Welcome to the 2019-20 school year at Remsen Central School.  I look forward to sharing the school year with you.  On this page you will find the course syllabus, which includes the content that will be covered in the course, as well as class expectations.  Please continue to check the classroom calendar below for QODs and upcoming classroom assignments and exams.  

    7th Grade Life Science

    Mr. O’Bryan

    E-mail: dobryan@remsencsd.org

    Phone: 315-205-5309



    Welcome to 7th Grade Life Science for the 2019-2020 school year.  The goal of this course is to offer a general overview of life science topics.  The material in 7th grade will provide a foundation upon which future science courses are built. In this packet you will find what you can expect from me, and my expectations for you.  You must keep this packet.  It will become the first page of your RECOMMENDED BINDER.  In the next few pages you will find class rules and consequences, course content, State requirements for science courses, grading policy-including extra credit, and the materials you will need for class.


    Class Rules- By the time you reach this grade level, I expect you all to understand this rule, “If you wonder whether or not a particular behavior will get you into trouble…IT WILL!!!”.  Therefore, there need be only 4 rules.


    1. Be Polite- Respect your classmates and me (No put-downs).
    2. Be Prompt- I expect you to be in class on time.
    3. Be Prepared- I expect you to come to class with proper materials.
    4. Do your best- I expect everyone to do well in this course.  It is your job put forth the effort to succeed.  It is my job to help you along the way.  I will always help.  I expect you to always do your best.


    Particular Pet Peeves- Be sure to avoid these particular behaviors.

    1. Tardiness
    2. Cell phones- please check Student Handbook for policy including emergencies.


    Rewards for Inappropriate Behavior- If you feel it necessary to bend the class rules, you will be appropriately rewarded.  You will get to spend extra time with me, and if problems continue, we can spend MORE time with each other and a few other people.

    1. Lunch with ME!
    2. After school time with ME, and we get to talk to your parents.
    3. Time with Guidance Counselor, Principal, Parents, and me!



    Course Content: The following topics will be covered this year, although the order in which the topics are studied may change.



    I.                    Scientific Method


    II.                 Living Things


    III.               Cells


    IV.              Classification of Life (Taxonomy) and Tour of the Kingdoms


    V.                 Human Body Systems


    VI.              Genetics


    VII.            Ecology



    State Requirements for Science Courses

                The New York State Regents Board requires that science courses place an emphasis on scientific experimentation and hands- on investigation.  By the time students reach high school, each student must complete 1200 lab minutes in the science classroom.  This means students must complete and turn in lab activities.  If the lab requirement is not met, students are not allowed to take the Regents exam, and will receive a zero for a final exam grade.  Additionally, students that do not meet the lab requirement are not allowed to take the course during summer school and must repeat the entire course next year.  Labs must be completed by June 1, 2020.  This course will use labs to help students prepare for the more strict high school level lab requirements.


    *** Since Labs are a strict requirement for the Regents, completion of Labs will be strictly enforced in this class.  Each lab not turned by the due date results in loss of points from a student’s grade which can lower one’s quarter average.  Labs can seriously affect one’s grade if not completed.***


    Class Routine- Question of the Day

                Virtually every day when you come into class there will be a question on the board.  When you come into class it is your responsibility to open your binder, copy the question of the day on your weekly agenda, and develop your own answer to the question.  You will be given time to share your answer with a partner, and then we will discuss the answers to the question as a class.  Keeping a record of the Question of the Day will count as part of your test and quiz grade for the unit with which the questions are associated. 






                Grades will be determined as follows:

                            Tests- ………………..40%

                            Quizzes- ……………. 20%



                            Class Participation-….10%




                Tests will consist of multiple choice and short answer Regents style questions.  An entire class period will be allowed for an exam.  The number of tests per quarter will vary, so it is important to prepare well for exams.  I do not allow tests to be re-taken.



                Quizzes will be mostly multiple choice, although a few may be only short answer questions.  Quizzes will be given during class, and take only a portion of the class period.


    **Students will be told in advance when tests and quizzes will be given.  If a student is absent on the day an exam is scheduled, it will be expected to made up the exam the day the student returns to school.  It is a student’s responsibility to see me and schedule a time to make up the exam.  Any test/quiz not made up within 2 days may result in a zero.**



                Students will not have homework every night, so when an assignment is given I expect it to be done.  Castle Learning assignments need to be completed, so if you do not have internet access at home, students must schedule time at school to complete these assignments.  Computer problems or loss of internet service are not acceptable excuses for incomplete assignments.  Assignments will include writing.



                As mentioned previously, Labs are very important to this course.  Failure to complete labs can severely hurt a student’s grade, and success in this course.  Students are expected to complete labs, and turn them in on the date due.  Completed labs will be graded and kept in a folder in the classroom.  Lab tests may be given on anything covered in labs.  Advanced notice will be given for any such test, and more information will be provided at that time.


    Interim Exams-

                At the end of trimester period, students throughout the district are required to take cumulative exams.  These exams are based on all material from the marking period, and as the year progresses, all material from the beginning of the school year.  These exams are the best indication of how students will do on the final exam in June, and as a result, account for 1/5th of the grade for each marking period.  Therefore, this single test can significantly affect a student’s grade.  Parents will be informed of student performance on these exams upon request at the start of the 4th marking period, and can be informed more frequently upon request.  


    Class Participation

                A portion of each student’s grade will be determined by class participation.  Participation will be evaluated on adherence to class rules, attendance, and demonstration that students are prepared for class.  Participation counts for a significant portion of each quarter’s grade, and full credit is easily attainable, simply do your best.  


    7th Grade Science Project and Science Fair

                All students enrolled in 7th grade Life Science will be participating in the Middle School Science Fair in the spring of 2018 as part of their required course curriculum.  Students may work with a partner in their class if they choose.  Students will be provided some time in class, but may have to complete portions of the project outside of school.  Students that receive the highest scores from judges are eligible to move on to the Utica College Regional Science Fair to win prizes.  More information will be provided as we start the project and again as the fair approaches.


    Extra-Help and Extra-Credit


                Extra-Help- If you ever need extra help or have any questions, I am available

                almost every day after school, Monday through Thursday.  Simply schedule a

                time with me in advance.  I promise I will do all I can to help students through course content.


                Extra-Credit- I will regularly give assignments that are extra-credit only.

                These are not to be confused with homework.  On the day these are due

                I will award “Bio-Bucks” to students that have completed the assignment.

                Students will keep track of these “Bio-Bucks” on their own and turn them in

                at the end of each quarter. 4 “Bio-Bucks” = 1 extra point on an exam. 



    Materials Needed-



                Each student will be required to keep their own class materials, a 3-ring binder is strongly recommended although a folder could also be used.  The binder will contain notes, handouts, and all other material used for the course.  Students are expected to keep the binder organized.



                Students should have loose-leaf paper for their binders or a spiral notebook for any writing assignments, notes, etc.



                Students are expected to have something to write with everyday.