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2017-18 Syllabus  

Physical Science

8th Grade

Course Syllabus -2017-18

Instructor: Ms. Ruth Bealle


Room Number: Classroom 136 and Lab 142

School Phone: 221-2240

Ms. Bealle’s School Email Address:

School Website:

Remind101: 263-8801, text @msbealle

Conference Times: 6:45 am – 7:00 am and after school by appointment only. Please email me to schedule appointments for conferences.

Textbook: Physical Science, McGraw-Hill/Glencoe, 2015. Your student will not be assigned a book to take home. We will have a class set of books in the classroom that we will use and your student will have free access to an online copy of our book. I will send more information on how to access the online text next week.

Course Description: This course covers basic principles from chemistry, physics, and physical science. Students will engage in hands-on activities to study, states and properties of matter, atomic structure, chemical reactions, Newton’s Laws, energy, sound/light, electricity and magnetism. AMSTI (Alabama Mathematics, Science, Technology Institute) laboratory exercises are central to the course and for that reason students need to attend daily and follow all lab safety procedures. The lab safety contract is attached. Students will also use science, technology, and mathematics during engaging STEM engineering challenges. These challenges are designed to motivate students to view science and mathematics in a more appealing way and to encourage some students to pursue STEM careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Course Materials: Pens or pencils, personal pencil sharpener with cover, colored pencils, composition book for lab, Crayola markers, graph paper, 4 packs of notebook paper, 1 – 12” ruler (reverse side centimeters). The following will be optional and greatly appreciated if you can supply: 1 roll of paper towels, 1 bottle hand sanitizer, 1 box of tissue.

School Motto: Be Positive, Be On-time, Be Successful

8th Grade Classroom Rules: (In addition to these rules, please read the Lab Safety Rules and Contract carefully.

1.       Raise hand and be recognized before speaking out. #nooutburst

2.       Respect the teacher, the classroom, and yourself. #benice

3.       Be responsible for your own learning. #quitcheating #handleyourbusiness

4.       Wait for teacher dismissal. #notyourcall

Consequences for Violations: It is my desire that your student be successful and develop academically and socially during their time in eighth grade at Lott Middle School. When a student’s academic success is halted, due to behavior difficulties or a student presents a safety hazard in the lab, a verbal or non-verbal cue will be given to the student to correct behavior and the student may become ineligible to participate with their lab team. If a student does not modify their behavior at that time, parents will be contacted notifying them of their child’s behavior in the classroom. Severe discipline violations will be referred to administration. No student may participate in labs without turning in a safety contract signed by the student and parent or guardian. We are a community of learners. We are here to learn, grow and become respectful, responsible and resourceful citizens. Any student playing with lab safety equipment will be referred to administration.

Folder Requirement:All students are required to maintain a class folder. This will provide a way for students to organize all class information, notes, handouts, labs, and engineering challenges. Students are required to keep every handout, all notes, quizzes, homework, lab reports, etc. Folders will be periodically checked by the teacher for neatness, organization, accuracy and completeness.   In addition, a final folder assessment will be performed at the end of each quarter for all the work accomplished during the quarter.

Grading Procedures: Students will be given a variety of tests and performance-based assessments. Tests, exams, or projects will account for 60% of their final grade. All assessments are aligned with the standards listed below. Class work grades account for 30 % of their final grade and may include, science folder checks, observations, interviews/conferences, journals, inventories, logs, labs, performance tasks, portfolios, or quizzes. Homework and bell ringers account for 10% of their final grade. Make-up work should be turned in within 2 days after the student returns to school, except in the case of a prolonged illness. Make up tests will be scheduled promptly. Every Tuesday after school until 4:00 pm students may make up science work.  An End of Quarter Test, EQT, will be administered at the end of each quarter. EQT’s will account for 20% of each student’s final grade. Grading Scale: A 90-100, B 80-89, C 70-79, D 60-69, F below 60.


EQT’s will be administered on the following days: 1st Quarter-October 3rd-6th, 2nd Quarter-December 12-15th, 3rd Quarter-March 13-16, and 4th Quarter-May 21-24th.

Alabama Course of Study: 8th Grade Science Standards 2016

8.1 Analyze patterns within the periodic table to construct models (e.g., molecular-level models, including drawings; computer representations) that illustrate the structure, composition, and characteristics of atoms and molecules.

8.2 Plan and carry out investigations to generate evidence supporting the claim that one pure substance can be distinguished from another based on characteristic properties.

