8th Grade Science Syllabus

Instructor: Chris Bergmann
Phone: (970)488-5452

Welcome!I am excited about the opportunity to have you in this science class here at Kinard. I believe the words intriguing, challenging, inter-active, relevant and fun will describe this course. This is a year long integrated science course which builds upon the foundations of the Core Knowledge Curriculum. The topics included in this class incorporate specific elements from the Colorado Department of Education Science Standards as well as additional material from the Core Knowledge Curriculum. Combined, this curriculum is content rich and provides authentic, real-world relevancy.

Curriculum Sequence
1st Semester
  • History of Science & Gravity
  • Chemistry- Air Quality
  • Physics – Motion, Forces

2nd Semester
  • Physics – Work, Energy, Power
  • Electromagnetic Radiation and Waves
  • Sound & Light Waves
  • Energy
  • Electricity and Magnetism

Materials Needed For Class
The following sections briefly describe the expectations and specifics of this class.
  • Spiral Notebook (Specific to Science)
  • Paper, pen, pencil, colored pencils, glue stick, ruler, calculator, graph paper (about 15 sheets),
  • Planner/calendar for recording assignments
  • Textbooks are available online HERE
    • To access the online textbook, please refer to the login information given in class

Learning Opportunities
  • In-Class Activities (Hands-On, Inquiry)
  • Homework Practice
  • Labs
  • Projects (group & individual)

Assessments of Learning
The goal of standards based grading and reporting is to provide an authentic description of a student's proficiency on each of the Colorado Science Standards. The goal of your grade is to represent all elements of learning and adequately illustrate the areas of strength and focused growth. Each unit will consist of a list of essential learning goals that are directly from the Core Knowledge curriculum and CDE Standards. Grades will be updated every two weeks and is available at any time using the Pinnacle Internet Viewer program. You can also find a link to this site on the Kinard Homepage. Please do not hesitate to contact me regarding any assessment of learning if you are confused or need to clarify a grade. It is my intention that there will be no surprises (for students, teachers and parents).

  • Formative Assessments: These assessments will be given weekly in a variety of formats (quizzes, lab activities, projects, and assignments). The purpose of these assessments is to give an intermediate check point of proficiency on any given standard so that it informs teaching and student learning goals for the future. These assessments can and should be corrected until the student reaches proficiency or until the unit summative assessment is given (See FAQ below). 30% of Total Grade

  • Summative Assessments: Includes all unit tests and some lab write-ups/projects. These assessments are given after the culmination of all unit lessons and they are used to measure the level of proficiency relating to state standards and all essential learnings of the unit. Students are expected to adequately prepare for these assessments, as there are no opportunities for retakes! 70% of Total Grade

  • Work Habits and Practice: All other items and daily tasks done throughout the unit will be classified as work habits. These items will be documented in gradebook, as non-graded items, to be used as communication tool between teachers, students, and parents in regards to student progress. These grades are not included in the calculation of the final cumulative grade. (See work habits rubric below) 0% of Total Grade

Opportunities for Improving Your Grade - See FAQ Below
  • It is my intent that you do the best you can on every assignment.
  • To ensure that students have reached proficiency levels, they may be asked to complete or re-do certain assignments.
  • Extra credit is not a regular part of the curriculum and will not be offered as a substitute for poor quality or missing work.

Missing Work and Late Work Policy- See FAQ BelowIt is my intent that every student submits high quality work on time for all assignments. Core Knowledge science curriculum requires that assignments are relevant and contextual to the current unit of study to be most effective. Knowing this, the following system will be used for missing or late assignments:
  • A late assignment will be considered if a proactive email or phone call is sent from the student PRIOR to the required due date.
    • If there is communication prior to the required due date, then the teacher will decide whether to accept the assignment for full credit on an individual basis.
    • No late or missing work will be accepted after the current unit of study for that assignment has past. The work must be completed while it is still relevant to the current subject matter.
    • If a pattern of missing assignments develops, a parent conference will be scheduled and an individual plan will be implemented.

