High Tech Middle Chula Vista

7th Grade Math and Life Science

Fall 2016


Course Information


Kyle Linnik (Math/Life Sciences)




619-591-2530 ext. 25441





Introduction // Mathematics Content // Life Science Content // Grading Policy

Classroom Guidelines // Project Calendar // Recommended Supply List

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This will be linked curriculum course covering topics in both math and life sciences.  We will be exploring many of these topics through project-based learning.  This is an approach to learning that promotes personalization, facilitates real-world connections, and allows for differentiated instruction in the classroom through participation in projects. PBL takes numerous forms and can produce a wide range of products.  Many projects are open-ended revolving around student choice.  This means that students may end up learning similar content through different methods, allowing for instruction to be tailored to better match specific student needs.

Course Content:

Mathematics - We will be exploring content as presented in the Common Core Standards for 7th grade.  Please see my dp for a complete list of these standards.  (Please note: these are different from the California Content Standards that have been used in the past) The topics we will be focusing on are as follows:

Judo math:  

This content will be presented to students using Judo Math Curriculum.  Judo math is a self-paced curriculum in which students are introduced to new content based upon mastery of previous lessons.  Judo math is broken down into curricular units referred to as Disciplines.  Each discipline is broken down into 4 subsets of topics classified by colored belts (silicone bracelets).  The progression of belts is as follows:  White, Yellow, Orange, Blue, Black, Green (optional)

Each students starts a given discipline as a white belt, and is given a curriculum packet known as a scroll of knowledge.  Contained within each scroll is all of the information a student needs to master in order to progress to their next belt, along with a variety of problem sets related to the topics.  In order to advance to the next belt level, upon completion of each scroll, the student will then take a 10pt quiz known as an advancement. Developed from various questions and topics from their current scroll of knowledge, the student must demonstrate mastery of this content by scoring 80% or higher (8/10pts) on their advancement to progress to the next belt level, in which case the process repeats itself.  If a student does not score 80% or higher, they will be required to complete additional practice and then be allowed to retake the advancement at a later date.  *Note: A Student’s most recent score on each advancement will be recorded in powerschool upon completion.  Meaning that if a student does not pass their advancement on their first attempt (i.e. scores less than 80%) that score will be recorded.  However, when the student retakes the advancement the highest score will be recorded.  (i.e. if the student does not pass on their first attempt and scores a 5/10 this will show in powerschool, until the student passes the advancement at which point the score will change.)  Advancements, which have not been completed will show as receiving no score “-”.  At the end of each discipline any advancements not taken/completed will receive a score of 0/10.

One of the major focuses of judo math is learning to use a variety of resources to learn new material and content in a manner that is suitable to each individual student.  Due to this students are encouraged and expected to work with one another in order to get every student to their black belt.  Students are also encouraged to use any and all outside resources to help them learn the content (i.e. older siblings, internet tutorials, outside texts, etc.)


As previously stated judo math is designed to be self-paced meaning that each student will move through each belt at their own pace.  While I have seen motivated students move through a belt in as little as 2 days, the average time for a student to complete each belt is approximately 2 weeks.  If a student has been on a given belt for longer than two weeks, this is a good indicator that the student is struggling with the current content, and should seek out help.

A note about mathematics:  We will be using a flipped classroom model in math class for most of the lessons this year.  This is a model in which the majority (but not all) of the lectures for class will be done at home for homework, through the use of videos and digital resources.  This will allow us to use our class time to practice and utilize the various topics we will cover, as well as explore their application to the world around us.  Below are some common questions asked about this educational pedagogy (For a more complete FAQ list please visit the parent resources page on my DP):

Why might we do this?  This allows for me (the teacher) to focus on your actual mathematical abilities, both struggles and strengths, while we work through problems scenarios together in class, as opposed to me using our class time to insure that you are focused on a lecture.  

What does this mean for you (the student)?  Two major things; First and foremost, you will receive instruction and help tailored to your specific needs as we work through various topics.  This also means that the homework that is assigned may seem not as difficult as you may be used to, however it becomes much more important that it is completed on time  What does this mean for you (the parent)?  No more, “I don’t get this!” or “How do I find the roots of a quadratic equation?” during homework time.  These will be the questions that arise and are addressed in class.  This also means that it is very important your child does their homework on time, when it is assigned.

Life Sciences – We will be introducing and exploring the concepts of biology and living systems.  The topics we will be focusing on are as follows:


Your grade is calculated from your performance on projects, advancements, quizzes, class participation and homework. Your grade will be calculated based on a total points system at the end of each term.  An approximate breakdown of your grade is shown below

Projects – 40%

Quizzes and Exams – 20%

Class Assignments and Homework– 30%

Class Participation – 10%

Late Work:

I don't accept late work on non-project related home work and in class assignments.  Any other assignment turned in late will receive a maximum grade of 70%.  If you know you are going to be absent for any period of time, you must notify me in advance for work to be accepted.

Make Ups:

Any assignments missed due to an excused absence must be made up within 2 weeks of the students return to class.  It is the student’s responsibility to keep track of any missed assignments.


100-98       A+             89 – 88      B+                 79 – 78     C+                      

97– 93       A                87 – 83      B                   77 – 73     C                                   

92 – 90      A-               82 – 80      B-                 72 – 70     C-   

Classroom Guidelines:

We will form and discuss many of our classroom policies together.  However, the following guidelines should always be observed:

Tentative Project Calendar:

For the most up-to-date and detailed calendar please visit the calendar or live syllabus on my DP.

Start Date

End Date

Project Title and Description



Drop the Beat

Drop the beat is an exploration of Hip-hop as a vehicle to study the physics and impact of sound and words.  Students will be immersed in four areas of Hip-hop: Deejaying, Rapping, Breakdancing, and Street Art, in order to gain inspiration to design and build unique hand-crafted wooden music machines and to produce original spoken word and rap pieces focused on building Students’ Civic Voice, Agency, and Empowerment.

Recommended Supply List


The Constitution of the State of California requires that we provide a public education to you free of charge. Subject to certain exceptions, your right to a free public education means that we cannot require you or your family to purchase materials, supplies, equipment or uniforms for any school activity.


Below is a recommended list of supplies that your child may bring to school. Please note that if your child does not bring the recommended supplies, the school will provide the supplies for him/her. If you have any questions/comments about this, please contact the teachers or the school director.


Humanities & Math/Sci:

Tear off and return signed at the start of class 9/1/15

I have read the above syllabus and understand that this is an outline for the course I am about to take.  I also understand that due to the nature of project-based learning the contents of this syllabus are subject to change over the course of the semester.

Student’s Name (Printed):_________________________________________

Student’s Signature:_____________________________________  Date:________

Parent’s Name(s):_____________________________________________

Parent’s Signature:_____________________________________  Date:________