Lizza Vachon

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Lizza Vachon

Elizabeth Vachon

8th Grade Math

Grade 8 Math Syllabus

 

Philosophy of Course: 

It is my intention that this math class will be a challenging course; it will demand time, effort, and patience. The classroom is a place where we have the freedom to listen, talk, argue, debate, think, and laugh. I want you to feel comfortable asking questions and offering comments; but know that part of our job in this very messy process is to continue to push and develop ourselves as learners. 

I will do my best to keep our energy levels high, and our sense of humor intact.  I will encourage you to navigate your own way through the material, but I will always be available if you have questions or need help.

Take a moment to think about the first time you tried to cook a real meal from scratch, do sit-ups, raise a steer, use the pottery wheel, or play the violin.  It may have seemed impossible!  I know it did for me.  In fact, I still find it incredibly difficult to do most of the things I value and love in life—and don’t even ask me about doing sit-ups (it’s ugly). Hang in there, come see me if you get stuck, use your peers as valuable resources, etc.  Just keep at it, because the learning curve shouldn’t feel quite so steep by week fourteen.

Expectations in Class:

Please show up on-time and prepared to all classes.  I expect enthusiastic, engaged participation. Throughout the year, I will be asking you to actively listen, complete short assignments and projects, and work in groups or with partners.  I strongly encourage you to think in depth about how it is appropriate to behave in an academic setting as well as what specific strategies help you to achieve the most learning during class time. 

  • Binder (divided into five, labeled, sections: Goals, Notes, HW, Quizzes/Tests, Resources)

Expectations for Work: 

Every assignment you complete is a reflection of what you have learned and what you need to continue to work on.  Throughout the year we will explore different types of work including notes, quizzes, tests, worksheets, projects, and presentations. We will use these pieces of your work to continually discuss the difference between excellent and adequate work.  Please note that any assignment may be used as a starting point for these discussions.  

I encourage you to take responsibility for your learning by approaching me with any questions or concerns regarding any assignment.  In addition to the Tuesday morning Student Access Time, I can often meet after school by appointment.

 
Grades:

Evaluation for this class will be based on the quality of your assignments.  I have tried to balance the assessment methods such that there is plenty of opportunity for you to demonstrate mastery of a particular skill or topic, and have provided opportunities for individual and group work.  Although we will be using many different texts (math books, popular math articles, and even poetry), our primary focus will be to deeply explore the content of math and to further understand ourselves as learners. 

I occasionally give homework, but the expectation is that it should take no more than 20 minutes.  If there are any issues, please feel free to contact me – I am happy to change assignments so that they are manageable for you.  If you do not turn in homework the day it is due, you will receive a zero (as per Gunnison middle school 8th grade grading policies).  I also reserve the right to not give you full credit for homework based on quality – if you have not followed instructions or expectations discussed in class.  

You will notice that I pull grades from a number of different sources.  This is because I try and set up grades in a way that shows you what I value: work habits (like note taking, studying, and organization), as well as mathematical understanding.  Grades are not a reflection of your personal worth, or even to let you know how smart you are (in fact, I have had brilliant people not do well in my class), they are a reflection of certain skills and concepts.  If you ever disagree about a grade, you are welcome to come and speak with me, but you are required to set up a meeting.  I will not discuss a grade during class time. 

Mathematical Concepts - 50% (Based on summaries and formal assessments in the form of projects)

Formal Assessments - 50% (quizzes and tests!  All tests and quizzes are accumulative.  That means that anything we have covered during the year is fair game)

 

Percentage Grades

A+       100 - 97.5%

A         97.4 - 92.5%

A-        92.4 - 89.5%

B+       89.4 - 87.5%

B         87.4 - 82.5%

B-        82.4 - 79.5%

C+       79.4 -77.5%

C         77.4 - 72.5%

C-        72.4 - 69.5%

D+       69.4 - 67.5%

D         67.4 -62.5%

D-        62.4-59.5%

F          59.4% & below

 

The 8th grade has also set up policies around grading, which are as follows:

 

Citizenship: Be positive, Be cooperative, Be respectful

EXM - Outstanding citizenship/leadership, always polite and cooperative

PRO - Good citizenship/some leadership, usually polite and cooperative

PP – Needs improvement on citizenship, leadership, and/or cooperation

NE – Frequently disrupts class, often impolite, or uncooperative

 

Work Habits

EXM – Always prepared for class, uses class time productively, no late and or missing assignments, on time to class.

PRO – Usually prepared for class, uses class time productively, few late and/or missing assignments, mostly in time to class.

PP - Frequently unprepared, does not use class time productively, significant late and/or missing assignments, frequently late to class.

NE – Unprepared, unproductive, excessive late and /or missing assignments or tardiness to class.

 

Academic dishonesty, including plagiarism, will be dealt with according to Gunnison Middle School policies. 

Upon signing this, I am agreeing to the guidelines contained herein as well as continuous, careful effort with my work.  I have read and understand the syllabus, and I do not have any current questions.

 

 

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