Course Guidelines and Expectations
E and F Blocks – Room 817
Readiness to learn...
One of my goals as a teacher is to enable you to know yourself as a thinker and learner and for you to come to understand what it means to truly know something. The less you need me to direct your education, the greater the potential there is for you to discover new "ways of knowing." An essential prerequisite to this is that you must be a responsible student who comes to class ready to learn. A teacher plays a crucial role in the quality of your education, but your sense of purpose will determine whether or not you reach your potential. I want you to consider the following questions throughout this course:
1. Do you attend classes on a regular basis?
2. Are you on time to class?
3. Are you prepared for class?
4. Do you do your homework regularly?
5. Do you pay attention in class, participate in discussions and ask relevant questions?
6. Do you treat all other students with respect and allow for open discussion?
7. If you are absent, do you make an effort to call someone in the class to find out what was discussed and what you need to do to be prepared for the next class?
8. Do you seek extra-help as soon as possible if you did not understand something in class? (either from another student or me)
9. If you miss a quiz or test, do you take the initiative to arrange a make-up?
If you have answered YES to all of the questions above then I am confident you will succeed in this course. If you were unable to answer YES to some of the questions above then the time has come for you to make some important changes. I will do my best to ensure that this course meets your expectations and I am sure that you will do your best to meet mine.
I recommend that you use a three-ring binder with tabs to organize your notes, homework, returned tests and quizzes, and handouts that you will receive for activities and explorations that we do in this course. Of course it is fine if you have some other "tried and true" system that works for you!
I maintain a web site that you can access at http://sch.ci.lexington.ma.us/~gsimon. You can also navigate to the high school web page and then select the link to the Mathematics Department which lists all of the teachers. My web site will serve as a syllabus and assignment guide. The homework assignments will be listed on the day it is assigned and it will be due the next time class meets unless stated otherwise.
FirstClass Conference, E-mail, and LHS Server Folder…
You must have a FirstClass account so that you can access our Honors Geometry class conference as well as receive e-mail. You may set your preferences to automatically forward your FirstClass e-mail to another account (firstname.lastname@example.org for example) if you prefer to read your FirstClass e-mail from your personal e-mail account. Additionally, you must have a student account so that you are able to save to the high school server when we are working in a computer lab or with laptops in our classroom. If you are unsure of your username and/or
password, ask a librarian in the LHS Library.
The grading in this course will be based on a variety of assessments. Please note that the given percentages are approximations and may vary by as much as 10% depending on the nature of the assessments in a particular quarter.
TESTS will be given after the completion of a unit or chapter. This will occur periodically (every two to three weeks) and will be graded using letter grades (A, B, C, D, or F with plus/minus). Tests will be announced about a week in advance.
QUIZZES will be given at "bite-size" intervals if the material for any particular unit is especially difficult or lengthy. Quizzes will generally be announced at least three days in advance but there will occasionally be unannounced short quizzes worth 5 to 10 points. TESTS and QUIZZES will be worth 60% of your grade. Tests and quizzes must be made up the day you return after a one-day absence.
In addition to tests and quizzes, in each quarter there will be assessments based on some combination of lab "write–ups," problem-solving sessions, research projects, journal entries, and a mathematics portfolio of your work that you will develop throughout the year. These ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENTS will be worth 20% of your grade.
Since the quality of your learning is dependent on the level of commitment you make to working on mathematics outside of school as well as in class, HOMEWORK will be worth 10% of your grade.
To allow for flexibility, I also give a letter grade (A, B, C, D, or F) for PARTICIPATION which will be worth 10% of your grade. In determining this grade, I consider attendance, punctuality, in-class work, attitude, behavior, and whether or not you sought extra-help when you needed it. In short, I ask myself if you were a responsible student that enhanced both the teaching and learning in this course.
A departmental FINAL EXAM is administered at the end of the fourth quarter. The final exam grade as well as the four quarter grades are used to determine your FINAL GRADE for the course. The FINAL EXAM can be weighted no more than 20% of your FINAL GRADE.
Academic Integrity and Honor Code...
You will have an opportunity to discuss the Lexington Honor Code and related Reporting and Awareness Bill in your homeroom. I expect that you adhere to the guidelines outlined in these documents and that you maintain the highest academic integrity at all times. I will make it very clear if any form of collaboration or use of outside resources is permissible on assignments, projects, and assessments. If you are unsure, then it is your responsibility to seek clarification from me.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to ask me at any time. My office is located in Room 711 of the Mathematics Building. My e-mail address is email@example.com.