Wednesday, November 13, 2013

What you Need to Know about Rock Formation

Rock Formation  – You need to know these things.
  • What are the three types of rocks?
  • How does each type of rock form?
  • Which types of rocks can become which other types?
  • What happens to each rock type to make it become another type?
  • What are rocks made of?
  • What rock types are likely to contain fossils?
  • Look back at Activity 21. Be able to answer similar questions, like Analysis 1-3.


Rock Cycle Interactive Activity

Monday, September 23, 2013


All students have completed the following assessments and grades have been entered:

 Scientific Method Quiz-- 10 points.  Students who scored 7 or below are required to complete study information, get parent signature and turn in evidence of studying to take the retest. Any student may choose to complete this same work and retest for a better score.

Retest is scheduled during 7th grade lunch on Friday, September 27, 2013.  All evidence of the study work as well as Parent signature is required for a retest to be allowed.

I recommend that students taking the retest bring their lunch so they will have ample time to complete the retest.

Lab Notebook Check Act 1-5---15 points    This is a check of organization and accurate completion of the Science Lab notebook.  There are no retakes for this assessment.

Information Strip on Claims, Evidence, and the Scientific Method: -10 points All students were given a 4 inch strip of white paper with specific directions to complete using color, words, drawings to share what they understand about the topic.  These have been posted outside my classroom and can be seen at Parent Conferences

Below are links to quiz sites and videos that students can use to prepare for their scientific method retake quiz.  I know they are a little out of order.  Watch part 1 before part 2, and scroll down to see the Mr. Edmunds videos again.  
Videos Part 1 and Part 2
The first one is a person setting up a simple experiment with various things (variables) controlled and an independent variable. He says a couple of things incorrectly. First he makes it sound like the cup of salt water is the independent variable. He does then say it correctly as whether or not it has salt. He also says that the result is the dependent variable. However, it is more accurate to say that what is measured in the outcome is the dependent variable. You should be able to identify the variables before actually conducting the experiment.
Here are a couple of online quizzes that can be good practice!
I did find one mistake on the independent variable on this one.
Part 2 Scientific Method
Part 1 Video Scientific Method

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Progress Reports and Grades

 I apologize for not getting the blog updated this past week.  I will continue to try and do this, but if you have concerns or need specific information and your child cannot help you, then please e-mail me for a quicker response.  

Students Received Progress Reports on Friday, 9/20/13.   

Below I have listed the information from the syllabus about our categories.  In this progress report we have many points related participation. that counts as 10% of their grade.  We only have one assessment score of 10 points that counted as 90% of their grade. A home work optional retest for this quiz was available to students and they were give 3 days to complete and it was due on Thursday, September 12th.  Many did not attempt the retest, or did not get it turned in, a  few did not follow the verbal and written directions given in class for the retest homework assignment.  Because of this decision  not to retest or to complete the retest accurately, some of the Progress Report grades are low.   I am keeping a close watch on the students grades.  Today we had an assessment over scientific method as well as a lab NB quiz that will both go into the 90% category.  If some are still struggling after I have entered those grades, I will contact you and conference with them and determine what we need to do differently for their success.  

From now on, any student who receives a grade of C or lower on an assessment will be required to complete some prep tasks and take a retest.   Students with high grades can have the option of taking the retest

The grades are broken down into categories: participation (10%) and summative assessments (90%). Participation refers to anything that the student is expected to do to be an active participant of the science class, including such things as writing in agenda, homework, in-class assignments, group interactions, etc. Summative assessments are scores based upon the level of understanding the students show related to the science ideas and concepts being taught. Examples of summative assessments include tests, quizzes, some types of projects, verbal checks, etc. The PHM grading scale will be used.

