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Earth Science

Term: Yearlong 2021–22, September 7–May 27
Target Grade Levels: Grades 7–9; 10th graders welcome (see placement details below)
Schedule: 3x / week, 60–75 min.
Price: $695.00

Course Sections
Section 1:
M/W/Th 9:30 a.m. ET with Chris Hall  (Full: Join Waiting List)
Section 2: M/W/Th 12:30 p.m. ET with Chris Hall (Full: Join Waiting List)

Enrollment and Placement
 

Placement Process

To help ensure that students enroll in the correct course levels, Scholé Academy requires many students to complete placement evaluations. Placement evaluations are only provided to students after the corresponding course registration has been completed. A placement assessment will be required in the following situations:
  • if the student falls outside of the stated age/grade range for the class.
  • if the student needs to demonstrate a certain level of skill and proficiency for the course.
  • if the student has completed prerequisite requirements somewhere other than Scholé Academy (e.g., at home or with another school). In this case, our instructors will need to verify that the student has adequately fulfilled the prerequisite requirements.
  • if a placement assessment has been recommended by a Scholé Academy instructor.
First, read the available course descriptions, noting prerequisites, target grades, and course objectives. If you think your student is prepared for the course, go ahead and register. After registration, a placement assessment may be provided to students, depending on the course and the student’s previous enrollment with Scholé Academy. Parents are encouraged to connect with the Scholé Academy Principal and/or with the course instructor to make the best enrollment decision for their student.
 
Registration is not finalized until the student’s placement assessment has been returned by the course instructor with placement confirmation.
 
There is a $75 deposit built into the cost of each course.
  • If a placement evaluation has not been administered, withdrawals requested before May 1 are granted a full refund, including the full $75 deposit.
  • If a placement evaluation has been administered, withdrawals requested before May 1 are granted part of their $75 refund: $35 will be paid to the instructor for the placement evaluation, and the remaining $40 of the original deposit will be refunded.
After May 1, withdrawals are granted a full course refund, less the $75 deposit. Students may withdraw from a course through the second week of classes. After the second week of classes, no refund is given.

“The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.” (Psalm 19:1)

Creation sings the praise of God! Creation has a divinely appointed order to it, and this order ultimately points to Him and His glory. As such, we seek to appreciate and understand creation through the exploration of the sciences, and this appreciation leads us to treasure the natural world and teaches us truths about the God who made it.

The course will include time for lecture, during which the Socratic method will be employed to engage the students and to encourage them to think more deeply about the material rather than just absorb facts. Instructor-guided lab exercises will also be conducted during scheduled class time. While there is a wide range of material that will be covered about various Earth systems and natural processes, the course aims to excite a wonder that will motivate students in their study of the earth.

Students who read relevant sections of the text prior to class and take organized notes inside and outside of class during their independent study will benefit the most from class discussion, and flashcards complete with pictures and diagrams for key vocabulary and concepts are recommended.

Please note that the topic of the age of the earth will be touched on in this course. We will discuss and explore the data and processes that describe theories about Earth’s origin and age. The reason for this exercise is simply to equip students to understand and be conversant in these theories to prepare them to engage with others who may or may not share their views. Please read more about our ​Faith and Culture here.

At Scholé Academy, we have carefully considered how we should engage our contemporary culture as those who believe that Christ is the Truth (John 14:6), and that all truth has its source in him. We think it is important to provide our upper school students (in grades 7-12) with tools and opportunities for critically examining various cultural trends, issues and mores through the lens of orthodox, Christian beliefs. Being confident in the truth revealed to us in creation, the Scriptures, and the tradition of the church, we are not afraid to follow the truth and its implications nor to address error and falsehood. … Read more about our Faith & Culture.

 

Syllabus

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For each skill instructors have determined whether it is a prerequisite skill or a skill to be developed throughout the course. For lower school, instructors indicate where parent support is expected.

