Contact Info

Mr. Andersson
Room 165
402-557-4500 ext. 879-1165


Teacher Biography. Teaching Philosophy.

2014 - 2015 Class Schedule

   Teacher Schedule - First Semester
 Time  Period  Class  Room
 07:40 - 09:07   A1    
 09:11 - 09:40  Pride  
 09:44 - 11:08  A2  
 11:12 - 01:12  A3    
 01:16 - 02:40  A4    
 07:40 - 09:07  B1     
 09:11 - 09:40  Pride    
 09:44 - 11:08   B2    
 11:12 - 01:12  B3    
 01:16 - 02:40   B4     

Syllabus & Academics

McMillan Magnet Center

Science 7

Course Syllabus



Mr. Andersson


Office Phone Number:

402-557-4500 ext. 879-1165

Plan Periods:

3A & 1B

Teacher Web Site


Room 165

Best times to contact:

Email anytime; call 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Course Description

This course integrates life science and earth & space science. In addition, topics covering science as inquiry, science process skills, science and technology, and science in personal and social perspectives have been added to give the students the connections needed to understand current issues in the world. Students study the flow of energy in an ecosystem; the structure and function of the human body; reproduction and the transfer of genetic material; the components of our Solar System and energy within the Earth’s atmosphere.


Instructional Philosophy

Science instruction is develop students’ natural curiosity to ask questions about the world around them.  Students will learn methods to find answers to their questions, while also connecting scientific concepts to the world.  Knowledge in science must be earned, and this is best achieved by utilizing a very strong commitment and partnership between teacher, student, and parent/guardian.


Content Standards

SC8.1.1 c-d,h-i Students will design and conduct investigations that will lead to descriptions of relationships between evidence and explanations.

SC8.1.2 b Students will apply the nature of science to their own investigations.

SC8.1.3 a-c,f,i Students will solve a design problem which involves one or two science concepts.

SC8.3.1 a-d Students will investigate and describe the structure and function of living organisms.

SC8.3.2 a-b Students will investigate and describe the relationship between reproduction and heredity.

SC8.3.3 a-d Students will describe populations and ecosystems.

SC8.4.1 a-c Students will investigate and describe the Earth and the solar system.

SC8.4.2 c Students will investigate and describe the Earth’s structure, systems, and processes.

SC8.4.3 a-c Students will investigate and describe energy in Earth’s systems.


Literacy Standards

RST.6-8.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.

RST.6-8.3 Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.

RST.6-8.4 Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6–8 texts and topics.

RST.6-8.6 Analyze the author’s purpose in providing an explanation, describing a procedure, or discussing an experiment in a text.

RST.6-8.8 Distinguish among facts, reasoned judgment based on research finding, and speculation in a text.



WHST.6-8.1 Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant, accurate data and evidence that demonstrate an understanding of the topic or text, using credible sources.

a. Introduce claim(s) about a topic or issue, acknowledge and distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically.

b. Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant, accurate data and evidence that demonstrate an understanding of the topic or text, using credible sources.

c. Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.

d. Establish and maintain a formal style.

e. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.

WHST.6-8.2 Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/experiments, or technical processes.

a. Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information into broader categories as appropriate to achieving purpose; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension

b. Develop the topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.

 c. Use appropriate and varied transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.

d. Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.

e. Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone.

f. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented.

WHST.6-8.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

WHST.6-8.6 Use technology including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and present the relationships between information and ideas clearly and efficiently.

WHST.6-8.9 Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis reflection, and research.

SL.7.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

a. Come to discussions prepared, having read or researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion.

b. Follow rules for collegial discussions, track progress toward specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.

c. Pose questions that elicit elaboration and respond to others’ questions and comments with relevant observations and ideas that bring the discussion back on topic as needed.

d. Acknowledge new information expressed by others and, when warranted, modify their own views.

SL.7.2 Analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how the ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue under study.

SL7.3 Delineate a speaker’s argument and specific claims, evaluating the soundness of the reasoning and the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.

SL.7.4 Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with pertinent descriptions, facts, details and examples; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.

SL7.5 Include multimedia components and visual displays in presentations to clarify claims and finding and emphasize salient points.

SL.7.6 Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.


