Welcome to Physical Science/iSTEM – Grade 8

    Course Overview and Requirements

    Contact Information:                                                               

    Phone: 973- 228-9115                        

    Voicemail: x 2448                                            


    Instructor: Mr. Bishop

    Room: STEM Lab

    Goals of the Course:
    Welcome to 8th grade Science and iSTEM! These courses have been designed to meet the needs of middle school students with a variety of ability levels and learning styles. You will be encouraged to discover and develop understanding through the use of in-class discussions and hands-on laboratory activities. We will focus on connecting knowledge learned in the classroom to real life situations and events.  In addition to science knowledge, study skills such as organization and note-taking are also taught within the context of this class. 


    Grading Policy:

    • Grades for the Science course will be averaged each marking period based on: SUMMATIVE -  tests/projects (30%), labs (20%), FORMATIVE - Quizzes (15%), Do Now/Closure sheets (15%), Current Event Comments (10%) and HOMEWORK assignments (10%). Projects will be counted as two test grades, depending on the type of assignment
    • Grades for the iSTEM course will be averaged each marking period based on: SUMMATIVE -  tests (25%), Design Challenges (25%), FORMATIVE -  labs (15%), Do Now/Closure sheets (15%), Quizzes (10%), and HOMEWORK assignments (10%).


    Current Event Topic Participation (Science Course ONLY): Most weeks you will be required to post a comment about a current event topic related to something we will be discussing in class. This assignment will be posted on Google Classroom. These comments will be worth 10 % of your overall marking period grade. Comments must be appropriate.


    BLOG Participation (iSTEM Course ONLY): Commenting on class activities, design challenges, or other classmates work will be an ongoing assignment in the iSTEM course. You will be required to make at least five (5) comments on the class Blog page (found on my GCMS website). Comments can be original thoughts or statements about other classmates comments/work. These comments will be counted as a quiz grade and be worth 10% of your overall marking period grade. 

    Do Now/Closure: upon entering the classroom each day, you will pick up a Do Now/Closure sheet and answer the question on the board. At the end of the lesson you will complete the closure question and turn in the sheet. 


    You Will Need: We will be using a "paperless" Google classroom as much as possible this year in both courses. Most work will be shared back to me for grading. You will also be able to share documents, especially group labs or design challenges, with your groups for collaboration. A three-ring binder would also be helpful to organize any paper documents that may be collected.


    Daily Requirements:

    ·        Come to class on time and with a positive attitude.

    ·        Focus as soon as you enter the room and begin the Do Now.

    ·        Record homework from the “homework” board into your agenda/planner book.

    ·        One person speaks at a time. Raise your hand to be recognized by the teacher.

    ·        This is a science lab, therefore, no food or drinks will be allowed in the classroom except a water bottle (unless authorized by the school nurse).


    Classroom Procedures:

    ·        During the “Do Now” portion of the daily lesson, the room must become quiet and productive. The Do Now will start when you enter the classroom and will be timed.

    ·        Bathroom visits will be allowed when there is a break in instruction such as moving to lab groups or starting individual seat-work and only by asking permission.

    ·        Assigned seats and laboratory partners are not negotiable. These may change periodically throughout the year.

    ·       When a student is absent it is their responsibility to check the Homework section of the School/Teacher website for missed assignments. Be sure to contact the teacher when you return to schedule any make-ups if necessary. Attempts will be made to send work to students if they are absent for an extended period of time.

    .     Inappropriate use of classroom furniture will result in a referral. Take pride in and respect this outstanding space  


    Homework Policy: Homework is essential for students to reinforce the knowledge learned each day in class. Occasionally, students will have a project that may require some work over the weekend. Homework is checked for completion the day after it has been assigned. Homework will be graded on a 3-point scale and will be worth 10% of your overall marking period grade.


     Guidelines and Procedures Sign-Off Sheet

    Mr. Bishop-Grade 8 Physical Science





    I, as a student enrolled in Mr. Bishop’s 8th Grade Science/iSTEM Class, have read and understand all the rules and policies outlined in the Expectations and Procedures Sheet and those presented to me in class, and will, to the best of my ability, abide by them.


    Name of student



    I, as a parent/guardian of
     enrolled in Mr. Bishop’s 8th Grade Science/iSTEM Class, have read and understand all the rules and policies outlined in the Expectations and Procedures Sheet and Welcome Letter.


    Name of Parent/Guardian



    Note: PARENT/GUARDIAN: Please take a moment to fill in the required information in the spaces below. Phone numbers are only used for those times when a one-on-one conversation is necessary regarding the academic standing of your child.


    Your name and your relationship to this student



    Telephone # to be reached at and email checked regularly