Welcome to

Mr. NaLl's Science

HomePage


Applied Chemistry

Chemistry

Conceptual Physics

Physics

9 Science

Anatomy and Physiology


Contact information

Mark Nall

E-mail: mnall@alburnettcsd.org - I do check my email regularly as I have it on my smartphone, so this is the best way to get ahold of me.

School phone: 842-2263


Biography

The first 18 years of my life were spent growing up in the small community of Corwith, IA which is in north central Iowa about 45 miles SW of Mason City, 45 miles NE of Fort Dodge, or 20 miles SE of Algona. I am a 2001 graduate of Corwith-Wesley-LuVerne High School (which was in Corwith.....the school closed in 2015 and the building has since been demolished) and had 18 students in my graduating class. Needless to say, I'm very comfortable in a small school environment. From 2001-2005, I attended Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids and earned my Bachelor's Degree in Biology. In the spring of 2006, I was a student of Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport where I did complete one trimester of schooling. It was at this time that I decided to go into science education, so in the fall of 2006, I re-enrolled at Mount Mercy and entered the secondary education program. After three semesters, I had earned my Bachelor's in Secondary Education, graduating in December of 2007. In the spring of 2008, I did take two classes at Mount Mercy to finish off some endorsement work and started subbing. Several times during the spring of 2008 semester, I subbed at Alburnett and became familiar with the school, including getting the opportunity to sub for long time PE teacher/AD/football coach, Mr. Carver. It was while subbing for Mr. Carver that I received a phone call with my first teaching opportunity, and that opportunity led me to teaching high school science at East Buchanan Community School in Winthrop where I taught from the fall of 2008 until the spring of 2016. Starting in 2009, I started into a master's program in Science Education at the University of Northern Iowa with the original intention of earning my Physics endorsement. Once I found out that I could use these credits as electives in the program, I fully started into the program, finishing in the spring of 2016 with a Master of Arts in Science Education. In the spring of 2016, I was grateful to receive the opportunity to teach here at Alburnett and am now in my second year here (10th overall). My wife, Kristen, and I live in Center Point with our two children, Matthew (5) and Marion (1).



How students will be graded

Grades will represent an understanding of the standards. This year, Chemistry will be graded on a proficiency scale based on the standards. Students will have a grade of 1-4 based on their understanding of the standard. All other classes will still have the traditional A, B, C grading scale, but grades will be based on understanding of the standard. Below is the document that will be used for Chemistry and Applied Chemistry.

Proficiency Scale Document for Chemistry

Proficiency Scale

Grade Breakdown & Proficiency Scale

In the grading scale, behavior WILL BE SEPARATE from content.

Failure IS NOT AN OPTION will be the mindset not only of myself, but embraced by all students.

PowerSchool will be kept up-to-date. If you have any questions about your son/daughter's grade, please DO NOT HESITATE to contact Mr. Nall with any questions.


Guiding Practices

In all classes, attendance is essential as if you miss a day, you do miss a lot. Students will spend a lot of time working in group settings whether it is in full class discussion, group break-outs where they are working together to answer conceptual questions as part of the formative assessment process, working together on a lab, or working together on an activity. The 5E learning cycle process (engage, explore, explain, elaborate, evaluate) coupled with the formative assessment process are at the heart of what I do in all science classes. The whiteboarding process is important as students are able to learn how to communicate scientific information by collecting data from a lab, then coming up with a claim and evidence in order to defend their position based on the data they collect. Students can then learn from one another based on each other's claim and evidence.

The goal is to help all students find their way to show me that they can demonstrate understanding of concepts and that they can communicate this to me as well. Lastly, journaling is highlighted as important in this process so that students gain an understanding of how engineers and scientists document and keep track of their work (and what quality journal work looks like).

Standards addressed by courses:


Guidelines for retakes include the following:

  • Students will be provided the opportunity to be reassessed (quizzes and tests, lab journals)
  • In order to reassess, students must spend time with me going over homework/class work that led up to that assessment and practice those concepts before reassessing. Students must demonstrate an understanding with Mr. Nall in the practice work before moving on to reassessing.
  • The following question must be answered in a work session with Mr. Nall: "What will you do differently before future assessments to help ensure that you will be more successful the first time?"
  • Generally, reassessments will be limited to one retake per assessment. Additional reassessments will be provided at the discretion of the teacher.
  • Students will have 2 weeks from the date of the original quiz and 1 month from the original date of the test to do a re-take. If there are any extenuating circumstances, they can be discussed and considered on a case by case basis.
  • Students must SCHEDULE the reassessment with Mr. Nall when they have completed the above requirements.
  • The re-take grade will be what the new score is for the re-take.


Homework / Independent Practice


  • Homework is an opportunity for students to practice skills, apply knowledge, review and build on past learning, and extend learning.
  • Homework is based on each student’s progress towards established standards.
  • The purpose of the assignment will determine whether or not a grade is given and will be clearly articulated to students.
  • Feedback on homework is often provided to students during class.
  • The problems assigned as homework in this class are designed to test to see if you really understand the concepts developed in class. It is reasonable to expect that you will sometimes experience difficulty in setting up and solving these types of problems. It’s not such a bad thing that you struggle a bit in trying to complete the assignment. It is in the discussion of the homework the following day that you and your classmates really learn the material. To be a meaningful contributor to your group you must attempt to do the problems. If the class in general had a tough time completing the assignment, then at my discretion I may give the class time to finish working on the homework problems. Test & quiz questions will be similar to the problems you encounter in the homework. If you do your homework, you are more likely to be successful!


