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Course Logistics
Course Title:

8th Grade Pre-AP Science

Course Meeting Dates: August 25th – October 3rd
This is a blended delivery course where students will participate in a weekly synchronous meeting. The weekly
synchronous meeting will take place using the Lync system every Tuesday from 10:10 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Instructor Information:
T. K. Cooks
Address: Shirley Jackson Middle School, 123 Einstein Way, Dallas, Texas 75000
Telephone Number: 101-123-2345
Email: t.cooks@ttu.edu
Office Hours:
Mondays: 9 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Thursdays: 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Textbook:
DiSpezio, M., Frank, M., Heithaus, M., & Ogle, D. (2015). Science Fusion. Orlando, FL: Houghton Mifflin
Harcourt.
Additional resources will be provided via the blackboard system.

Course Description and Objectives
Pre-AP 8 Grade Science is interdisciplinary in nature and emphasizes scientific investigations and reasoning in
order to learn about natural phenomena. The content focuses on Earth and Space Science while integrating
concepts from Chemistry, Physics and Ecology. The emphasis is placed on critical thinking skills and the
student’s ability to probe deeply into scientific concepts. Students are challenged with a rigorous scientific
curriculum designed to provide the necessary skills for success in high school Pre-AP science courses.
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The 8th Grade Pre-AP Science course is designed to prepare you to function like a scientist,
deepen scientific understanding, communicate effectively, develop critical thinking skills,

design and conduct investigations, evaluate scientific claims, and analyze data. You will be
tested on the Science STAAR (State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness) in the spring
of 2015. The students are expected to:
a. Gain an appreciation of science as it relates to the modern world
b. Follow the scientific method and to use it to determine logical conclusions based on data
c. Use critical thinking skills to solve problems and to make solid decisions
d. Understand concepts in the different areas of science such as Chemistry, Physics, Ecology, Earth and
Space Science.
e. To develop skills in collaboration, communication, to be successful in higher level science courses
This course will take place over a 6-week period. Each week will focus on a specific segment for unit on
Chemistry of the Universe. In this unit, the students will be able to recognize that matter is composed of atoms.
Students will examine information on the Periodic Table to recognize that elements are grouped into families.
In addition to this, students will understand the basic concept of conservation of mass. Lab activities will allow
students to demonstrate evidence of chemical reactions. The students will also use chemical formulas and
balanced equations to show chemical reactions and the formation of new substances. Specifically, the student
knows that matter is composed of atoms and has chemical and physical properties.
The student is expected to:
(A) describe the structure of atoms, including the masses, electrical charges, and locations, of protons and
neutrons in the nucleus and electrons in the electron cloud;
(B) identify that protons determine an element's identity and valence electrons determine its chemical
properties, including reactivity;
(C) interpret the arrangement of the Periodic Table, including groups and periods, to explain how properties
are used to classify elements;
(D) recognize that chemical formulas are used to identify substances and determine the number of atoms of
each element in chemical formulas containing subscripts;
(E) investigate how evidence of chemical reactions indicate that new substances with different properties
are formed; and
(F) recognize whether a chemical equation containing coefficients is balanced or not and how that relates to
the law of conservation of mass.
Course Policies
Attendance Policies
In accordance with the Jackson Middle School guidelines and expectations, the students are given a day for
each day absent to make up work. If a student misses one day, he or she will have one day to make up the
work.
To receive credit in a class, a student must attend at least 90 percent of the days the class is offered. A student
who attends at least 75 percent but fewer than 90 percent of the days the class is offered may receive credit for
the class if he or she completes a plan, approved by the principal that allows the student to fulfill the
instructional requirements for the class. If a student is involved in a criminal or juvenile court proceeding, the
approval of the judge presiding over the case will also be required before the student receives credit for the
class. If a student attends less than 75 percent of the days a class is offered or has not completed the plan
approved by the principal, then the student will be referred to the attendance review.

