2019-2020 Science Syllabus

                                   Syllabus: 7th GRADE SCIENCE 2019-2020          


School Phone Number        628-0824               Email address    karen.king@bcsemail.org


Course Description

This course emphasizes the North Carolina New Essential Standards (2009).  Our major goal is to help students become better learners and be ready to meet the challenges of the 21st century.  We use an integrated approach of 21st century skills to assist students in developing investigative and critical thinking skills through exposure to the three disciplines of science:  physical science, life science, and earth science.  Students will improve scientific literacy through access of a variety of non-fiction texts.   Students will be exposed to numerous methods for recording their thinking which can be utilized across curricula.  This course incorporates diverse learning styles and teaching methods.  Students work both independently and in cooperative groups.

Course Essential Standards

This course will address North Carolina Essential Standards for seventh grade science with an emphasis on inquiry, physical science, life science, and earth science.  Detailed standards can be found at http://www.ncpublicschools.org


Physical Science: Forces and Motion

7.P.1        Understand motion, the effects of forces on motion and the graphical representations of  motion.

Physical Science: Conservation and Transfer

7.P.2        Understand forms of energy, energy transfer and transformation and conservation in mechanical systems.

Earth Science: Earth Systems, Structures, and Processes

7.E.1       Understand how the cycling of matter (water and gases) in and out of the atmosphere relates to Earth’s atmosphere, weather and climate and the effects of the atmosphere on humans.

Life Science: Structures and Functions of Living Organisms

7.L.1       Understand the processes, structures and functions of living organisms that enable them to survive, reproduce and carry out the basic function of life.

Life Science: Evolution and Genetics

7.L.2       Understand the relationship of the mechanisms of cellular reproduction, patterns of  inheritance and external factors to potential variation and survival among offspring.


 GRADING SCALE                                           Breakdown of Grading:                                  

A    90 -100                         Major grades (40%)                           Daily grades (45%)

B    80 - 89                            *Test/formal assessments                * Quizzes/Voc Quizzes

C    70 - 79                            * Notebook                                          * Class work

D    60 - 69                            * Projects                                             * Lab assignments

F    59 – below                      * Unit Exams/Final Exam                   * Specified homework

                                              Cooperative Group Grades (5%)    Homework (10%)


 Parents and students are urged to check PowerSchool regularly for updated grades.


PBIS – Classroom Expectations:  RESPECT *Follow adult direction the 1st time *Treat others as you would like to be treated *Be honest *Use a calm voice and appropriate body language *Value property of others  RESPONSIBILITY *Have all materials needed for class *Be on time *Be on task *Give your best effort and make good choices *Keep track of your belongings.  Consequences (in no specific order) of poor decision making: warning, moving seating assignment, teacher-student conference,  after-school detention, parental contact, teacher-parent-student conference, minor incident report, major  referral.    


5 tardies will result in after-school detention.  Parent/student must make arrangements for transportation. 


One of the primary ways we learn in science is through cooperative groups. Groups change after every 4 experiments.  Each student is assigned a different job for each experiment so that each has responsibilities.  It is important that all students learn to get along with others and contribute to the learning experience.  Periodically students will be asked to grade each member of their group including themselves.  The grading rubric will be explained in class.  I also will give them a grade.  Scores from the group will be totaled and averaged for the individual cooperative group grade.  Cooperative group grades count 5% of science grade.


Students need 4 composition notebooks (sewn seam, 100 sheets/200 pages, NO SPIRALS).  PLEASE DO NOT WRITE IN NOTEBOOK UNTIL INSTRUCTIONS ARE GIVEN IN CLASS!  All 4 notebooks should be turned in at the beginning of the year and will be given back as needed.  The student will only be responsible for keeping the ONE notebook being used at that time. Students will keep all work in the composition notebook.  All scientists keep detailed descriptions of their work to help clarify their learning and in order to build new discoveries.  The student notebook will be a resource for continued learning throughout the year.  The student is responsible for having the notebook in class EVERY day.  We will set-up the notebook in class on Thursday, August 22!   Notebooks are a major grade and count the same as a test.  It is the student’s responsibility to complete all assignments and keep an up-to-date notebook.


