"The future belongs to those
who believe in the beauty of their dreams."
Welcome to Mason Middle School
6th Grade Science Expectations
Parents/Guardians and Students
My name is Carol Eckert and I will be your science teacher for sixth grade.
This is my twenty-seventh year teaching at Mason. You are part of a great team at our school. We work so you have a successful start in middle school.
My goal, as your teacher, is to support and assist you as you gain confidence in scientific examination, critical thinking, organization and problem solving.
My hope is that you will leave my class with a greater appreciation for science and continue a lifetime of discovery and learning.
Keep in Touch With the Classroom
Please bookmark this site
The best way to find out about what is going on in class is to go to the Tacoma Public Schools website and access the Mason MS web site and click on classrooms. Click on Eckert and go to the different sections.
I enter my planner information on this site. I have classroom information, Current Science word lists, due dates, class notes, glossaries for the units and other important information.
Wow, what a tool to keep up with your student’s progress. Please go to this site https://www.tacoma.k12.wa.us/tpsstudents/
There you can access your student’s grades for all their classes. I will upload new grades at least once a week. I hope you to check your student’s grades at least once a week. There is also an email/text messaging feature for grades online. You may utilize that feature to stay informed.
This letter and information is online on my SWIFT Site and you may read and respond to this letter on that site by contacting me at http://classrooms.tacoma.k12.wa.us/mason/ceckert/index.php and then go to Contact Me.
I will check off your response. if you send me an email.
Classroom Rules and Procedures
1. Follow directions.
2. Make responsible choices.
3. Be prepared. Bring supplies/
materials to class daily.
4. Treat everyone with respect.
Harassment and Bullying
Harassment and bullying are not tolerated at Mason.
Everyone has a right to feel good about coming to school to learn. Please discuss this at home.
If you feel someone is harassing or bullying you, you have to tell them to stop and then tell an adult. If you see someone being harassed please tell an adult.
Problems are referred to the office immediately
Sixth grade is a new start.
You are at a new school, new classes, new teachers, new friends, new expectations and
This is an extremely important year. Choices you make in 6th grade may determine the path you take for the rest of your life.
We have 3 major units in Science.
We have a unit on the Diversity of Life, which includes microscopic life, cells, taxonomy, seeds, flowers, plants, snails, roaches, and general life science.
Our next unit is Human Body Systems. We introduce the body systems and then focus on the Respiratory and Circulatory Systems
Planetary Science is our last unit. It gives students a sense of where they are in the world and we go into geology, the history and importance of the moon and space. We will emphasize the phases of the moon. Be prepared for moon observations.
Students are responsible for keeping their science information in science composition notebooks. They need to bring them to class daily. These books need to be organized and neat.
Comp books are 7 ½" X 9 ¾”. They are not spiral notebooks. You may need up to 5 books for the year. If you can find college ruled composition book, they are the best. The composition books that are widely available are also fine. Look for sales.
Graphs, charts and tables are kept there, along with lecture notes, lab write ups, readings and responses. All entries must be headed and dated.
Students receive a grade for their composition books. They need to keep up with a table of contents and all returned work is taped into the composition book to use as a reference.
It is the student’s responsibility to keep up with assignments, readings, questions or responses and labs. You will follow the format I give you in class to write up a lab.
If you are absent you can get the information from a classmate or you can see if the information is on my classroom SWIFT site: http://classrooms.tacoma.k12.wa.us/mason/ceckert/index.php
93-100 % A
90-92 % A-
87-89 % B+
83-86 % B
80-82 % B-
77-79 % C+
73-76 % C
70-72 % C-
67-69 % D+
63-66 % D
60-62 % D-
Below 60 % Fail
Assignments are given point values. Points are then converted to percents.
Your percent of the total points determines your final grade.
Students should bring the following to class every day:
* Mason Student Planner
* 2 Composition Books
(One for notes, one for CS voc.)
* Current Science mag. and voc.
* Classroom Supplies (see list)
These same items should go home with the student every day.
2 composition books (up to 5 comp. books total for the year)
2 sharpened pencils every day
(No pen in science class)
Hand held pencil sharpener
Highlighter (any color)
Metric ruler (small one)
Colored pencils (a few)
Pencil pouch (to hold supplies)
Paper (3 hole punched, not spiral notebook paper, you may use perforated paper from a spiral notebook)
2 boxes of tissues (in September; please give to your first period teacher.)
Suggested Supplies (but not required)
3 hole punch (fits in a 3 ring binder)
Small dictionary (home)
Small Atlas (home)
Label all materials with a permanent marker indicating student’s last name. These supplies can be used for other classes as well.
Students will use Mason planners. They have reference material that we use in class.
I require students to keep track of all assignments. Students write down all assignments exactly like I have them written on the screen, so there is no question about what is expected. In other words, student shorthand is not acceptable.
