"Learning by doing" is the hallmark of middle school science. "Doing" science can take many forms, but the common denominator is active larning, as demonstrated in laboratory exercises, research projects and use of technology.
Science instruction is activity-based and builds directly upon students' previous knowledge, skills, interests, and background experiences. There is equal focus upon both the topics and techniques of scientific inquiry.
Students need for interaction with their peers are recognized and provided in active, student-centered learning activities that are central to the program. Taking advantage of diverse backgrounds, needs and interests, the program encourages students to work collaboratively and cooperatively on projects that stimulate the type of "teams" that found throughout the business community.
Students make careful observations, collect/interpret data and conduct "open ended" experiments in order to learn the basics of the scientific process including:
The middle grades science program also offers many interdisciplinary connections with language arts, mathematics, history/social studies, and the arts. A concerted effort is made to take full advantage of the resources found in the library-media center and on the Internet.
The science program is fully
supported by the school, district administrators, the Governing Board,
and the community as a whole. There is a wide range of instructional
materials available for science learning. Science texts are up-to-date
and supplemented by a variety of materials which include laboratory specimens,
appropriate scientific equipment and an array of computer-based technology.
3-ring binder with dividers
A+ Enrollment in Academics Plus Program
of all assignments which include tests, laboratory activities, projects, quizzes, class participation and homework. Gardes are weighted according to the following criteria:
50% - Quizzes, unit tests and semester final
|Grade||Science Area||Content Area||Standard||Length|
|7th||Life Science||Cell Biology||Chemical Make-Up/
|7th||Life Science||Genetics||Genes,Traits,Heredity||3 weeks|
|7th||Life Science||Adaptation/Diversity||Change, Fossil Record||3 weeks|
|7th||Life Science||Anatomy/Physiology||Structure and function in living things||8 weeks|
|7th||Life Science||Energy and Living Things||Photo-optics
1. All living organisms are composed of cells, from just one to many
trillions, whose details
2. A typical cell of any organism contains genetic instructions that
specify its traits. Those traits
Adaptation, Diverstiy and Fossil Record
3. Biological evolution accounts for the diversity of species developed
through gradual processes
Earth and Life History (Earth Science)
4. Evidence from rocks allows us to understand the evolution of life
Structure and Function in Living Systems
5. The anatomy and physiology of plants and animals illustrate the complementary
Physical Principles in Living Systems (Physical Science)
6. Physical principles underlie biological structures and functions.
Investigation and Experimentation
7. Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting
Twelve good reasons for using rubrics in the Science Core and Academic Plus Programs:
1. Rubrics set standards: Students know in advance what they have to do to achieve a certain level. Assessment may range from attempted, acceptable, admirable, to awesome and academic plus.
2. Rubrics tell students they must be careful and safe with the task: Information on the expected procedures and outcomes of the task being performed are given to students.
3. Rubrics clarify expectations for excellence: When levels are based on a "higher expectation" (e.g., Level 5), everyone knows what is required. This is especially important for students who are enrolled in both Science Core Classes and the Academics Plus Program.
4. Rubrics help students take responsibility for their own learning: Students use rubrics to engage in specific activities and research the discipline demands.
5. Rubrics have value to other stakeholders: Anyone (including parents and community members) seeing an additive rubric and a student score based on that rubric knows what content was mastered by that student.
6. Rubrics look at student examples: Show students examples of good and not-so-good work. Identify the characteristics that make the good ones good and the bad ones bad.
7. Rubrics list criteria for quality work: Use the discussion of models to begin a list of what counts in quality work.
8. Rubrics articulate gradations of quality: Describe the best and worst levels of quality, then fill in the middle levels based on your knowledge of common problems and the discussion of not-so-good work.
9. Rubrics practice on models: Have students use the rubrics to evaluate the models provided as examples.
10. Rubrics use self- and peer-assessment: Give students their assignment. As they work, stop them occasionally for self- and peer-assessment.
11. Rubrics are revised and updated: Always give students time to revise their work based on the feedback they get from teacher and parent.
12. Rubrics use student and teacher assessment: Use the same rubric students use to assess your work as a teacher.
1. All work will be staff and student evaluated in accordance to agreed upon rubrics.
2. All work will be turned in according to specificed deadlines. Exceptions will be made only for serious illness requiring medical verificaton.
3. All work will be completed by the student and it must be their best work.
4. All work will must be word processed and when graphs, tables, charts, etc. are required in the projects, they must be constructed using a computer.
5. All research must be referenced in a bibliography.
6. There is no tolerance for plagiarism. All student-generated materials must be original. Any quotes, graphics or ideas presented in materials researched by the student must referenced in the paragraph or footnoted at the bottom of the page.
7. All work must be "A" quality as established by the rubric. Any work that is not given a grade of "A must be redone based on correction and comments given to the student by
Parents are expected to adhere to the following
1. Be supportive of their child and teachers.
The resource teacher, in collaboration with
the regular classroom teacher, is expected to adhere to the following guidelines:
1. Provide guidance on what kind of product is expected
order to print any of the Lab. Excercises listed below you will need
Acrobat Reader to open the .pdf file. Click on the link to the Adobe
Acrobat Website to obtain a free download of Acrobat Reader, if you don't
already have it.)
Actions: If any student
fails to maintain an "A" in the program, they will be dropped.
A Microbe Zoo Journal
A Wildflower Journal
A Habitat Journal - Nature Guide
Making Personalized Online Databases of Animals and Plants
A NatureLink Homepage
The GLOBE Program Homepage
Filamentality is a fill-in-the-blank interactive Web site that guides you through picking a topic, searching the Web, gathering good Internet sites, and turning Web resources into learning activities. It helps combine the "filaments" of the Web with a learner's "mentality". Support is built-in through Mentality Tips that guide you along the way to creating a Web-based activity you can share with others.
Middle School Website Evaluation Guide
Website - Critical Evaluation Surveys
Evaluating Web Resources | Home Page
CyberGuide for Rating Website Content
Student Data Collections and
Graphing Examples: Line, Bar and Circle Graphs:
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for Use of the "Science Media Stations" in the Classroom:
2. For each participant to explore a variety of media-technology options in the classroom.
3. For each participant to prepare a subject area presentation using technology .
4. For each participant to plan at least one in depth WebQuest project for the classroom
5. For each participant to evaluate and create a Website List of subject-area resources.
6. For each participant to benefit from integrating technology into their daily lives.
In the one-room school and in recent factory classrooms, the teacher was the heart of the education enterprise. In the new model of education, the parent, teacher and student will emerge as partners, guides, mentors and brokers to the world of knowledge made accessible by technology..
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Additional Links for Parents:
Website Authoring by Jay Klopfenstein
Middle School ScienceTeacher
Media Commuications - Apple Distinguished Educator
Carlsbad Unified School District
Valley Middle School
Last Updated 8/26/2000