Grading Weight

Formative 35%

Summative 65%


*For Critical Content & Skills – See Unit Planner





Major Units of Study 

            Semester 1

  • 1 week policies, procedures, safety
  • 2 weeks of Introduction
    • Inquiry
    • Text Structure & Features
    • Greek & Latin Root Words
  • 4 weeks on Flow of Matter and Energy in Ecosystems
    • The flow of energy through a simple food web
    • Producers, consumers and decomposers in an ecosystem
    • Producers transform sunlight into chemical energy through photosynthesis
    • Biotic and abiotic factors and the impact on an ecosystem
  • 9 weeks on Structure and Function of Living Systems
    • Levels of organization in living organisms
    • Organisms are composed of one or many cells
    • Cells must grow, divide, and use energy
    • All cells function similarly
    • Specialized cells perform specialized function in multi-cellular organisms
    • Organs and functions of the major systems of the human body
    • Describe way the human body systems interact with each other
  • 2 weeks on Heredity
    • Heredity information is contained in genes within the chromosomes of each cell
    • Sexual and asexual reproduction


Semester 2

  • 1 week of Earth Structures and Processes
    • Mixture of gasses in the Earth’s atmosphere
    • The atmosphere’s properties change at different elevations
  • 8 weeks of Energy in Earth’s Systems
    • Energy from the Sun influences the atmosphere
    • The Sun provides energy for plant growth
    • Factors influence daily and seasonal changes on Earth
    • Atmospheric movements that influence weather and climate
  • 9 weeks of Earth in Space
    • Components of the solar system
    • Relationship between motion of objects in the solar system
    • Phenomena of day, year, eclipses, and seasons
    • Phases of the moon
    • Effects of gravity on Earth
    • Gravity on objects in the solar system


Course Expectations

·            Have homework to complete by the end of the wekk.

·         Participate during in class discussion and cooperative learning opportunities.

·            Complete a formal lab write-up.


·            Class Rules and Expectations

Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Responsible

·       Rules and guidelines set forth in the student handbook will be followed in this class. Any student who distracts other students or the instructor interferes with the learning environment and should expect consequences.

·       Attendance: Being in class, on time, is important for student success. Anyone entering the classroom after the bell has stopped ringing is tardy. Per school policy…

·       Electronic Devices: No electronic devices (cell phones, mp3 players, games, etc.) are permitted to be seen, heard or used in the classroom at any time, per school policy… 


Safety Expectations

Science 7 is a lab-based course with a safety as an essential component.  The safety guidelines support and encourage an investigative approach and laboratory instruction, while at the same time assisting in the development of a safe learning environment.  Students will follow the Omaha Public Schools district guidelines on safety, which are published in the science safety contract.  Students will be provided a copy of the guidelines.  The students, parents and/or guardians are expected to read the guidelines and sign and return the signature portion of the contract.  The student will not be allowed to participate in the lab activities until the signed contract is returned.



·            Pearson Interactive Science – Consumable books © 2014



·     Course grades will be determined by planned assessments such as tests, quizzes, and projects scored with rubrics.

·     Major tests and/or writing projects are to be expected at the end of each major unit outlined above.

·     State Testing: As per the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act, all 8th-grade students are required to complete the Nebraska State Science (NeSA-S) test.

·     District Testing:

o   The Acuity­TM test will be administered at intervals as a predictive test.  The test will be similar to the NeSA-S in terms of content, structure, and administrations. The Acuity­TM test will be administered in middle school during early spring of 7th grade and December of 8th grade.


OPS Secondary Grading Practices*

All coursework and assessments are judged based on the level of student learning from “below basic” to “advanced.”  This course will provide multiple opportunities to achieve at the “proficient” to “advanced” levels.  Students are evaluated based on a proficiency scale or project rubric.  Proficiency scales for this course are available upon request (teacher will identify location such as portal, teacher website, attached, etc.)


There are three types of coursework*

·         Practiceassignments are brief and done at the beginning of learning to gain initial content (e.g., student responses on white boards, a valid sampling of math problems, keyboarding exercises, and diagramming sentences, checking and recording resting heart rate).  Practice assignments are not generally graded for accuracy (descriptive feedback will be provided in class) and are not a part of the grade. Teachers may keep track of practice work to check for completion and students could also track their practice work. Practice work is at the student’s instructional level and may only include Basic (2) level questions.


·         Formative (35% of the final grade) – assessments/assignments occur during learning to inform and improve instruction.  They are minor assignments (e.g., a three paragraph essay, written responses to guiding questions over an assigned reading, completion of a comparison contrast matrix).   Formative assignments are graded for accuracy and descriptive feedback is provided.  Formative work may be at the student’s instructional level or at the level of the content standard.  Formative assessments/assignments will have all levels of learning – Basic (2), Proficient (3), and Advanced (4), which means that for every formative assessment/assignment, students will be able to earn an Advanced (4). Teachers will require students to redo work that is not of high quality to ensure rigor and high expectations. The students score on a formative assessment that was redone will be their final score.


