High School Philosophy, Course Requirements & Grading Rubric

Suffield High School

MISSION STATEMENT

Suffield High School strives to foster academic excellence and responsible behavior in all students by encouraging them to be effective thinkers and active citizens. (adopted 2005)

SCHOOLWIDE ACADEMIC EXPECTATION:

 

By the end of Grade 12, students will know the basic concepts of, and the interrelationships among, biology, chemistry, physics, and earth (including ecology) and space sciences, and will be able to apply scientific skills, processes and methods of inquiry to real world settings. (adopted 2004)

 

All Science Courses will prepare students by using the following course wide goals:

 

1) Use knowledge of science to make and support informed judgments about current issues and problems.

 

2) Identify and solve problems through scientific experimentation: formulate hypotheses, design experiments, use technology, analyze data, and make and communicate conclusions.

 

3) Apply the scientific process to critically evaluate data, its sources, and its validity in constructing theories and models.

 

4) Assess and apply knowledge of safe scientific procedures, both to the classroom and to everyday life.

 

5) Select and use appropriate laboratory equipment, technology, and units to measure scientific properties.

 

         Instructional Strategies:

Science uses instructional strategies and resources to promote thinking about the content, and students are encouraged to critically discuss ideas, seek information and validate explanations.

Concepts:        The overall instructional strategy for teaching science skills and concepts is that of learning by doing. Abstract concepts in science are explained in class through the use of diagrams, models, simulations, and a variety of media. Students take notes in class, and participate in class discussions. There are questions asked of the students daily, both written and oral, that ask them to explain concepts and relate scientific behavior to real life phenomena. The teacher models the use of quantitative and qualitative analysis through some problem solving strategies in class, which the students then practice, both in groups and individually.

Labs:   In each unit of study, students participate in laboratory investigations at least once a week. The lab investigations are sometimes set procedures in which the students practice the skills of observation, measurement, and data analysis. Many other lab experiences ask the students to design their own safe experiment: formulating hypothesis, controlling variables, and communicating and explaining their results and conclusions. The lab experiences directly relate to the concepts as well as show real life applications of science concepts. Students explore phenomena and collect empirical evidence to support their own explanations

Real Life:       Students apply the knowledge they have learned by using science concepts to make decisions about current issues in each unit. They write persuasive essays, conduct collaborative and independent research, and participate in forums and debates. The students are expected to synthesize information from various resources and construct carefully reasoned opinions about the issue. There are case studies and simulations that require students to learn and apply their science knowledge and make judgments.

            The emphasis in all the instructional activities is to promote higher order thinking skills and making connections. Students learn how to use resources, rather than memorizing many facts, and apply their laboratory experiences to other situations.

 

Assessment Strategies:

 

Students are assessed with a variety of methods on their knowledge of science concepts and skills and how they apply to the real world. Daily classwork and homework is used to check for understanding of main ideas and application of the techniques and skills of science. These daily assessment tools include a mixture of written explanations, diagrams, model building and problem solving. Students are assessed on their laboratory skills through the use of rubrics and class monitoring. Students are assessed on their ability to explain unit-related concepts and their conclusions on experimentation results by written lab reports, written explanations on quizzes and tests, as well as occasional oral explanation of laboratory ideas and procedures.

 

There are periodic unit quizzes and tests which assess studentsí skills and knowledge in a similar manner to their daily instructional activities. The written quizzes and tests include a mixture of knowledge and comprehension questions, as well as questions which require students to demonstrate knowledge of inquiry skills, explanation of concepts, as well as making connections to other concepts and everyday experiences. The assessment tools include questions about cause and effect, steps of scientific processes, and explanation of phenomena, and are not focused on just vocabulary and word problem solving. Tests and quizzes, as well as midterm and final exams, may include a lab performance component.

Students are assessed on their ability to explain science ideas, do research, and defend decisions about scientific issues by the use of projects and class simulations. Projects require some level of judgment and thinking by the students and extend beyond research into analysis and synthesis. Group and interpersonal skills are included. Rubrics detailing studentsí ability to present, discuss, and use scientific research, both lab results and issues, are used by students, peers, and the teacher.

The criteria for the studentsí overall performance level in the course will focus on the science skills developed, explanation and understanding of science concepts, and use of science skills and concepts in real life situations.


SCIENCE

            By the end of Grade 12, students will know the basic concepts of, and the interrelationships among, biology, chemistry, physics, and earth (including ecology) and space sciences, and will be able to apply scientific skills, processes and methods of inquiry to real world settings.

 Scientific literacy is a necessity for all our citizens. The rapid changes occurring in technology and the environment require that todayís graduates recognize these impacts on their lives if they are to implement effective change.

In all courses students will:

use knowledge of science to make and support informed judgments about current issues and problems;

identify and solve problems through scientific experimentation: formulate hypotheses, design experiments, use technology, analyze data, and make and communicate conclusions;

apply the scientific process to critically evaluate data, its sources, and its validity in constructing theories and models;

assess and apply knowledge of safe scientific procedures, both to the classroom and to everyday life and

select and use appropriate laboratory equipment, technology, and units to measure scientific properties.

