Olympic Middle School

OMS Mission: Ensure academic growth and social responsibility. Serving students in grades 6 and 7 in Shelton School District. Graduation Matters Shelton

Mr. Beck's Science Class

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11/9/2011 1:37 PM

We have been working to understand the concept of density.    Scores on the first density event are posted.  Any score of a two or above indicates great understanding of what we have been doing in class.  Scores below a two indicate a problem.  Areas to improve before the next event include: paying attention in class, better use of the "Brain on Paper" booklet, mathmatical computation errors or explaining answers clearly.  Ask you student to explain terms like density, mass and volume.

11/9/2011 1:35 PM


Students are expected to learn everything they can about the topic.  They are to be our expert.   All topics deal with some aspect related to the planet Earth and Earth science.

Identify key concepts related to your topic. Be preparded to explain and teach these conceptes to the class. Look for projects or demonstrations that you can use to teach the class about your topic. Be creative - be interesting. Do more than just read us material you have collected. Make the key concepts stick in people's heads.

Also  prepare a one page study guide or worksheet for your classmates   ( Mr. Beck will make 16 copies)​ Part of your task is to use this study guide or worksheets as a teaching tool as you make your presentation.

Presentation dates are posted. Computers are available before school for research use.

Remember the goal is to "do" some science not to just read science.

11/9/2011 1:27 PM

I want to take a moment to comment on grading at OMS and specifically in science class.

We use a 4 point scale that is well thought out.  The goal has been to make grading meaningful to teachers, parents and students.

The first point is that students have at least three chances (called events) to demonstrate their ability or knowledge with any skill.  Science has five skills or essential standards. 

Students should move up the grading scale as they work through the events.  Part of the design is to show growth.  Much practice and reflection is done between events.  Think of event scores as the knowledge level for that moment. Students get the chance to see what they know along the way and then work to make improvements.  Only at the end of the semester is the grade really final.

Beck's simplified scale:

0= no work or evidence

.5, 1.0, 1.5  degress of the student needing help to complete or indicates that even the basic skills are not understood.

2.0 Basic skill demonstrated

2.5 Basic skill plus a partial understanding of the complex ideas demonstrated

3.0 What ever the teacher taught I demonstrated I could do it

 the goal is for all students to have 3's in all skill areas

3.5, 4.0 indicate an understanding or ability beyond what was taught in class by the teacher 

11/9/2011 12:50 PM

​Most students have now made their weather presentations.  A handfull of students really did a nice job with this assignment.  They did both the forecast and concept teaching, using lots of fun ideas, models and demonstrations.  A number of students did just the bare minimum - reading some science info to the class and a few too many only did half of the required work.  Hopefully all will improve as we continue with the communcating science skill.

The Nutrition event this year is a written report dealing with topics covered in our weekly Nutrition class.  Reports are due December 16th.  All students have written details for this event.

The final event deals with Earth Science.  This is again an oral presentation to be made in class.  Topics and presentation dates are now posted in the classroom.

Again with all three presentations the goals are getting kids thinking science out of class, kids doing something with science and then sharing their understanding with the class in a meaningful manner.  These three events are the homework that is to be done for science class.

11/9/2011 12:44 PM


Skill One - Communicating Science 
The goal of this skill is to first get students engaged with science outside the classroom.  Science only has real meaning and value if we see and use the skills in everyday life.  The second goal is to get students talking and sharing science ideas.  We practice in class various research and presentation skills but the specific topic presentation preparation is largely done out of science class.  At the same time as students are presenting their skills we are studying these topics in class. 
Event 1 Weather related projects  (Completed the first part of any semester)
Event 2 Nutrition presentations (written report due December 16th)
Event 3 Earth Sytems presentations (topics and presentation dates are now posted in class)


11/9/2011 12:11 PM

Do want to know how your student is doing in science class?

Each student has a sheet called "Science Skill Progress Record".  This sheet list all of the skills and events covered during the semester.  Students are to record scores after any and all events.  This is done so that you and your student can see progress or areas to work on.  At least three chances are provided for students to demonstrate learning for any skill.  This is an on going progress report.  A simple grading explanation can also be found on this document.  Celebrate progress!

Ask to see this sheet.  Lost the  paper?  Send the student to see me and we will fix the problem.​ 

11/9/2011 12:07 PM

Just a couple of things to think about:

Science is a one semester class.

Science is about thinking,  Often the process used in class is that I create a challenge for students to solve or work through with limited help from me.  Too much help stops thinking.  Not enough help results in too much frustration.  Finding this correct balance is one of my challenges as the teacher.  

Students will have three presentations to prepare and present to the class during the semester.  They relate to weather, nutrition and Earth science.  These task are largely done at home.  This set of assignments largely  constitutes  science "homework".        ​

11/9/2011 12:02 PM

​The first semester ends January 27th.  All first semester science students will attend Social Studies second semester with Ms Reimen.

9/2/2010 9:55 AM

Questions or concerns - please email me at sbeck@sheltonschools.org


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