8.3 Construct explanations based on evidence from investigations to differentiate among compounds, mixtures, and solutions. a. Collect and analyze information to illustrate how synthetic materials (e.g., medicine, food additives, alternative fuels, plastics) are derived from natural resources and how they impact society.

8.4 Design and conduct an experiment to determine changes in particle motion, temperature, and state of a pure substance when thermal energy is added to or removed from a system.

8.5 Observe and analyze characteristic properties of substances (e.g., odor, density, solubility, flammability, melting point, boiling point) before and after the substances combine to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred

8.6 Create a model, diagram, or digital simulation to describe conservation of mass in a chemical reaction and explain the resulting differences between products and reactants.

8.7 Design, construct, and test a device (e.g., glow stick, hand warmer, hot or cold pack, thermal wrap) that either releases or absorbs thermal energy by chemical reactions (e.g., dissolving ammonium chloride or calcium chloride in water) and modify the device as needed based on criteria (e.g., amount/concentration, time, temperature).

8.8 Use Newton’s first law to demonstrate and explain that an object is either at rest or moves at a constant velocity unless acted upon by an external force (e.g., model car on a table remaining at rest until pushed).

8.9 Use Newton’s second law to demonstrate and explain how changes in an object’s motion depend on the sum of the external forces on the object and the mass of the object (e.g., billiard balls moving when hit with a cue stick).

8.10 Use Newton’s third law to design a model to demonstrate and explain the resulting motion of two colliding objects (e.g., two cars bumping into each other, a hammer hitting a nail).*

8.11 Plan and carry out investigations to evaluate how various factors (e.g., electric force produced between two charged objects at various positions; magnetic force produced by an electromagnet with varying number of wire turns, varying number or size of dry cells, and varying size of iron core) affect the strength of electric and magnetic forces.

8.12 Construct an argument from evidence explaining that fields exist between objects exerting forces on each other (e.g., interactions of magnets, electrically charged strips of tape, electrically charged pith balls, gravitational pull of the moon creating tides) even when the objects are not in contact.

8.13 Create and analyze graphical displays of data to illustrate the relationships of kinetic energy to the mass and speed of an object (e.g., riding a bicycle at different speeds, hitting a table tennis ball versus a golf ball, rolling similar toy cars with different masses down an incline).

8.14 Use models to construct an explanation of how a system of objects may contain varying types and amounts of potential energy (e.g., observing the movement of a roller coaster cart at various inclines, changing the tension in a rubber band, varying the number of batteries connected in a series, observing a balloon with static electrical charge being brought closer to a classmate’s hair).

8.15 Analyze and interpret data from experiments to determine how various factors affect energy transfer as measured by temperature (e.g., comparing final water temperatures after different masses of ice melt in the same volume of water with the same initial temperature, observing the temperature change of samples of different materials with the same mass and the same material with different masses when adding a specific amount of energy).

8.16 Apply the law of conservation of energy to develop arguments supporting the claim that when the kinetic energy of an object changes, energy is transferred to or from the object (e.g., bowling ball hitting pins, brakes being applied to a car).

8.17 Create and manipulate a model of a simple wave to predict and describe the relationships between wave properties (e.g., frequency, amplitude, wavelength) and energy. a. Analyze and interpret data to illustrate an electromagnetic spectrum.

8.18 Use models to demonstrate how light and sound waves differ in how they are absorbed, reflected, and transmitted through different types of media

8.19 Integrate qualitative information to explain that common communication devices (e.g., cellular telephones, radios, remote controls, Wi-Fi components, global positioning systems [GPS], wireless technology components) use electromagnetic waves to encode and transmit information.



Student Name ______________________________Period _______


Contact Information


Mother’s Name (or Guardian) __________________________________ Email __________________________________


Phone Number (daytime hours) _______________________________ Evening Phone ___________________________


Father’s Name (or Guardian) ___________________________________Email __________________________________


Phone Number (daytime hours): _______________________________ Evening Phone ___________________________





If you have any questions regarding the course syllabus, please email me, Please cut off this page at the line above, and keep the course syllabus so that you can refer to it during the year.   Complete the contact information on this page and sign below to indicate that you have read the syllabus with your student. Please return to me on the next school day. Thank you.




I have read and understand the course syllabus.


Student Signature: ____________________________________________________


Parent/Guardian Signature: _____________________________________________


Thank you very much for your attention to the important task of reviewing this course syllabus to understand how your child can be a successful eighth grade science student. Please write any questions or comments you wish to ask or tell me below. I will reply as soon as possible. It is a pleasure to partner with you in providing an outstanding educational opportunity for your child. I look forward to getting to know you and your child this year. It is GREAT to be a Wildcat!            