Extra Credit and Bonus Points

To ensure that grades reflect progress toward and achievement of the standards, giving extra credit points or bonus points will not occur in this class.


Behavioral Expectations

The vision of the Alburnett CSD is that behavior will be reported separately from academic achievement.

Tardies:

You are required to be in the classroom when the bell rings.

Failure to follow this rule will result in a tardy. If a student is tardy to class, school policy will ensue for the punishment to be received.

*If you need to stop in the office or talk to a teacher in-between classes then please get a pass from that teacher or from the office before coming to class.


*Restrooms – Use between class OR at an appropriate time during class. If you have any medical issues, please let me know!!


Late Assignments: If a DAILY homework assignment is due on a specific date and you're not done with it, the assignment will be put in the gradebook initially as a zero. You will then need to get that assignment done as soon as possible. Once the assingment has been completed, then a score will be put in. You WILL NOT be able to take any of the assessments (quizzes or tests) until ALL homework leading up to that assessment has been completed.

Journals: You WILL NOT be able to take an end-of-unit assessment until the journal has been completed.

Journal Formats: 9 Science, Chemistry, and Applied Chemistry; Physics

Physics Journal Rubric

Journal Rubric for 9 Science, Chem, and Applied Chem

Example Journals: Chemistry Example Physics Example Physics Example #2 9 Sci Example


Absenteeism: If you are here when an assignment is assigned and are absent the next day when its due, a zero will be put in Power School with a score note that you were absent. When you return, you will need to turn in the completed assignment, otherwise it will be considered late and you'll need to follow the late policy as listed above.


Classroom Rules:

1) Respect yourself, your classmates, the teacher, members of other classes AND the Lab Equipment (please don’t mess around with the equipment since it is very expensive and you may be required to pay to replace it).

2) No food in class. You may have water or juice. NO POP!

3) Ask questions! If you don’t understand something, it only benefits you to ask a question.

4) Students will collaborate with the teacher and peers and will responsible for their own learning by taking notes, engaging in class investigations/group work, and completing homework! Be responsible for yourself!


Electronic Equipment

Ipods/MP3 Players – The only time I will allow this type of equipment is when I have given your class time at the end of class to work on a homework assignment. You CANNOT SHARE your Ipod or MP3 player with another student if they don’t have one or didn’t bring one with them. You can listen to them with HEADPHONES ONLY. I also should not be able to hear your music while you are working. I will ask you to turn it down and failure to do this will result in your loss of this privilege. Ipods & MP3 players will not be allowed at any other time during class.


Cell Phones – CELL PHONE USE IN MY CLASS WILL BE LIMITED!! When you come into my classroom, please put your phones on SILENT and keep them in your pockets or in your bags (better yet in your locked locker). If I catch you using your cell phone during class when you are not supposed to be using it: 1st Offense: It will be confiscated and I will give it back at the end of class. 2nd offense: The phone will be confiscated, taken to the office, and you will not get it back until the END OF THE DAY!! 3rd offense: The phone will be confiscated, taken to the office, and your parents will be notified. From that point onward, it will be up to the administration and your parents as to what direction we go. There should be NO NEED to use your phone in class as your parents can contact the office if they need to get ahold of you; secondly we all have computers and you can use them for your academic needs; lastly you shouldn’t need them as a calculator because you should ALWAYS bring a calculator with you. You’ll never know when you might need it. Cell phones WILL NOT BE ALLOWED AS CALCULATORS ANYMORE!!


Lastly, there will be times that I will say that it’s okay to use your phone to take pictures of the classroom whiteboard or your group whiteboards for taking notes either for class or for your lab (to eventually use in your journals) or to also take pictures of the phenomenon we’re observing in the lab. You may also take videos of the lab with your phone (again I must give you the okay first as you should be the one to ask).


Laptops – There will be appropriate times to use your laptop in class and other times where it will not be. I’ll tell you to shut your lids if that is the case and please do so if you’re asked. Failure to do this will result in a ½ hour detention and there will be a discussion with administration as to whether or not laptop privileges need to be revoked if this continues to be a habitual problem.


Academic Honesty: Cheating ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT BE TOLERATED in my class. If I catch you cheating on a test or lab journal, a zero will be entered as the score for that assignment, the administration will be notified, and your parents will be contacted. Colleges and universities have failed students for an entire class in which they were caught and have expelled students in some extreme or repeated cases of academic dishonesty. It's best that we practice this now!


Help outside of class – If you need help outside of class, I will usually be here in the morning at about 7:30 and will be here after school until at least 4:00 (often times later than that). I will announce in class on days that I may be a little bit later to school in the morning or have to leave early after school in addition to days that I know I will be absent from school. In addition, you can always email me with any questions you may have as I do have email on my smartphone and will always do my best to respond as promptly as I am able.


If this does not work with your time schedule, then please see me and we can arrange a time to meet in advance so that you can get the help you need on an assignment. Please see me if you need help with an assignment!