Extra Credit for Heat and Sound Tests

Dear Parents,

Yesterday, your students took two mini-tests: One on heat and the other on sound. Because the tests were short, each question was worth a lot of points. That means missing even one or two questions could result in students having grades lower than you are used to.

A reminder that ALL students can do extra credit to raise their grades in my room. There is never an excuse for a student to be unhappy with their averages because they can raise their grades at any time.

Your kids already know what they earned on their tests. I’ll be adding those grades to their averages today, however — so if you have an account to our online gradebook, you can sign in and see what they earned.

I will be collecting extra credit the Wednesday after we come back from Thanksgiving break. Here are some tasks that are available:

Brainpop Videos and Activities: Every child has a username and password for Brainpop. Brainpop has SEVERAL videos about sound and heat. Students can watch the videos and take the quizzes to add 3 points to their scores. They can also do the activities related to each video to add up to 10 points to their scores.

Is a Rube Goldberg Machine a Good Metaphor for the Ear? Earlier in the quarter, we watched a video in class about Rube Goldberg machines. Students were asked to consider whether or not our ears worked like a Rube Goldberg machine. They can write up a response to that question defending the strengths and weaknesses of using the Rube Goldberg machine as a metaphor for the ear as extra credit.

Finding UV (or Ultraviolet) on Household Products: We are starting to talk about light and the electromagnetic spectrum. One of the places that we interact with the spectrum on a daily basis is through ultraviolet light — the part of the spectrum that burns our skin. Students can find a product that protects us from UV light and take a picture of it to add 3 points to their heat tests.

Heat Essay Questions: In the textbook that we use in class, students can complete essay questions on heat. They can find these questions on page B 60. I will grade answers to questions 20-26. Students can do any and/or all of the questions.

One final reminder: Students don’t get points just for doing extra credit. Points are given based on how well the work has been done. The goal is for students to show me that they have mastered the content that was covered on the test. That means if students rush through extra credit — scoring poorly on Brainpop quizzes or turning in activities that are done poorly or incorrectly — they won’t get any points at all.

Remind your students of this. Sometimes they try to turn in work that is rushed and end up surprised when I won’t give them any points for that work.

Hope this helps,
Bill Ferriter