Monday, August 19, 2013

2013-2014 7Th Grade Science Course Syllabus- Toth

Please read through these pages.  On the last page is a document that Parents need to sign and needs to be
returned to me as soon as possible.  This is your first homework assignment for this school year in Science.  Parents may respond electronically via e-mail following the directions listed in the syllabus!!  
Looking forward to a Great Year!    Mrs. Toth

Discovery Middle School
Seventh Grade Science
General Procedures and Policies
(Revised 8-15-13)
Welcome to seventh grade science! I am looking forward to a great year. We will focus on science as a process of problem solving as well as a body of knowledge. Students will be encouraged to ask how things work and “what would happen if...?”  Students will learn how to find the answers to their questions.  We will also integrate and apply the knowledge we have gained to the new things that we are studying. Students will be expected to think rather than to regurgitate facts.  The class will be a mix of hands-on activities and experiments combined with reading, writing, discussions and projects as well as tests and quizzes. Various sources will supplement the text book (SEPUP - Science Education for Public Understanding Program) to enrich the learning process. The science notebook is very important.

Contact Information (E-mail is the best and most effective way to contact me.) 
Mrs. Sheila Toth   Voice Mail: 258-9521 ext 41206            email:        

Materials Needed
Bring our science supplies with you to class every day. These include science notebook, textbook, pen, pencil, agenda planner, calculator if you have one, and paper. If you will go to the following link:

This is the homepage for LAB-AIDS, Inc. At the top right of the screen, Login as: STUDENT Enter your USERNAME (dms30)and PASSWORD (stoth) to log in. You have access to 7th Grade Science.-Online textbook

Classroom Conduct
The daily agenda will be posted in the front of the room. All students are expected to copy this into their agendas.  Classroom rules are basically to be Respectful and Responsible and to AIM High (showing a positive attitude, integrity, and making a difference). Combining these basic rules with being open to learning new concepts is a recipe for success.

Classroom Discipline Steps: (per class or within a short period of class days if this behavior is recurring)
                1. Verbal Warning
                2. Conference between student and teacher with possible additional consequences
                3. Contact home and develop an action plan
                4. Office notified via Incident Report, possible parent meeting
                5. To be determined based upon circumstances


Homework and Grading
I do not assign “busy work,” therefore sometimes there will be no “official” homework. However science is a subject with lots of new vocabulary and many connections with mathematical concepts.  On nights without written homework, students should spend at least fifteen minutes studying and reviewing concepts and vocabulary terms (nightly). Since homework is a learning opportunity, we will generally go over the homework in class.

The grades are broken down into categories: participation (10%) and summative assessments (90%). Participation refers to anything that the student is expected to do to be an active participant of the science class, including such things as writing in agenda, homework, in-class assignments, group interactions, etc. Summative assessments are scores based upon the level of understanding the students show related to the science ideas and concepts being taught. Examples of summative assessments include tests, quizzes, some types of projects, verbal checks, etc. The PHM grading scale will be used.

Late Science Work
Late work will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Make-up Work (from Absence)
If you are absent on the day an assignment is due, it needs to be turned in immediately on your first day back.   
To find out about missed work, students are to check the absent make up counter for any needed forms for their lab notebook. Students are responsible for getting any other paperwork, getting notes from a classmate, and asking for any clarification from the teacher. Schedule any make-up quizzes or tests at this time. Work assigned before the absence should be turned in immediately following the student's return. This is the student's responsibility. No reminders will be given. Please write "absent" and the date on the assignment. Notebook checks are also the student's responsibility.

Making up lab activities:
If a lab needs to be made up, the student is to make arrangements with the teacher, find a classmate to help before school or at lunch, or copy relevant information from a classmate, or take the lab materials home (provided by teacher) if appropriate. (Teacher will make this decision.) Answers to Analysis Questions and assessments are NOT to be copied. Some labs cannot be made up, and student will need to get data from a classmate. The blog is a useful resource. Please check it when absent if possible.

Each quarter, students will take a pre-assessment (not a grade) and a post-assessment (counted as a grade). We will develop formative assessments (not for grade) each quarter based on the lowest performing indicators from the pre-assessment. These will help students recognize their strengths and areas for growth each quarter. Students will complete a Performance Task each quarter. Performance Tasks are quite broad, encompassing a range of tasks. They allow students to complete an in-depth project that demonstrates analytical skills and real-world problem solving.

