Course Syllabus

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Welcome to Mr. Smith's 7th Grade Science Canvas Course Page!  Here you will find all you need to know about 7th grade science as well as information specific to my class.  I have also included some important links to the middle school science curriculum, so you can see how each grade level blends into another throughout the middle school experience.  

To make navigation a bit easier, I tried to make any graphics throughout my pages 'infographics,' meaning if you click on the graphic, it takes you to the website that it is referring to.  If you would like, click on the PRMS graphic above and you will be redirected to the school website.  Many other graphics will be found throughout this page and the Canvas course.

WHAT IS CANVAS AND IS MY CHILD TAKING AN ONLINE COURSE?  HELP!!!

Canvas is the Union County online learning management system where we will use as a mainframe of learning.  Our units will be posted in Canvas and are called 'modules.'  Each unit is a module.  Assignments, quizzes, discussions, further readings, etc., will all be found under the module that the material goes with.  Once a unit has been completed in class, that specific module will close.  Students need to make sure they are keeping up with their assignments for this reason.  Since the 1:1 laptop initiative began at PRMS, we have been working diligently to find the best way to incorporate online learning with in-class learning.  As far as science is concerned, nothing can replace a hands-on learning experience.  We do a few activities throughout the semester in class together.  Students also have 2 notebooks:  one digital notebook in Google Drive that I will give to them (for taking fill-in-the-blank notes), and a spiral notebook that they must bring to class everyday (for writing short things down, gluing in foldables/small things we make in class). This spiral notebook can also can be used with your social studies class.  The class is partially online using Canvas, but also using a couple other great learning managements systems like Discovery Education and BrainPOP.  We also are lucky enough to have a wonderful subscription to an online lab site, called 'Gizmos.'  We will do several online labs using that site and students will complete assignments based on what they learn as they go through the lab.  Some of the student work will be graded online, and some in their composition notebook/on paper.  Either way, all grades are entered into PowerSchool, the school grading and attendance program.  Please check PowerSchool regularly to see what grade your child has for each assignment and feel free to email me if you ever have any questions.  There is even a free app for PowerSchool that can be downloaded to any smartphone or electronic device!

Important links listed so far:

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 To see the Middle School Science Curriculum, click on the link below and scroll to the bottom of  the page.  Each grade level is divided for your viewing pleasure!

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Units of Study for 7th Graders (in order):

  • Weather
  • Living Organisms
  • Genetics
  • Energy
  • Force & Motion 

Mr. Smith's Class Information:

My science assignments are not all graded with the same weight.  Classwork counts the most as it is a daily reflection of the student and I expect for all of my students to do their best each day in class.  We will also have occasional quizzes, tests, projects, and there will be a graded study guide that goes with each unit.  The study guide will be homework (the only homework), however, any student who cannot complete classwork within the allotted amount of time, will be responsible for finishing assignments at home for discounted points.  Students will always be given study guides at least one week in advance of the due date.  Study guides will always be on paper and students may use their digital notebooks in Google Drive to find all of the answers.  Tests are designed based on the study guides, so there is a huge benefit to completing and studying them (aside from the fact that they are required).  I have designed the class with time in mind, and I know how long it takes to complete each assignment.  Students who are being irresponsible with laptops, or who are off task, will not complete their work on time and we will quickly know who that is.  We will be using IXL throughout the semester.  For more information, please click this link. Laptops will be taken from students who choose to play games or go on other sites during class (including Gmail) and students will be given paper copies to complete.

PBIS Information:

PRMS is implementing a new set of behavioral expectations based on the 4 Be's:  Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Prepared and Be Safe.  All students are expected to follow the 4 Be's and will be rewarded positively for doing as they are asked.  Students will setup accounts using an online program called 'Kickboard.'  Kickboard allows teachers to give students 'Pirate Bucks,' for all the wonderful things they do.  Students can trade in their bucks at a new school store each week.  They can also bank their bucks for various rewards/events that may cost more than items in the school store.  Here is a link to the PBIS expectations for my classroom.  Students will sign a contract stating that they are aware and willing to follow the expectations and they will glue the contract down in their composition nb.

What if I want a textbook to refer back to throughout the semester?

Technically, each student will have their digital notebook for each unit stored in their Google Drive.  You may have your child show you their notebooks throughout the semester so that you can also learn what we are learning and help you child as needed at home.  However, if you would like an actual textbook reference, here are 3 books (just click on the links below) that you can use to refresh yourself on the 7th grade earth, life, and physical science concepts:

Earth Science Textbook

Life Science Textbook

Physical Science Textbook

Class Grading Policy:

Classwork 50%

Test/Project 20%

Quiz 20%

Warm ups 10%

Supply List:

*All supplies are mandatory and are to be brought to class everyday.  We never know when we will use a specific supply and points will be deducted from assignments if they are not done in the correct notebook with the correct supplies. You may not use my supplies.

  • Spiral notebook
  • STUDENT AGENDA (BUY ONE IF YOU NEED TO!!!)
  • Pencils (mechanical prevents sharpener issues but as the student prefers)
  • Pens (blue or black)
  • Pencil pouch
  • Hand sharpener or lead (depending on what type of pencil the student prefers)
  • Colored pencils or
  • Markers 
  • Highlighters (multiple colors, student’s choice)
  • Glue stick
  • Scissors
  • Erasers
  • Refillable water bottle (prevents leaving class for water)
  • Earbuds/headphones (earbuds are sold in the media center for $1 if you need a pair)
  • 6-inch ruler (please no bendable ones because they lose shape)

Much Appreciated Supplies for Our Science Classroom:

  • Kleenex tissues
  • Paper towels
  • Pack of colored paper (any color, students love bright colors to make foldables)
  • If you would like to donate any of the school supplies, I will give them to our counselor and make sure they get to any students in need!  Thank you!

Course Summary:

Date Details