Assignment Types

Although a more thorough description of the types of assignments used in Dr. Merritt’s science classes can be found in the Course Handbook (available: September 2017), the most commonly used assignments types are presented below. They are ordered according the percentage to which they contribute to a student’s overall science grade (from highest to lowest).

LAB/FIELD NOTEBOOK (25%)


Students will be required to purchase a scientific notebook at the beginning of the school year. Before purchasing, students must be sure to read Dr. Merritt’s guide to buying a scientific notebook. This notebook will be used for a variety of different lab and field investigations. Thus, many of the pages within this website will often refer to the “lab/field notebook.” All lab/field notebooks must be kept according to a set of general rules, as well as other rules guiding activities such as inserting figures (e.g., data tables, graphs, drawings, illustrations, processed specimens, photographs, etc.). All lab/field must also contain an up-to-date table of contents.

  • Much of the work contained within the lab/field notebook is considered revisable.

Teachers, teacher educators, parents, and
interested students can find out more about
the Lab/Field Notebook by clicking HERE.

LAB/FIELD REPORTS (10%)


There are two main categories of Lab/Field Reports: formal and informal. Formal reports are lengthy, comprehensive, preferably typed Google Documents for which Dr. Merritt provides detailed templates and rubrics. They are one of the most challenging assignment types, but they well worth the effort and most students usually feel a great sense of pride after completing them.

Compared to formal reports, informal reports are both less lengthy and not nearly as comprehensive. They typically contain only one or two sections of a formal report. In other words, if a formal lab/field report is an entire pie (preferably banana cream, key lime or cherry!), then an informal lab/report is only one or two pieces of the pie. Informal reports can be submitted (neatly) handwritten or typed.

  • Lab/Field Reports account for 10% of a student’s overall science grade.
  • Lab/Field Reports–both formal and informal–are revisable assignments.

Teachers, teacher educators, parents, and
interested students can find out more about
Lab/Field Reports by clicking HERE.

HOMEWORK (10%)


Typical homework assignments require 5-25 minutes of uninterrupted, independently guided work outside of class and are unusually due at the beginning of class one day after having been assigned.

  • Homework is NOT revisable.

Teachers, teacher educators, parents, and
interested students can find out more
about Homework by clicking HERE.

CLASSWORK (10%)


Typical in-class assignments require 5-45 minutes of uninterrupted, independently guided work inside of class and are always due before leaving the classroom at the end of the class period. Classwork includes occasional “Equipment Checks” by the teacher, which can be either announced or unannounced. During a ‘check,’ the teacher might ask students to produce particular (required) school items–for example, a piece of lined, A4 notebook paper, a blue or black pen, a sharpened pencil, a highlighter pen, and/or a metric ruler.

  • Classwork is NOT revisable.

Teachers, teacher educators, parents, and
interested students can find out more
about Classwork by clicking HERE.

QUIZZES (10%)


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  • Quizzes are revisable.

Teachers, teacher educators, parents, and
interested students can find out more
about Quizzes by clicking HERE.

TESTS (10%)


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  • Tests are NOT revisable.

Teachers, teacher educators, parents, and
interested students can find out more
about Tests by clicking HERE.

PROJECTS (10%)


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  • Because they are typically due towards the end of the semester and require many weeks of effort, most projects are NOT revisable.

Teachers, teacher educators, parents, and
interested students can find out more
about Projects by clicking HERE.

SPECIAL WRITING ASSIGNMENTS (10%)


Dr. Merritt makes use of a number of different special writing assignments in his science classes. Some of the names of these assignments are…What is…?, Microthemes, The Story of…, Thick Descriptions, and Popular Science Article Analyses.

  • Most writing assignments are revisable.

Teachers, teacher educators, parents, and
interested students can find out more about
Special Writing Assignments by clicking HERE.

CLASSROOM SCIENCE BINDER (5%)


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  • Most of the items expected to be contained within the Classroom Science Binder are revisable.

Teachers, teacher educators, parents, and
interested students can find out more about the
Classroom Science Binder by clicking HERE.

ANTIPASTI (0%)


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  • Because antipasti do not count towards the overall science grade, they are NOT revisable.

Teachers, teacher educators, parents, and
interested students can find out more
about Antipasti by clicking HERE.