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8th Grade Science

Class Syllabus

8th Grade Science Class Syllabus

Ms. DeMatteo      Room 213



            Welcome to Ms. DeMatteo’s Science class. I am so excited to get to know each of you and help you to explore the world through science.  I want to help all of you succeed so please feel free to come and talk with me about how I can help you learn. I am available during lunch and after school.  You can also email me at


Course Overview: Some of the topics we will cover:

            - Earth’s Place in the Universe (Space & Planets)

            - Motion and Stability (Forces & Interactions)

            - Earth’s History (Fossil Record & Evolution)

            - Waves, Friction, & Density

            - Inheritance and Variation of Traits

            - Human Impact & Global Issues
- Engineering & Design of Research Methods & Practical Solutions

            - Human Health (Contraception, HIV, & STDs)


Classroom Expectations & Student Responsibilities

  • Come to class prepared with your materials
  • Be respectful
  • Ask for help if you are lost or confused
  • Cheating & Plagiarism are not allowed - each student must do his or her own work
  • Follow all safety procedures when doing labs and using equipment


Grading: Your grade will be composed of the following things:      


  • We will have a test at the end of each unit. We may also have small quizzes throughout.

            Science Notebook

  • Each student will be supplied with a science notebook, which we will use in class every day.  All notes, activities, lab sheets, and graded work will be kept in the notebook and it will be collected periodically.


  • Homework assignments will be due at the beginning of the period on the due date. 
  • You will receive one homework late pass each trimester that will allow you to turn in homework late without a penalty. Unless you have an excused absence, late work without a homework pass will be marked down a minimum of 20%. Unused homework passes may be turned in at the end of the trimester for 5 points extra credit.


  • There may be long-term projects during the year.  It is important to plan ahead and pay attention to due dates.
  • Each project will be assigned with specific written instructions.
  • Homework passes cannot be used on long term projects.




Absent Work

            It is very important that you attend class every day.  However, I understand there are situations that can’t be helped occasionally.  If you know you will be absent, please come see me beforehand to get the work you will miss.  If you have an unforeseen absence, please come see me on the day you return and we will make arrangements for you to make up any work you missed. 


Revision policy

            - Students may have the opportunity to revise a test if they

                        earn an unsatisfactory score (C or below). 

            - If a student does earn an unsatisfactory score it is his/her responsibility to talk to the

                        teacher about completing revisions.   

            - All revised work MUST have the original work, as graded, stapled behind the revised


            - The original work must be intact and not erased so that the teacher can compare

                        the revised work with the original.

            - All revisions must be turned in no more than 1 week after the original test was

                        returned to students.

            - If all requirements are met, and revisions demonstrate the student’s understanding of the

                        correct answer, students can earn ½ a point back for each point they originally


            - Procedure:

  • Talk to Ms. DeMatteo and request to revise your work.
  • Complete a “Test Revision” form.
  • Staple together: (1) the revision form, (2) the newly revised work, and (3) the original un-edited graded assignment.


Lab Safety Contract

  1. ALWAYS follow all written and verbal directions exactly. Do not leave out ANY steps. Do not ADD any steps.
  2. Conduct yourself in a responsible manner at all times in the laboratory.
  3. Do NOT taste or smell any chemical or substance.
  4. Use safety goggles when told to do so.
  5. Tie back long hair.
  6. Use a holder to pick up hot glassware.
  7. Always point a closed container that is being heated away from others.
  8. Always treat a hot plate as if it were on. Never touch it or allow clothing to touch it.
  9. Always clean up wet spills immediately.
  10. Broken glassware should be reported to the teacher. Never pick up broken glass with your fingers. Use a broom and dustpan.
  11. Never place an eyedropper that has been used anywhere but in its proper container.
  12. Always handle chemicals with extreme care. NEVER touch them with your bare hands
  13. Always dispose of matches in the proper container. Never throw them in the wastepaper basket.
  14. Never cover a test tube or beaker with your hand. Stopper it properly.
  15. Always use thermometers carefully. They break easily. If one does break notify your teacher.
  16. Always be sure that any equipment used is kept in the center of the table.
  17. Always report accidents, breakage, and spills to your teacher.
  18. Breakage of equipment because of negligence or carelessness may result in the students responsible paying for replacement or repair.
  19. Clean up your work area after every activity. Put all materials back in their proper places.
  20. Always wash hands with soap after lab.

Parent Letter

Dear Parent or Guardian,


            One of our goals in the science department is to foster students’ critical thinking and problem solving skills.  In addition to providing students with content knowledge, it is my goal to teach them scientific investigation and experimentation practices.  The Science Notebook we create and the lab reports they write during the week will comprise a large part of the points they earn in this class. 

            Feel free to contact me whenever you have concerns or comments about your son or daughter.  The best way to communicate with me is by sending an email to  or you can also call and leave a message at 927-3530 x1213.  If your student needs anything, he or she is more than welcome to come see me during lunch or after school.

            Please review the class expectations with your student and sign the form below.  If there is anything you would like me to know that will help your student be successful this year, please feel free to contact me or complete the comment section.

            In addition, I invite anyone who works in a field related to science to visit our classroom and share your experiences with the students.


            I look forward to meeting you at Back to School Night on September 14th.





Sarah DeMatteo




Please return this portion of the letter to Ms. DeMatteo in Room 213 by Friday 8/25.


I have discussed the information on both pages of the class syllabus with a parent or guardian and I understand the expectations.


Student Name (please print) ________________________________________ Period ________


Student Signature ___________________________________________________



I have discussed the information on both pages of the class syllabus with my student and I understand the expectations. 


Parent/Guardian Signature _________________________________________________

Comments (optional):