• Pre-AP Chemistry

    Teacher: Joshua Blue Garcia Miles

    SY 2021-2022

    Mr. Garcia’s e-mail address: joshua.garcia@houstonisd.org   

    Website: http://www.houstonisd.org//Domain/43511

    Office Hours: First half of lunch by appointment



    Welcome to my classroom! This will be my twelfth year teaching. I hold a Bachelor of Science from University of Texas at San Antonio Honors College with a degree in molecular genetics. I also have a Masters in STEM Curriculum and Policy Advocacy. I will work hard to foster the life skills of asking questions, finding alternative avenues to solve problems, never giving up, and academic independence as we master content.


    Topic Coverage:

     Pre-AP CED


    Classroom Culture for in person instruction:

    • Be courteous to others.
    • Be prepared with all needed supplies and work.
    • Be on time and on task. On time is defined as seated at your desk before the tardy bell rings. (You will be counted tardy if not seated by the bell.). Cell phones placed in assigned pocket on the wall.
    • Always ask if something is not clear.
    • Leave the room the way you found it (Leave No Trace).


    PROCEDURES for in person instruction:

    • Come into class quietly, place your cell phone in your assigned pocket on the wall, sit in your seat before the tardy bell rings, and prepare for class. Tardiness is not acceptable!
    • You may not eat or drink anything but water during class without my permission.
    • Please try to write neatly and legibly. Work that cannot be read cannot be graded and will be returned as incomplete.
    • All major projects are due by 8:30 am of the due date. You will be told in advance which projects are due at the beginning of the day. If your bus is late, please bring the project to me then proceed to 1st
    • Talking or distracting other students, intentionally or unintentionally, during a test or quiz is not tolerated. You are now in high school and should conduct yourself as such.
    • All proper PPE should be worn, and safety precautions should always be followed.



    Classroom Culture and Procedures for online instruction:

    • Be on time and on task. On time is defined as logged into the Teams class session before the start time. Cell phones should be put away.
    • Always ask if something is not clear.
    • Mute yourself unless you are about to speak.
    • If you need to speak raise your “hand”.
    • Leave comments or questions in the chat if you don’t want to speak. I will periodically circle back to the chat to take a look.
    • New rules and expectations are going to evolve for both teachers and students. Let’s conduct ourselves assuming the other person is trying their best.
    • Be respectful. Be appropriate. Be kind. Be present. You never know who is recording/watching…


    Not everything we do will be for a grade. Some things are just to help you improve in chemistry.


    Consequences: Any/all of steps 1-4 may be skipped; dependent on the severity of the incident.

    1) Verbal warning.

    2) Personal conference with teacher.

    3) Lunch detention and parent(s) are contacted.

    4) Parent/teacher/student conference.

    5) Referral to Administration.


    Supplies (if we go back in person at some point):

    • Pencils, pens (blue and/or black), markers, and colored pencils
    • Scientific Calculator
    • A box of gloves
    • A box of tissues


    Grading Policy:

    • 10% =Passive work ie. Participation/Edpuzzle
    • 30% =Active work-
      • In Class work (Lab Debrief, Lab Skills, Reading Quizzes over Ed and BOOK, Pogils, activities, etc)
      • Online Homework systems
      • Lab Debriefs, Reading Quizzes are on OnTrack with lockdown mode browser.
      • Pogils and other activities will be predominantly on OneNote. Students will not be sharing resources. 
    • 60% = Assessments (Tests MCQ and FRQ x.5)
      • MCQ is on Online
      • FRQ is on Paper


    It is vital that you follow instructions for submitting homework and class work.These standards are based on cognitive skills that will increase students’ college preparedness. Every assignment should have a complete MLA header, be completed in blue or black ink (unless otherwise instructed), have ALL questions attempted, show ALL work, and have correct spelling and capitalization. I can’t grade what I can’t see, and we can’t find where a student has gone off-track if work isn’t shown.




    Headings:  All papers turned in must include the correct MLA Header


    John Doe

    Mr. Garcia

    Pre-AP Chemistry, P4 (or Period 4)

    25 Aug 2016 (or 25 August 2016, but no numbers for month or slash marks separating date items)


    It must have a proper and appropriate title or else the assignment will not be graded.


    Notebooks: Notebooks are an important tool for organizing information and your thoughts.


