In 6th grade Science, we study Earth Science, learning about Rocks, Minerals, Earthquakes, Volcanoes, the Agents of Erosion, and several other topics. In 7th grade Science, we study Life Science, reviewing the Scientific Method, Cytology, Heredity, Plants and Animals. In 8th grade Science, we study Physical Science, reviewing the Scientific Method, Properties and States of Matter, Periodic Table and Inorganic Chemistry for the first 1 ¼ trimesters. We will then devote another 1 ¼ trimesters studying Physics which includes Newton's Laws of Motion and several other related topics. The last half of the third trimester will be dedicated to Astronomy.
Homework will usually be assigned in each science class, due the next school day either written on binder paper or typed on an 81/2 by 11-inch white copy paper. Homework will be handed back out during our next class. Since they have already read and answered all of the section review questions, they should have a decent understanding of that section. By preparing for class, we can now spend time on issues that they do not comprehend. During lectures, I will reinforce the important points of that section. They will be instructed to write down these points on binder paper. All of this information should be filed neatly in their binder under notes when this is completed. During the next class, I will give a short quiz covering the previous lesson. Homework and classroom notes will be indicative of questions on their chapter tests. A chapter test will be administered at the end of each chapter. I have been known to give Midterms covering multiple chapters. (The status of administering midterms has not yet been determined.) This is the reason I would like them to keep their binders organized in sections by chapter. Again, this is another skill that they can practice in Middle School to be successful in the future.
Additionally, each student will complete his or her own Science Fair Project, beginning in September and finishing in February. A panel of experts will judge the Projects, and the students may bring their Projects to the Diocesan Science Fair later in February. I also plan to do curriculum-related in-class lab experiments, at least one dissection per class and a minimum of two field trips per class. Information on these activities will be forthcoming.
I know some of the curricula in Physical Science may be confusing for many students. There will be many 2 step word type problems in Physics in which their reasoning skills will be tested. Inorganic chemistry involves knowledge of the Periodic Table, which is a language in itself. In addition, I will hold a study hall from 7:00 am – 7:55 am every Tuesday and Thursday.
For extra reinforcement, students can visit the www.scilinks.org website. Scilinks is a resource that connects with our science textbook. There are appropriate topics along with scilinks number with which students can access additional information about these topics. They will be able to complete some the computer reinforcement exercises during science class. I am still in the process of looking into other classroom web-based assignments.
I will be available during lunchtime on Tuesdays and Thursdays. An email will be the best way to contact me since I will only be at St. Joseph on Tuesdays and Thursdays. (email@example.com) I invite all parents to stop by and see me before and after school. I always have an open-door policy for students and parents. I am looking forward to a great year for all of us.