Classroom Expectations: Kinard Character, the 6 P’s, and Attending SkillsIt is my intention and expectation that all students, faculty and visitors in our science class conduct themselves in a manner aligned with these three categories.
Kinard Character
The “6 P’s”
Attending Skills
Prompt – Be where I belong
Be in the Moment
Prepared – I have materials and am ready to learn
Eye Contact
Positive Mental Attitude – think positive
Appropriate Feedback
Participate – follow direction and engage in learning
Appropriate Body Language

Polite – Speak and act with dignity and respect
Ask Questions for Clarification

Produce – complete assignments to the best of my ability

How to be Successful in Science?Success is our Goal!! I will make the time to see that your needs are met: Several suggestions I can offer:
  • Please ask questions in class. If you have a question, chances are good that others have questions too.
  • Plan to stop by and talk to me before or after school.
  • Have fun, and participate!
  • Communicate your needs to me. Be proactive in seeking help.
  • Utilize my web page for access to what we are learning, our weekly plan, homework, and conversation starters for families.
  • Utilize school wide Homework Help (after school help sessions held daily)
  • Ask Mr. B. to help you out! I am more than willing to take extra time before or after school to get you the help that you need.

Frequently Asked Questions...

What should I do if I don't do so well on an assignment or quiz?
  • Step 1. The student should have a conversation with Mr. B outside of regular class time.
  • Step 2. The student should communicate the mistakes with parents and brainstorm a study plan with the teacher to improve on the concepts that were missed.
  • Step 3. The parent should send an email or phone communication to Mr. B acknowledging that they know about the poor grade and that the student has taken steps to fix it.
  • Step 4. The student brings back evidence of practice and new learning to show Mr. B that they have improved
  • Step 5. As a result of steps 1-4 the student will then have a chance to re-master the essential learning or assignment.
    • Note: If a pattern of incomplete work is starting to occur, these steps will be differentiated and we will start with a parent conference.

What is the difference between a weekly quiz and a unit assessment?
  • Weekly quizzes are quick checks for understanding on current essential learning targets. They are just like practice for a big game. In fact, the same types of questions that show up in weekly quizzes are likely to show up again during a unit assessment (so it's important to keep them and review them before a big test). If the student doesn't do so well on a quiz, they are welcome to try again after following steps 1-5 in the previous section above. Remember, fixing any grade begins with a teacher-student conversation. However, these quizzes can only be corrected up until the day of big unit assessment. After the test, quiz scores will freeze because the class will be moving into a new phase studying a new topic.
  • Unit Assessments are a final snapshot of the student's understanding of a particular unit that includes all essential learning targets from the quizzes leading up to the test. Think of these tests as the "Big Game". You can do a lot of studying and practice leading up to the big game, but you cannot change the outcome after it is over.

What should I do if I'm absent and miss class?
  • Step 1. Check the website here to see a calendar and read about all activities that occurred while the student was away.
  • Step 2. Print out any handouts and assignments that were described from the unit resources page.
  • Step 3. Collaborate with peers to get caught up
  • Step 4. Check with Mr. B when you get back to school to explain what you know and ask if there is anything else that needs to be done or turned in.

What should I do if I am confused and don't understand the subject we are studying?
  • Set up a study time with Mr. Bergmann outside of class so that you can get support. He is glad to help!
  • Ask a friend to tutor you and catch you up :-)

What should I do if I have a missing or late assignment?
  • It is the students responsibility to speak up for themselves and ask Mr. B for missing work without the teacher having to hunt down the student. The student needs to complete all work that was assigned during the time of an absence without the teacher asking them to do so. If they get stuck or confused on the requirements, they should ask the teacher for help. They have 2 days to complete missing work for each day that they are gone. If a student does not complete the assignment within this required time frame, it is considered late.
  • For all late assignments, please follow the same 5 step process listed above for correcting an assignment.
  • If there is a pattern of multiple late assignments, then the process will change and it begins with a parent-student-teacher conference to help support the learning gaps that are occurring.
  • All late assignments need to be completed prior to the end of a unit. Any missing or late assignments will be counted as a 0 in the Work Habits rubric and this value will not change, even after the student completes the work.