Homework Policies
In accordance with the Jackson Middle School guidelines and expectations- Homework is defined as work
completed outside the classroom that is designed to reinforce or provide practice of skills/concepts addressed
instructionally, extend skills and concepts, and collect evidence of student understanding and application of
what has been taught. For more information you will find the ISD homework policy online.
Research studies have consistently shown that the amount of time devoted to learning is related to achievement
in a subject. Homework, therefore, is important in a student’s overall success in his/her academic program.
Homework is defined as work completed outside the classroom that is designed to:
cepts addressed instructionally

Student Responsibilities
Take responsibility for ethical practices in completing homework assignments

Take advantage of study aides and online tutorials
Consider a balance of activities such as athletics, clubs

Honors classes
Participation Information
Active participation in this course is encouraged since it will promote learning and the creation of a learning
community.
Students are expected to attend the weekly synchronous class session on Tuesdays from 10:10 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
If you cannot attend class, please notify me in advance so that we can agree on the arrangements to make up
assignment.
We will also conduct a weekly asynchronous discussion forum using the Blackboard System. Students are
required to post a response to the weekly writing prompt or question and also post a reply to a minimum of two
peers prior Wednesday at 10 p.m. CST.
Students are required to complete all weekly assignments in a timely manner.

Grading Policies
Minor Grades (Formative: Class work, Quiz, Homework) = 40%
The minor grade will consist of the weekly quizzes, weekly discussion forum posts, and the weekly assignments
for the module.
Major Grades (Summative: Test, Project) = 60%
The major grade will consist of a performance based assessment and a unit exam.
Grading Scale
If your overall average is90-100 =
A
80- 89 =
B
70-79 =
C
Less than 70 = Does not meet expectations
Assessment Information




Complete your weekly discussion forum post and responses prior to 10 p.m. on Wednesdays.
Complete the weekly online quiz for the assigned topic for the week prior to 10 p.m. on Thursdays.
Complete all additional assignments for each module no later than 10 p.m. on Thursdays.
You will complete one performance based assessment that will count as a major grade (test). This
assignment is due on Friday, September 12th by 10 p.m.
The online exam is scheduled for Friday, October 3rd. Please complete the exam prior to 10 p.m. on
Friday, October 3rd.

Method of Communication
The Blackboard system is the primary method for communicating the course material and the assignments. If
you do not have reliable access to the internet, this is an issue that you need to resolve as soon as possible. You
are responsible for accessing the course material and assignments via Blackboard. For technical assistance,
please promptly contact IT Help Central at 222-222-HELP (4357).
Students will use the Lync system for the weekly synchronous class session that takes place on Tuesdays from
10:10 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
If you contact me for assistance, you will receive a response within 24 hours.

Assignments
Dates
Week 1
(August 25-29)

Topic
Introduction/The Atom
By the end of this module,
you will be able to describe
how the development of
atomic theory led to our
modern understandings
about the atom and its
structure. You will research
the development of atomic
theory and describe the
contributions of scientists
to the atomic theory from
the 19th century to today.
Parts of the atom- be able t
identify the location,
charge, relative mass of
protons, neutrons, and
electrons in an atom;
identify the nucleus and
electron cloud in a model
of an atom; determine the
atomic number and mass
number of an atom

Instructional Activities
1. Read textbook pages 112-118.
2. Complete the Digital Curriculum
Science Fusion assignment on
“Discovering Atoms” and “Modern
Atomic Model”
3. Conduct research on one of the
assigned scientists- John Dalton, J.J.
Thomson, Ernest Rutherford, Niels
Bohr to connect each of the
scientists who contributed to the
development of the modern atomic
theory include illustrations and
descriptions for the contributions of
the scientists.
4. Post information on your research
and comment on two other
students’ information to synthesize
the contributions of the scientists to
the current theory.
5. Complete the weekly online quiz.

