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9th Grade Foundations Syllabus

 Patrick Henry High School


2006 - 2007

Instructor Contact Information

Name              Sharon Price

Room #           310     

Voice Mail/Phone      (612) 693-3810

Email Address  


Course Description:

The ENVIRONMENTAL FOUNDATIONS course deals with four content areas: ATOMS AND ELEMENTS, which is an introductory study of substances and their properties; ENERGY, which is an introductory investigation of the relationship of thermal energy, temperature, and heat capacity, and an investigation of motion; EARTH PROCESSES, which involves the study of planet earth as a unified system involving the atmosphere, the surface, internal dynamics, and the effects of interactions among these; and ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY, which is the investigation of the effects of natural phenomenon on society, including population growth, resource use, technology, poverty, economics and the role of political and religious views of humans on earth. Students will also investigate the HISTORY and NATURE of SCIENCE.

Course Objectives:

§          Scientific Worlds View

  • Scientific Inquiry
  • Historical Perspectives of Science
  • Earth Structure and Processes and the Universe
  • Water Cycle, Weather, and Climate


Required Texts and Other Supplies

§         Only a classroom set of Earth science books/work books available

  • Students must have a science folder and a spiral notebook– organization accounts for 25% of your total quarter points.
  • Spiral notebooks will be used for note-taking; which is also a major part of each quarter grade.


  • Major Assessments

?       There will be a test and major project at the end of each quarter.

?       Tests will be used to assess your progress in understanding concepts.  Projects will demonstrate your ability to apply the concepts you have learned.

  • Daily Assignments

?       Daily assignments will be inquiry-based through hands-on activities and lab work; although worksheets and note-taking will also be a major part of daily work.

?       Folder and notebook organization will account for 25% of your total quarter points. 

  • Homework

?       Amount of homework will be determined on a day-by-day basis.

?       Acceptance of late work will depend on the circumstances.  In general, a late assignment will lose 10% of its grade for each day late.

Grading Policies 

  • Grading Criteria:
  • 25% of your grade is daily assignments and class participation
  • 40% of your grade is quarter projects
  • 10% of your grade is tests and quizzes
  • 25% of your quarter grade will be folder and notebook organization
  • Grading Scale:
  • A =      100% - 90%
  • B =       89% - 80%
  • C =       79% - 70%
  • D =      69% - 60%
  • F =       Below 60%
  • Class Participation: 
  • Listening and being actively engaged in class assignments is an important part of learning.  Disruptions infringe on the rights of others’ ability to learn.  If after repeated warnings, inappropriate behavior continues, you will be escorted out of the classroom and to the appropriate disciplinary action.  (This will be discussed in detail in class later.)


  • Late Work or Missing Work:
  • Unexcused late assignments will be docked points equivalent to 10% per day.  Some late assignments will not be accepted at all.  What constitutes an excusable late assignment will be discussed in class in detail. 
  • You will be given two days to make it up “excusable” missing assignments.
  • Extra Credit:
  • Extra credit will be given to students who go above and beyond the requirements.  For example, quarterly projects require accuracy, innovation and uniqueness.  Students who display these characteristics plus show extra effort will receive extra credit.  Other forms of extra credit will be discussed in class.
  • No extra credit will be given to “make up” work.  Students must meet requirements in order to receive extra credit.



Class Policies

§         Attendance

§         You are expected to attend class every day.  Only excused absences will be allowed makeup work

§         Promptness:

§         My Motto is:

§          Be Prompt – Tardiness disrupts learning and will not be tolerated.  BE IN YOUR SEAT WHEN THE BELL RINGS!

§         Be Prepared – You must have your science notebook, science folder, a writing utensil, and functioning brain, please.

§         Be positive – Attitude is everything!  Negative comments, foul language, or “put-downs” will NOT be tolerated.

§         Passes

§         Only 3 passes per quarter will be allowed and whether or not you receive one is still based on my discretion.

§         Food/Drink in classroom

§         This is a SCIENCE LABORATORY -No food or drink allowed. 

§         Water is permissible only on certain days.  We have safety precautions to consider when performing lab activities.

