided by advances
in the understanding of how youngsters think and learn.
Science is an active enterprise, made active by our human capacity to think.
Scientific knowledge advances when scientists observe objects and events,
think about how they relate to what is known, test their ideas in logical
ways, and generate explanations that integrate the new information into the
established order. Thus the scientific enterprise is both what we know
(content) and how we come to know it (process). The best way for students to
appreciate the scientific enterprise, learn important scientific concepts, and
develop the ability to think critically is to actively construct ideas through
their own inquiries, investigations, and analyses. The FOSS program was
created to engage students in these processes as they explore the natural
--Foss information quoted from http://
Textbooks: (for inclass use only) Support the FOSS units with readings on the
application of science content.
Notebooks: Most of your science work will be done in a science notebook. You
will write directly into your notebook and/or onto handouts that you'll glue
into your notebook. Work will be completed in class or (occasionally) for
homework. I will check your notebook once each week. You will use one notebook
for each science unit.
Labs: We will do approximately one lab per week. Some labs will last for more
than one day.
What you will be expected to do:
In Class: Come to class everyday prepared with your pencil and your
science notebook. All of your work will remain in your notebook. You must be
seated at the beginning of class with these materials. Your first task each
day will be a "Science Starter"question to answer. You will do one week of
starters on a page and then hand these in. You will be expected to work on
your own and in a group. You will also be expected to cooperate with students
and with your teacher and to do your best.
At Home: You can expect one to two homework assignments each week. Each
assignment should take you about a half an hour. Most assignments will be
reading or review.
Your Grade: You earn three grades for each Marshall class: Academic,
Behavior, & Effort.
Your academic grade is based only on what you show that you know and
understand scientifically. Points toward your academic grade will be earned
each time you demonstrate your learning on the academic standards. As you show
learning, your grade will improve--new evidence replaces old evidence. I don't
care when during a unit of study you learn a skill, I care that you learn it.
If you still haven't learned a skill when we reach the end of a unit, you will
need to put in extra time and effort to master it. When you do show that
you've learned the skill--even if it is after we've finished the unit--your
grade will improve! At the end of each quarter, however, I have to cut you off
in order to issue report cards. Your grade starts fresh at the beginning of
Your behavior grade is based on how well you meet the classroom
expectations--do you follow classroom expectations? do you self-manage and in
doing so act in a respectful, responsible and safe manner? do you contribute
positively to a productive learning environment?
Your effort grade reflects how you choose to use class time and work time
outside of class--do you complete assignments? do you turn them in? do you
participate in class? do you reflect on your learning? do you give your best
Extra Credit cannot affect your
academic grade. Doing extra work is a behavior that shows your interest and
effort. Occasionally I will offer extra credit, but it will only be applicable
to behavior and effort grades.
What are my Grades?: You can see your grades through the family access
website. I do my best to update the website every 1 or 2 weeks.
Parents: If you do not have internet access or are not interested in watching
student progress on the web, please let me know that you need paper copies on
progress reports. The fewer paper copies that we need to make the less wasted
paper there will be. I look forward to an excellent year of learning and
growth with you!