• Welcome to Mr. Ordog's Site

    2016/2017 Schedule
    Period 1: Oceanography
    Period 2: 21st Century Science
    Period 3 Duty
    Period 4: 21st Century Science
       Period 5: Lunch
       Period 6: Oceanography
    Period 7: Prep
    Period 8: Honors Biology
    Period 9: Duty 
    If you are a student looking for more information for an assignment, please use your Google Classroom account assigned to your class
     Parents, please feel free to contact me using the following email: ordog.s@woodstown.org
    If you are interested in learning about the new standards aligned grading process we are now implementing in the high school, please read the following information (credit to Mr. Rickard for the detailed explanation):
    For my science classes, each of the four categories is weighted equally, and counts for 25% of the overall grade.  The system is based on total points, so each assignment is valued by the amount of points it is worth.

    Standards Aligned Grading - Science

    What is Standards Aligned Grading in a Science Classroom?

    Standards Aligned Grading is method for grading that strives to evaluate students in a manner consistent with the educational standards as put forth by the state of New Jersey and focuses on providing feedback on what the student is able to successfully accomplish.  It makes use of categories that reflect the key components of the course rather than using categories based on the assignment type.  After many discussions, four categories have risen to the top.  These categories are Science Content and Fluency, Science Application, Science Literacy and Communication, and Science in the 21st Century. Explanations of each category are included below.  

    While each category has the appearance of being an isolated entity, many tasks will require students to demonstrate aptitude from more than one category to be successful.  When this is the case, students may receive more than one grade for a given assignment.  These will be recorded in PowerSchool as separate grades to provide everyone in the student support structure (student, parents/guardians, teacher, guidance counselor, mentors, etc.) with as much information as possible.

    Why Use Standards Aligned Grading in a Science Classroom?

    Ultimately, the goal of a science course is for the students to learn, to retain, and to be able to use the material both in the classroom and in the wider world beyond.  Standards Aligned Grading focuses on giving feedback that helps to determine what a student’s strengths and weaknesses are in an effort to help determine the best way to help the student improve.  The focus shifts from what kind of assignment is being completed to a focus on what the assignment is requiring the student to accomplish.

    Please be aware, students will be asked to do many of the same assignments such as experiments, problem assignments, and exams in the same ways that they are accustomed to from prior classes.  What we are asking the students to do and accomplish is not changing.  What changes is how they receive feedback about what they accomplished.  At times, students may be given assignments specifically targeted at the areas where they have the most room for improvement.  This may mean that on a given night, different students within the same class are given different assignments.  It is the responsibility of each student to keep track of what assignments are due because asking a classmate may not provide the correct answer.

    Explanations, Expectations, & Evaluation

    Science Content and Fluency: (Do you know the material?)

    In its simplest form, Science Content and Fluency assesses whether students know the basic concepts, ideas, and terminology of the course.   Many times a science class can be likened to a foreign language class in that there are an abundance of new terms that must be learned in order to build a solid scientific foundation.  To add an additional level of difficulty, some terms will mean one thing in everyday life but will have a different meaning within a specific science.  This category represents how well students know and are able to interact with the concepts and ideas that have been introduced.

    Expectations of Science Content and Fluency could include, but are not limited to knowing key terms and their definitions, knowing major concepts, knowing important historical information, understanding the design of the metric system, and recognizing symbolic representations such as cell diagrams and chemical formulas.  

    Evaluation of Science Content and Fluency could include, but is not limited to a vocabulary assessment in which students match terms with definitions or in which students supply a definition for a given term (or visa versa,)  general recall oriented questions primarily of the multiple choice or short answer variety, identification of important information from within a laboratory experiment or word problem style question, and inclusion of scientifically correct facts and ideas within discussion.

    Science Application: (Can you accomplish tasks with what you know?)

    In its simplest form, Science Application assesses whether students are capable of using their content knowledge to accomplish a given task.  It is one thing to know the definition of a molar mass in chemistry or of acceleration in physics, but it is another thing to be able to determine either of those quantities in a laboratory.  

    Expectations of Science Application could include, but are not limited to providing solutions and explanations to scientific questions and problems, translation of content knowledge into laboratory practices, evaluation and design of scientific experiments, collection of valid laboratory data,  interpretation of experimental results, and calculation of mathematical values relevant to situations encountered both inside and outside the laboratory.

    Evaluation of Science Application could include, but is not limited to solving traditional calculation style problems, completion of laboratory tasks, designing of experiments to accomplish a goal, collection of data, answering questions regarding the interpretation of collected data, and answering questions of various natures requiring more than a single concept to answer.

