Welcome Parents and Students!
My background on LinkedIn

Our middle school life science course is designed to meet state academic standards through research based, hands-on, constructivist*, inquiry-based* learning. We utilize the Full Option Science System (FOSS) kits as the primary means of facilitating instruction. Since we have adopted this method, we have consistently outperformed our peer schools in Lebanon County on Middle School Science PSSA exams.

* Research behind FOSS constructivism and inquiry
*Constructivism
*Inquiry

PSSA results search portal

Kindness - We are one of a KIND!

Kindness is a theme on our team this year. We believe that the world would be a better place if we practice acts fo kindness. We have themed kindness around the website "Life Vest Inside"

Kindess videos:

Student Teachers and Observers

I am on the faculty at Lebanon Valley College so I have a number of my students there (and other colleges as well) come in to my classroom to hone their teaching skills.

CHECK GRADES OFTEN!

PowerSchool Parent/Student Login

COURSE OF STUDY

The year is broken into three major units of study in addition to a small group instruction course. The units of study are as follows: The Nature of Science, Diversity of Life, and Populations and Ecosystems. These themes can be found in in the unit lessons on the left navigation window of this wiki. In addition, we have a small group instruction course that teaches concepts of animal diversity and systemic structure & function through real and/or virtual dissections.


LEARNING STYLES

Your child will get more out of their learning if they have an understanding of how they learn best. Since this wiki has been created with multiple learning styles in mind, if your child understands how they learn best, they can choose learning activities from the wiki that are best suited for them. The items below may help them discern their learning style.

Interactive Learning Styles Assessment

How I Learn

All About me Gazette


STUDY GUIDES, DRILL & PRACTICE

This wiki is designed to help your child succeed through their own learning style. The Quizlet education app can be found in every unit lesson link found on the left navigation window on the left of this wiki. Quizlet is the study guide for the course. There are multiple ways students interact with Quizlet to learn the terms and concepts of the course. It even has a print function that can be used if your child does not have regular access to the Internet. Students take summative tests that are similar in nature to the Quizlets. Don't have regular access to Quizlet? You can print multiple styles of study guides with Quizlet to study "unplugged". Please take some time to become familiar with this resource. The FOSS lab books are excellent study sources for essay parts of the exams.

How Quizlet Works

Research On Best Ways To Study
Quiz yourself to see how well you study.

Each unit lesson also comes with learning expectations. Your child will be able to see what they must Know, Do, and Understand to be successful on their assessments, classwork, and homework.

In addition, each unit lesson has links to videos, simulations, and games to enrich their learning experience. Your child's full and regular participation in these experiences is highly encouraged.

Homework and Class Worksheet Resources


In general, homework is assigned and expected to be fully completed by the due date. Exceptions can be made based on the merits on a case by case basis. A 10% deduction will be mad for each school day the assignment is turned in late. Students amy get up to 1/2 credit if the fully completed assignment is turned in 2 days prior to the end of the marking period.

I do not believe in extra credit as it has a tendency to inflate grades. This can be come problematic on standardized tests. My hope is to have your child's performance on a standardized test be a close reflection of their class grade.

My homework update posting page can be found on the navigation page to the left of this screen or by clicking the link below.
Homework Update Page

Students are given hard copies of many of the homework items in class. Many of classroom worksheets are also accessible for download throughout each unit lesson in this wiki. In addition, archived hard copies of missed or lost papers can be found in a file in my classroom by my bulletin board.

A typical assignment for each lesson is a combination reading note packet. These assignments are designed to enhance student learning and to enhance non-fiction reading skills crucial to PSSA/Keystone achievement. The general grading rubric for these assignments is found below.

Note Packet General Grading Guide

ITEM
POINTS
!!! NOTE !!!
  1. 1. All students are fully expected to complete the assigned text reading PRIOR to completion of the note packet.
  2. 2. The intent of note packet assignments is for you to spend time expanding your knowledge of our class activities on your own time. It is part of your learning responsibility and it is meant to be handled as a learning experience and not as a task to simple get done quickly. Test items are based these assignments.
TERMS
  • Complete sentences are not required to define terms. Short responses are appropriate.
  • All terms must be defined in YOUR OWN WORDS.
  • No glossary or dictionary definitions accepted
  • Any bullets for provided “ * “ for your own thoughts on the reading MUST be responded to.
Up to 1 to 2 points per column depending on the length of the note packet.
Drawings
  • Coloring drawing is optional, not required.
  • All blocks that correspond with the terms to the left of the page must have at least one drawing in them to represent one of the terms from that block.
  • Drawings to not have to have significant artistry but must show sufficient effort.
  • Drawings should be original ideas but can mirror pictures presented in the text reading.
Up to 1 to 2 points per column depending on the length of the note packet.
Questions
  • All questions (if there area any) answered in complete sentences.
  • Questions answered with thoughtfulness and integrity.
1 per question
Textbooks
-Students are assigned a textbook that they are to leave at home and return at the end of a course of study. In addition, there are table texts at school that students may access as well in class and 8th period.

Reading Guidelines
Reading is a critical element of this FOSS program. It is very important that you read the entire assigned reading before moving on to any written homework regarding the reading. It is helpful to do the following while reading:

  • Read the title of the required reading
  • Read the end of reading questions
  • How do the bold faced words relate to the questions?
  • How do the bold faced words relate to the title of the article?
  • How does this relate to class?
  • Are you reading to get it done or to learn? (please read to learn)


Exams


Exams occur about every 2-3 weeks in class. Typically, there is a traditional, written essay component that simulates constructed responses items found on PSSA exams and mirror the labs we do in the student FOSS Lab Workbook. There is also an online "multiple choice"/"choose all that apply"/"true/false" items in a similar format to what the students have been practicing through "Quizlet". There are a variety of modes Quizlet uses to give students feedback on their learning. The "Test" mode is best to do just prior to a test.
Since the online exams utilize computers, inherent "Text to Speech" capabilities on the computers allow students to have exams read to them via earphones.

The online exam utilizes Google Forms and Flubaroo Internet technologies. With these technologies I am able to analyze individual and class wide performance data to help drive my instruction.

Flubaroo


Mr. Rem's Class Rules:


Mr. Rem's Syllabus