Team Bravery's Expectations
First Day Message
Dear Students,
Welcome to 7th Grade Mathematics.  
This year, we are going to be studying several different areas of Mathematics including arithmetic, algebra, probability, and geometry.  In the course of the class, you are going to learn to think in a more symbolic rather than concrete way.  I hope that you will find the class interesting.
My name is Mr. Zengerle.  I have been a teacher for about twenty years, but before that, I had several careers including working at AT&T and in theater.  I became a teacher because it is important and rewarding work.
If you or or parents wish to contact me, the best method to use is to email me at
The telephone number for the school is 732-752-0444, and my extension is 5387.  However, please do not call me if it can be avoided.  I do not have time to answer the telephone during class, and email offers a far better chance for me research and think about my reply.
Although you may find the content in this class to be challenging, if you follow my directions, you should learn well and understand.  If at any point you find yourself having trouble, please do not hesitate to ask questions or even ask for extra help.  I am always open to listening to students; although, I ask that you wait until after class if your concern does not involve the other students in the class.
Materials needed for this class:
Every day in this class, I will require you to bring certain materials.  Without those materials, you will be considered unprepared, and you will have trouble completing the assignments in the class.  Those materials include:
A three-ring, loose-leaf binder with rings of at least 2 inches in diameter
A four-function calculator
Five sharpened pencils
A spiral-bound notebook
Dividers for the binder making three sections
Enough loose-leaf paper in the binder to last the whole year
A pencil case to hold the pencils and the calculator
Your iPad
The textbook that we use in class is an online textbook.  I will give you directions for its use.  If you have any trouble, you must let me know.  I often can help you.  If you do not let me know, I will assume that you simply have not tried.
I will informally check that you have these materials every day and will check in detail periodically.  These binder checks will become part of your alternative assessment grade for this class.
If you have any problem acquiring any of these materials, please talk to me after class, and I will be happy to help you.
Classroom Policies and Procedures:
Every day, I expect you to enter the room in an orderly fashion.  I expect you to find your assigned seat, take out your homework questions, and wait for further instruction.
The school policy, which I will enforce, requires that there should be no chewing gum or eating or drinking of any kind outside of the cafeteria.
I expect that, during this class, you will follow directions, try to learn, and behave appropriately for the situation.  There will be times where you should be listening or thinking quietly.  There will be other times where you should be consulting with your classmates.  At all times, I expect you to remain on task and on topic.
If you have to leave the class for any reason, take out your Potty Pass and leave it on your desk.  I will come over to you with the hallway pass that you require.  Do not get up until I give you the pass.  Do not try to get my attention!  I will see your pass out on your desk and I should not require any further reminders.
I will enforce any and all school rules about electronic devices in the classroom, meaning that I will confiscate any telephones or other devices and turn them in to the office.  At the end of the day, you may contact the vice-principal, Mr. Kehoe, who will inform you of the procedure which will result in your device’s return.  Please do not make this an issue; either leave all your devices at home or lock them away in your locker until the end of the day.
Your attitude towards yourself, myself, and others:
While in school, I expect that you have respect for yourself, for your classmates, and for me and any other teachers or staff members.
Respect for yourself means that you should always try to focus on learning.  You should do your own work; you should concentrate on understanding the material; and you should always try your best.  If I find that you are not doing your best or that you are relying on other people, I will first talk with you about the situation, but I will not hesitate to involve other people should the need arise.
If I find that you try to turn in someone else’s work as your own, I will not accept the work from you or from the other person.  Both of you will be subject to further disciplinary action depending on the severity of the situation.  In addition, I will enforce the school rules about plagiarism carefully and diligently. 
If you do not do your own work, you are not respecting yourself because you would lose the opportunity to learn from the experience.  If you do work for someone else, you are not respecting your classmate because you are robbing him/her of the opportunity to learn.
Respect for your classmates means that your actions will only help them learn and will never prevent anyone else from learning.
I expect that your behavior will at all times be appropriate for the classroom.  If at any time your behavior becomes a distraction to yourself or others, you will be subject to disciplinary action.  I will try to deal with you personally, but I will not hesitate to get other people involved including your parents and the administration if a situation calls for further action.
Respect for me and for any other teachers or staff members means only that you will at all times behave appropriately, follow directions, and speak politely with any person in a position of authority in the school.  If you have a problem, I will listen to you as long as you do not take class time, speak politely and calmly, and use a reasonable approach to explaining yourself.  If you take class time to complain, or if you ever act in a disrespectful manner, your complaints will be ignored, and your actions will be dealt with immediately.  I will not tolerate a student preventing the rest of the class from learning.
