Class Routines and Procedures
Eighth grade science is a survey course that covers the disciplines of chemistry, physics, geology, archeology, ecology, biology, astronomy, and atmospheric and oceanic sciences--all in two semesters. Students who hope to be successful in understanding and applying all of this material must be disciplined, efficient, and focused. The class procedures and routines below are intended to facilitate discipline and efficiency. That will allow me to concentrate on getting and keeping all of my students focused. There are sanctions for repeatedly failing to follow these procedures and routines.
1. Instructional Preparation. This is what you must do in order to get the most out of each daily lesson. Complete the assignment and all personal activities prior to entering the classroom. Enter the room quietly and go directly to your seat. As soon as you take your seat, follow the agenda for that day. Be in your seats quietly working as the tardy bell rings. The class will start promptly at the tardy bell. Personal requests will not be honored at the beginning of class before the entire class understands that days learning objective and begins to work on it. During class, pay attention and participate to the best of your ability. Take good notes and be efficient with your time. Plan to remain in class the entire time.
2. How I get your attention. When I need to get your attention, I will flicker the lights twice or say "lights" two times. When you see the "lights flicker" or you hear me say "lights" twice:
a. Stop what you are doing.
b. Turn to face me while standing up.
c. Point to me with your right hand.
d. Remain silent, standing, and pointing at me until I say "SEATS".
e. Then, take your seats, remaining silent, and listen to the important information I have for you.
3. How you get my attention. When you want to: (a) speak out in class, (b) ask or answer a question, (c) comment to the class, (d) get out of your seat, (e) be excused to the rest room, (f) or any other requests--raise your hand. There are penalties for students who continually fail to follow this procedure.
4. Learning Log & Randolph Middle School Agenda. You are required to bring your learning log and your Randolph Middle School Student Agenda to class everyday. As noted in the course syllabus, the Learning Log & Randolph Middle School Agenda account for 10% of your total grade. The learning log will contain three tabs: 1. Notes & Study Guides (containing all study guides—most recent on top), 2. Administration (containing administrative handouts such as the course syllabus, class routines and safety contract—most recent on top), and 3. My Best Work (containing your graded work). The Randolph Middle School Agenda book is required and only the first copy will be issued to each student free of charge. Students must pay for the 2nd and subsequent ones. Therefore, as soon as you get one, immediately place your name in it. Expect questions from both of these books to appear on no-notice quizzes and major exams for bonus points.
5. Heading. In an effort to reduce confusion, we will use the heading assigned by your Language Arts teacher. Additionally, you must place the complete heading on the front of your work and also your name on the back of all documents to be graded. Graded work returned by students will be upside down to prevent students from viewing grades of their classmates. The heading is worth 5 points on some written assignments.
6. Seats by the tardy bell. You will be counted late if you are not in the room by the tardy bell. Two tardies equal one after school detention. Three tardies equal two after school detentions. In addition, your class will lose 200 choice time points each time you are not in your seat and following the agenda by the tardy bell. Once in your seats, please remain there until I give you permission to leave it. I am especially uncomfortable with students wandering around our classroom without permission. Please stay in your seat or obtain my permission in order to leave it.
7. Choice time. Choice time is your reward for doing an outstanding job during the week. It means that for a limited time (20 minutes), the students from each class that obtains the required points can choose their own individual activity on choice days (Fridays). Choice time rules are simple: (1) you must remain in the classroom (except for liberal rest room and water breaks), (2) your behavior must allow other students to study, and (3) you must abide by all district and school rules. I will not require you to do any of my work. You simply choose to do your own work based on your own priorities. Additionally, The class with the most points not only earns 20 minutes of choice time, but also gets to pick activities from a student generated list that they can also do the following week.
8. Clean your area prior to leaving. Each member of your table is responsible for cleaning up their mess so the next class will have a clean area to work in. The easiest way to do this is to keep your area clean and neat in the first place. Do not mark on the tables or chairs. Do not allow members of other groups to leave unwanted material in your area--I will still hold you responsible.
9. Dismissal. I will dismiss your class at the appropriate time--not the bell. Everyone must continue working until I dismiss you. All students must be in their assigned seats prior to dismissal. You will lose 50 Choice Time points if you attempt to leave before I have dismissed you. Finally, even though I have dismissed the class, you may not leave until you have quietly pushed your stool under the table.
10. Class Rules. Class rules must be memorized and applied throughout the year. I expect you to say or write them exactly as I have given them to you whenever asked. That includes: the correct order, correct placement of commas, correct use of apostrophes, correct use of capital letters, and correct use of periods. Follow the intent of the class rules: be respectful, be thoughtful, be helpful, be courteous, be honest, and be diligent.
11. Personal requests (calling home, rest room, water, pencil sharpener, go see another teacher, go to the office, etc.). Personal requests will not be honored at the beginning of class before the entire class understands that days' learning objective and begins to work on it. That is why important personal requests that can't wait until 10-15 minutes after the tardy bell must be accomplished: (1) at home before school, (2) at school before classes begin, (3) at school before my class begins, or (4) during the 5 minute passing period before my class begins. I will generally be unsympathetic to any excuses as to why some urgent action could not have been completed in any one of the above time periods.
12. Failure to bring materials to class. As a minimum, you are required to bring the following materials to class everyday: (a) your learning log and your Randolph Middle School Student Agenda, (b) something to write with, and (c) something to write on. All assignments (especially homework) are due at the beginning of class. You will not be allowed to leave the classroom in order to retrieve homework that you failed to bring to class when due. In such cases, you will be awarded a grade of 51 for failing to bring your homework to class. You may not make up that homework assignment. Your class will lose 100 Choice Time points if you do not bring the minimum material to class.
13. Non-science work during science class. You are not permitted to do non-science academic work during my science class without my expressed permission.
14. Academic Coaching. These sessions are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:05 P.M. until 3:55 P.M. Students may stay the entire time or just long enough for me to answer their questions. Parents are welcome to attend as well. In addition, academic coaching is also available during adviso