                                                                                                                           Sincerely, Ms. Bealle



Lab Safety Contract  

Student Safety Contract  Science is a hands-on laboratory class. However, science activities may have potential hazards.  We will use some equipment and animals that may be dangerous if not handled properly. Safety in  the science classroom is an important part of the scientific process. To ensure a safe classroom, a list of rules has been developed and is called the Science Safety Contract. These rules must be followed at all times. Additional safety instructions will be given for each activity. No science student will be allowed to participate in science activities until this contract has been signed by both the student and a parent or guardian.

Safety Rules

1. Conduct yourself in a responsible manner at all times in the science room. Horseplay, practical jokes, and pranks will not be tolerated.

2. Follow all written and verbal instructions carefully. Ask your teacher questions if you do not understand the instructions.

3. Do not touch any equipment, supplies, animals, or other materials in the science room without permission from the teacher.

4. Perform only authorized and approved experiments. Do not conduct any experiments when the teacher is out of the room.

5. Never eat, drink, chew gum, or taste anything in the science room.

6. Keep hands away from face, eyes, and mouth while using science materials or when working with either chemicals or animals. Wash your hands with soap and water before leaving the science room.

7. Wear safety glasses or goggles when instructed. Never remove safety glasses or goggles during an experiment. There will be no  exceptions to this rule!

8. Keep your work area and the science room neat and clean. Bring only your laboratory instructions, worksheets, and writing  instruments to the work area.

9. Clean all work areas and equipment at the end of the experiment. Return all equipment clean and in working order to the proper storage area.

10. Follow your teacher’s instructions to dispose of any waste materials generated in an experiment.

11. Report any accident (fire, spill, breakage, etc.), injury (cut, burn, etc.), or hazardous condition (broken equipment, etc.) to the teacher immediately.

12. Consider all chemicals used in the science room to be dangerous. Do not touch or smell any chemicals unless specifically instructed to do so.

13. Handle all animals with care and respect. a. Open animal cages only with permission. b. Never handle any animals when the teacher is out of the room. c. Do not take animals out of the science room. d. Do not tease or handle animals roughly. e. Keep animals away from students’ faces. f. Wear gloves when handling animals. g. Report any animal bite or scratch to the teacher immediately.

14. Always carry a microscope with both hands. Hold the arm with one hand; place the other hand under the base.

15. Treat all preserved specimens and dissecting supplies with care and respect. a. Do not remove preserved specimens from the science room. b. Use scalpels, scissors, and other sharp instruments only as instructed. c. Never cut any material towards you—always cut away from your body. d. Report any cut or scratch from sharp instruments to the teacher immediately.

16. Never open storage cabinets or enter the prep/storage room without permission from the teacher.

17. Do not remove chemicals, equipment, supplies, or animals from the science room without permission from the teacher.

18. Handle all glassware with care. Never pick up hot or broken glassware with your bare hands.

19. Use extreme caution when using matches, a burner, or hot plate. Only light burners when instructed and do not put anything into a flame unless specifically instructed to do so. Do not leave a lit burner unattended.

20. Dress properly—long hair must be tied back, no dangling jewelry, and no loose or baggy clothing. Wear aprons when instructed.

21. Learn where the safety equipment is located and how to use it. Know where the exits are located and what to do in case of an emergency or fire drill.

AGREEMENT I,        (student’s name) have read and understand each of the above safety rules set forth in this contract. I agree to follow them to ensure not only my own safety but also the safety of others in the science classroom or laboratory. I also agree to follow the general rules of appropriate behavior for a classroom at all times to avoid accidents and to provide a safe learning environment for everyone. I understand that if I do not follow all the rules and safety precautions, I will not be allowed to participate in science activities.

Dear Parent or Guardian: We feel that you should be informed of the school’s effort to create and maintain a safe science classroom/ laboratory  environment. Please read the list of safety rules. No student will be permitted to perform science activities unless this contract is signed by both the student and parent/guardian and is on file with the teacher. Your signature on this contract indicates that you have read this Science Safety Contract, reviewed it with your child, and are aware of the measures taken to ensure the safety of your son/daughter in the science classroom.

Important questions: Does your child wear contact lenses?
Y  or  N
Is your child color blind?
Y  or  N
Does your child have any allergies?
Y  or  N

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