  • With Parent Support: Skills that most lower school students will need help with.
  • Developing: Skills that the instructor will help develop and emphasize throughout the year.
  • Mastered: Prerequisite skills that the instructor is expecting students to possess.

Schoology

  • Developing
    • Be responsible for reviewing teacher feedback, suggestions and comments about student work and employing that feedback as necessary.
    • Be able to manage Schoology assignments and submissions (view assignments, check for teacher messages, submit homework as pdf file, submit revisions if necessary, set Schoology notifications for the class, view class notifications when posted, etc.).
    • Be able to review notifications ongoing throughout the year; notifications which include: class announcements, homework assignments, due dates, instructor comments made on assignments, instructor comments made on individual student submissions, instructor comments made on graded items, etc.
    • Be able to respectfully and wisely engage with other students and the instructor on Schoology discussion boards.
    • Be able to respectfully, wisely and formally engage with instructor through private Schoology messaging.
    • Be able to set notifications settings to alert the student of class announcements, homework assignments, due dates, instructor comments made on assignments, instructor comments made on individual student submissions, instructor comments made on graded items, etc.

Writing

  • Developing
    • Be able to build and use alphanumeric outlines as part of the writing process.
    • Be able to self-edit written submissions for grammar and spelling mistakes.
    • Be able to employ the feedback of the instructor into future edits and submissions of the assignment.
    • Be able to build well organized paragraphs which employ (among other skills) topic sentences, transition sentences, clear linear thinking throughout the essay.
    • Be able to build a logical, well-reasoned argument through a written essay providing sound reasoning (i.e. true premises, valid arguments, sound conclusions).
    • Be able to request a family or peer to edit submissions, but understands these requests should be for the purposes of raising important questions for the student to consider and suggesting minor edits. The student understands that family or peer editors should not be reworking of sentences, redefining terms, building new concepts, building arguments or writing passages for the student.
  • Mastered
    • Be able to hand-write answers in complete sentences.
    • Be able to write sentences with basic sentence syntax (i.e. capitalization of first word in a sentence, punctuation at the end of each sentence, space between sentences, capitalization of proper nouns, each sentence having a subject and predicate, etc.).
    • Be able to spell at grade level and employ course vocabulary cumulatively throughout the course.

Reading

  • Developing
    • Be able to read material independently and identify questions which require clarification or further explanation from the instructor.
    • Be able to mark, underline or highlight important words, definitions or concepts within a text being read both while reading independently and reading corporately as a class.
    • Be able to identify key terms in a passage, and follow the author’s argument.
    • Be able to listen to the author’s argument and understand it even if the student disagrees with the conclusion reached or reasons given.
    • Be able to read material independently and identify the information which might be relevant to course discussions and objectives (even if the student doesn’t fully understand all of what’s being read).

Typing

  • Developing
    • Be able to employ basic MLA formatting skills (i.e. 1-inch margins, double spacing, heading on paper).
    • Be able to employ MLA citations for (for quoted material and referenced material) through the use of footnotes or endnotes, bibliography, work-cited page. Student should have a concept of what plagiarism is and know how to avoid it.
  • Mastered
    • Be able to type short answers in complete sentences.
    • Be able to type paragraph essays (short essays, and 5 or more page essays).

In-Class

  • Developing
    • Follow class discussions and seminar conversations to record notes without the instructor identifying specifics.
    • Be prepared to generate thoughtful questions to enhance the class discussion, to identify areas needing clarification, and to make valuable connections with other course content.
  • Mastered
    • Follow along with instructor-led note-taking and record notes during class.
    • Follow along with instructor-led workbook completion and record answers during class.
    • Be prepared to thoughtfully answer questions when called on in a group setting, during class.
    • Be prepared to volunteer thoughtful comments, answers and ideas in a group setting, during class.

