Welcome to Mrs. Thall’s Science Class 2009

Hi everyone!

What a wonderful time to be teaching and learning about science!  There are so many exciting and fascinating things happening in the world of science today—forensics, explorations of our solar system and beyond, nanotechnology, genetically modified foods, the hydrogen economy and the search for alternative energy sources, global warming, genetic research and other medical breakthroughs—to name just a few.  While we have a course of study that does not include all of these topics, there will be time to explore some of your interests beyond our course of study.  Come to class with questions and a desire to explore!!

Topics to Study this Year: Turn over this page for an abbreviated list.  See my website, www.mrsthall.com, for further information.  Do you have a particular interest?  Let me know!

Textbook:  During the year you will receive at least 3 books in the Science Explorer series.  But know that the textbooks and additional resources are also available online.   More about this later.

Homework:  There will be a basic pattern for homework, although many weeks will vary.  Generally, expect to have some type of vocabulary homework on Mondays, reading and writing of a science related article on Tuesdays, creating questions for a quiz on Wednesdays, studying for a quiz on Thursdays and a short quiz on Fridays. 

Grading:  Grades for each term will be based on the following:

1.      Homework 10%

2.      Class work 10%

3.      Tests and quizzes 30%

4.      Labs, usually done in class 20%

5.      Projects, some done in class, some done outside class 30%

Extra Help:  Extra help is available after school, and sometimes during X Period.  I usually plan to stay on Tuesdays for extra help, but you are encouraged to make an appointment to stay on another day, if Tuesday will not work.

Sometimes 7th grade can be a stressful period.  Please do not hesitate to talk to me or any teacher on our team, about anything that concerns you.  We are here every day until well after school dismissal and are always available to help, whether it is extra help for our subject, or just somebody to talk to.

Final Thought: I hope and expect us to have a very successful year.  For my part, I need to constantly think about the needs of my students, which I think I do.  For your part, you need to come to class each day prepared for the work that lies ahead and prepared to give your best every day.  This means doing homework, studying for tests and quizzes, researching projects, doing work on time, behaving in class and maintaining a positive attitude toward school.  Please promise me, and most of all yourself, that you will try to do this on a regular basis.   Here’s to a great year of science exploration!



Topics of Study

1. Experimental Design:  Recognize the independent, dependent and control variables in an experiment and graph correctly the independent and dependent variables.  Understand the scientific method.

2. Energy:  We will be using the electromagnetic spectrum to help us understand energy in its various forms.

3. Physical Science:  Differentiate between the mass, volume and density of an object.  Correctly use graduated cylinders, triple-beam balances, rulers and computer probes to conduct reliable scientific investigations.

4. Astronomy:  Know and be able to illustrate the bodies composing the solar system, their similarities and differences, and the effects of gravity upon them.  Recognize the relative positions of the Earth, moon and sun as they relate to the seasons, tides, eclipses, and phases of the moon.  Recognize that the universe contains many billions of stars.

5. Ecosystems:  Describe an ecosystem and summarize the interactions that occur between abiotic and biotic components of the ecosystem.  Identify ways in which ecosystems have changed over time.

6. Weather and Climate:  Differentiate among radiation, conduction, and convection, the three mechanisms by which heat is transferred through the Earth’s system.  Explain the relationship among the energy provided by the sun, the global patterns of atmospheric movement, and the temperature differences among water, land and atmosphere.

7. Motion and Force:  Determine the speed and velocity of objects in motion and be able to construct and interpret graphs of distance versus time to represent their motion. Recognize the difference between potential and kinetic energy.