Science Benchmark Grade in Average – Not Weighted

Dear Parents,

In class today, we are taking a county benchmark test that covers the content in the energy unit we just finished studying.

I wanted you to know that I am putting the grades in our grade book so that you can see them, but they are not weighted at all. They are literally just another data point for you to consider when you are trying to decide how hard to push your child to do extra credit or to practice their science vocabulary words.

One of the things that I am seeing this morning are students who struggled with the benchmark test because they don’t know their energy unit vocabulary words. For example, almost every student knows that light can be absorbed by an object and converted into heat, but many don’t realize that light is a form of “electromagnetic radiation.”

As I’ve mentioned before — both here on our website and in class — the BEST way to be prepared for benchmarks and our science end of grade exam is to continuously practice with the vocabulary sheets that I pass out in class for each unit. While your students show a strong understanding of — and engagement with — the content we are studying in class, not knowing the vocabulary for the unit can trip them up when it comes to the way individual questions are worded.

If you see that your child struggled on this benchmark, consider having them sit down and practice the vocabulary words from our unit some more. The vocabulary list should be in your child’s notebook. There is a digital copy linked below. While there won’t be reworks for this task because it isn’t weighted in their average at all, low scores are indicators that your children need to polish their vocabulary before our end of grade exam.

Hope this helps,
Bill Ferriter

Handout_EnergyVocabularyList.doc