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Classroom Policies and Explanations                                                           

Contents:
Grade Criteria

80% of your grade each quarter will be based on approximately 2 to 4 summative tests (grouped chapter tests and course final), and 1 to 3 summative lab exercises and lab reports.   The other 20% of your quarter's grade will be from a Content Standards assessment. 

Summative assessments will test what you have mastered in my class and count toward your grade. 
Formative assessments will be used as practice and guides, and will not affect your grade. 

Formative assessments and exercises will occur weekly, if not daily, and be used solely to guide your mastery of the class material and the Ohio Content Standards for Physical Science.

More Detailed Description at this Link

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Mid Term Progress Reports

These are the official progress reports given by the school in the middle of each quarter.  They can be very skewed when there are very few grades to report.

Only summative grades are used in the official reports for your class grade, but I also give an itemized class progress report which will also include formative grades to show how you are progressing in class. 

So if your grade looks surprisingly bad or good, check it against the itemized class progress report that I give all my students.  This will be a better picture of how you are doing regardless of your grade.  Most grades at progress report time are skewed one way or another and will become more accurate as the grading period goes on.

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Unofficial Class Progress Reports                                  

With the new grading policy in place, progress reports also becomes the place where I record formative assessments to track a students work and effort in my class.  I expect these reports to be shown to their parents.  Summative assessments will be what their final grade will be based on, but a student's formative progress in class should be a good predictor of their effort and success in class.

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Late Work

I do not like late work.  Homework will not be accepted late.  Labs and projects will often have a range of due dates.  I would rather the work be done well, and a day late, than poorly done on time.  However, there will be limits to how long I will accept late work, but it is negotiable.  See me before it is late.

Chronic late work can be considered a behavior issue and be treated as such with a referral for discipline. 

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Lost or Missing Work

Poor student organizational skills are not my problem and I will automatically assume that the responsibility for missing work is the student's alone.  Keep an organized notebook.

That being said, I always have a few students that maintain they turned in some work and in 99.99% of these cases, the students usually finds it in their notebooks, their lab partner’s notebook or they turned it in to another class’s collection and it is found when I grade the other class. If you place your work on my desk, then it is often not graded until after I grade everything else in the class folders.  Don't do it--put it where I specify. Once your paper gets in the collection box, it will not get lost.

When the rare work goes 'missing', the most common situation occurs when a student hands in a lab or worksheet that is incomplete or obviously incorrect and I immediately hand it back to them to complete.  Students only remember that they handed it in, but not that I gave it back to them to correct or finish.  It is usually in their notebook.

Do your part:

  1. Write your first and last name clearly on your papers with your period number.
  2. Hand papers into the collection box only.
  3. If you have typed it up-always save a copy in your student folder.
  4. Keep an organized notebook and hold onto your papers until after you receive your final grade.  I don't give grades for work I cannot see.

Still, it is easier to blame the teacher first--I can confidently say that I can count cases of me actually losing a student’s work on one hand, with no cases in recent memory. 

I repeat: Poor student organizational skills are not my problem and I will not automatically assume any responsibility for missing work. 

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Missing Work Grading Policy

All Summative Grades are essential for credit in my class.  We have very few of them and they all count.  My policy is that I will not give a grade for work I do not have.  They will have to redo the work on their own time.

If it turns out that I was responsible for any missing work (extremely unlikely), I have no problem changing grades for the better.  If I made the mistake, I will fix it.

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Summative Tests and Labs, Formative Assessments and Make Up Policy

Your grade in my class for each quarter will be based on the following

Summative assessments will test what you have mastered in my class and count toward your final grade.

Formative assessments will be used as practice and guides, and will not affect your final grade.

Formative assessments and exercises will occur weekly, if not daily, and be used solely to guide your mastery of the class material and Ohio Content Standards.

Making up a Failed Summative Test:
Students will have to do all the work to make arrangements with me to make up a test. I will not often require students to make up a test because of a poor grade.  This is normally their choice.

If you choose to make up a test grade, it must be done quickly.  Retests will be given the following week after you learn your score. The makeup test may be different and appear more difficult.

