Contact Info

Mrs. Stewart
5th Grade Science

R.M. Marrs Middle School
5619 South 19th Street
Omaha, NE 68107



Course Description 

5th Grade Science integrates life, physical, and earth & space science. In addition, topics covering science as inquiry, science process skills, science and technology, and science in personal and social perspectives have been added to give the students the connections needed to understand current issues in the world.  


Instructional Philosophy 

With the successful completion of a science course, students should be expected to look at the world around them making logical connections to science concepts. Differentiation and inquiry are strong components used to engage the student in learning scientific concepts. Each student deserves to learn, and an effort should be made to connect with each student to drive that learning. The use of kinesthetic, visual, and auditory-based lessons encourages students to be successful, using their personal learning style. Engaging the students in activities and labs will build inquiry skills needed to be taken out into the student’s daily environment. Questioning possibilities, problem solving, and critical thinking skills can increase with the use of inquiry and builds well rounded citizens.  


Major Course work (Evidence of Learning) 

Expect to:

  • Have homework completed each week 

  • Participate during in class discussion and cooperative learning opportunities 

  • Complete a formal lab write-ups 

  • Complete Classwork

Safety Expectations 

5th Grade Science is a lab-based course with safety as an essential component.  The safety guidelines support and encourage an investigative approach and laboratory instruction, while at the same time assisting in the development of a safe learning environment. Students will follow the Omaha Public Schools district guidelines on safety that is published in the science safety contract. Students will be provided a copy of the guidelines. The students, parents and/or guardians are expected to read the guidelines and sign and return the signature portion of the contract. The student will not be allowed to participate in the lab activities until the signed contract is returned. 

Planned Assessments

  • Formative and Summative tests assessments of learning are to be expected at the end of each major unit outlined above.
  • State Testing: All 5th-grade students are required to complete the Science MAP test ad NeSA-S.  
  • District Testing:  
  • The Science MAP test will be administered at intervals as a predictive test.  The test will be similar to the NeSA-S in terms of content, structure, and administrations.  

  • Unit Summative Assessments for Life, Earth, and Physical Science

OPS Secondary Grading Practices 

All coursework and assessments are judged based on the level of student learning from “below basic” to “advanced.”  This course will provide multiple opportunities to achieve at the “proficient” to “advanced” levels.  Students are evaluated based on a proficiency scale or project rubric.  Proficiency scales for this course are available upon request (teacher will identify location such as portal, teacher website, attached, etc.) 

5th Grade Science will include three types of coursework: 

  • Practice – assignments are brief and done at the beginning of learning to gain initial content (e.g., student responses on white boards, a valid sampling of math problems, keyboarding exercises, and diagramming sentences, checking and recording resting heart rate).  Practice assignments are not generally graded for accuracy (descriptive feedback will be provided in class) and are not a part of the grade. Teachers may keep track of practice work to check for completion and students could also track their practice work. Practice work is at the student’s instructional level and may only include Basic (2) level questions. 

  • Formative (35% of the final grade) – assessments/assignments occur during learning to inform and improve instruction.  They are minor assignments (e.g., a three paragraph essay, written responses to guiding questions over an assigned reading, completion of a comparison contrast matrix).   Formative assignments are graded for accuracy and descriptive feedback is provided.  Formative work may be at the student’s instructional level or at the level of the content standard.  Formative assessments/assignments will have all levels of learning – Basic (2), Proficient (3), and Advanced (4), which means that for every formative assessment/assignment, students will be able to earn an Advanced (4). Teachers will require students to redo work that is not of high quality to ensure rigor and high expectations. The students score on a formative assessment that was redone will be their final score.  

  • Summative (65% of the final grade) – assessments/assignments are major end of learning unit tests or projects used to determine mastery of content or skill (e.g., a research paper, an oral report with a power point, major unit test, and science fair project).  Summative assignments are graded for accuracy.  Summative assignments assess the student’s progress on grade level standards and may not be written at the student’s instructional level.  Summative assessments/assignments will have all levels of learning – Basic (2), Proficient (3), and Advanced (4), which means that for every formative assessment/assignment students, will be able to earn an advanced (4).  


To maintain alignment of coursework to content standards, which is a key best practice for standards-based grading, teachers will utilize a standardized naming convention for each of the standards within a course.  The content standard will be marked on each assignment entered into Infinite Campus (District Grading Program) using all capital letters followed by a colon.  After the colon will be the title of the coursework. 


At the end of the grading period, scores are converted to a letter grade using this grading scale. 

A = 3.26 to 4.0

B = 2.51 to 3.25

C = 1.76 to 2.5

D = 1.01 to 1.75

F = 0 to 1.00

Redoing/Revising Student Coursework

1. Students are responsible for completing all coursework and assessments as assigned.

2. Students will be allowed to redo coursework for full credit as long as they are turned in during that unit of study while a student still has an opportunity to benefit from the learning. When time permits, teacher allow the redoing or revising of summative assessments.

3. Students are expected to complete assessments when given to the class, or if a student was justifiably absent and contacted the teacher regarding the absence, at a time designated by the teacher. For example, if the student was absent one day, the student will have one day to make up the assignment.

4. Redoing, retaking, or revising will be done at teacher discretion in consultation with the student and parent(s). Teachers may schedule students before, during, or after school to address needed areas of improvement if not convenient during class. The time and location for redoing, retaking or revising will be done at the teacher’s discretion in consultation with the student and parent(s). 

5. Scores for student work after retaking, revising or redoing will not be averaged with the first attempt at coursework but will replace the original score.          


Class Expectations and Policies  


Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Responsible 

  • Rules and guidelines set forth in the student handbook will be followed in this class. Any student who distracts other students or the instructor interferes with the learning environment and should expect consequences.  

  • Attendance: Being in class, on time, is important for student success. Anyone entering the classroom after the bell has stopped ringing is tardy, per school policy.

  • Electronic Devices: No electronic devices (cell phones, mp3 players, games, etc.) are permitted to be seen, heard, or used in the classroom at any time, per school policy.