Assignment Types

The most commonly used assignments types in Dr. Merritt’s middle school science classes are presented below. They are ordered according the percentage to which they contribute to a student’s overall science grade (from highest to lowest).

DEPENDENT INVESTIGATIONS (DIs)


Students will perform at least three types of scientific investigations throughout the school year: Descriptive Investigations (DI), Comparative Investigations (CI), and Experimental Investigations (EI). Many of these investigations are chosen and planned by the teacher. These teacher-planned investigations are called “Dependent Investigations” because they depend on the teacher’s preference. Many of the Dependent Investigations result in the production of a “lab report.”

  • Dependent Investigations (DIs) account for 30% of a student’s overall science grade.
  • Typically, Dependent Investigations (DIs) are considered revisable assignments.
  • In Veracross, this type of assignment is usually listed as “Other 1.”

Students can find out more about Dependent Investigations by clicking HERE.

INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATIONS (IIs)


Every day in science class is a special day, of course, but Mondays are extra special. During both semesters, students spend every Monday developing their ability to plan and execute their own scientific investigations. Each semester, students will perform three scientific investigations of their own design: one Descriptive Investigation (DI), one Comparative Investigation (CI), and one Experimental Investigation (EI). All of the work involved in each of these investigations–as well as the challenge exercises students must complete before performing their three independent investigations–is kept in the Lab/Field Notebook.

  • Independent Investigations (IIs) account for 30% of a student’s overall science grade.
  • Typically, Independent Investigations (IIs) are considered revisable assignments.
  • In Veracross, this type of assignment is usually listed as “Other 2.”

Students can find out more about Independent Investigations (IIs) by clicking HERE.

HOMEWORK


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 assignments account for 10% of a student’s overall science grade.
  • Typically, one-night homework assignments are not considered revisable.
  • In Veracross, this type of assignment is usually listed as “Homework.”

Students can find out more about Homework assignments by clicking HERE.

CLASSWORK


Classwork is a general category of miscellaneous assignments that includes, but is by no means limited to, classwork (work completed in class within a single class period), projects (work completed both in and out of class over multiple class periods), and special writing assignments (work completed both in and out of class in which the quality of the structure, style, grammar, and spelling of the writing is as important as the scientific content).

  • Classwork accounts for 10% of a student’s overall science grade.
  • Typically, some types of Classwork are considered revisable while others are not.
  • In Veracross, this type of assignment is usually listed as “Classwork.”

Students can find out more about each of the different types of Classwork assignments by using the links above.

QUIZZES


Quizzes provide students with opportunities to recall factual information and/or demonstrate knowledge, understanding, and/or particular skills. In this sense, quizzes are like tests. However, unlike tests, which typically require more time, most quizzes are meant to be completed in 30 minutes or less.

  • Quizzes account for 10% of a student’s overall science grade.
  • Typically, quizzes are considered revisable.
  • In Veracross, this type of assignment is usually listed as “Quiz.”

Students can find out more about Quizzes by clicking HERE.

TESTS


Tests provide students with opportunities to recall factual information and/or demonstrate knowledge, understanding, and/or particular skills. In this sense, tests are like quizzes. However, unlike quizzes, which typically require less time, most tests require more than 30 minutes to complete.

  • Tests account for 10% of a student’s overall science grade.
  • Typically, tests are not considered revisable.
  • In Veracross, this type of assignment is usually listed as “Test.”

Students can find out more about Tests by clicking HERE.

CLASSROOM SCIENCE BINDER


The Classroom Science Binder is actually much like its name: it is a binder; for the most part, it remains in the classroom; and, it contains materials related to the work we do in our science class. The Classroom Science Binder is a place in which students are required to keep assignments that might a) help them prepare for future quizzes and tests, and/or b) prove useful during future investigations. All Classroom Science Binders must have an up-to-date table of contents. Dr. Merritt provides each student with their own Classroom Science Binder at the beginning of the school year. Before taking them home, students must get the permission of the teacher. If a student loses his/her binder, then he/she is responsible for replacing it in a timely manner.

  • The Classroom Science Binder accounts for 5% of a student’s overall science grade.
  • Although many of the items contained within the Classroom Science Binder are revisable, once the Binder has been evaluated by the teacher the final grade/mark is not typically considered revisable.
  • In Veracross, this type of assignment is usually listed as “Binder.”

Students can find out more about the Classroom Science Binder by clicking HERE.

EQUIPMENT CARE & EQUIPMENT CHECKS


During both laboratory and field investigations, students are required to give appropriate levels care to all living subjects (e.g., plants, animals, lab partner(s), etc.) and non-living objects (e.g., glass beakers, test tubes, lab tables, etc.). An inability to adequately care for the living subjects and non-living objects involved in an investigation will result in a lower Equipment Care grade.

During an Equipment Check, the teacher will ask students to produce any of the nine required science class supplies or other materials announced by the teacher. When the Equipment Check concerns only the nine required science class supplies, these checks can be either announced or unannounced.

  • Equipment Care & Equipment Checks are combined to account for 5% of a student’s overall science grade.
  • Typically, Equipment Care & Equipment Checks are not considered revisable.
  • In Veracross, this type of assignment is usually listed as “Daily.”

Students can find out more about Equipment Checks and Equipment Care by clicking HERE.

ANTIPASTI


On some days, when students come to class they will be asked to participate in an Antipasti exercise. Some teachers often refer to such exercises as “warm-ups,” but since TASIS is located in the Italian-speaking region of Ticino, Switzerland, we use a culinary (food) term for these brief (but thought-provoking!) exercises. In Swiss-Italian and Italian restaurants, various antipasti often constitute a first course served to hungry dinners. Plates of antipasti often contain small, bite-sized portions and are meant to prepare the digestive system for the courses yet to come. (In English-speaking countries, antipasti are often known as “starters” or “appetizers.”) In a similar spirit, our Antipasti exercises are meant to prepare students’ minds/bodies for the ‘main course’ of that day’s science lesson.

  • Antipasti exercises account for 0% of a student’s overall science grade.
  • Because Antipasti exercises do not count towards the overall science grade, they can be revised if/when necessary.
  • Because Antipasti exercises do not count towards the overall science grade, this type of assignment is never listed in Veracross.

Students can find out more about Antipasti exercises by clicking HERE.

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