Course Syllabus and Expectations

Mrs. Stephanie Pratt
Team 7A Science, Room C-7
Phone: (781) 273-7028

Grade 7, Life Science 2014-2015

Dear Parents and Guardians,

It’s time to start another school year!  We have a busy year ahead of us.  In the science classroom, I have high expectations for student achievement and I try to make learning science fun and interesting on a daily basis.  Students will have opportunities to participate in independent and group activities and labs, projects and discussions. Seventh grade is a year of transition for many students and can be a very challenging year both academically and socially, therefore, the teachers on team 7A are committed to our students’ needs, are flexible and caring; but we also offer students the structure and support that they need at this age in order to meet their success.
My goal is to teach students to develop a variety of learning techniques and strategies which they will be able to use and apply to their own learning experiences on a daily basis; so as each student may achieve his or her potential in science.  Here are some tips for student academic success:

Structure:  Plan ahead for assignment due dates and test/quiz dates. Find a comfortable and/or quiet place to complete homework at home. Arrive to school each and every day on time.  I can not teach to empty chairs.  You can not learn if you are not here.

Organization: Pack up the book bag at night and put it by the door to go to school.  Make sure you have everything you need to go back to school. Arrive to school prepared ready to learn and equipped with writing utensils, notebook, portfolio, and textbook each day---no exceptions! Complete daily homework (reading and writing) and be prepared to discuss in class.  No late homework is accepted unless absent. Maintain a neat and organized portfolio. Use the homework/assignment folder provided to you. Write your assignments neatly and fully with due dates in your agenda.

Communication: Use your study buddy in case you are out or forgot something at school.  Make sure he/she is reliable.  Talk to the teacher when you are having difficulties understanding the assignment, topic, or concept.  I can help! Ask questions (that is what science is all about) and participate in class or group discussions.  Be an active learner!  

Classroom expectations: All students are charged with the task of promoting the learning environment.  This includes, but is not limited to:
  • No food or drink is allowed in the classroom, unless permission is granted.
  • Arrive to school/class on time.
  • Come to class prepared for the day’s activities.
  • Be attentive and respectful of the other people within the learning environment.
  • Missed work, due to absence will be completed in a timely manner and in accordance with the MSMS academic handbook (front of Agenda book).

Grading Policy:
Grades will be determined in the following manner:

Written Work Project - 30%
70% of Grade Tests (x2)/Quizzes - 25%
Labs - 15%

Effort Participation grade - 10% - see rubric
30% of Grade Classwork/Homework & 
Portfolios grade- 20% - see rubric

  • Rubrics, checklists outlining the way in which credit is determined for assignments, will be handed out throughout the course.
  • Make-up/retake policy: All students who turn in an assignment on the due date will be given one week to make corrections to it to improve their understanding, and thus their score. Quizzes/Tests may also be re-done (refer to extra credit policies) within one week.  Students may only take advantage of this policy for make-up/retake if substantial effort was demonstrated before the initial due date (i.e. all questions were attempted).

Plagiarism:  Plagiarism is defined as the unauthorized use of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own.  This includes copying another student’s homework, report, project, lab report or test/quiz even though the other student allowed his/her work to be copied.  This also includes cutting and pasting research from the internet for projects and reports and using resources for projects and reports that are not cited or improperly cited.  The penalty for plagiarism is a guaranteed zero with no opportunity to make up the work.   

Please keep in touch!  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me by phone or e-mail.  I am looking forward to an exciting year, as we all learn and grow together.  

Sincerely,  Mrs. Pratt


Please sign below indicating that you, the parent or guardian have read the procedures and policies for grade 7, life science.  Please add your own comments or concerns, if you like.  Return this portion back to school.   

Student name________________________________  

Parent or Guardian signature _____________________________________

Mrs. Stephanie Pratt
Life Science Grading Rubric
  • Homework/Classwork
  • Participation
  • Labs/Activities
  • Projects

What does it stand for?
What number does it correspond to?
Exceeds standard
All parts are complete; errors are negligible; demonstrates grasp of subject and elaboration; fully engaged; excellent behavior and attitude.
Meets standard
May be incomplete OR have minor errors; demonstrates competence in the subject; engaged when specific tasks are presented; appropriate behavior and attitude.
Needs improvement to meet standard
Incomplete AND has minor errors; demonstrates some understanding of the subject, but may have need for clarification; needs several reminders to stay engaged; may need minor behavioral or attitude correction.
Incomplete AND has major errors; does not demonstrate an understanding of the subject; not engaged or there is a need for intervention (due to unacceptable behavior or attitude).
Will be graded when resubmitted.

If not resubmitted or Re-done, grade will stand.

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