·         Summative (65% of the final grade) – assessments/assignments are major end of learning unit tests or projects used to determine mastery of content or skill (e.g., a research paper, an oral report with a power point, major unit test, and science fair project).  Summative assignments are graded for accuracy.  Summative assignments assess the student’s progress on grade level standards and may not be written at the student’s instructional level.  Summative assessments/assignments will have all levels of learning – Basic (2), Proficient (3), and Advanced (4), which means that for every formative assessment/assignment students, will be able to earn an advanced (4).




To maintain alignment of coursework to content standards, which is a key best practice for standards-based grading, teachers will utilize a standardized naming convention for each of the standards within a course.  The content standard will be marked on each assignment entered into Infinite Campus (District Grading Program) using all capital letters followed by a colon.  After the colon will be the title of the coursework.


At the end of the grading period, scores are converted to a letter grade using this grading scale.


A = 3.51 – 4.00

A-= 3.01 – 3.50

B = 2.51 – 3.00

B-=2.01 – 2.50

C = 1.51 – 2.00

D = 0.76 - 1.50

F = 0.00 – 0.75



Redoing/Revising Student Coursework*


  1. Students are responsible for completing all coursework and assessments as assigned.
  2. Students will be allowed redos and revisions of coursework for full credit as long as they are turned in during that unit of study while a student still has an opportunity to benefit from the learning. When time permits, teachers should allow the redoing or revising of summative assessments.
  3. Students are expected to complete assessments when given to the class, or if a student was justifiably absent, at a time designated by the teacher.
  4. Redoing, retaking or revising will be done at teacher discretion in consultation with the student and parent(s). Teachers may schedule students before, during, or after school to address needed areas of improvement if not convenient during class. The time and location for redoing, retaking or revising will be done at the teacher’s discretion in consultation with the student and parent(s).
  5. Scores for student work after retaking, revising or redoing will not be averaged with the first attempt at coursework or assessment but will replace the original score.


Independent Practice

The role of independent practice is to develop knowledge and skills effectively and efficiently during the unit of study. Independent practice helps guide the learning process by providing accurate, timely and helpful feedback to students without penalty. 


Example Weekly Schedule


Unit Topic

 Planned Activities


District/School/Classroom Policies & Safety Rules

Teacher Discretion


First 2 Weeks of Lesson Plans

Text Structures and Features

Greek and Latin Root Words


First 2 Weeks of Lesson Plans

Backyard Ecosystem Lab


Introduction to Ecosystem

Components of an Ecosystem

Animal Interdependence


Ecosystems & the Biotic and Abiotic Factors that Influence Them

Biotic and Abiotic Factors SMART Board Activity

Carrying Capacity


Energy Groups, Food Webs, Food Chain, Energy Pyramid & Photosynthesis

Flow of Energy Through a Food Web

Owl Pellet Lab

Energy Flow in an Ecosystem

Organism Relationship Inquiry


Cells & Function

Cell Lab Inquiry


Introduction to the Human Body

Levels of Organization


Review & Assessment

Flow of Matter/Energy Common Assessment – Food Web


Human Body Organ Systems & Functions

Lung Machine


Human Body Organ Systems & Functions

Measuring the Monstrous Digestive System


Human Body Organ Systems & Functions

Heart Beat, Health Beat


Human Body Organ Systems & Functions

Bones Lesson


Human Body Organ Systems & Functions

On a Wing and a Layer


Human Body Organ Systems & Functions

Frog Dissection


Human Body Organ Systems & Functions



Human Body Organ Systems & Functions



Review & Assessment

Human Body Common Assessment – Travel Brochure of the Body Systems



Unit Topic

Planned Activities


Introduction to Genetics - Genes, Chromosomes, DNA

6 Step Vocabulary

Tree of Genetic Traits


Genetics- Sexual & Asexual Reproduction

Sexual Vs. Asexual Foldable

Gel Electrophoresis


Layers of the Atmosphere

Weather Journal



Energy in the Atmosphere- Radiation, Thermal, Conduction, Convection Currents

Layers of the Atmosphere


Energy in the Atmosphere - Global Warming & Photosynthesis

Goldilocks Principle


Energy in Atmosphere

Thermometers and Scales

Energy Transfer Lab


Factors in Seasonal/Daily changes

Weather and Climate as Systems


Atmospheric Movements- Jet Stream & Air Mass

Under Pressure!



Review & Assessment

Earth’s Energy Systems Common Assessment


Intro to Earth & Solar System

Focus on Astronomy Vocabulary

Scale, Size and Distance


Earth Movements

Movement of Earth in the Solar System


Earth Movements

The Cause of Seasons



The Phases of the Moon

Tides Activity


Terrestrial Planets

How Much Would You Weigh?


Terrestrial Planets



Gaseous Planets

Solar System Inquiry


Gaseous Planets

Planet Travel Brochure


Review and Final Exam

Earth in Space Common Assessment – Design a Planet

Revised 7/9/2014