Mr. Wojieck's Earth Science News

A link to Mr. Wojieck's Earth Science classroom

The journey continues. .

Current topics in class

This week, we wrapped up our Astronomy Unit in Earth Science. On Wednesday October 11th, students will be having their first unit exam in Earth Science. The unit exams are identical in format to the NYS Earth Science Regents Exam and contain both multiple choice questions and short answer, constructed response questions. On this particular exam, students will also have a lab portion that correlates with the first portion of the Regents exam, known as the Lab Practical. During this unit, students learned about eccentricity and drawing elliptical orbits, which is one of the 3 stations on the lab practical exam.

Since there is an exam coming up, students have received one of their few homework assignments for the year. As mentioned in my first newsletter, this is the only assignment that I will not take late, unless there is an excused absence of course. This assignment will be due on Wednesday October 11th at the beginning of class. In case you or your student would like to see another copy of the assignment, here is the link (

Exam Prep

Preparing for an exam can take different shapes depending on the student. Some students will read through their notes while others will focus on practice questions that we covered and discussed in class. Many students however do nothing outside of class to prepare for an exam and this can be detrimental to mastery of the content. Our goal is much more than passing and always will be. Students can do great things with the right encouragement.

In class, we have reviewed two 20 question practice exams. Students took the time to work through those exams, using both their notes and study guides as references. I then analyzed the data received and we went over any question where a large majority of students might have missed. On Tuesday, we will do our final review and students will then take their exam on Wednesday. Students however should put at least a little bit of time looking deeper into content to prepare for the exam.

Some students have found that YouTube's MetFan069 offers great review videos that go over the topics we have discussed in class in different ways. Maybe your student could benefit from these programs.

I do treat exams differently that a lot of teachers. Exams are considered learning opportunities. We practice Regents type setting exam protocols, however students are allowed to ask me for help or to work through any question with them that they may be struggling with. Since I can not help at all during a Regents exam, this gives me the chance to help students work through their first exposure to Regents type questions in an exam setting.

If a student does not perform to the standard they had hoped, they can make arrangements with me to go through their exam one on one and receive 1/2 of their points back, as discussed in the first newsletter under my grading policy.

If at any time you have any questions, feel free to contact me at any time.

Moon phases for everyone

One of the students favorite activities during the Astronomy unit is the Phases of the Moon Cookie Lab. Students are given 8 cookies to create the 8 principal phases of the moon and then can enjoy the cookies when the lab is complete. Below are some of the photos from the phases that the students created.

Online Grading Tool - SchoolTool

Our school is fortunate to be able to provide grades for all students through our online portal entitled School Tool. For me, I found SchoolTool to be a fantastic program that allows parents to have no surprises when it comes to their student's grades. If you haven't log in yet this year, please do so at

If you have never logged in and need information on how to do that, please visit our district webpage through the following link for directions on how to get a log in.

When it comes to Earth Science, I update SchoolTool as soon as I have finished grading an assignment. If you see a blank on the screen, it means one of two things.

1. I entered the assignment but have not graded your particular student's assignment yet.

2. The student is excused from that assignment due to absence. The most likely assignment for this would be from a daily warm up or potentially a video from class that the student was absent for.

If all of the assignments that I have from student have been graded but I have not received your students, they will receive a zero for that grade until the assignment is turned in. If you have any questions in regards to grades, please drop me an email at the link given below.

REMIND: The Text messaging reminder service

If you haven't done so already, please consider signing up for REMIND text alerts for Earth Science.

1. Send the message @nrwearth to 81010 on the cell phone

2. Download the remind app and look for @nrwearth in the classroom area

3. Click on this link - or the button below.

It's a great way to stay connected!

The Dirty 30(plus one)

We have added two more facts from our Dirty 30 wall these last couple of weeks. They are italicized below. Ask your students about these. Any help you can give at home goes a long way in your student's success in the classroom.

1. The best scientific evidence of the Big Bang Theory is cosmic background radiation

2. The Doppler Effect causes the electromagnetic spectrum of light to shift to the red end when the object is moving away or outward, or expanding.

3. The altitude of Polaris (the North Star) above the horizon is equal to the latitude of the observer.

4. The Law of Elliptical Orbits: All planets orbit (revolve) around the Sun in the shape of an ellipse, with the Sun at one focus point

a. Eccentricity = focal distance/length of the major axis

b. Eccentricity can only range from 0.000 to .999 and the closer to zero, the rounder the orbit is

5. Know your 4 principal moon phases: Each phase is about one week apart so it takes about a month (29.5 days) to go from full moon to full moon

a. If the light is on the right, the moon is getting bright ( waxing phases)

Open House is Coming!

Open House will be held on October 18th from 6pm to 8pm here at the high school. Hope to see you there.