Guided Academics – Science Syllabus 2011-2012 1st Trimester I. General Information Course Guided Academics – Science Instructor Mr. Dunn Room C 10 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Phone (810) 591-‐ II. Grading Procedures and Regulations General Your grade for this course will be based on your performance on the Weekly Action Sheet, Grade Tracker, blog posts, and other assignments to be determined. This class is meant to support your efforts in other classes. Grading Scale A 93 – 100 C 73 – 76 A-‐ 90 – 92 C-‐ 70-‐72 B+ 87 – 89 D+ 67 – 69 B 83 – 86 D 63 – 66 B-‐ 80 – 82 D-‐ 60 – 62 C+ 77 – 79 F <60 III. Class Expectations • Show up on time and prepared everyday. • Always be on task. Not sometimes. Not usually. • Respect yourself and your classmates. • Ask questions when you have them. • Use appropriate language. • Turn in your work on time. • Give your best effort on every assignment. • Have fun—of course, if the other expectations have also been met.
TRIMESTER PLAN (for all Guided Academics Classes…Our plan may be modified) WEEK 1 – Believe in Yourself • In order for you to succeed, you have to believe in yourself and your abilities. You need to recognize the talents and abilities you possess, and you must know, and believe, that you can succeed. Think about each course you’re taking and the highest grade you think you can earn in it. Think of this as your academic goals for this grading period. • Get to know each other • Strengths/Weaknesses • Goal Setting • Learning Style WEEK 2 – Be Organized / Manage your Time Well • -‐Use the time teachers give you or study hall to ask questions, get help, or start on your homework. • -‐Figure out a schedule and study plan that works for you. Determine how much time you have and how much you have to do in the day then develop a plan. For example: • 3:00-‐5:00 Band Practice • 5:00-‐6:00 Do Math homework • 6:00-‐8:00 Study for quiz and do biology questions • -‐Prepare for interruptions by avoiding them. For example, take calls or watch tv only after 9pm, when you have already completed all your homework. • -‐Use an assignment notebook or a planner. Write down all assignments and due dates. Break up large assignments into smaller parts so you’re not overwhelmed with trying to do it all and finish at once. • -‐Use three ring notebooks for class notes. This makes it easy to insert handouts and copies of notes you might have missed. • -‐Use different color folders with pockets for each class. Keep current and past assignments, tests, and quizzes of each class in them. Having all the class work together can help you study for future tests and it may come in handy if there is ever a question about a grade. • -‐Have at least one classmate’s phone number for each class. If you’re absent or you have a question about an assignment having someone to call and find out information is handy. • -‐Keep your locker and backpack neat, clean, and organized. Never put loose papers in them, always put them in their appropriate folder. • -‐Get organized before you go to bed. Put completed homework in its corresponding folder and put everything you need for the next day in the same place each night. This will minimize the chances of forgetting something the next day. Use sticky notes to remind yourself of what you need to do in the morning. • Goal achievement process
WEEK 3 – Be Successful in the Classroom • -‐Be in school, on time, everyday. When you miss school, you miss quizzes, assignments, lectures, notes, class discussions, etcetera. No matter how good you think you are at making up, you can never make up for everything you missed. • -‐Learn how to adapt to different teachers. Know your teachers, their rules, teaching styles so you can make the most of your classes. • -‐Be prepared for each class. You need to have all your supplies (books, paper, pencils, and folders) with you for each class. You also need to have your homework done. Being prepared also means being mentally alert, getting exercise, enough sleep, and good nutrition. • -‐Sit in the front row of the class if possible. It is easier to pay attention, participate and avoid distractions when you sit at the front. It is also easier to ask questions and see what’s being presented. • -‐Be aware of your body language. Teachers are at the front and they can see everything and everyone, even the back row. Slouching, rolling your eyes, sighing, putting your head down say that you don’t care, and teachers notice this. Your body language must show you want to get good grades. • -‐Always do your homework. Think of homework as something you must (not should) do. Your grade drops every time you miss an assignment. Whenever possible do extra credit work. • -‐Participate in class. Participating might give you extra points, helps you focused, and makes the class more interesting. • -‐Be a good group member. Do your share of the work and do it well. Accept that everyone is different and be open to all ideas. Support all your group members. • -‐Treat others with courtesy and respect, the way you want to be treated. Be polite, look at your teachers when they’re speaking, listen while others are talking. Be aware of the tone of your voice, the tone also communicates a message. Remember that teachers are people too, they appreciate when a student shows interest in them. Give positive comments whenever a situation makes it possible. • -‐Involve your parents. When they ask you what you did, tell them, they will like the fact that you tell them about what you are learning at school. Whenever possible let your parents help you with an assignment, studying by quizzing you, listen to you practice a speech, or read over a paper you’ve written. Parents can also intervene on your behalf when you have a problem and help with difficult situations. • Review Learning Style WEEK 4 – Study Smart / Use Test-‐Taking Strategies • -‐Find a good place to study. Make sure it has a surface for writing, it is well lit, comfortable, and equipped with (or have space for) all the supplies you need and your books. Listening to classical music can improve your concentration while you study. • -‐Just get started. Don’t put off studying until later or you’re in the mood. Start with a simple subject and just start studying. Organize your study time by making a plan, deciding what you want to get done and the order you are going to do it. Prioritize and allow more time than you think you’ll need. Study your least favorite subject first to get it out of the way and alternate types of assignments. Take a short break every 20 minutes to get a drink of water and stretch. • -‐Know your learning style. Figure out if you’re a visual, auditory or kinesthetic learner. • -‐Know how to study for tests. Understand the big picture, know the main points and key facts. Pay particularly close attention in class the day before a test. Have all your reading done ahead of time. Go over important facts and/or formulas as much as possible before you take the test.