    Labs:  When you are involved in a lab, you MUST act accordingly. Participating in lab is a privilege, one that can be taken away if the proper procedures are not followed. If you do not follow the rules of the lab then you will not be allowed to participate and will receive a zero for that lab. In order to participate in lab you must make at least an 80% on the safety quiz and turn in a signed safety contract.



    Textbook:  HISD has transitioned to all online textbooks for Chemistry. You will be assigned an e-textbook by HISD and given instructions on how to access it during the first week of school.


    Absences: You are expected to attend class every day. If you are absent, it is your responsibility to promptly gather the assignments that you missed. I will not remind you of missed assignments, you must take the initiative to find out what you missed. If you miss a test, YOU must schedule a retest, but keep in mind that the format of the retest is at the teacher’s discretion. It is your responsibility to reschedule your missed test in a timely manner. Any assignments not made up from an absence will result in a zero. Please do not disturb the teacher during class to get missed assignments, wait for a quiet time or come by outside of class time.


    Late Work/Missing Assignments All assignments are due ON TIME. Late work will be accepted up to one day late and no later. An academic grade on late work is up to a 70% for one day late and 0% thereafter. If you are on campus the day an assignment is due, then you are required to turn it in, even if you miss your period. If at all possible, notify instructor of unforeseen circumstances.  


    Tutorials:  I am available to help you better understand information in a small group or individually. Tutoring is available by appointment at lunch and during SSEP. The National Honor Society also offers peer tutoring and can be requested online. It is highly recommended that if you are having difficulty in this class that you take these opportunities to get help early.


    Academic Integrity:  Cheating, copying, intentionally falsifying records, and plagiarizing will not be tolerated in this course. Any student displaying academic dishonesty will be reported and referred to the Assistant Principal. The student will receive grade of “0” on the assignment and there will not be an opportunity to make up the assignment. This includes exams and quizzes. Any disruptions, intentional or unintentional, during a test or quiz will not be tolerated. 



    Retakes: The policy for my class is outlined below. Please review it carefully.

    • Maximum of 2 retakes per grading cycle
    • Maximum retake score is 70, (score of 70 to 100 = 70); highest grade between original/retake counted
    • Maximum retake score is 70, (score of 70 to 100 = 70); highest grade between original/retake counted
    • Student must request the retake within 24 hours of the grade posting and complete the retake within one week of grade posted. I will announce in class when grades have been posted.
    • Retakes are for tests only. A reading quiz is an extension of homework and is not eligible for a retake.
    • Retakes are typically held during the long SSEP (Wednesday) or at the beginning of lunch on Thursday following the date of the completed retake request. If you have multiple retakes on the same day, it is your responsibility to reschedule in advance.
    • “No show” counts as a taken retake. You will be considered a “no show” if you arrive 15 minutes or later from the start of lunch.
    • Final Exams are not eligible
    • Missing assignments fall under my late policy not the retake policy.


    Extra Credit:  I do not offer extra credit.


    Assignment Resubmission:  Resubmissions are permitted at my discretion. Any assignments allowed resubmission will provide students an opportunity to recover half of the credit lost. The following are general guidelines for resubmissions and are subject to additional requirements:

    • Original assignment must have been turned in on time.
    • You must show all work and explain how you came to the new answer/conclusion.
    • Resubmissions will not be accepted the last week of each grading cycle.


    Conduct grades: Conduct grades are a reflection of the students’ positive and negative behavior. To earn an “S” the student must participate on a regular basis and follow class procedures. Participation is necessary for class. Participation should be meaningful and add to discussion, not detract.


    Study Techniques:
    Studying for classes involves more than just "cramming the night before a test." The following are suggestions to improve your grade in biology:


    1. Write all assignment due dates in your planner.
    2. Read over your notes soon after you have written them.
    3. Review the vocabulary list as you go.
    4. Do all warm-ups, homework, worksheets, study questions, etc.
    5. Keep your handouts, lecture summaries, and study questions organized in your composition notebook.
    6. Always read assigned material and make a graphic organizer to help you summarize main ideas.
    7. Participate in class.
    8. Study frequently and in small doses. 
    9. Set up a study group and study with friends.
    10. If you are having trouble with the material, get help early. Do not wait until the end of the grading period and/or test day!!!