Technological Component
Weekly Synchronous Class
Meeting
Weekly Asynchronous
Discussion Forum
Group Assignment using
Google Doc
Weekly Online Quiz

Week 2
(September 15)

The Atom

1. Read textbook pages 119-123.
2. Complete the Digital Curriculum The
Electron Cloud Interactive Graphics
and Atomic Number and Mass
number
3. Within your assigned group,
identify the parts of the atom for
the first 20 elements on the periodic
table.
4. Complete the weekly discussion
post on the question.
5. Complete the weekly online quiz.

Weekly Synchronous Class
Meeting
Weekly Asynchronous
Discussion Forum
Group Assignment Using
Google Doc
Weekly Online Quiz

Week 3
(September 8 –
12)

The Periodic Table
In this module, you will
examine information on
the Periodic table in order
to identify the atomic
number, chemical symbol,
name and average atomic
mass of an element on the
periodic table; compare
and contrast the properties

1. Read textbook pages 124 – 135.
2. Complete the Science Fusion
Activity-“Interpreting the Periodic
Table”
3. Complete the Science Fusion Digital
Curriculum -“Interactive Image”
4. Complete the Virtual lab “What
Trends Can you see in the Periodic
table”
5. Complete the weekly discussion

Weekly Synchronous Class
Meeting
Weekly Asynchronous
Discussion Forum
Weekly Online Quiz

of metals, nonmetals and
metalloids. You will also
interpret the arrangement
of elements on the periodic
table in order to be able to
describe the arrangement
of elements in groups and
periods on the periodic
table and the types of
elements and valence
electrons.

forum post.
6. Complete the weekly online quiz.

Week 4
The Periodic Table
(September 1519)

1. Group activity- create a new
element and assign the element to
the periodic table.
2. Complete the weekly discussion
forum post.
3. Present the information on the
“new” element information during
the weekly class meeting.
4. View the video presentation on The
Periodic Table
5. Complete the weekly online quiz.

Weekly Synchronous Class
Meeting
Weekly Asynchronous
Discussion Forum
Group -Performance Based
Assessment using Google Doc

Week 5
Electrons and Chemical
(September 22- Bonding
26)
In this module, you will
gain an understanding
about chemical bonds and
chemical changes. You will
describe a chemical bond
and describe a chemical
change in terms of
chemical bonding. You will
also use models to
illustrate chemical changes
by drawing Bohr models of
atoms in order to identify
the valence electrons. In
addition to this, you will
relate the position of the
element to the number of
valence electrons by using
the periodic table to
determine the number of
valence electrons in the
atoms for specific
elements. As a result of
this, you will be able to
predict how atoms will
react with other atoms on

1. Read textbook pages 136- 145
2. View the video on Electrons &
Chemical Bonds
3. Complete the weekly discussion
post on the question- how do atoms
interact with each other?
4. Complete the GIZMOS Inquiry
activity on Chemical bonds.
5. Complete the weekly online quiz.

Weekly Synchronous Class
Meeting
Weekly Asynchronous
Discussion Forum
Weekly Online Quiz

the periodic table.

Week 6
(September 29
– October 3)

Chemical Reaction
By the end of this module,
you will be able to identify
the signs of a chemical
change and describe what
happens to the atoms of
substance during a
chemical reaction. You will
also identify the parts of a
chemical formula, and
identify the reactants and
products in a chemical
equation. In addition to
this, you will balance a
chemical equation to show
the law of conservation.

1. Read textbook pages 148-151-167.
2. View the videos on the Law of
Conservation and Balancing
Chemical Equations.
3. Complete the weekly discussion
post.
4. Complete the GIZMOS “Reactants
and Leftovers”
5. Complete the weekly online quiz
6. Complete the unit exam.

Weekly Synchronous Class
Meeting
Weekly Asynchronous
Discussion Forum
Weekly Online Quiz
Online Exam

Syllabus Revision
The instructor reserves the right to revise the syllabus when it is deemed necessary and appropriate for the needs
of the students.