Random notes to self for next year

I saw somewhere during my credential program where a teacher broke his syllabus down into a PowerPoint presentation. I want to do that next year and assign a quiz/worksheet right after so that students are held accountable for the material that is vital to making the classroom livable. Having them sign the syllabus is good, but this is harder for them to ignore and fake.

I need to add yet another section to my syllabus – this time on the topic of notes. Some students seem to think it’s okay to copy notes from another student. This, to me, completely misses the point of taking notes to help comprehension and retention.

I’m checking notebooks because I want students to re-read the material for meaning, choose the key concepts, and understand them well enough to write them in their own words. I need to state right at the beginning of the year what I require for note-taking.

I hope to come up with a couple of graphic organizers to help them arrange their notes. I’ve luckily scanned in a couple of examples from students who took beautiful notes. I’ll post these to the class website


– Computers in this lab are for work for this class only.
– You may not touch any part of another student’s computer.
– You may not log onto another student’s computer.
– Do not eat or drink over any part of the computer; do not touch any part of the computer with sticky or messy fingers.
– Exceptions to this policy may be made only with my permission on the day in question.


Good behavior in my class is called “professional conduct” and is worth 10% of your grade. Each week, you will start off with 20 points for professional conduct. You will keep them if your behavior is non-disruptive, respect, and rule-abiding.

You will lose these points rapidly if you break rules, disrupt class, or are disrespectful. I will record in PowerSchool why the points were deducted.

Additional consequences for poor behavior may include: time-out outside class door, student conference, revoking of privileges, seat change, parent contact, detention, referral to Vice Principal, class suspension or school suspension.

By Dawn Pedersen

Science advocate, web designer, educator, artist, and mommy.

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