If you want to know what homework your student has, look in their planner. Look at the assignment they have written down and then check their homework. I don’t accept early work so they should be able to show it to you.
Planners are checked for signatures on Fridays (or the last full school day of the week) for parent/guardian signature. Refer to planner due dates.
Please sign planners once a week, at the bottom of the Thursday column. This is also a good place to write me a note and I will respond as soon as possible. The students are given 10 points for those signatures. If they do not have a signature, they sign into the discipline book. If they forget, they have one more day to get me a signature and they receive 8 points.
Science involves a variety of activities. I expect students to participate to the best of their ability.
There are some activities that require cooperative learning and group grades are assigned. Working in a group is actually part of your grade.
Each student is responsible for completion of all assignments on time. Students with a poor attitude or poor behavior will not spoil a successful group activity.
Attendance and Tardiness
The tone of the day is established in the first few minutes of class. I expect students to be on time and to attend all classes. Unexcused tardy to class means signing into the discipline book.
If you miss class notes, you need to get them from a reliable classmate. Some activities cannot be made up, such as labs, videos, in class reading, discussions, group work, computer work and presentations.
When your student is a part of a team or group and is not present in class, for reasons other than being sick, it directly impacts those other group members. Group members depend on your student being in the group.
Make up work is the responsibility of the student to complete as soon as possible. Call a classmate for information on homework or class work that you have missed. You can also access my classroom web site.
Students should expect to spend an average of 30 minutes each evening per subject doing homework, reading, studying or working on projects.
There is homework that students can work on over the weekend. But if students plan ahead, they can do most of their work during the week, so they can be free on the weekend
There is little homework in science other than the Current Science vocabulary. Homework is due at the beginning of class. It is graded on being complete, neat and accurate. Grades on homework are also based on effort. Students that give a 1-word definition vs. a detailed definition will receive fewer points on their assignment.
Unexcused late work scores are based on how late an assignment is turned in. Scores on assignments go down one grade for each day late.
I reward students with verbal praise, notes in the planner, positive phone calls home, friendship bracelets or homework passes.
Discipline Book Sign-In
I have a daily page in my discipline book and students sign-in if they do not have supplies or homework. On the fifth sign-in in one month, students will be given a detention. Students are then part of the school-wide discipline management plan.
If students do not sign in for themselves; I do it for them (twice).
Please make sure students have all your current phone numbers, so they can reach you. Please write any numbers they may need in their planner. When under stress students often forget your phone numbers.
Help and Questions
Students need to ask for help before they get too far behind. I am happy to help kids that want help. I am less inclined to help kids that do not want to put forth effort.
Students can come in for help, do readings, work with other students on homework and projects, take care of the classroom animals or aquariums, do make up work, or serve detention time after school.
Please make prior arrangements with me.
Student Behavior for Substitutes
I expect students to behave superbly when there is a substitute in the classroom.
Any misbehavior and rudeness will result in a severe consequence. The student and parent/guardian should discuss the importance and reasoning behind this expectation.
Each student needs $12.00 per year for 14 issues of a magazine called Current Science. This is an excellent resource for current science news and information for middle school students.
Please send a $12 check, payable to: Mason Middle School by September 20.
If you can pay extra for a student that cannot afford it, we always appreciate it.
Current Science magazine is very important. Completing the vocabulary in a detailed manner will result in a much higher score on the tests. Read and discuss the magazine with your child and they can earn extra credit. All you have to do is sign their vocabulary list and I will check it on the day of the test.
Another resource is the Tuesday edition of the New York Times newspaper. There is a special section devoted to science. You may read it online: http://www.nytimes.com/pages/science/index.html
If a student needs financial assistance for supplies, magazine subscriptions or field trips, please contact me early so I can make necessary arrangements to help. You can write me a note or give me a call: 571-7015. You may also call the guidance office 571-7081.
In science class we also discuss current health issues. Health comes up in the news and we discuss a range of topics throughout the school year. We start the year with a unit on how to be successful in middle school.
Health topics may include self-esteem, drug and alcohol prevention, smoking prevention strategies, puberty, human anatomy and physiology, diseases, AIDS, exercise and nutrition.
The team of student, parent, teacher and school, can be successful if we all give 100%. We need to work together for the common purpose of your child being successful in science.
If you have questions and concerns please feel free to call me at school and leave a message.
I will get back to you as soon as possible.
My school phone # 253.571.7015
My e-mail address is: ceckert@tacoma.K12.wa.us
I try to check my e-mail every day, but you can call and leave a message if you have a time dependent message.
My classroom website is: http://classrooms.tacoma.k12.wa.us/mason/ceckert/index.php
I cannot meet with parents before school unless an appointment is scheduled. I am busy with meetings or preparing for my day.
I have included a set of abbreviations that I use throughout the year. You may want to keep it handy and refer to it whenever you have a question. Students quickly learn my abbreviations.
