Middle School Syllabus

Phillip Johnson      Mountain View Middle School     6th Grade / 7th Grade Math Teacher

I love to teach and even more, I get really excited when students want to learn.  I like the quote, “To learn, you must want to be taught.”  I have the opportunity to teach a very demanding subject, mathematics.  I am used to students (and parents) telling me how hard my classes are and how much time they take.  I believe the greatest rewards come from rigor and effort.

Now, a little about my teaching philosophy.  Correct answers are important in any math class; however, the process involved in coming up with those answers is of utmost value.  Perhaps Israel Nathan Herstein said it best when he wrote, “The value of a problem is not so much coming up with the answer as in the ideas and attempted ideas it forces on the would-be solver.”  In the classroom, teaching in such a way that the students learn will be my greatest focus.   I feel like I am a facilitator and believe in group activities and cooperative learning situations.  Be advised though, that I will challenge your students.  Another one of my favorite quotes is by John Stuart Mill.  He said, “A pupil from whom nothing is ever demanded that he cannot do, never does all he can.”  Knowledge opens doors and makes for a more promising future.  I want that for all of my students.

I like the established Buffs’ Classroom Expectations and the Academic Assistance Expectations for MVMS – Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Responsible, along with their definitions.  I will work to develop some additional definitions of each with my students; but I expect a minimum of the following for each.

Be Safe:  I expect my classroom to be a safe learning environment.  This means physically, mentally, and emotionally.   Proper considerate classroom behavior is a must.

Be Respectful:  Students will not interfere with the teacher’s instruction, nor with the other students’ opportunity to learn.   Students should have no fear of sharing their ideas and thoughts with the class.  No harassment or bullying will be tolerated.

Be Responsible:  Come to class prepared to learn.  I expect all students to be on task at all times.

Grades:   Since 6th grade is the first time that most students actually earn letter grades, it will be an adjustment for students as well as for parents. In both of my 6th and 7th grade math classes exams will play the biggest role in establishing the students’ grades; however, I will also use assignments, quizzes, projects, bell work and other classroom participation activities in assigning grades. I will use the computer program IXL to reinforce the concepts being taught and will be utilized in a homework setting as well.  This will also play a part ing he grading scheme.   Grades will be assigned based on the percentage of total points earned.  Be aware that if a student scores poorly on a unit exam, he/she will probably not get a high grade in class, but that does not mean they are unsuccessful or not prepared for the next level.  My goal is for all students to master the material.  I will make myself available for extra help when needed.

Class Materials:

  • Buff Planner
  • 3-Ring Notebook
  • Pencil
  • Eraser

Resources
The students will have access to the following resources for mastering mathematics concepts:

  • Textbook / Worksheets
  • IXL Computer Tutorial
  • Teacher assistance in and out of class time

Behavioral Misconduct:

Students need to be on task.  We have very little time to master a lot of math concepts. Students that are not being attentive, not working along on guided practice problems, being distractive, not doing homework, or working on IXL as required will be not be in a position of "Good Standing".  In other words, if the student is doing something that preventing the teacher from teaching and students from learning (including themselves), he/she will receive a reteach tixx.  If the problem persists he/she will receive an office referral. 

Academic Misconduct:

If a student is caught copying or cheating on any assignment or exam, he/she will receive a zero for that assignment or exam with no chance of make-up.  A referral will also be sent to the office.

Late Work: 

Any work turned in passed the due date will be considered late and only receive half credit.  The only exception to this policy is if the student misses class due to a legitimate excused absence or a school activity. In this situation the student has until the next time he/she attends class to turn in the assignment for full credit.

Grading Policy for 6th/7th Grade Math:

60%     Assessments

40%     Homework and IXL

The final letter grade will be based on the percentage of total points earned to total points available during the grading period.

60% - 62%      D-        70% - 72%      C-        80% - 82%      B-        90% - 93%      A-

63% - 66%      D         73% - 76%      C         83% - 86%      B         94% - 100%    A

67% - 69%      D+       77% - 79%      C+       87% - 89%      B+

Communication:

Students should sign in to Google Classroom (https://classroom.google.com) in order to see upcoming events such as test dates, as well as unit reviews and rubrics.
Students can sign in using the following log-in codes:
1st Period Math 6:   2o99qal                 4th Period Math 6: jxzc0wb         2nd Period Math 7: 8534rbr    
3rd Period Math 6:  zabh5p                   5th Period Math 6: ip8322g

I will be available for help before school starting at 7:00 am Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.  The best way to do so is to email, but I will also check my phone regularly.

Email: johnsonp@uinta4.com

Phone: 307-782-6338  ext: 6230  (leave a message if I don’t answer)