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8

th
Grade Science
Kings Creek School
3680 Wilkesboro Blvd.
Lenoir, NC 28645

Mr. Andrew Samuels
Middle School Science
828-302-0372 (C)
828-754-6039 (O)
asamuels@caldwellschool.com
http://mrsamuels1415.weebly.com/ Note: Website currently under construction.

Please feel free to contact me at any point during the school year with any questions or
concerns. I am able to meet with you to answer any questions or give extra help after
school or during planning. Please make arrangements ahead of time to ensure that I am
available.

Planning Hours: Monday: 1:10 – 2:45
Tuesday: 1:10 – 2:45
Wednesday: 1:10 – 2:45
Thursday: 1:10 – 2:45
Friday: 1:10 – 2:45

COURSE OVERVIEW:
This course is designed to follow the student learning standards as set forth by the North
Carolina Department of Public Instruction. The standards can be accessed by visiting
http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/acre/standards/new-standards/science/6-8.pdf. The
eighth grade curriculum includes the following broad areas of science:
 Matter: Properties and Change
 Conservation and Transfer of Energy
 Earth Systems, Structures, and Processes
 Structures and Functions of Living Organisms
 Evolution and Genetics
 Earth History
 Ecosystems
 Molecular Biology
In addition to studying these strands, this course will provide the student an opportunity
to participate in a social constructionist learning environment. For more information
about the learning environment, please visit http://801516108821735233.weebly.com/
and find the Statement of Teaching and Learning Philosophy located on the introduction
page. The students’ active role in learning and the influence of the social environment in
supporting learning are emphasized. In a supportive classroom environment, discussion
and work are focused on building understanding of ideas and concepts. Therefore, in this
course, we will focus on the North Carolina Essential Standards—discussion,
assignments, and assessments are designed to support active learning.

Course Goals:

Talk
Without question we will be doing a good deal of reading and writing in our time
together, but our classroom conversations, in small groups and large, will be an important
part of our course. It is important that you participate fully in these conversations, even if
you’re more naturally shy in groups and even if you feel that your own thoughts aren’t
yet fully formed. Our discussions are places for us to think together, which means ideas
in process are welcome. Don’t be afraid to formulate your ideas aloud with the group. I
am a firm believer in the idea that we make meaning through dialogue. Often, that means
thinking out loud and in writing. This means that we will, at times, be sharing ideas that
are still being formed. I ask you to trust this process and be willing to stretch your
thinking.

Instructor’s Note
I have hearing loss, although it is not profound. Still, places with much ambient noise,
like classrooms and restaurants, are places where I struggle to hear normal conversational
tones. Please speak loudly and clearly when addressing the class. If I ask you more than
once what you said, please be patient because it’s more than likely my inability to hear
than your inability to speak with clarity.

Academic I ntegrity
As a community of learners at Kings Creek School, we must create an atmosphere of
honesty, fairness, and responsibility, without which we cannot earn the trust and respect
of each other. Furthermore, we recognize that academic dishonesty detracts from the
value of a promotion or advancement. Therefore, we shall not tolerate lying, cheating, or
stealing in any form and will oppose any instance of academic dishonesty. This course
will follow the provisions of the Student Code of Conduct, which can be found at the
following address:
http://sc.caldwellschools.com/education/components/docmgr/default.php?sectiondetailid
=56105&fileitem=37480&catfilter=5749. This code was set forth by the Caldwell
County Board of Education, page 5 of this document addresses issues of academic
integrity.

General Course Framework
This framework is a tool and should not be considered set in stone. It is intended to
provide a sense of the scope of the course as it was originally conceived and help you
keep track of due dates for readings and assignments. However, any course based upon
inquiry principles and dialogic teaching should be responsive to the needs of the
participants and is, therefore, subject to change.
o 1st Nine Weeks - Evolution and Genetics, Earth History
o 2nd Nine Weeks - Structures and Functions of Living Organisms,
Conservation and Transfer of Energy
o 3
rd
Nine Weeks - Matter: Properties and Change,
Earth Systems, Structures, and Processes
o 4
th
Nine Weeks – Ecosystems, Molecular Biology