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Provo City School District

Dixon Middle School

Last modified: January 26, 2022

Jancy Ott

Mrs. Ott’s 7th Grade Science Syllabus

Course Description
Over the next year students will learn about the world around them by examining various fields of science. Students will learn to think like a scientist by discovering, studying, and experimenting. Students will explore how forces can cause changes in motion and how forces are responsible for the transfer of energy and the cycling of matter. We will investigate a wide variety of systems, from simple, short-term forces on individual objects to the deep, long-term forces that shape our planet. Students will determine how organisms survive and reproduce only to the extent that their own mechanisms and adaptations allow. We will end the school year by looking for evidence for the evolutionary histories of life on Earth through the fossil record, similarities in the various structures among species, organism development, and genetic similarities across all organisms.


Learning Expectations
Mrs. Ott’s students are expected to achieve understanding of the following I Can Statements this year.

#1 – I Can Statement: I can predict and explain the motion of an object using Newton’s Laws.

#2 – I Can Statement: I can explain electromagnetic and gravitational forces and how they act on objects.

#3 – I Can Statement: I can explain how chemical composition and density affect the arrangement of the interior layers of the Earth.

#4 – I Can Statement: I can identify patterns and explain the processes that change the surface of the Earth.

#5 – I Can Statement: I can explain and diagram the rock cycle.

#6 – I Can Statement: I can identify the structure and function of organelles in various types of cells.

#7 – I Can Statement: I can explain the five levels of organization from simple to complex.

#8 – I Can Statement: I can explain how genetic traits are passed from parent to offspring.

#9 – I Can Statement: I can explain how natural selection impacts genetic variation in a population.

#10 – I Can Statement: I can cite evidence for evolution.


 Performance Expectation:

*Students will receive a rubric for specific performance assessments.


Assessment of Progress
Assessment of Progress and Achievement: How will you, the student, know how well you are doing?

Formative Assessments – Students will be assessed formatively based on the interactions in class, performance assessments, and their science journal entries. Students are responsible for maintaining a science journal and reflecting in it.
Summative Assessments – There will be one written quiz per I Can Statement given throughout the school year. All students are expected to master understanding of each of these concepts with a 3 or 4 level of understanding. If students do not pass the I Can quiz the first time, they will be given opportunities to retake the quiz. A summative score is based on evidence  collected throughout a unit rather than a single final assessment.

Schedule for I Can Assessments:

Term 1 – I Can #1 and #2
Term 2 – I Can #3 – 5
Term 3 – I Can #6 – 8
Term 4 – I Can #9 – 12

Course Materials
Composition Notebook 100 pg. College Rule
Pen or Pencil – Bring to class everyday

Classroom Procedures
Behavior Expectations: Mrs. Ott expects all students to know and model the Dixon Way on a daily basis.

Be engaged in the learning and take charge of my learning
Show a positive attitude
Be prompt and prepared
Respect instructors, peers, and self
Be honest

Tardy/Absence Policy: Mrs. Haacke follows Dixon’s tardy and absence policy.

Late Work: Students must request an extension for all late work.

Expectations for Science Notebooks: In Mrs. Ott’s classroom we will be using science notebooks as a way to record student learning. Students will be expected to maintain an organized notebook which includes the following:

Activities related to I Can Statements
Science Vocabulary
Science Notes

Calendar of Due Dates for Major Assignments
Students will be given access to Canvas to view the calendar for specific due dates and details on major assignments.

Term 1 – Performance Assessments for I Cans 1-2
Term 2 – Performance Assessments for I Cans 3-5
Term 3 – Performance Assessments for I Cans 6-8
Term 4 – Performance Assessments for I Cans 9-10

Progress Reports and Report Cards
While letter grades will still be reported on each student’s report card, parents will also receive proficiency scores (1-4). The proficiency scores are tied to descriptions of what the students know and are able to do. Teachers will provide feedback to students, and your child will have opportunities to meet proficiency (3) on the standards. Final grades are determined based on the most recent evidence of student learning.

Advanced (4)

The student can teach others.
Student who can independently and consistently demonstrate extensions of their knowledge.*
Student can create analogies and/or find connections, integrating areas of study*
Proficient (3)

The student can perform the task by themselves.
The student understands not just the “what”, but can correctly explain and/or demonstrate the “how” and “why.”*
Approaching (2)

The student needs some assistance to perform the task.
Student can correctly identify some concepts and/or vocabulary, and/or use some skills.*
Basic (1)

The student needs assistance throughout the task.
Student is beginning to identify concepts, develop vocabulary and/or skills.*
It is important that we as parents and teachers have honest, straight-forward conversations with our students about their learning and achievement. It is important that we convey to our students that learning is a process. Some concepts and skills are more difficult than others to learn. A score of 1 or 2 while learning a new skill or concept is appropriate and not intended to be punitive.

A score of 3 is the target, it shows proficiency and is to be celebrated! A score of 4 indicates a student has reached proficiency and applied knowledge beyond the grade-level standard.

For more information or to address questions or concerns, please contact your child’s teachers.

Connecting Home to School
Contact Information:

Mrs. Jancy Ott


Text or Call: (385) 900-2508

Office Hours:

M-Th from 2:00-3:00
F from 11:00am-12:00
or by appointment