Dr. Parrott's Strategies for Success in Science                                                   August 2004

Greetings and Salutations Parents & Guardians,
I am looking forward to an outstanding school year of science with your child and would love to include
you in the process.  Even if science was not your forte in high school, you can still help your student have a
stellar year, and maybe even learn a little science yourself.  Science is the process of finding answers to
questions about the world around us.  We are engaged in this process from the moment we are born as
we explore our surroundings. This makes science a verb, something that we do, and your student will do
lots of science in my class.  In addition to multiple-choice tests, students will be assessed through projects
that require that they think, research, build and produce quality products.  Not only does this give them
practice in applying the science they will learn, it also aids their critical thinking skills and is more authentic
since it is similar to what will be requested of them in the workplace.  Please expect to make trips to the
library to use the internet and other resources as well as have at their disposal color pencils and a three
ringed binder to help them to organize their work.

To help you and your budding scientist, I have designed a web set for my students at
www.africangreyparrott.com/student.  It has scholarship/college financial aid information, test taking skills,
online teachers to answer student questions (not just science) by email, the searchable catalog of DeKalb
County Public Libraries, online encyclopedias, study guides, extra credit, access to me via email and more.

Weekly assignments are posted in the corner of the classroom white board on Monday and are generally
due on Friday.  Student are encouraged to write down their homework assignments in their agenda
books, and it would be a wonderful reinforcement if you would check that they wrote down their weekly
assignments.  Tutoring is available Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings in my classroom (room
231) from 7:45-8:15.  I send home detailed progress reports of all assignments and your students' grades
every 2-3 weeks.  They should be brought home and signed by you.  Please feel free to send written
comments with the returned portion of their grade sheet if you have any questions about your child's
performance, or email me.

Students are encouraged to study nightly, not just the day before a test or quiz.  Studying and reading are
not synonymous.  When students are studying, they should be reading, writing, reorganizing notes, drawing
concept maps or diagrams to help them understand, and asking you to quiz them on their understanding.  
It is an active process, not a passive one.  Parents please let me know that you have read this far by
drawing a happy face after your signature on the part you return.  I require that students make crib/study
sheets for each test, but they can perform this process weekly.  Study guides should not just be a list of
terns and definitions, but should show how each concept is related to others.

All students have the right to an education in a safe and conducive environment.  However, no student has
the right to interfere with the learning of others.  When students talk excessively, engage in horseplay, or
are otherwise distracted, they impeded their own learning and the learning of others.  Please help to
impress upon your child the importance of practicing self-discipline so that he/she does not interfere with
another child's learning.

If there is any way that I can further help you or your child in their question for academic excellence,
please do not hesitate to inform me.

With Much Excitement,

Dr. Annette M. Parrott


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