Science vocabulary is very important to understanding and mastery of the content.  Vocabulary words are introduced as part of the content.  Students are given a copy of the definition at the end of the class to put in their notebooks.   The vocabulary definitions are packed with facts so students will actually be learning the content as they study the vocabulary.  Students are required to make flashcards for each vocabulary word.   It is vital that students NOT get behind!  FLASHCARDS: 2 options - (1) Students are urged to set up a free account at quizlet.com to help practice vocabulary with flashcards, games, and quizzes.  The App is free.  Students will need to know their password so they can easily show the completed flashcards in class as homework is checked.  (2) Purchase 175 index cards and create a flashcard for each new vocabulary word.  Flashcards should be in class with student each day.  The vocabulary word and number should be on one side of the card and the given definition on the other side of the card.  Students should practice vocabulary words nightly either on quizlet or paper index cards.    VOCABULARY QUIZZES:    Most vocabulary quizzes will consist of 10 new vocabulary words and 5 review words from previous weeks.  Vocabulary quizzes are taken on the computer.  Quizzes are announced at least a week in advance.  There are no retakes on vocabulary quizzes.  Students need to be prepared for each quiz by studying vocabulary daily.


Homework is intended to help students master the content by reviewing what has happened in class.  Students are urged to review notes.  Each class builds on the previous day.  I feel that a routine helps students to be more successful, so students have homework every Monday through Thursday.  Homework is generally less than 15 minutes.  Assignments are copied at the beginning of class in a student planner/agenda/calendar.  All homework assignments are explained during class.  Students should ask questions before the end of class if they do not understand the assignment.  I urge students to check off each assignment in agenda as it is completed and to put the assignment/notebook back in their book bag to avoid not having materials.   

Each student receives (2) homework grades per 9 week grading period: one prior to midterm reports and one prior to report cards.  Each student begins with a homework grade of 100.  Every time a student fails to have the completed homework assignment(s) in class, five points per assignment are deducted from this homework grade. The assignment still must be completed.  On the 6th missing homework assignment, students will be assigned ISS Lunch and for each missing homework assignment there after until the new homework grading period begins.  Students report directly to ISS and do NOT go to cafeteria.  A bag lunch will be sent to ISS or the student may take a lunch from home to ISS.  Homework includes being prepared for class by having notebook, pen, agenda, computer.  Homework grades are 10% of the final quarter grade.  Some specified homework assignments will be collected for individual daily grades.  These assignments must be completed even if the student has to arrange to stay after school.  I do NOT accept grades of zero!  Homework grades along with all grades are accessible on PowerSchool by parents and students.

Assignments are online at   http://ccms.buncombeschools.org     This will open the CCMS website.  Click on “staff” and click on my name, then click the Homework Assignment tab.   Homework is posted by the week and updated by the end of each day as needed.   


Assignments are due when designated.  If the student chooses not to have the assignment at the designated time, the student will have to make up the assignment.  The assignment will be graded and 10 points will be deducted from the grade for each day it is late.  It is unacceptable not to complete assignments.  It is the student’s responsibility to turn in all work on time.


It is important to be in class daily.  If a student must be absent, it is his/her responsibility to make up assignments missed.  All assignments must be in the student science composition notebook.  Being absent from school is not an excuse for incomplete notebooks and work.  When a student returns to school from an absence, I give him/her a printed sheet explaining what happened while he/she was absent.  Students should check off assignments as they are completed.  This work should be made up as quickly as possible or within 3 days!  Students will get further behind and have “gaps” in their learning if work isn’t made up in a timely manner.  Everything we do in science class builds on what we did the day(s) before.  Students may make arrangements for help before or after school.  If a student is absent the day an assignment is scheduled, the assignment is expected the day the student returns (written assignments, quizzes, tests, etc.).


There will be a classroom set of books.  Your student may make arrangements to check out a book if needed.