Homework in Seventh Grade Science

  • Homework Philosophy

    The purpose of homework is to reinforce topics covered in class and to introduce topics that will be covered the day it is due. Homework often refers back to the results of an activity performed in class that day and often connects directly to what will be learned the following day. To get the most out of the next science class, timely homework completion is essential.

  • Amount of Homework

    There are typically 2-4 homework assignments due every week. Each homework assignment should take about 10-30 minutes to complete. Upcoming homework assignments can be viewed through Schoology.

  • Assigning of Homework
    Notice of upcoming homework is usually given the day before. All assignments will be posted on Schoology. The reason for not providing greater advance notice is that the homework often follows up on a specific activity or lab performed in class that day. If the student were to complete the homework before the activity, the results of that lab will be known ahead of time.

  • Types of Homework
    Typical Homework The most common HW assignment is a reading. The reading is 2-3 pages on average and requires answering about 3-5 short questions. The readings are specially designed to further the student's understanding of what is being learned in class at the time. They may make specific reference to results of the activity performed that day. They may also prepare students for the discussion or activity that will take place the next day. The readings are an important part of the sequential narrative of the IQWST unit. 

    Other Homework Sometimes students will have to complete writing assignments that were started in class. Other times the homework is to study for a test or quiz.

  • Homework Expectations

    1. All answers must be in POQIA.
    2. Homework must be complete.
      • Your homework is complete if you have answered every question (or attempted to answer every question). To show that you attempted it, you must start a POQIA answer.
    3. Sentences are of good quality.
      • Sentences are complete.
      • Spelling is accurate.
      • Proper capitalization and punctuation are used.
    4. Answers should be very accurate and appropriately detailed.
      • I expect you to make an appropriate effort to answer each question the best you can.
      • The appropriate effort is best determined by the length of time it takes you to complete your assignment. A typical homework assignment should take about 10-30 minutes.
      • It is expected that you will not answer every question perfectly and sometimes your answers will be wrong, but most answers should be correct.
    5. Highlighting is expecting. Important concepts, vocabulary and key content must be highlighted.
    6. Homework is due before class starts.
      • Homework must be uploaded to Schoology before class begins. Otherwise, it is considered late.
      • Reasons for this strict policy stem from the fact that most classes are just 41 minutes long. By moving this task to a time outside of class, we increase our time on learning. Additionally, bottlenecks at the wifi access point can occur when a classroom of students upload their homework at once and this can cause some students to have to wait minutes for their assignment to upload. 
  • Homework Grading

    Homework makes up 15% of the term grade. Each homework assignment is worth 10 pts. Full credit is awarded if all of the HW expectations are met. If any of the expectations are not met, the HW grade will be a 7. If a significant portion of expectations is not met, the grade will be a 0 or 5. Homework assignments that are graded a 0 or 5 can be brought up to a 7. Late or revised homework that is over one week old must be emailed to the teacher. No late homework will be accepted one week after the unit test.

  • Why POQIA?

    POQIA stands for “Part Of Question In Answer”. POQIA helps you write strong answers, because:

    1. POQIA helps you focus on exactly what is being asked.
      • Take for example the question, Which basic need is a fox meeting by feeding on berries? By starting a POQIA answer...The basic need a fox meets by feeding on berries is...you become focused on completing the response with a basic need and you are then led to reexamine the four basic needs of all living things.
    2. POQIA produces clearer answers by limiting the use of pronouns and promoting grammatically correct sentences.
      • Consider these two answers.
          Answer 1: It is food.
          Answer 2: The basic need a fox meets by feeding on berries is the need for food.
        Which answer is clearer? Certainly, the answer without pronouns is clearer.
      • Let’s consider a different question and two possible answers. Do you think a finch’s large beak is a helpful trait? Explain.
          Answer 1: Yes because the finch's large beak can help the bird to crack open seeds with thick shells.
          Answer 2: I think that the finch’s large beak is a helpful trait because the beak can help the bird to crack open seeds with thick shells.
        The first answer is not a grammatically correct sentence. By starting a POQIA response, this common mistake can be avoided.
    3. POQIA slows you down, giving you time focus on what is being asked and time to think critically. Too many students miss valuable points on tests and quizzes when they fail to read the question carefully and provide an answer that doesn't provide the required information.
      • Consider that seemingly simple question about berries. While taking the time to generate a POQIA response, you might consider that berries are 90% water, thus providing for the need of water. You may also realize they are energy-rich, which may help the fox develop a layer of fat. With that in mind, you might end up writing the following...

        The basic needs a fox meets by eating berries are the needs for food, water and keeping internal conditions stable. The fox gets both energy and water from the berries. If the fox eats enough berries, the fox will maintain a layer of fat. The layer of fat provides insulation that will help keep the fox’s internal temperature constant

    4. Finally, POQIA develops good writing. Good writing takes practice and requires developing good habits. With practice, POQIA will become automatic and your writing will grow stronger. A strong writer has a distinct advantage in science.