The newest Indiana Standards and Indicators are listed in the front of the student textbook and available online at Each indicator is listed in the student book with the unit(s) and activity number(s) in which the indicator is addressed. Most activities address multiple indicators, and indicators are addressed multiple times in a unit or even over the course of the school year. Below are the Core Standards and the approximate time frame in which they will be addressed. There will be some overlap, with Standards 5 and 6 being year-long, and Standard 2 beginning in Quarter 1.

Quarter 1
Standard 5: The Nature of Science
Students gain scientific knowledge by observing the natural and constructed world, performing and evaluating investigations, and communicating their findings.

Standard 6: The Design Process
As citizens of the constructed world, students will participate in the design process. Students will learn to use materials and tools safely and employ the basic principles of the engineering design process in order to find solutions to problems.

Quarter 2
Standard 2: Earth and Space Systems
Describe how earth processes have shaped the topography of the earth and have made it possible to measure geological time.

Quarter 3
Standard 3: Life Science
Understand the cellular structure of single-celled and multicellular organisms.

Standard 4: Science, Engineering and Technology
Design and construct a device that converts energy from one form to another to perform work.

Quarter 4
Standard 1: Physical Science
Explain that energy cannot be created or destroyed but instead can only be changed from one form into another or transferred from place to place.
Describe and investigate how forces between objects can act at a distance or by means of direct contact between objects.

Field Trips and Media
We will take a field trip to the P-H-M DVT (Digital Video Theater) for connections to Standard 3.
To support and make connections with curriculum, we may view any of the following in whole or in part:
Ice Age 4: Continental Drift, Robots, iRobot. If you do not wish your child to see any of these, please let me know. I will find an alternative for them.
Extra Credit and Retakes
Retakes should be taken on assigned dates, at assigned times. Please do not wait until the end of the quarter to decide you want to retake something from weeks earlier.
Extra Credit is generally not provided at the end of a quarter. Students have the opportunity to retake almost any quiz/test or fix any assignment to earn back half credit.

Guidelines for Safety in SEPUP Class

Before the Investigation
   Listen carefully to your teacher's instructions.
   Use only those materials or chemicals needed in the investigation.
   Know location of emergency equipment such as fire extinguisher, fire blanket, eye wash station.
   Tie back or remove dangling items, such as jewelry, sleeves, bags, and long hair.
   Let your teacher know if you have any medical conditions that may affect your
              ability to perform the lab such as an allergy or injury.
                                 During the Investigation
    Follow all written and verbal instructions given by your teacher.
    Don't eat, drink, chew gum, or apply cosmetics in the lab area.
    Wear safety goggles for any investigation that uses chemicals.
    Read all labels on chemical bottles before using.
    Keep all containers closed when chemicals are not being used.
    Do not touch, taste, or smell any chemical unless your are instructed to do so by teacher.
    Only mix chemicals as directed.
    Don't engage in horseplay in the lab area.
    Report any accidents to your teacher immediately.
    Not sure what to do? Ask!
                                    After the Investigation
    Dispose of all materials as instructed by your teacher.
    Clean up your work area, wash out trays, and replace bottles caps securely.
    Return all equipment to its proper place.
    Wash your hands after every experiment.

----------------------------------------- Cut here and return or email your confirmation of the policies. -----------------
7th Grade Science Syllabus
Signature Form

If you would like to be contacted by me electronically, please email me with your name, your child's name, grade, and science period (if you know it).

We have read and understand the 7th grade science syllabus, policies, and procedures and guidelines for safety.

____________________________                            __________________________
Student Name Printed                                                            Due date
____________________________                            __________________________

Parent Signature

Parents may also email in lieu of a signature. Please include your child's name and class period. Thank you.

I do not wish my child to watch the following videos that were listed in the syllabus:

(List them here, please.)