My name is Mick Conner and I am the Middle School math and science teacher. This is my eleventh year of teaching and my fourth year at St. Timothy’s Catholic School. I earned an engineering degree from the University of Arizona in 1980 and worked at Motorola for over eighteen years. In 1999, I earned my Arizona Teacher’s Certificate from the University of Phoenix.
I believe students should thoroughly understand and be able to apply mathematics and science concepts. I use both independent and cooperative group learning techniques and make connections to real-world applications as much as possible. While learning concepts, students will spend time working on their organization, communication, and presentation skills. I insist that my students show all work that leads to solving problems regardless of their ability. My primary goal is to prepare students for the challenges they’ll encounter in high school. For that reason, your child will be expected to take on more personal responsibility for both their academic success and behavior than what they may have experienced previously.
Mr. Conner’s Classroom Management System 2011-2012
- Teacher and Student Responsibilities
- Classroom Rules
- General Classroom Procedures
- Teacher Signals - Subject Organization
- Classroom Expectations and Discipline Cycle
- Student Study Guide
Student Name: _____________________ Grade: ___
Parent / Guardian Signatures: ________________ ________________
MY RESPONSIBILITIES AS YOUR TEACHER
- To treat you with respect and care as an individual
- To provide you with an orderly classroom environment
- To provide the necessary discipline
- To provide the appropriate inspiration to learn
- To teach the required course content and skills
YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES AS MY STUDENT
- To treat me with respect and care as an individual
- To attend class regularly and actively participate
- To be cooperative and support your classmates
- To study and produce your highest quality work
- To learn and master the course content and skills
- You must have all these materials for class EVERYDAY:
- red or green pens
- completed homework
- Math and Science binder
- reading book
- You will respect my obligation to teach and your classmates’ right to learn.
- You will listen and not interrupt when I am teaching or when a fellow classmate is talking.
- You will listen to instructions, directions, and procedures I give the first time they are given.
- You will not communicate in any form to fellow classmates during bellwork or mastery exams.
- You will remain seated at your assigned table during class time unless I give you permission to do otherwise. (Exception: ‘Kleenex’ tissue paper needed or a sudden illness comes on).
- You will maintain QUIET at all times when you are in the hallway.
- Upon entering Mr. Conner’s classroom, you will grab a privacy shield from the supply bin and go directly to your assigned seat. Without talking, please begin answering the problems on your bell work. When I dismiss the class, please return your privacy shield and any other borrowed item to the supply bin.
- Corrections to your homework, bell works, and mastery exam problems will be done in red or green ink only. The entire correct solution must be shown next to the problem in red or green ink. Most of the time you will correct your own work. Double points will be taken off if you do not grade your assignment correctly or honestly.
- Please raise your hand and wait quietly for permission to speak when you have a question or comment to offer.
- Missed assignments, notices, recorded assignments, and handouts will be placed in your student personal folder located in a bin at the back of the classroom. Please check your personal folder every day, but especially after you return from an absence. Recorded assignments go directly into the appropriate section of your Math and Science binder.
PROCEDURE FOR QUIETING THE CLASS
Mr. Conner will use two signals to gain student’s attention.
Signal No. 1 The Tarzan call-When you hear the Tarzan call you will:
- Immediately stop everything you are doing and turn to face Mr. Conner.
- Prompt fellow students who did not hear the Tarzan call.
- Listen to what Mr. Conner has to say.
- When you hear him say, “Chimichanga,” you’ll know he has finished giving instructions and you can continue with your work.
Signal No. 2 If the classroom noise level becomes too loud, you will hear
Mr. Conner say, “Volume.” When you hear, “Volume!” students will:
- Lower their voices significantly and,
- Continue working on the assignment or activity.
Student Quality Expectations
Student Responsibility for Quality Behavior
You are expected to demonstrate respect for yourself and your fellow classmates by:
- being supportive and positive with all your classmates,
- using appropriate language at all times,
- being prepared for every school day and every class,
- treating school property and each other’s possessions respectfully,
- following all rules and procedures.
Student Responsibility for Quality Learning
There are essentially two things that make people feel really good about themselves.
- The first thing is serving others.
- The second thing is doing really great work that you can be proud of.
You must accept full responsibility for ALL of your learning. Much of the
success you experience in Middle School and in life will be because you took
personal ownership and pride in your work. If you are confused in class, you
should ask questions. If you missed assignments due to an absence, you should
find out what you missed and make up the work.
Mr. Conner’s Three Levels of Quality
The quality of work you do will be categorized as:
- Master Craftsman
An Apprentice is a student that is learning a new concept or skill, but is probably making some mistakes along the way. That’s OK! An Apprentice level of quality might also reflect a student that understands the concept but whose work is incomplete, not done on time, or not as neat or organized as it could be. You may not always be able to control how fast you learn something. However, you can ALWAYS control how neat and organized your work is.
As an Apprentice learns a new concept or skill, and the overall quality of their work improves, the student will eventually achieve a level of work where she/he can be considered a Craftsman*.
A Craftsman understands the new concept or can perform the new skill to a point where he/she can teach others. A Craftsman’s work is good quality that is always complete, accurate, done on time, and neat. There are bulletin boards in the classroom where some of your Craftsman quality work will be displayed.
My ultimate goal for every student is to achieve a Master Craftsman level of quality. The work of a Master Craftsman is regarded as the “best of the best.” A Master Craftsman’s work is very high quality that really stands out as an example for all. Master Craftsmen take great pride in their work and this work will often be displayed on the bulletin board outside the 7th grade classroom. The entire school will see your efforts as shining examples of what is possible when one works hard.