Process During Extra Help  (Other times may be arranged)

  1. Wed Extra Help (PLP) : Extra review work is assigned in preparation for most retests, have it for me to check.
  2. Thursday Extra Help (PLP): If all the work is completed, I may have the student verbally answer questions on the corrected test items to check for understanding.  If satisfactory, they may take the retest, or continue studying and arrange to take the retest at another time during the week.

Scores: Your final score for that make up assessment will most often be the best score that have received for the tests taken.  You will be required to successfully complete some remedial work on the information to be tested before a make up test will be offered. 

Content Standards Assessments (SCA-Short Cycle Assessments) will not be eligible for retests.

Course Finals, if different from the SCA, will not be eligible for retests.

There will be no makeup of any summative tests after the grading period ends except for highly unusual circumstances and may need approval by the school administration.

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Classroom Test Policy

If you are in the classroom at the time of the test, you take the test.  No exceptions. 

Those coming back from a long absence will have the opportunity to make up the test.  I feel that it is beneficial for students to see what the test is covering to aid in their studying. 

A single day absence is not grounds for being offered a retest.  Summative tests are announced a week or more in advance and may cover weeks long topics. 

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Science Text Books

Your science books should be at home in order to always have access to your text book for studying purposes.  We have a class set when we use our books in school and you can borrow a book for study halls any time you want. 

I expect you to read each chapter we work on.  If you don't have any assigned homework, you can always be reading the current chapter.  Reading confusing passages in the chapter more than once is good practice.

I also have Guided Reading CDs in MP3 format for each chapter in the 9th grade textbook. If a student wants to borrow it, they are welcome. Copy the files to your MP3 player and open your book.  It follows the text exactly.  This can help a reluctant reader or kick start a study session.  I think I can also make a regular audio cd if it is needed.

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Extra Credit: 

Our school's adopted grading policy does not have extra credit.

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Sick or Absent for more than a day?

I consider it your responsibility to get caught up.  I will not do this for you or chase you down.  I can help, but it is ultimately your own responsibility.

There is no good way to make up for not being in class, but you can do the following to make the absence less damaging to your progress in class. 

While you are out

  1. Read the web page for your class, and take note of what we are covering and what is due in your absence.
  2. Read the sections in the chapter we are covering and answer the section review questions on paper to turn in when you return.  This may be substituted for a classroom exercise grade that you have missed.  Your book should be at home and available to you for this purpose.
  3. Get the Class Notes: Call a class friend or anybody who has me for science to get the notes for the days you were out. I often give handouts out, make a list of any you have missed. 

When you get back

  1. Pick up missing handouts and make arrangements to take any summative tests or labs you have missed.
  2. Formative assessment are usually not made up, but you will want them to study from, correct answers can be borrowed from your classmates.
  3. Summative tests will be made up on your return.  If you come back and we are taking the quiz, you will take it too.  Be ready for them (extended absences will be eligible for a retest). You may have to wait for the class makeup quiz--they are usually different and sometimes appear harder--but you also have more time to prepare.
  4. Summative Labs can be difficult to make up. Arrange to make them up after school or during a PLP period on Wed or Thursday. I am often not able to devote the uninterrupted time needed to set up a make-up lab during the school day.  They take time and often involve lab procedures that require space and safety equipment and can not be accomplished in a classroom filled with students who are not doing the same thing.  Make arrangements with me when you return.

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Behavior Policy

Notes on Class Discipline Referring to Formative Class work
Even though formative class work will not directly affect your grade, it is still required work for my class.  Refusing to do this formative class work, or choosing not to start the work in a timely fashion, is a behavior issue.  Refusing work will result in immediate referral for discipline. 

Not being prepared for class or wasting class time will be referred to the administration for discipline, which is usually a detention--Usually after 3 minor incidences.  This is similar and inline with the school's tardy policy.

Lunch Detention
If you are missing a summative assignment and have not made arrangements to make it up, you may be assigned to Lunch Detention until you have completed your work. 

 

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