Welcome to the 2018-19 SMS Middle School Science program.  We are excited to have Earth Science and specifically Weather and Climate 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 – 2018-19 focus – Earth Science – Weather and Climate

Weather and Climate Systems 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 weather and climate.  Students model many of these large-scale phenomena in a way that allows them to see how they work.

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.  Therefore, the unit should be taught in its entirety; it should not be used as a sourcebook of occasional experiments or activities.

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 – Earth Science – Weather and Climate

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