South Jordan Middle School
Goal: Learn to value and use science as a way to gain knowledge based on observable evidence and to develop the skills associated with scientific inquiry.
Class Theme: The Biology Core has three major parts: (1) The structures in all living things occur as a result of their functions. (2) Interactions of organisms in an environment are determined by the biotic and abiotic factors found there. (3) Evolution occurs over time and relates to the species’ environment.
Discipline: Each student is accountable for his or her own actions and behavior. Treat everyone and everything in the classroom with courtesy and respect. You are responsible for your own actions, assignments, and studies.
General Expectations: Because this is an accelerated class I expect that you stay up on your understanding of the content. Biology is almost like learning a new language because you will hear a lot of words you’ve never heard before. Please don’t be discouraged by this, we will take it all one-step at a time.
Work Expectations: Work is due on time, completed, and finished at a high quality. On Time means that it is passed forward when the teacher asks for it. All work that is not turned in when asked for by the teacher will be considered late, no excuses (saying I couldn’t find it, or it’s in my locker means the assignment is late). Completed means that every predication, diagram, data table, graph, question, etc. on an assignment must be finished as instructed. A high quality means that the assignment is neat, free of rips, tears, stains, random drawings and all answers are written with complete sentences. Complete sentences start with a capital letter, rewrite part of the question, contain minimal pronouns, have full meaning, and end with a period. Turning in an assignment that is not neat, has rips, tears, stains, or random drawings, or does not have complete sentences (based on this definition) may mean that the assignments will be returned to the student to be redone on a new handout and WILL receive a penalty of 50% of the points on the assignment.
Absent work: In Biology I have worked hard to make sure that the curriculum is “hands on” meaning it is full of labs, activities, and demonstrations that may be impossible to make up. If your child is absent for any reason (sick, vacation, or extra curricular activity) they will miss the assignment planned for the day and to make up the work will be given a book assignment to do from home. Yes, in some cases this may seem unfair, however it is the only way to insure that student received the missing information and gets appropriate practice at home on their own time. Students that miss class will need to talk directly to the teacher and go to the teacher’s website for the appropriate makeup assignment. It is the student’s responsibility to talk to the teacher about homework or missing assignment. Students will have only two weeks to make up missing work from absences, after those two weeks the assignments are considered late.
Late Work: All work is due on the assigned day at the beginning of class as explained above. Late work is accepted only one week after it was originally due so that kids do not fall behind on work they need to complete. All late work will receive a deduction of 50% off.
Study Expectations: Measuring student progress is very important and we have developed sophisticated ways of measuring student learning. Every unit will begin with a pre-test that will show us what the students know about the topics before we start. The unit will then end with a final unit test (100 points) to measure each student’s growth and understanding. It will take students two day to take the final, one part multiple choice and the other a written test checking for understanding and mastery of the unit’s concepts. Every unit will also consist of quizzes (announced and unannounced) to show mastery of each concept. Everyday, class will begin with a small quiz called a Bell Ringer (4 points/day) to measure understanding from recent topics of study. Helping students retain information from unit to unit is one of my biggest goals. Some test/quizzes will include questions from a previous unit to help with this goal.
Unit Maps: To help students learn, understand, and retain information in this class I have a tool that has been developed to help student prepare for tests by involving parents/guardians in the daily study. Everyday or a few times a week students are expected to come home and teach what they learn in class to their parent or guardian. If parents feel they know what the information means after being taught then the student has done their job and a signature is placed next to the objective. If the Unit Map is filled in with individual signatures next to each objective and returned on the day of the test, the student will earn 10 extra points on their test score.
State Final (Sage Test): Students will be taking the Student Assessment of Growth and Excellence Test for Biology in April/May.
Citizenship Expectations: Student citizenship is an important part of middle school philosophy. We not only teach students about science we also train them how to act in public, treat each other, and be responsible for their actions. This is a critical time in their personal/social growth and while some students know how to act in class, others still struggle with self-control. Student who cannot control talking, off-task behavior, disruptions, and tardiness will receive a verbal warning, and then lose citizenship points after every offense.
70% – Tests/Quizzes/Bell Ringers
30% – Classwork – Class participation, activities, labs, projects, homework.
Class Rules: The most important rule I have in my class is that at all times you have to, at least, pretend to be learning.
- Cheating in any form will not be tolerated and will result in a 0 score on the assignment and a call home – this includes both tests and class assignments.
- Eating Food and Chewing Gum in class is a privilege not a right
Needed Materials: Please have the following materials with you every day of the class:
o Pencils – I don’t allow students to use pens
o 1 1/2 inch – 3 ring binder
o Lined paper
o Calculator (simple 10 function or better)
I desire to help each student achieve his/her best. I am available 30 minutes before & after school please let me know if you need to meet with me. I want to make Biology enjoyable for every student. Please contact me about any concerns or problems you may have with the class. – Mr. Reddish