Name: ________________________________ Group: ________________
COURSE DESCRIPTION AND EXPECTATIONS FOR EIGHTH GRADE SCIENCE
Contact Information for Ms. Welborn:
362-1901 (voice mail)
http://www.arps.org/USERS/ms/welbornj/ (website-- currently undergoing
rehabilitation due to benign neglect)
Some Ideas to Ponder
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.
– Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss), The Lorax
“Try. Try not. Do, or do not... There is no try.”
– Jedi Master Yoda, Star Wars
“Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!”
-- Ms. Frizzle (The Magic School Bus)
“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
-- Eleanor Roosevelt
DNF (did not finish) is not an option.
Chrissy Wellington-- British Champion: Triple
World Ironman Triathlon Winner
A. COURSE DESCRIPTION
Welcome to eighth grade science! I look forward to getting to know you and working
with you this year! Eighth grade science is part chemistry, part physics, and part technology.
In this class, we will use scientific problem-solving to address real-world problems, and to
design and conduct experiments, and the engineering design process to design and build
structures and moving objects. This class is full of labs and hands-on activities which are
designed to inspire and challenge you while helping you learn important science concepts.
In addition, you will work on learning skills such as organizing, note-taking, reviewing,
summarizing, researching, reading and writing, oral and visual presenting, cooperating and
leading, creative thinking and problem-solving, following directions, and time-management.
You will also practice many science skills such as observing, inferring, predicting, measuring,
classifying, and making models. Finally, in class, you will be encouraged to use scientific
attitudes or habits of the mind such as curiosity, honesty, open-mindedness, skepticism, and
B. MATERIALS YOU WILL NEED EVERY DAY
1. Your black, three-ring science binder (1”)
2. Your black, single-subject spiral notebook for science only
3. Your science black pocket folder
4. Several pens and sharpened pencils
5. An assignment book
C. ABSENTEEISM POLICY
1. Class attendance is expected. However, if you are absent from class for a legitimate
reason, it is your responsibility to complete all work, including labs, you have missed.
Check the Master Science Binder for notes and handouts given during class, the
absentee folder for new handouts and graded work distributed when you were absent
and your study buddy after class for any assignments you missed. In accordance with
the school make-up policy, you will be given two days to make up work for each
2. If you miss class because of a field trip, an excused tardy, or a guidance appointment,
turn in work you owe the next time you come to class.
D. WRITTEN WORK POLICY
1. You are expected to complete all assigned work* and turn it in on time. Therefore, you are
required to keep an up-to-date assignment book listing assignments and their due dates.
2. When writing a response for an assignment, use at least one complete sentence.
3. Proofread all written work to corect erors in puctation, speling, and gramar.
4. All work is expected to be neat, legible, and done to the best of your ability. You are
encouraged to type assignments and either print them out or email them to me.
5. Unless otherwise indicated, work may be done either in pen or pencil or on a computer.
6. If you are unable to complete an assignment on time, bring in a signed note from
7. It is expected that regular science homework assignments (not including projects, labs,
writing assignments and studying for tests) will take about 30-45 minutes/night to
complete. If you are working longer than 45 minutes per night on a regular science
homework assignment, have a parent write a note on the assignment before turning it
8. Plagiarized work will not receive credit. Neither the copier nor the person who aided and
abetted will receive credit. Avoid the temptation to copy!
1. Homework is due at the beginning of class. It is expected that homework will be
completely finished on time to the best of your ability and that all responses will be
written in complete sentences with few, if any, spelling, punctuation and grammar
2. If you have difficulty completing assignments on time on a regular basis, Ms.
Welborn will invite you to attend her friendly after-school homework helpers club.
She will discuss your attendance at this club with your parent/guardian.
Kinds of Assignments*
Description Weight Grading
IOT (in-on-time) 5% Requirements-completely finished to
assignments- reviewed the best of the students' ability
in class and checked 100% = meets requirements
for completion 70% = late (up to 2 class periods)
30% = missing or > 2 class periods
GA (graded 10% Requirements: accurate content;
assignments)-- thoughtful responses; complete
collected and graded sentences where appropriate;
directions followed; minimum of
spelling, punctuation and grammar
errors; neat and legible
100% = exceeds requirements
95% = meets requirements
85%= nearly meets
75% = average
65% = redo and resubmit within 2
30% missing or > 2 class periods late
Projects/Labs 35% Grades based on rubric and/or
points- late labs/projects lose 10%
per class period late. 30% missing
Tests 30% Grades based on points
earned/possible points. 30% missing
OOMPH 10% Grade based on points earned out of
(effort/preparation/ possible points. 30% missing
E=mc2 10% 70% = default grade indicating no
effort has been made in this
category; additional percentage
points are earned up to
100%/trimester based on
activity/project chosen by student
· Modifications/accommodations will be made as necessary.