My classroom rules can be summed up as follows:
Try to learn
Follow all school rules
Behave appropriately for the situation
Respect yourself
Respect others
Do not let anyone distract you
Do not distract others
If you do not follow the rules of the class, I will some or all of the following actions depending on the situation and the history of your behavior in class.
Private talk with you about your behavior
Lunch detention
After-school detention
Central detention
Parent contact
Contact with administration
Grading Policy:
Grades in this class are determined strictly by the things that you do in class and by the things that you turn in.  My formula for determining you grade is as follows:
50%    Tests,
5%      Quizzes
5%      Cumulative Assessments
15%    Journals/Projects/Alternative Assessment
10%    Classwork/Participation
10%    Homework
5%      District Quarterly Assessment
Your grades on tests, quizzes, and cumulative assessments are based strictly on the correctness of your answers. 
You will have a quiz in this class every week on Friday.  They are only worth 5% of your grade and there will be approximately ten to twenty of them every marking period so each one will not be worth very much.  Mostly, the quizzes are meant to inform you and me of your progress in the class, if you do poorly on a quiz, you should use it as a cue to seek extra help or to study extra hard.
Tests will be given periodically, but not on a regular schedule.  I will announce all tests at least one week ahead of time and I will explain the material to be covered on the tests.  The one week’s notice gives you time to ask for extra help and to study the material before being asked to complete a test. 
If you ever do poorly on a test, you have the opportunity to retake it.  However, to earn the right to retake the test, you must write me a letter explaining what you did wrong on the test and explaining how you will now do those things better.  If I am convinced by your letter that you will improve on the retake, I will schedule a time either before or after school for you to retake the test.  After the retake, I will count the higher score of either the original test or the retake.  My goal is for you to learn the material; if you need more time or extra help, I am willing to give you that chance.
You will have homework assigned to you every day.  Every night I expect you to do the homework and I expect you to have completed it before class each day.  I will check your homework score every day, but I will not assign a grade to it until Monday of the following week.  I want you to attempt every assignment, and I want you to ask questions during class about the previous night’s homework.  After I have answered all the questions, I expect that you will go back and make any corrections on the work.  By the time Monday comes around, your homework should all be complete and correct.  Each Monday, I will assign you a grade based on the work you have done on the previous week’s assignments. 
Your grade on homework will be based on effort.  If you leave anything blank or incomplete, you will lose credit.  If you leave any questions wrong, you will lose credit.  If you do not understand anything, you have all week to ask questions in class; there are no excuses for not completing the assignments.  The online assignments tell you when your answers are wrong and usually gives you chances to complete them correctly.  If you do not go back to correct incorrect responses, you are showing me that you are not trying, and you will lose credit.
I will base your class work grade on how well you follow directions and how hard you try to learn in class.  If you interrupt class, if you do not complete assignments, if you do not ask for help when you need it, you will lose points on class work.  If you ask appropriate questions, if you complete assignments when asked, if you follow directions, and if you work well with your classmates, you will earn points towards your class work grade.
Periodically, you will be asked to complete other assignments in this class including journal writing and benchmark assessments.  In addition, I will periodically check your binders for your notes and materials.  All of these assignments will count toward your Alternative Assessment grade.  Your grade in each case will be based on how completely you meet the expectation of the assignment.
Late assignments:
In general, I do not want to accept late assignments, but I understand that there are circumstances which may come up.
If you know ahead of time that you will have to turn in an assignment late, please talk to me before the deadline, and we will make proper arrangements.
After a due date, if you want to talk to me about possibly accepting a late assignment, you must first complete the assignment.  I will not talk to you unless you have the assignment has been completed.  If you have completed the assignment after the original due date, I will listen to your explanation, and I may decide to accept the assignment for credit, or I may decide not to accept it at all.  If you try to talk to me without having first completed the assignment, I will not listen at all.
There are no extra credit opportunities in my class.  I expect you to complete the assigned work when it is assigned.  If you cannot complete assigned work, how can I expect you to complete extra-credit assignments?  With the option to retake tests, I feel that there are sufficient opportunities to improve your grade.
I look forward to a productive year with you and your classmates.  Please remember that I am always willing to talk with students after class as long as they are respectful. 
If you are ever lost or have any questions, please talk with me.  I am very willing to help, but I can’t help if you do not ask.
Thank you.
You teacher,
John Zengerle