Academic Support

  • Tutorials
  • I will provide tutorials on Tuesdays from 3:00 to 4:00 pm; unless otherwise noted.


Calendar of Topics and Assignments

(Please note that this is a tentative schedule and is subject to change as the year progresses.) I have provided a general overview on what will be covered this year.

 Since science is mostly inquiry-based, it is not advantageous to get any more detailed than I already have.

[Semester 1]

Quarter 1

Monday, September 4th: Labor Day: No School


Standards addressed quarter 1:    

-          The student will understand the nature of scientific ways of thinking and that scientific knowledge changes and accumulates over time.

-          The student will design and conduct a scientific investigation.

-          The student will understand the relationship between science and technology and how both are used.

-          The student will recognize the historical and cultural context of scientific endeavors and how they influence each other.


I.  Introduction and Overview of Science (lab skills, safety, and review of basic science concepts)


II. Scientific Method


Wednesday, September 13: late start (10:30)



III. Lab Skills and Use of Equipment


IV. Scientific Investigations


Thursday, Oct. 5 and Friday, Oct. 6:  Parent-Teacher Conferences


V.  Historic/Cultural Perspectives


Thursday, Oct 19 and Friday, Oct 20:  Professional Conferences - No school for students


VI. Science and Technology – Inquiry-based Activities


Quarter 1 project: Inquiry-based

Wednesday, Nov. 1 Final Exams 1, 2, 3    Thursday, Nov. 2 Final Exams 4, 5, 6

Thursday, Nov 2: End of quarter 1


Friday, Nov 3: Release Day - No school for students


 Quarter 2

Standards addressed Quarter 2:

-          The student will investigate the impact humans have on the environment.

-           The student will explain the causes and effects of the Earth’s atmospheric and hydrologic processes

-          The student will describe how the environment and interactions between organisms can affect the number of species and the diversity of species in an ecosystem.

I.                  Study of Ecosystems


Wednesday, Nov 22 – Friday Nov 24: Thanksgiving break


Thursday, Dec. 7:  Parent-Teacher Conference


II.              Overview of the Cycling of Matter

 (Water cycle, weather, climate)


Wednesday, Dec. 13: Late start


December 25, 2005 – January 5, 2006:  Winter Break


III. The Universe


Monday, January 15- No school MLK day


Quarter 2 project: Simulation of a water cycle


Wed. Jan 25 – Final Exam Day 1, 2, 3        Thurs. Jan. 26 – Final Exam Day 4, 5, 6

Thursday Jan 26: End of second quarter

Friday Jan 27: No school for students


[Semester 2]

 Quarter 3

  Standards addressed Quarter 3:

-          The student will understand the nature of matter including its forms, properties and interactions.

-          The student will describe chemical reactions and the factors that influence them.

-          The student will design and conduct a scientific investigation.

-          The student will understand the relationship between science and technology and how both are used.


I.                  Nature of Matter


(Monday, January 15: MLK Holiday)


II.               Introduction to the Model of the Atom


III.          Periodic Table of Elements



 (Tuesday, January 23: BST/MCA writing test – 10th grade)


IV.           Chemical and Physical Reactions




Tues. Feb 6 – BST Math          Thurs. Feb. 8 – BST Reading


Wed. Feb. 14 – Late Start

Monday, Feb 19: Presidents’ Day








Thursday, March 29: End of third quarter

Friday, March 30: Release Day - No School for students


April 2- April 6:  Spring break





Quarter 4

Standards addressed Quarter 4:

-          The student will understand energy forms, transformations, and transfers

-          The student will learn the nature of force and motion – Newton’s Laws

-          The student will design and conduct scientific investigations.

-          The student will understand the relationship between science and technology and how both are used.


I. Newton’s Laws of Motion


Monday, May 14:  Release Day - No School for students


III.          Potential and Kinetic Energy


Wednesday, May 16:  Late Start



III. Gravity


IV. Energy Transformation



Monday, May 28: Memorial Day


Human Conservation and Management Issues



Quarter 2 project:     Inquiry-Based


Monday June 11:  Final Exam 1, 2, 3

Tues. June 12:   Final Exam 4, 5, 6


Tuesday, June 12:      Last day for grades 9-11