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Russell O. Brackman Middle School

8th Grade Integrated Science- Syllabus

Course Information:

Teacher Information:

Course : Integrated Science

Name(s): Theresa Howanich

Full Year

Phone: 609-698-5880 Ext. 4092

Class Location: Room # 205

Email: thowanich

Teacher Website: Visit, Brackman- teacher websites- Theresa Howanich

Course Description:

This is a yearlong course designed to familiarize students with important material in earth, life, and physical science topics which are an extension of what was taught in sixth and seventh grade science classes. The ultimate goal is to prepare students for high school science and career and college readiness.

The curriculum is aligned to the NGSS, or Next Generation Science Standards. Activities outlined in this curriculum infuse the Standards for Science Practices.  In alignment to the content and practice standards,  students will extend their knowledge of science through explanation of natural phenomenon, investigative and CER (claim, evidence, reasoning) activities, and in engaging in small group discovery stations.

Students use science to understand, interact, and explain the natural world and their environment. Some of the topics that will be discovered are the earth's layers, the rock cycle, erosion, cell structure and theory, genetics, and wave behavior. Please visit my website to get a full description of topics as they pertain to the course's scope and sequence.

Course Competencies/ Learning Objectives:

Students who successfully complete 8th grade integrated science will be competent in the following areas:

  • Students will be able to develop and use a model to describe phenomena.
  • Students will be able to use an oral and written argument supported by evidence to support or refute an explanation or a model for a phenomenon.
  • Students will be able to gather, read, and synthesize information from multiple appropriate sources and assess the credibility, accuracy, and possible bias of each publication and methods used, and describe how they are supported or not supported by evidence.
  • Students will be able to conduct an investigation to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence that meet the goals of an investigation.
  • Students will be able to use mathematical representations to describe and/or support scientific conclusions and design solutions.

Course Texts / Online Resources:

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Science Fusion: three separate workbooks on The Dynamic Earth, Cells & Heredity, and Sound & Light

Required Materials:

  • A 3-ringed binder that is color coordinated to Class period (please see main page of website for details)
  • Binders can stay in classroom unless the student wants to take it home for studying, but needs to be brought back to class the next day
  • Pens and/or pencils required daily
  • A homework folder which will be distributed by the teacher

Attendance Policy:

Regular and prompt class attendance is an essential part of the educational experience.  The Barnegat Township School District expects students to be responsible and exercise good judgment regarding attendance and absences.  Students accept full responsibility for ensuring that they complete any/all work missed due to absences.

Course Topic Outline

Please find a list of the units for this course:

Content  Area: Science

Course Title: Integrated Science

Grade Level: 8

Unit 1: The Dynamic Earth

3 months

Unit 2: Cells & Heredity

4 months

Unit 3: Sound & Light

3 months

Student Grades:

The grading system for this course is based on the category weights listed in each department’s policy.  For this course, those weights are listed below. Each marking period, students will have a minimum of three (3) Major Assessments and five (5) Minor Assessments (explained below).  Homework is graded for completion, and Class Participation is assessed using the district rubric.

Major Assessments


50% of marking period grade

Minor Assessments


30% of marking period grade

Class Participation


10% of marking period grade



10% of marking period grade


Class Participation Rubric:

Meets or Exceeds


100 - 93

The student:

  • ensures that the class is a community of respect;  
  • consistently arrives prepared for class;
  • voluntarily participates on a consistent basis;
  • consistently remains focused and on task;
  • initiates and sustains discussion;
  • evaluates and responds to peer points;
  • consistently demonstrates leadership in collaborative activities.

Approaches Expectations

92 - 85

The student:

  • recognizes the class as a community of respect;
  • usually arrives prepared for class;
  • willingly participates on a regular basis;  
  • remains focused and on-task on a regular basis;  
  • contributes to discussion on a regular basis;
  • listens to and responds to peer points;
  • contributes to collaborative activities on a consistent basis.

Does Not Meet Expectations

84 - 70

The student:

  • fails to recognize the class as a community of respect;
  • frequently arrives unprepared for class;
  • rarely participates, even when called upon;
  • lacks focus and rarely remains on task;
  • rarely engages in discussion;
  • reacts to peer points rather than responds;
  • rarely engages in collaborative activities.

  • Examples of Major Assessments include items that are summative in nature, such as: tests, projects, labs, lab reports, or any other type of assessment used to capture evidence of learning at the culmination of a unit of study.   
  • Examples of Minor Assessments include items that are formative in nature, such as: quizzes, mini labs, in class worksheets, or any other type of assessment that is diagnostic in nature and used to guide instruction and provide ongoing feedback to students.  
  • Note: grades for individual assignments are entered into Genesis for the marking period in which the assignment is assigned and collected, and not a subsequent marking period.   
  • Extra Credit will only be available for assignments that have been approved ahead of time by the teacher and department supervisor.  
  • In this course, it is expected that students will submit only their best work, and teachers reserve the right not to accept work that is substantially below what a student is capable of producing.  

Plagiarism, Cheating, and Academic Integrity:

The Barnegat Township School District places a strong emphasis on students’ integrity, and the district will not tolerate instances of academic dishonesty.  Plagiarism is the practice of copying words, sentences, images, or ideas for use in written or oral assessments without giving proper credit to the source. Cheating is defined as the giving or receiving of illegal help on anything that has been determined by the teacher to be an individual effort.  Both are considered serious offenses and are subject to consequences described in the Student Handbook and Board Policy #5701.

Classroom Expectations:

  1. All school rules and policies apply to this class.  
  2. The teacher and students will work together for a respectful, safe classroom.
  3. Students will come to class on time, prepared, and ready to learn.
  4. Students will complete all assignments, including homework, by all deadlines.  Make-up work is only accepted after an excused absence. It is your responsibility to see me for your work.
  5. Students will actively participation in class discussions and other activities in order to enhance their learning experiences.
  6. Cell phones, iPods, or any other personal electronic devices are prohibited in class at any time.
  7. Practice Lab Safety as outlined in the Lab Safety Contract.

Extra Help and Support:

If you need additional help, there are a variety of options for you, including:

  • Lunch time, before/after school help sessions with your teacher
  • Peer tutoring from NJHS students
  • Free online tutoring with Brainfuse (available from the Barnegat Library website)

As your teacher, I am committed to your success.   If you need help, please ask!

Please detach and submit to Mrs. Howanich by Friday, September 14, 2018

I have read and understand the syllabus for 8th grade integrated Science.

___________________________________ ______________________________________

Student Signature Print Name

___________________________________ ______________________________________

Parent/Guardian Signature Print Name