• -‐Use tricks to help you memorize information, such as flashcards; stare at what you want to memorize, say it out loud, close your eyes and do it again; go over any information you want to remember right before you go to sleep; use acronyms; use the first letter of words you want to remember to make up silly sentences; look for an easy or logical connection; use diagrams to group information; use ridiculous images to help trigger your memory. • -‐Get off to a good start. Have everything you need for the test when you go to class and try to relax right before the test. As soon as you get the test, write down anything you want to remember from your memory aids. Read the directions and write your name. • -‐Quickly look over the test and develop a plan. Decide how long you will spend in each section and try to give yourself a few minutes at the end to check your answers. Read each question carefully. • -‐Mark the questions you want to go return to. Don’t spend too much time on any one question or problem. Don’t panic if you don’t know the answers to the first few questions, go back to them and you’ll probably remember the answers. • -‐Multiple choice questions. Try to come up with the answer in your head before you look at the choices. Read all the choices. When you’re unsure, eliminate the choices you know are incorrect first, and then make an educated guess. • -‐True/False questions. Look for key words, read carefully; one word will often determine whether the statement is true or false. Statements with always/never are usually false; those with usually/often/most are usually true. • -‐Draw a diagram or picture when solving a difficult math problem. Show all your work, you may get partial credit. • -‐Open book tests require preparation. Highlight your notes, use sticky notes or bookmarks to help you locate information. Write down information you will need on a separate piece of paper. • -‐For essay tests it is important that before you do any writing, brainstorm. Take a moment to write down what you know about the subject and make a quick outline. Note how many points each question is worth and spend time on it accordingly. Begin writing using clear, concise sentences and write legibly. • Review learning style WEEK 5 – Take good notes / Know how to read a textbook • -‐Be an active listener, think about and try to understand what is being presented. • -‐Take notes to help you pay attention. Thinking about the lecture helps you stayed focused so you don’t have time to think about anything else. Taking notes also shows your teacher you’re interested in the class and paying attention. • -‐Recognize important information. Listen for changes in tone in you’re teacher’s voice and for verbal cues like “the most important reason” or “the three causes.” Most of what is on the board or on an overhead is important, highlight this information. • -‐Take notes that are easy to read and organized. Put the name of the class and date on every page of notes. Leave space to add information later and write key words on the margins. Use symbols and abbreviations. Use erasable pen/pencil. • -‐Go over your notes as soon as possible, this will help clarify any information that’s confusing and help you remember the lecture. Redo your notes whenever possible, eliminate unimportant information and rewrite the rest in your own words. This way you are relearning and “fixing” the information in your memory. • -‐Get copies of class notes when you are absent.
• -‐Pay attention to boldfaced subtitles, the important words that are in italic or bold print, charts, vocabulary words, summaries, and review questions. • -‐Scan to get an overview of the material and get an information outline. • -‐Read to comprehend. Turn bold subtitles into questions, keep your questions in mind and try to answer them when you finish the section. • -‐Review what you read. This makes a huge difference in remembering the material. Read the bold print and briefly state what it means and why it’s significant. Answer all of the review questions. Review everything again a day or two later. WEEK 6 – Reduce Test Anxiety / Get help when you need it. (Importance due to midterms.) • -‐Start studying early, study enough so you feel confident that you know the material. Replace worry and negative thoughts with positive thoughts and relaxing. Cramming increases anxiety. • -‐Learn and practice relaxation techniques. Take a deep breath, hold it, release slowly, and repeat. Staring at the top of your head flex and relax each part of your body. Close your eyes and relax, visualize tension flowing out of your body, relaxing your muscles. • -‐Walk with confidence, head up and shoulders back. How you act can definitely affect how you feel. • -‐When you have a problem, do something to resolve it. Most questions can be answered and problems resolved when you explain them to the appropriate person. Remember your teachers, counselors, principals, and your parents can help. • -‐Everyone has problems. When your problems feel overwhelming, get help. Problems with alcohol, drugs, pregnancy, eating disorder, health concern, abusive relationship, depression or problems at home need to be addressed immediately. All kinds of students go through struggle every day. Be smart and get help. WEEK 7 – Intervention week based on mid-‐term grades (Everyone will receive an intervention, even if prior interventions were given.) • *At-‐Risk Liaison / Counselors program • Mini-‐staffing with individual student, teacher, and maybe an administrator WEEK 8 – Attitude / Motivation • “Attitude is like peeing your pants. Everyone can see it, but only you can feel it.” –Jeff Yalden WEEK 9 -‐ Communication • Proper ways of talking to other people in certain situations • Reactions to different situations • *At-‐Risk Liaison / Counselors / Guest Speakers
WEEK 10 – Review of Test Taking Strategies WEEK 11 • Testing/Final Exam Prep WEEK 12 • Study for final exam • Possible extended time for taking final exams Summary from How To Get Good Grades In Ten Easy Steps, Woodburn Press