 

            Science courses provide a variety of experiences geared toward Honors and Academic students. All science courses utilize laboratory activities and develop critical thinking skills. Lab sciences may be limited in class size. Honors courses are open to students with high motivation and independent work ethic. Students in Honors sections should expect to have more challenging work in greater amounts, to use higher levels of math and reading, and work at a faster pace. Students must be recommended and have the approval of the current instructor before enrolling in Honors courses. All level classes follow the current Suffield High grading policy, AP and Honors classes are harder and receive higher GPA weighting.

            Successful completion of one Earth Science, one Biology, and one course in the physical sciences (Chemistry, Physics)  is required for graduation from Suffield High School (total of 3 credits).

Students must also meet the science academic expectation by meeting proficiency on the Science section of the Connecticut Academic Performance Test, or enroll in an after school remedial course in junior year, or complete a science Individualized Learning Project in senior year. Every science course, as well as the Individualized Learning Project uses the school-wide rubric to meet our academic expectation.

SCIENCE COURSES AND LEVELS

411H, 413A                Integrated Earth Science          Grade 9

421H, 423A                Biology                                   Grade 10

426H, 424A                Agriscience Biology                Grade 10

431H, 433A                Chemistry                                Grade 11,12

441H, 443A                Physics                                    Grade 11,12

* 460 A                       Science and Society                 Grade 11, 12

*461 A                                    Environmental Science            Grade 11,12

*450 H                                    AP Biology                 Grade 12

* Do not satisfy the three year science requirement.

 


ACADEMIC EXPECTATION:

 

Know and apply the basic concepts of and the interrelations among biology, chemistry, physics, and earth (including ecology) and space sciences.

Expectation

Insufficient

Limited

Standard

Superior

Completeness

Demonstrates lack of  or limited ability to address the question 

 

Demonstrates marginal understanding

Demonstrates some elements of proficiency, but may be inaccurate, incomplete and/or inappropriate

Demonstrates proficiency in a correct, complete, and appropriate manner

 

The studentís work demonstrates an ability to answer questions correctly, completely, and appropriately. 

Concept

Demonstrates serious misconceptions

 

Demonstrates evidence of significant misconceptions

 

Demonstrates evidence of no major misconceptions and minor inaccuracies may appear

No evidence of misconceptions and demonstrates good ability to make meaningful associations with life

Higher Order Thinking

Demonstrates no evidence of elaboration, extension, higher-order thinking or relevant prior knowledge

 

Demonstrates little, if any, evidence of elaboration, extension, higher-order thinking, or relevant prior knowledge

Demonstrates limited evidence of elaboration, extension, higher-order thinking, and relevant prior knowledge or other flaws may be more than minor .

Demonstrates evidence of elaboration, extension, and/or evidence of higher-order thinking and relevant prior knowledge.

Experiment Skill

Demonstrates marginal ability to conduct an experiment

 

Demonstrates ability to conduct an experiment

Demonstrates ability to  conduct experiments

Demonstrates ability to conduct, experiments

Experiment Design

Demonstrates no ability to offer any elements of an experiment design

 

Demonstrates inability to design an experiment but may offer some elements of the design.

Demonstrates inability to completely design experiment without some assistance

 

Demonstrates ability to design experiments

Experiment Conclusion

Demonstrates inability to analyze the data results

Has difficulty analyzing the results correctly

Demonstrates ability to analyze experiments

Demonstrates ability to analyze experiments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUFFIELD HIGH SCHOOL

SCHOOL WIDE RUBRIC SCIENCE

Expectation 4:

Know and apply the basic concepts of and the interrelations among Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Earth (including Ecology) and Space Sciences and will be able to apply scientific skills, processes and methods of inquiry to real world settings.

 

Superior.  The studentís work demonstrates and ability to answer questions correctly, completely, and appropriately.  The studentís responses to assessment contain elaboration, extension, and/or evidence of higher-order thinking and relevant prior knowledge. The student is able to design, conduct, and analyze experiments.

 

Standard.  The student has shown proficiency in answering science questions in a correct, complete, and appropriate manner although minor inaccuracies may appear.  There may be limited evidence in the studentís work of elaboration, extension, higher-order thinking, and relevant prior knowledge, or there may be significant evidence of these traits but other flaws (e.g., inaccuracies, omissions, and inappropriateness) may be more than minor. The student can conduct and analyze experiments but may be unable to completely design one without some assistance.

 

Limited.  The studentís work shows marginal understanding.  While it may contain some elements of proficiency, the studentís response to assessment is inaccurate, incomplete and/or inappropriate.  There is little if any evidence of elaboration, extension, higher-order thinking or relevant prior knowledge.  There may be evidence of significant misconceptions.  The student is able to conduct an experiment but has difficulty analyzing the results correctly.  The student is unable to design an experiment but may offer some elements of the design.

 

Insufficient.  The studentís work is unsatisfactory.  Studentís responses to assessment may fail to address the question, or may address the question in a very limited way.  There may be no evidence of elaboration, extension, higher-order thinking, or relevant prior knowledge.  There may be evidence of serious misconceptions.  The student is marginally able to conduct an experiment and unable to analyze the data results. The student is unable to offer any elements of an experiment design.