* Even though the male gender is implied in the title “Craftsman,” in no way should this be
interpreted to mean that female students are excluded.
Student Absence From School
You are responsible for completing all assignments and getting class
notes that you missed due to absence. Please follow the guideline below
when you return from absence:
- A Locate a trusted classmate to get missed assignment information, class notes, and instructions needed to complete the missed assignments correctly.
- B Check your personal file for returned assignments and any handouts and notices.
- C After you have completed items A and B, see Mr. Conner to arrange a time to make up any missed homework, bell works and mastery exams.
After returning to school from an absence:
- Missed homework is due the day after you return from absence.
- Missed bell works must be taken within two days after you return from an absence.
- Missed mastery exams are taken the day you return from an absence
Homework is graded in class everyday. You will earn a 100 pts if your
homework assignment is:
i. 100% complete (no shortcuts) per teacher instructions
ii. Available for review on the due date and time
iii. Done neatly.
Any homework assignment that does not satisfy all three requirements listed above will earn zero points. It is not necessary that all problems have the correct answer to earn a score of 100%, however the homework must meet the three criteria above.
Each class period will start with a short quiz called Bell work. Bell works are designed to test you on what you should have learned in prior instruction. Start work on the bell work immediately after you enter Mr. Conner’s classroom. Many times the bell work will have problems taken directly from previous homework assignments.
Mastery Exams are given about every two to three weeks in both math and science. Performing well on these exams demonstrates your mastery of concepts or skills I’m required to teach. You will be provided ample opportunities to pass mastery exams. If you do poorly on a mastery exam, you may retake the exam as often as you need. The highest score you earn is the one that gets recorded in my grade book.
Mastery exam retakes are not free. You must first qualify to do a retake by attending a tutoring session with Mr. Conner, followed by a satisfactory performance on a tutoring assignment.
A sign-up sheet for tutoring with Mr. Conner is posted on the door.
Tutoring sessions are offered after school from 3:20 pm to 4 pm. Sixth and seventh graders can sign up for Monday and Wednesday sessions. Eighth graders can sign up for Tuesday and Thursday sessions. “Emergency” help may sometimes be available during lunch recess for all grades. Check with Mr. Conner.
Please use the restroom before school, during lunch recess, during class transitions, or during your break periods. During class time, permission to use the restroom will be granted on an emergency basis only.
The classroom telephone may be used only with Mr. Conner’s permission. At no time will you be allowed to use the classroom telephone (or your cell phone) to request homework be brought to school that was left at home.
Sudden Illness in Class
If you begin to feel sick, get Mr. Conner’s attention! Do not wait – particularly if you are feeling nauseous, have a bad headache, or an asthma attack is forthcoming. Grab the Health Card Pass located in the back of the classroom and go to the nurse’s office.
There is no good reason for you to cheat! If you do poorly on a master
exam in Mr. Conner’s class, you may take it again, and again, and again until you achieve a good score. However, if you still choose to cheat, well… if caught, the assignment you cheated on will be given a zero. If you are caught cheating during a mastery exam you will lose the privilege of being allowed to do retakes for the remainder of the semester and perhaps longer. Academic dishonesty in Mr. Conner’s class also includes providing test and bellwork answers to classmate. Plagiarism (stealing someone else’s work and calling it your own) is unacceptable as well. Don’t cheat. It’s just not worth it! As far as homework is concerned, I want you to get as much help as you need without someone actually solving all the problems for you. Try to solve the problems in your own by following the examples I do in class. If you are struggling, ask your helper to give you a hint, do a similar problem for you, or guide you through one step of the problem – then see if you can finish the problem on your own.
MATH & SCIENCE BINDER ORGANIZATION
You need one two-inch size, 3-ring binder that uses subject dividers labeled as follows:
Miscellaneous information provided by Mr. Conner.
Class handouts and study aides
II Math HW
III Math BW
IV Math ME
V Science HW
VI Science BW
VII Science ME
AccMath Folder (located in the back of your binder)
MASTERY EXAMS 40%
ACC MATH 20%
ORG & PART. 5%
MASTERY EXAMS 30%
ORGANIZATION AND PARTICIPATION 5%
A 94 to 100
B 85 to 93
C 75 to 84
D 74 to 65
F less than 65
CLASSROOM DISCIPLINE PLAN
Please refer to the Discipline with Purpose section of the
Student/Parent Handbook for the overall guidelines on dealing
with student misbehavior. Below is a typical sequence I follow
Stage 1: A personal/verbal warning will be directed at the student.
Stage 2: A private meeting with Mr. Conner will occur. He will remind
the student of the appropriate behavior expected and the consequences
of continued misbehavior.
Stage 3: If the misbehavior continues, the student meets the
conditions of the Stop-Think-Plan (STP) described in the student
handbook. I rarely find students have placed themselves in this situation.
However, if it does occur, the parent(s) and administration may be brought
in to help resolve the issue.
Please note that severe or chronic misbehavior will result in immediate
notification and involvement of the administration and parent / guardian.
Please summarize the seven main Classroom Rules in your own words.
Please summarize the four main Classroom Procedures in your own words.
5. What is the purpose of the two teacher signals?
6. Please describe what happens when Mr. Conner needs your attention?
7. Please list the three things you’ll need to do when you hear the Tarzan
8. You hear the Tarzan call followed by Mr. Conner’s additional instructions.
How do you know when you can return to what you were doing?
9. Choose the most correct answer to the following question. When Mr. Conner thinks the classroom has become too noisy he will:
a. throw himself out the second story window
b. rope and tie the loud students to his truck and drag them through the parking
c. say the word, “volume”.