Welcome to the 2017-18 SMS Middle School Science program.  We are excited to have Life Science and specifically Biology be our focus for this year.  The following is a description of what our students will be experience in class this year.

Science  Grades 6-8 – 2017-18 focus – Biology – Structure and Function

Structure and Function addresses the performance expectations, attendant science and engineering practices, and crosscutting concepts deemed appropriate for grades 6 through 8 by the Next Generations Science Standards (NGSS). It allows students to develop an understanding of phenomena that influence the many different fields in the life sciences.  By completing this unit, students and the teacher will develop a better understanding of how structure and function contribute to the survival of organisms.

Each lesson in this unit builds on the skills and concepts presented in previous lessons.  As students progress through the unit, they take increasing responsibility for their own learning.  Eventually, students plan and conduct their own investigation and analyze the results they obtain.

To structure and scaffold the development of students’ knowledge, skills, and cognitive reasoning, this unit includes three primary lesson types: pre-assessment, skills and knowledge, and assessment. The pre-assessment lesson allows the teacher to assess students’ preconceptions, misconceptions, and skills. The skills and knowledge building lessons provide multiple opportunities for students to grow and learn through formative assessment. The assessment lesson includes both performance and written assessment activities that function together as a summative assessment of student learning.


Middle School Science uses the Standards Based grading system of 4.0, 3.5, 3.0, 2.5, 2.0, 1.5 and 1.0.  Practice is not included in the final grades, as we recognize that students make mistakes while they are learning the material presented.  All final grades are based on Assessments that include specific rubrics for the given assignments.


Smithsonian Education Center – Science and Technology Concepts for Middle School – Life Science, Biology – Structure and Function.

Homework and class work (student warm-ups and lab activities) will be reflected on the report card under Self-Directed Learning and Problem Solving.