Middle School Science

I have been blessed with a Catholic education, am sending my children to Catholic schools, and have committed myself to teaching for the Archdiocese.

Growing up in Hastings, MN, I attended Hastings Parochial School. I graduated from St. Mary's College in Notre Dame, IN with a major in elementary education and minor in mathematics. I received my Master of Education from St. Mary's University and an Education Specialist degree from the University of St. Thomas. I moved to Golden Valley in August 2016 with my husband, Todd, and 6 children. We have a rescue dog, who loves to dig, named Lexi. I am an active member of Good Shepherd Parish.

I have been teaching in the Archdiocese since 1994. I taught at St. John the Baptist Catholic School in Vermillion, MN for most of 1997-2016 in the 5th and 6th grade classroom. This is where I found my passion for teaching science, starting the school science fair, science night, and annual environmental retreat. My summer vacations include Space Camp in Huntsville, AL, Minnesota Minerals Education Workshops, Audubon Center educator experiences, and rock hunting in Maine.

I am excited to be able to share my passion for C-STEM education with the Sacred Heart community by helping our students experience science in varied, interesting, and enjoyable ways. Classes will be a mixture of exploration, group activities, and labs in order for students to develop a conceptual framework for science.

My Family - 2016

Space Camp - 2008

Science knowledge is developed using an inquiry-based model that promotes active problem solving, communication, creativity, and the shared construction of new ideas. Students apply real-world problems that connect science to the world around them.


It is important to avoid front-loading and to instead allow students to develop an understanding through engagement and exploration. These experiences allow students to understand the concept, even define it, before a term is presented. This gives the students the opportunity to "discover" the concepts on their own and something to connect the terms to. Students can then elaborate, or apply, the new concepts to related phenomena for a deeper understanding.

“Teachers who love teaching, teach children to love learning.”

Mrs. Petit's Middle School Science Guidelines


Welcome to Middle School Science! I hope that you will learn a great deal this year, and have fun in the process. I know that I will learn a great deal from you. The following information is intended to clarify my expectations and requirements. Please let me know if something is not clear.

Please note that based on the needs of the class and individual students the details in this outline may change. I will do my best to communicate these changes to everyone involved.


Middle school science (5th-8th grade) meets in the science lab on the lower level. At times you may also find us in the STEM lab, outside, on field trips, in the gym, or wherever science takes us.


*Pencil or Pen *Chromebook or iPad *Scissors *Glue stick


2009 Minnesota Academic Standards for Science 2013 Next Generation Science Standards


5th Grade General Science: Ecosystems, Water Cycle & Earth's Systems, Patterns in the Sky, Matter & Chemical Reactions

6th Grade Physical Science: Matter, Chemistry, Energy, Force & Motion, Waves

7th Grade Life Science: Cells, Growth & Development, Energy Flow, Ecosystems, Traits, Ancestry

8th Grade Earth and Space Science: Space, Earth History, Weather, Human Impact, Natural Resources




You must have your notebook EVERY DAY. This notebook should stay in the classroom. Notebooks will be checked periodically. Complete assignments carefully, checking for accuracy.

  • This notebook may be used for all assessments (except for NWEA MAPS).
  • If you lose your notebook, replace/remake it IMMEDIATELY. Use a classmate's notebook to help remake.
  • Every page has a title and page number. Vocabulary words are highlighted. Foldables and graphics are used to show relationships.
  • Glue or tape in pages - your choice. Choose which works best for you! Tape or glue so things don’t get lost, torn, or stuck. Your notes aren’t useful if they have fallen out or are glued together.
  • Pages are not allowed to be torn out. If you mess up cross off and go to next page.
  • Coloring and highlighting helps you find information. Adding illustrations, borders, or other creative designs are welcome as long as is doesn’t distract from the words on the page.


All students also have a STEM notebook. This is shared by all teachers and used in any class that chooses to do a STEM activity. This notebook will continue to be used year after year until filled.


It is important that assignments are completed on time. Students will be given class time to work on assignments. Assignments not completed in class, should be taken home and completed as homework. Most assignments will be corrected by the student in class on the due date. Parental support is critical! Projects (including science fair) will require more work outside of class time, and require the student to plan accordingly. Assignments may be found on STEMscopes, Classroom, and Educate.


A variety of assessment practices will be used throughout the year. Formative assessments (notebooks, stations, labs, and quizzes) will be used to assess student readiness for testing. Performance assessments (in the form of projects/labs) will be assigned regularly in science. These projects will be both individual and group assessments. Group projects will be completed primarily in class. Summative assessments (tests) will be assigned at the conclusion of each scope.

The students will be taking the NWEA MAPS science tests in the fall and spring each year.


Assessment 75% (Tests, Individual Projects)

Daily Work 20% (Notebooks, Stations/Labs)

Participation 5% (Group Work, Homework)


When students are absent, it is their responsibility to find out what work was missed. They can view the assignments online, talk to a classmate, and/or check in with me. Try to have assignments that are due the day you return, completed. That way students can correct them with the class and not miss more class time.


Retakes are available on written assessments. The students must fill out (and parents must sign) the Request to Reassess form. Hard copies of the form may be found in class and a printable copy may be found on Classroom. Students need to start the process of the redo within 1 week of the original assessment return and the reassessment must be completed within 2 weeks. It is expected that students initiate this process on their own. All assignments, labs, notes, readings, etc for the assessed standard have to be proficiently completed.


Extra credit will not be offered or allowed. This is especially true at the end of a grading period. Students should not ask how they can boost a poor grade with an extra credit opportunity, instead grades are assessed on academic performance throughout the grading period.


As a part-time teacher, my hours at school will vary from day to day. Please see my schedule for the best times to reach me at school. I am always available by e-mail and willing to set up appointments outside of my regularly scheduled times as needed. Voicemail: 763-537-1329 x136 Email: apetit@shcsr.org

Mrs. Petit's Weekly Schedule

Additional tips for success:

*Ask questions...participate in class...always be wondering and thinking! Be engaged!

*Listen carefully. Be aware of the people around you.

*Come to class prepared with the needed supplies, assignments, books, and enthusiasm to learn.

*Keep organized.

* Turn work in on time! Check STEMscopes, Educate and Google Classroom regularly.

*Plan ahead! Some assignments or projects will take time--don't wait until the last minute to do them.

*Take care of our classroom and supplies.

*Don't hesitate to talk to me! I am here because I love teaching, and care about you. If you have questions or do not understand something, please arrange to see me at school, call me, or e-mail me.

We are embarking on a great adventure. I am looking forward to an awesome year in Middle School Science!