2011-2012 8th Grade Science Program and Expectations

Course Text: Various. This course will use materials from NASA, the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, The Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Dolan DNA Learning Center, NOVA (WGBH, PBS), Wolfram Research, and the National Science Teachers Association, among others. You are invited to review the Science links on the 8th Grade Page of the MCCPS website.

Assessment: Homework will be assigned in Science every night.  Homework assignments will be checked for completion daily and collected twice weekly.  Homework that is lost, forgotten, or not completed by the time it is due will be recorded; parents may be called or receive an email to inform them.  There will be an assessment (quiz or text) every Wednesday, with rare exception, on material covered that week.  Grades will be posted weekly on Parents’ Corner.

Materials: Students are expected to bring these materials with them to every class, every day.  Please replenish them as necessary.

  • Science notebook: Composition, graph ruled ¼ inch
  • Scientific Calculator
  • Ruler
  • Pencils and an eraser
  • Completed homework.

Science Notebook: The Science Notebook is an important part of the daily life of any scientist.  It is where we take notes, write definitions, ask questions, draw pictures of the things we see and think.  The notebook is a valuable tool for both the student and the teacher to assess progress.  We can also use it to review previous predictions and assumptions.  This interest is a direct result of the book I referenced in an earlier post, I’m reading this right now…

Class Schedule: Classes will be structured by the day of the week. Students will expect certain activities on certain days of the week:; Wednesdays are Quizzes; Fridays are hands-on labs.  There is no class on Thursday due to a double block of Science on Fridays. Cooperative learning will be used in our class, as Science is a community endeavor.

Literacy in Science Class:  We will be reading articles from The New York Times, Scientific American, and the writings of prominent scientists, current and past.  I feel strongly that it is important to link Science and language education, to strengthen students’ knowledge and skills in both areas, because these disciplines are interdependent.  Students will have outside reading and writing assignments.

2011-2012 Course of Study

a) The Nature of Science.  The Practice and Presentation of Scientific Inquiry.

b) Earth & Space: Investigation of Gravity as a Fundamental Force, Tilt of the Earth, Heat Transfer and the Role of the Sun in Earth Systems, the Role of the Sun in Earth, Climate Change sources and impact.

c) Physical Science: Motion of Objects, Potential and Kinetic Energy, Conservation of Energy, Conservation of Mass, Physical and Chemical Change, Elements and Compounds, Mixtures and Substances, Properties of Matter.

d) Technology: The Engineering Design Process, Structural Forces and Bridges, Adaptive and Assistive Devices, Bioengineering.

e) Life Science: Heredity, Chromosomes and Genetics, Sexual v. Asexual Reproduction at the cellular level, Evolution, Biodiversity

I love teaching Science and I am looking forward to a terrific year with your child!  Please feel free to contact me at any time if you have questions or concerns.

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About gblakney

Middle School Mathematics Teacher, passionate EdTech user who loves to experiment with new methods and tools in the classroom. Following the lead of Dan Meyer and Jo Boaler, I create a safe place for kids to discover the fun and beauty of maths. I use Number Talks and Groupwork to make maths accessible for all of my students. I enjoy Mathematics and I'm enthusiastic about teaching; the kids really respond to that.
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