Study

  • With Parent Support
    • Be able to schedule time outside of class to complete independent review of materials.
    • Be able to determine the best places and ways to study at home (i.e. quiet, undistracted, utilizing various methods of review (auditory, written, visual, practice tests, flashcards, etc.).
  • Mastered
    • Be responsible to study at home for quizzes, tests and other assessments.
    • Understand the difference between assignments given by an instructor and the necessary and independently initiated need for private study of material.
    • Be able to schedule and manage multiple projects from multiple instructors and courses.

Math Skills

  • Developing
    • Be able to deductively apply content and previously learned mathematics skills and processes to the understanding of newly introduced content.
    • Understand that arriving at the correct answer is not the goal of mathematics review and practice, but rather understand that consistent application of the correct processes are the goals of review and practice.
    • After the instructor has provided instructions – the student should be able to use Wacom tablet (or other like iPad) to actively solve math problems during class, viewable to the instructor on Ziteboard.

*Required Materials:

  • Earth Science: God’s World, Our Home, 6th Ed., by Kevin Nelstead, Novare Science and Math
  • Lab Kit for use with Novare Earth Science
  • Notebook paper and a binder devoted to the subject
  • Ruler
  • Graph Paper
  • A more complete list of lab supplies can be found ​here​, which includes some of the materials found in the lab kit listed above. Instructor will provide more guidance as the course proceeds, as some labs may be added or omitted.

 

*Required materials are not included in the purchase of the course.

Chris Hall.jpgChris Hall has a BA in philosophy from Gettysburg College and an MAT in elementary education from Towson University. He has been a classroom educator and administrator for 25 years, having served in public, independent, and classical schools. In that time, he has served as a classroom teacher in grades K-12, primarily as a science educator, PK-8 Science Department Chair, and a Lower School Academic Dean.  Along with his professional pedigree, he is a lifelong practitioner of several of the common arts profiled in his book Common Arts Education: Renewing the Classical Tradition of Training the Head, Hands, and Heart, and the founder of Always Learning Education, an organization dedicated to teaching, learning, and propagating the common arts. He lives on a small, homesteaded farm in central Virginia with his wife and three homeschooled sons. chris@alwayslearningeducation.net

 

Red checkmarkComputer: You will need a stable, reliable computer, running with a processor with a speed of 1 GHz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with Mac OS 10.7 or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do not recommend using an iPad or other tablet for joining classes. An inexpensive laptop or netbook would be much better solutions, as they enable you to plug an Ethernet cable directly into your computer. Please note that Chromebooks are allowed but not preferred, as they do not support certain features of the Zoom video conference software such as breakout sessions and annotation, which may be used by our teachers for class activities.

Red checkmarkHigh-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed Internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your Internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with a download/upload speed of 5/1 Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.

Red checkmarkWebcam: You may use an external webcam or one that is built in to the computer. Webcam Recommendations: Good (PC only) | Best (Mac and PC)

Red checkmarkHeadset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class. Headset Recommendations: USB | 3.5mm

Red checkmarkZoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use. unnamed-e1455142229376 To download Zoom:

 

  1. Visit zoom.us/download.
  2. Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
  3. Open and run the installer on your computer.
  4. In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.

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Explore our courses!

First, read the available course descriptions, noting prerequisites, target grades, and course objectives. If you think your student is prepared for the course, go ahead and register. After registration, a placement assessment may be provided to students, depending on the course and the student’s previous enrollment with Scholé Academy. Registration is finalized when the student’s placement assessment has been returned by the course instructor with placement confirmation.

 

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Read the Student-Parent Handbook.

Please take careful note of our teaching philosophy, our technology requirements, our school policies, the parent agreement, and the distinctions between our grade levels.

Double-check the course section dates and times.

Make sure they don’t conflict with other activities in your schedule or other courses you are purchasing. Our system will not catch double-bookings!

You’re ready to add course selections to your cart!

Our Assistant to the Principal will be in touch with you after your enrollment to help you with next steps, including any placement evaluations that may be required for your course selections.

This registration will be finalized when the student’s placement assessment has been returned by the course instructor with placement confirmation.

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