Course Syllabus



7th Grade Life Science

TEACHER:    Mr. Marple

TOPICS OF STUDY:                                 

By the end of this school year the students will have a working knowledge of
(1)  the nature of science.

  • scientific method and experimentation
  • the metric system
  • scientific tools, such as microscopes
  • identification keys and field guides

(2)  organisms and cells.

(3)  continuity of life.

  • genetics
  • changes in living things. 

(4)  classification, structure and function of living things.

(5)  ecology.

(6)  watersheds and wetlands.

(7)  natural resources.

(8)  humans and the environment.

(9)  current events in science.


All information will come from PowerPoint Presentations, handwritten notes, graphic organizers, teacher handouts, Internet resources, Current Science magazine, etc.  This course is directly aligned with the topics covered in the Next Generation Science Standards, as well as the Pennsylvania state standards for Science & Technology and Environment & Ecology.



Your grade will be determined by the total-points-method.  Each assignment will be worth a certain number of points.  At the end of the marking period the total number of points you have earned will be divided by the total number of points possible.  You will be required to calculate your own percentage grade for tests, quizzes, investigations and lab reports.


A check system will be used for typical day-to-day homework assignments.  Each assignment will be worth 3 to 5 points. Homework will be collected or checked at the beginning of class unless other directions are given.  Homework assignments will not be returned to you.

Lab Activities/Investigations         

Activities will be done as often as possible and appropriate.  You will be given a due date for lab reports and investigations to be collected in class.  They will be graded and returned as soon as possible.


We will be doing several projects throughout the year.  You will be given guidelines explaining how to complete each project.

Tests and Quizzes

Tests will be given at the end of each major unit.  Quizzes will be given when appropriate.  The questions on tests and quizzes will come directly from topics covered in class.  A study guide will be handed out well in advance of each test.  There are no surprise tests or quizzes.  We will always go over tests and quizzes during class the next day.  There will be a comprehensive final exam at the end of the year


Since this class does not use a textbook the notebook is extremely important.  Notebooks will be checked at the end of each unit.  You will be given a table of contents sheet to help with organization.  You will need a 1½” three-ring binder with a 70 sheet spiral bound notebook.

Extra Credit

Extra credit opportunities will be made available to all students. Take advantage of any chance you get because I don’t give special extra credit assignments to individual students who are doing poorly.  Extra credit problems are sometimes included on tests or quizzes.

Class Participation/Preparation

Participating in class will help you enjoy and be successful in this class.  Participation and preparation will be worth 10 points per marking period.


I will have a conference with each student at mid-term and again at the end of the marking period.  During the conference we will set a goal.  Please take advantage of the resources available on the parent portal (weekly schedule, PowerPoint notes, lab handouts, etc.).  Getting in a habit of checking your grades on the portal is a great idea.


I try very hard to treat all students the same.  My personal feelings will never affect your grade.  The grading scale of the school is: 

93 to 100 - A, 85 to 92 - B, 77 to 84 - C, 70 to 76 - D, 0 to 69 - F.               





 Seats will be changed several times throughout the year.


 We will start class when the bell rings.  You are expected to be on time every day.  If you are late three times during a marking period without a signed passport you will be assigned a lunch detention.

 To be prepared for class you need:

  • a black pen, dark blue pen, or pencil
  • your science notebook
  • your completed homework
  • your attention on the teacher. 

 At the end of the period I will excuse you from class.  Please be patient and don’t put away your materials.  I will not make you late to your next class as long as you continue to pay attention.


 Daily homework assignments that are not handed in when collected in class are considered late.  They will then be worth half credit and will become a zero at the end of the following day.  Major assignments (investigations, lab reports, notebook checks, and projects) will decrease in value 10% per day until they reach half credit (major assignments will become a zero at the end of the unit).  All late work must be placed in the Late Work tray.


             It is your responsibility to find out what you missed while you were gone and get any notes from your partner.  Extra copies of handouts will be on the side counter.  If the topic we covered is complicated, I’ll explain it to you during the bell-ringer or ask you to see me during FLEX.  Homeroom is not a good time to come see me if you've missed class (lunch, FLEX, or after-school are great).

            You are required to make up any back work within a reasonable time after your return to classes.  Every situation is different, so it’s hard to give you a cut-and-dry time period.  Assignments that are not handed in on time due to a valid absence will not be considered late.  Failure to make up any test or back work will result in a zero for that test or assignment.


 Ask as many good questions and make as many good comments as possible.  You must raise your hand. 


If you are a person who likes to talk, there will be times built into class for talking.  For example, you will often be asked to discuss topics and questions with your partner. You are also encouraged to ask good questions and make interesting comments during class discussions.  Please don't talk while I am talking or a classmate is asking/answering a question.  I can't concentrate if people are talking in the background (I’m a terrible multi-tasker) and it’s very impolite to talk when someone else is talking.


Ask me at the door before class or you'll be counted late.  If it's an emergency during class please ask me.


You must sign out and have a signed passport (agenda).


            If you occasionally forget a pencil, ask before the bell rings and I’ll loan you one. I do not give out pencils after the late bell rings and class has started.  If you need to sharpen your pencil during class just get up and do it (don’t raise your hand to ask).


You will find that there are few discipline problems in this classroom.  I think the main reason for this is that I just don’t tolerate inappropriate or impolite behaviors. If there is a problem it will be dealt with immediately.  Consequences may include calling home, lunch detention, after-school detention, spending lunch with me to re-learn the appropriate behavior, etc.


KDM – 2018





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