1. You will be doing many labs this year!!!! Some of the labs will have questions to be
answered. Other labs will require that you write a lab report to show your findings.
2. You will be expected to follow all written and oral directions for the lab and behave in a
SAFE MANNER at all times.
3. Should you have to stop a lab activity for behaving in an unsafe manner and/or not
following directions, you will have to either make up the lab after school under direct
supervision or do a “dry lab.” In a dry lab, you observe the lab technique and get the data
from your lab partner but you may not touch the equipment for that particular lab.
4. Food, candy, and drinks (without permission) are not allowed in the science room.
Purposeful destruction of lab equipment or school property (such as writing on desks or in
books) is also not allowed.
1. When projects are assigned, mini-deadlines will be set to help you budget your time.
2. You will receive written directions and a grading rubric for each major project.
1. You will be tested over concepts and vocabulary from labs, demonstrations and
homework.* A study guide will be given out before each major test.
* Modifications/accommodations will be made as necessary.
I. SECOND CHANCES
If you are dissatisfied with any grade you earn, you are welcome to make an appointment
to discuss your work. Ms. Welborn will help you identify areas for improvement. Once you
revise and resubmit your work, your grade will be adjusted.
Your trimester grade will be calculated from the averages of the following categories: IOT
(in on time) homework 5%; graded homework 10%; projects/labs 35%; tests 30%, and
OOMPH 10%, e = mc2 10%
K. E = mc2 = Excellence = many challenging choices
You will be expected to challenge yourself in 8th grade science through self-directed
activities and projects and some challenge opportunities provide by Ms. Welborn for your
consideration. A more detailed explanation of E = mc2 is on another handout.
L. CLASSROOM PROCEDURES
1. Wait to enter until all students from the previous class have left.
2. At the end of class, you will be given time for clean up. Once your lab station is
clean, push in your chair and stand behind it. Wait for Ms. Welborn to dismiss you.
3. Bathroom requests: It is expected that students go to the bathroom during passing
periods. Unless there is an emergency, bathroom passes will not be issued during class.
M. CLASSROOM EXPECTATIONS
In science class, it is expected that you do your best, have fun and:
· respect yourself. Take responsibility for your learning by participating in class,
working to the best of your ability, completing and turning in all assignments on
time, reminding Ms. Welborn if she is moving too fast or too slow, challenging
ideas, and asking for help whenever you need it! Your education at ARMS is free!
Take advantage of it!
· respect others--no name-calling, insults, bullying, copying or cheating, disrupting
the class, etc.
· let only one person talk at a time and listen attentively;
· wait until you are called on for a response;
· be cooperative and honest;
· keep hands, feet and objects to yourself (do not throw anything at any time for
any reason… remember: if it’s airborne, it’s Welborn! )
· ask for permission before touching something that does not belong to you;
· stay in your seat unless instructed otherwise (important lab safety rule);
· understand that genuine questions are always welcome;
· be on time; late to class = 1 warning then lunch detention
· be prepared to learn EVERY DAY with your binder; science notebook; folder, a pen
and pencil; and your assignment book;
· behave in a SAFE MANNER AT ALL TIMES!
· help out in the maintenance of the classroom such as picking up and cleaning up
· Any student who completes all assignments on time for the week may enter a
ticket in Welborn’s Science Homework Raffle. Drawings happen weekly. Prizes
include coveted, but cheesy, science goodies.
When everyone is following classroom guidelines:
· every student has the opportunity to do her/his best
· the classroom is safe and clean;
· everyone feels valued and respected;
· there will usually be time for you to socialize at the very end of class;
· more time is available to do fun activities and labs (we will be making ice-cream,
yogurt, root beer, lip balm, soap, mini SMORES, prop cars, solar cars, cement
boats, hot air balloons and bottle rockets, etc.)
O. EXTRA HELP
Extra help is on Mondays after school from 2:30-3:30. I am also available on Thursdays by
Student Name: _________________________
Parent Signature: _________________________________