Welcome to Ms. Ferguson’s 8th-grade science class!
We will fix problems that we see in our day-to-day lives, with science, by mastering an average of 80% of the skills and knowledge in our science learning goals.
The best way to contact me by is either by email at email@example.com or through either the Remind app (for parents) or Teams (for students). Both apps are free and will help us communicate throughout the year.
To use the Remind app, text @cb69dh to 81010.
If you need to contact me by phone you may do so during the school day by calling 314-241-2295, my extension is 22205.
Because the district has distributed iPads to students, this is the only class material your students will outright need. If there is any change to this policy or more materials are needed, I will send out a class list at that time.
The District grading scale as applied to points earned by the end of a grading period is as follows: A = 100-90%, B = 89-80% C = 79-70, D- = 69-60%, F = 59% and below.
- Each grade recorded into the teacher’s grade book will be recorded on a point basis. A grade may count more than once depending on the length of time and importance of the work assessed. The final grade will be a percent of the total points possible.
- Failing to master essential core content is not an option. Students who do not demonstrate their ability to master essential concepts through successful completion of the assigned class work will be given an opportunity to get one on one help after school. Teacher will actively engage students that do not progress in re-teaching situations making every effort to ensure each student successfully masters essential core concepts.
- All students do not learn the same way, or on the same day. Students will have the option, therefore, to petition the teacher for an additional opportunity to demonstrate their mastery of a concept previously evaluated. Re-testing will be before or after school as scheduled with the teacher. The test or quiz will not be the same as the original but it will evaluate the same skills or knowledge. If the student demonstrates a higher level of mastery, the higher grade will replace the original test or quiz grade.
Our goal for the year is to fix problems that we see in our day-to-day lives, with science!! We will see problems in our community as science concepts we can tackle. To do this I need to encourage asking questions, making science accessible, and teaching my students about the importance of community. In my classroom, I want my students to share successes and work to improve pitfalls as a group. If my students start working together they can become assets to their communities by working together to overcome both logistical and scientific obstacles.
To support these efforts, students will be practicing mindfulness at the beginning of every class to help ground them in the moment and become more effective in the work that they do.
Labor Day (9/7)
Election Day (11/3)
Veterans Day (11/11)
Fall Break (11/25-11/27)
Winter Break (12/21-12/25)
Winter Break (12/28 - 1/1)
MLK Day (1/18)
Presidents Day (2/15)
Spring Break (3/22-3/26)
Memorial Day (5/31)
We will use the following apps / websites for as long as students have access to iPads:
- Microsoft Teams (as a hub for general classwork)
- Padlet (to make driving question boards; bulletin boards; post assignments)
- FlipGrid (to give verbal responses; to share related phenomena)
- InnerOrbit (for assessments)
- RocketLit (for readings and articles)
- Remind (for parent communication)
For each quarter, we will discuss as a class the specific ways that students could demonstrate these classroom values and skills. We will use this to create a checklist. Students will do a self-assessment using this checklist. They will complete a reflection on one of the skills they want to specifically focus on for the quarter, and how they are going to do that. At the end of the quarter, they will do a self-reflection on the extent to which they have met their personal goal.
- I am curious about what I see.
- I like to explore new places.
- I look into what I do not know.
- I see my peers' success as my own.
- I actively listen when people talk.
- I compassionately believe that others have the best intentions.
- I see problems in my community as problems that I can solve.
- I believe the best way to solve problems is with others.
- I know how to reach out to others for help.
- I work with others to solve challenging problems.
- I value listening to other people’s thoughts and ideas.
- I value different ideas because I know it makes the product better in the end.
- I see failure as an opportunity to learn and improve.
- I cannot achieve any breakthroughs or innovative ideas without failure.
- I am willing to share my ideas, even if I think I might be wrong.
“Mr. Ferguson’s Rules for Herself”
- I listen to one person at a time.
- I listen to students who raise their hands and wait to be called on.
- I will always do my best to help you.
- I will spend most of my time helping you see what you do well, not what you do poorly.
- Engage in coursework. Everyone has the right to, and should expect to, learn. Students will do this by asking questions, giving answers, and completing classwork thoroughly. Engagement will be persistently pursued. “I don’t know,” will not get you out of answering the question. We will all help each other get to the right answer, compassionately and patiently.
- Hard work is necessary for learning. Develop and maintain a growth mindset. This means believing that intelligence and learning can be developed and improved, having a positive attitude toward learning, and believing in your and others’ ability to progress and achieve. If you have a fixed mindset, we as a class will work to support your ideas about growth through community support, especially from the teacher.
- Each individual is worthy of respect. I will treat you with respect so you will know how to treat me. Feel free to do anything that doesn’t cause a problem for anyone else. If you cause a problem, I will ask you to solve it. Hate and violence are unacceptable in this class. Remember to “Do the Right Thing.” If you choose not to “Do the Right Thing,” then you will be asked to solve the problem. If you do nothing, I will do something so that as many parties as possible are pleased.
- Classroom orderliness is necessary for an effective classroom. Be in their seats and prepared for class when the bell rings. Being prepared for class means having all materials (module, lab notebook, pencil, calculator, iPad) out and ready, checking the board for assignments, and starting the Warm-Up. Virtually, this means being logged into Zoom with your class notebook open on Teams, mic muted, and video on. If you are not ready when class starts, you will be prompted to be so and I will help guide you if needed. Not participating is not an option.
- Respect the floor. Talking while the teacher is instructing or while other students are presenting will not be permitted. Listen the first-time directions are given. If you feel something is unfair, have a superb question I couldn’t get to, or have any other comments or concerns make sure to write me a note and hand it to me at the end of class so I can address it. I will respond to these. Virtually, this means keeping your mic muted unless called upon, using the hand-raising feature to let me know you want to talk, and using the Question Board on Padlet to pose questions I cannot get to. If you are off-task or disruptive, I will again ask you to fix the problem. If not, I will ask you to separate yourself from the rest of the class as to not distract them or you. Virtually, I will either mute you or temporarily bump you.