7th Grade Integrated Science
Science is all about finding answers to questions. In this quest you will
use skills learned in some of your other classes – reading, writing,
mathematics, computer research, and logical thinking. We will use
inquiry to answer questions, and will use a textbook only as one of the
resources available to find information. Come prepared to work hard
and have FUN!
We will conduct three units of investigation per quarter. Each unit will consist of engaging
demonstrations or stories, hands-on inquiry, recording observations, gathering data, and making
inferences. Students will discover their own answers to big-idea questions, which will require real
thinking. The conclusion of each unit will be a 25-question benchmark test. Notes can be used on
these tests, but tests can only be repeated with extreme circumstances and teacher approval.
Grades will be posted to MyWeber daily. Your grades will be based on your performance on writing
assignments, computer assignments, experiments, and benchmark tests. Grades will be based on
the percentage of total possible points accumulated, and extra credit may be earned for extra effort.
Benchmark tests will comprise approximately 40% of the total points possible.
103% + = A+ 87% to 89% =B+ 77% to 79% =C+ ** 67% to 69% =D+
93% to 102%=A 83% to 86% =B 73% to 76% =C ** 63% to 66% =D
90% to 92% =A- 80% to 82% =B- 70% to 72% =C- ** 60% to 62% =D-
**Below 60% =F
**If you earn less than a C-, your parents will be notified, and we’ll work together to find a solution. If
you earn an A+, you will be given special rewards and privileges.
I know that students like to have immediate feedback on their performance. We will use a variety of
methods to “show me that you know,” and many times, your grade will be based on oral responses,
so that you can have immediate feedback. We will also have “peer review” where another student will
grade your work, or check your answers. This is a good learning experience, but if you are VERY
uncomfortable about having other students see your work, please let me know by August 24th so that
I can make other arrangements.
If you miss a class, please check the blog to find out what question we worked on that day. You may
use any of your resources (except copying from a friend) to determine the answer to that question.
Simply write the answer on your cover sheet and turn it in on the appointed day. If you have an
excused absence on the day cover sheets are due, you have one week to turn it in BEFORE
SCHOOL for full credit. After one week has passed, points will be deducted for late submissions.
All of the daily class activities will be posted to the classroom blog at the start of each unit. This is a
great resource for knowing upcoming topics, questions, and possible resources. The address of the
blog is http://blog.wsd.net/daharris/ I would suggest entering a favorites link on your home Internet,
or you can link there through the district web site.
You are a KNIGHT, and you are expected to abide by the school-wide policies. There are only two
other rules for science class:
@ Show respect to the classroom, to others, and to yourself
@ Do not create a problem for someone else
If you violate one of the above rules, there will be a consequence. The consequence will be
determined by the severity of the infraction. This is your only warning.
I try to integrate lots of technology into our science experience, so we will be using the Internet
extensively for games, demonstrations, interesting video, and research. We will also use graphing
programs and other apps. A computer at home with Internet access is a valuable asset. Please
come talk to me if you do not have Internet at home. In addition, we will use electronic devices
sometimes during class. If you have a smartphone, Kindle Fire, i-pod, or other electronic device
which has Internet access, please bring it, and use it WHEN INSTRUCTED.
To add more excitement, and show real-world applications of science, we watch portions of several
movies. Some of these are rated PG, and require parent permission to view in class, even for short
clips. These PG movies include: October Sky, Shrek, Ice Age, Volcano, Inconvenient Truth, Twins,
Ferris Buehler’s Day Off, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, Back to the Future, Finding Nemo, Bee Movie,
and others. Please let me know if you would prefer not to watch these movies, or if your parents do
not want you to watch PG movies, and I will give you an alternate activity.
Science Olympiad is the most fun you can have at a science competition! With 26 different events,
there is something for everyone. Things like building rockets, breaking balsa bridges, flying model
planes, investigating crime scenes, and more – all in the comfort of jeans and t-shirts. Orion has had
outstanding Science Olympiad Teams, with many players earning awards, cash, and scholarships.
We will be having a training camp and tryouts for the team soon – stay tuned and let me know if you
Presenting a research project at the science fair will not be a requirement. If you would like to
participate in doing a Weber School District science fair project, however, please let me know. I am
more than happy to help you after school.
We can have a BLAST in this class! I hope that you leave at the end of the year feeling that our time
was well spent, thinking that we did fun and interesting things, and knowing that science affects
almost every facet of your life! Please sign the signature sheet (both parent and student) and
return to me in class by August 24thth .