    Science Literacy and Communication (Can you read, write, and talk like a scientist?)

    In its simplest form, Science Literacy and Communication assesses whether students can effectively communicate in a scientific matter.  These tasks equire the student to be able to read, interpret, evaluate, and express scientific ideas and opinions.

    Expectations of Scientific Literacy and Communication include but are not limited to  reading primary and secondary scientific sources in order to obtain information, discussing scientific topics and ideas, writing using relevant scientific terminology, and writing using a scientific format.

    Evaluation of Scientific Literacy and Communication could include, but is not limited to having students read and answer questions relating to a passage presented which may or may not have already been covered in class, writing of laboratory reports with special emphasis on discussions and conclusions, classroom discussion and debate, individual and group projects and presentations, traditional essay style questions, and assisting other students in an effort to help reach a higher level of understanding.

    Accountability (Could you function as a member of a scientific team?)

    In its simplest form, Accountability assesses whether students can serve as productive members of a scientifically oriented group.  This is not to say the group must be a collection of scientists since many situations will involve application of scientific method, isolation of variables, gathering of information, and interpretation and presentation of results.

    Expectations of Accountability could include, but are not limited to, having a strong core of knowledge across a variety of subjects not limited to science, being creative and innovative, being able to think critically and solve problems, being able to effectively communicate, being able to effectively collaborate, being able to incorporate information, media, and technology appropriately, being flexible and adaptable to change, having initiative and self-direction, work effectively in a diverse group of individuals, being productive, being accountable, being responsible, and taking a leadership role when needed.

    Evaluation of Accountability could include, but is not limited to evaluation by teacher, peers, and self as to how essential to a group each member was for a given task, assessment of the quality of a presentation whether written, oral, or multimedia, measuring the response that students take with respect to feedback from teachers, peers, and self, and assessing student ability to meet deadlines and expectations, especially when things may not go as planned.


    Rubrics and other grading guides will be developed. distributed, discussed, and refined as the year progresses.  All four phases of the rubric process will have input from both teachers and students on a regular basis.  Rubrics for major projects such as science fair will have rubrics provided in advance of the due date.  Many common assignments will have a similar rubric, so as the year progresses, students should become more confident in how they will be evaluated even if a rubric has not been provided prior to when the assignment is due.


    The following example is meant to help show how a traditional assignment is graded in a Standards Aligned Grading scheme.

    Laboratory Notebook for an Experiment

    In years past, students would submit their laboratory notebook and receive a single grade.  This grade would reflect the overall success within the lab.  Several students would receive the same grade but for different reasons.  Perhaps one student did not answer the questions at the end of the experiment while another student made calculation errors.  This would be entered as a single grade into the gradebook in the laboratory category.

    Standards Aligned Grading will take the same experiment and break it into multiple grades, each of which is reported into the appropriate category.  A Science Content and Fluency grade may be assigned based on the student’s ability to answer any prelaboratory questions and for detailing safety hazards.  A Science Application grade may be assigned based on the student’s ability to complete the experiment and to complete any required calculations within the experiment. A Science Literacy and Communication may be assigned based on how well the student is able to interpret, to explain, and to summarize the results in a meaningful manner.  Finally, a Science in the 21st Century grade may be assigned to reflect how well the students worked in groups, followed procedures, and managed their time to meet deadlines.  Each of these grades would be reported separately in the grade book.  

    One student may find that the student did not prepare enough ahead of time but was still able to do what needed to be done and make sense of things.  That student would receive a low Science Content and Knowledge Grade but score well in Science Application and in Science Literacy and Communication.  Another student may have difficulty making sense of the results after all of the calculation are complete.  This student would likely score high in Science Content and Knowledge and Science Application, but score low in Science Literacy and Communication.

    For a given assignment, this gives information as to where the student was and was not successful.  Over time, grades may also show trends that can then be evaluated.  For example, if a student routinely earns low scores in Science Content and Knowledge for laboratory experiments, it may be because that student is not preparing ahead of time for the experiments.  In order to improve, that student would need to make sure they are taking the needed time to read through the experiment and enter the necessary information into their laboratory notebook prior to class.  Another student may find that calculation errors result in low Science Application grades.  In that case, the student should schedule time outside of class to meet with the instructor to determine if additional help is needed with making the scientific connections to the calculations or if perhaps additional help from a mathematics instructor would be more appropriate.

    For information on biology or oceanography or 21st Century Science, please see the corresponding tab 

                                                                                                                                                                                   image rights: Brandon Cole Marine Photography
    "We do not inherit the land from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children."
                                                                          -Native American Proverb