Please sign and return the attached signature form confirming that both you and your child have read and understand this information.
Return this right away. This is a 20-point assignment.
For your information, check off as you return each item.
_____ Signature Return Form with the Science Safety Contract (sign one side)
_____ Paid $12.00 for Current Science Magazine (Make check out to Mason Middle School)
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I make this very detailed so you know my expectations for students. If you have questions and/or concerns, please contact me right away.
I am looking forward to a fabulous year.
Abbreviations and Info for Mrs. Eckert’s Science Class
I use abbreviations when I have students fill out the planner. This is the key to the abbreviations.
I have also included some other information about my classes.
ISNCB means ‘In Your Science Notes Composition Book’
ICSCB means ‘In Your Current Science Composition Book’
IQIA When you answer questions in writing, you must include the Question in the Answer. This ensures that students answer the questions in complete sentences. Example: How much snow fell on January 16, 2013? If you just put down 6 or 6 inches, you will not get credit for it.
A good answer: Six inches of snow fell on January 16, 2013.
You have to include the question in the answer. There are very few times that you do not have to IQIA. If it doesn’t say anything after an assignment you can assume it is IQIA.
ic means we will do it in class
cs means use complete sentences, with a capital, and ending punctuation.
CS refers to Current Science magazine
DAL means draw and label
TOC means table of contents; students fill in their table of contents as we go along and students enter their own page numbers, so they can find reference material
ss means summary statement; read the article, write summary statement (s) for the main point (s)
IYOW means in your own words
pg means page
p means period (example: p 4 means period 4)
$ means money
HW means homework
voc means vocabulary
osp means on a separate piece of paper (not in the composition book)
ws means work sheet
DOL refers to the unit Diversity of Life (the 1st science unit we will study)
HBS refers to the unit Human Body Systems
PS refers to the unit Planetary Science
green refers to the green resource book we use in our Diversity of Life unit or the Planetary Science unit.
inc. means your assignment is incomplete, so you have to finish it and turn it back into me
Students will use a ruler when making graphs, tables and charts. Students should always have a small metric ruler at all times.
All work must be neat and readable. If a student turns in work that I cannot read, it must be redone for credit.
In the planner, if there isn’t a due date next to an assignment, then the assignment is due the next school day,
at the start of class.
Often when I put “study” I don’t include a due date because I want you to study as we go along.
If you receive a returned paper from me with an X or a + or a check √, then you have received all the points possible on an assignment.
If you receive a grade like (7/10) then you received 7 out of 10 points possible.
Science Student Safety Expectations
The following are expectations for student conduct and safety when in a class or activity involving the use of potentially harmful science materials.
Do what the teacher tells you to do. Follow all of the teacher’s oral and written instructions and directions.
Follow all classroom rules. Do not disrupt or interfere with another student’s safety or learning.
Remain in the classroom and work at your assigned station. Keep the assigned station orderly.
Wait until the teacher has given permission to begin an activity.
Use laboratory materials and equipment only for the purpose intended. Do not do experiments other than those you are told to perform at that time in class.
Do Not eat, drink, smell or taste anything in the laboratory, classroom or during the activity, unless directed by the teacher. This includes food and drink, as well as chemicals.
Wash hands thoroughly after using chemicals and/or lab equipment.
Do not touch your mouth, lips, or eyes when using chemicals, until after hands have been washed.
Report any injury, spill, or accident immediately to the teacher and follow the teacher’s instructions.
Dispose of chemicals or other potentially hazardous materials as instructed.
In order to remain in the class or activity, the student must follow these safety expectations. Failure to do so may result in discipline or suspension from class for the remainder of the period or longer, as determined appropriate by the principal or designee. Removal from lab may mean loss of credit for the activity or the class.
These Student Expectations have been read, discussed and understood.
Planner signature Due Dates (put these on your calendar).
Planners are checked for signatures on Fridays (or the last full school day of the week) for parent/guardian signature. Refer to planner due dates below.
Please sign planners once a week, at the bottom of the Thursday column. This is also a good place to write me a note and I will respond as soon as possible. The students are given 10 points for those signatures. If tstudents do not have a signature, they sign into the discipline book.
If they forget, they have one more day to show me a signature and they receive 8 points.
Signature Return Form (return this page only)
to Mrs. Eckert, room 620, Mason Middle School.
This means that you have read and understand the expectations in Science for 2011-2012.
Please return as soon as possible.
Getting this signed and returned on time is a 20-point assignment.
We have read and understand Mrs. Eckert’s expectations for the 2013-2014 school year,
as outlined in the Welcome Letter and the Science Student Safety Expectations for the 2013-2014 School-Year.
Student Signature (always sign your first and last name)
Parent/Guardian Signature: only one required
Best Contact email address:
Any notes? (You may want to include important health information.):
Please read, sign and return to Mrs. Eckert, room 620