• Welcome to Ms. Wortham's Classroom Web Page

    Other Info:
    Helen Wortham
    7th grade Life Science
    Room Number C211 in Strath Haven Middle School 
    School Phone number: 610-892-3470 xt.7211
    Voyager Team

    A little about Ms. Wortham...


     I grew up in Dallas, Texas and love all things hot & spicy (and yes, I'm a Cowboys fan).

     Texas A&M

    I attended Texas A&M University and graduated with a degree in Biology. 

    Mary P. Williams

    After leading a research lab at UT Southeastern Medical Center for 6 years I moved to Philadelphia and attended The University of the Arts where I received a degree in Illustration. I then worked as a scientific and medical illustrator for 20 years.

    While teaching seminars at Ursinus College I was bitten by the teaching bug and received my teaching certificate from Drexel University.
    Before coming to SHMS I taught high school Biology and Keystone Science.

    I consider myself a lifetime learner and believe that there is a beautiful relationship between art and science.


    What will I need for class? 

    EVERY DAY please make sure you have: 
    1.    A pencil or pen
    2.    Your agenda book (school provided)
    3.    A science only folder 
    4.    A science spiral notebook or binder with lined paper (or a science section of a spiral notebook/binder)

    *You may bring one container of disinfecting wipes or a box of tissues for extra credit

    * If you have trouble getting any of these items, please let me know. *

    What will I learn?

    7th graders will be learning Life Science!

    Life Science provides students with an opportunity to develop critical thinking through observation and experimentation. 
    The course focuses on the following Units:
    1. Scientific Method
    2. Characteristics of Living Things
    3. Microscopes
    4. Cell Anatomy
    5. Diseases
    6. Classification
    7. Animals
    8. Plants
    9. Ecology
    10. Evolution
    This course will challenge students to read daily, write about what they read, analyze and interpret data, and research a variety of concepts. 

    How can I be successful in class? 

    It's my goal that all students will excel in science. Listening and participating in class as well as finishing assignments will prepare you for success. As I get to know you I will be able to meet you where you are and help push you further. The more you can share with me about your challenges and strengths, the better I can help you succeed in this course.   

    What are your expectations of me as a student? 

    Class Rules 

    1. Ask permission to leave your seat or leave the room.
    2. No side conversations during class instruction.
    3. Raise your hand to ask and answer questions in class.
    4. Keep your hands and feet to yourself.
    5. Do not touch lab drawers, sinks or equipment without permission.
    6. No abusive or foul language.

    *cell phones are not permitted in class*


    1. 1st offense  (strike 1): Verbal warning
    2. 2nd offense (strike 2): After class conference 
    3. 3rd offense  (strike 3): After school detention
    4. Multiple detentions and no improvement seen: Administrator action and call/email home

    Student Responsibilities

    • Come to class on time and prepared with materials. 
    • Follow all rules and procedures.
    • Start your work on time and allow time to finish. Unfinished classwork must be completed by the next day as homework and turned in at the beginning of class..
    • Ask for help when you need it by silently raising your hand.
    • Do your own work. Copying of assignments is not permitted. Missed class notes can be shared.
    • Turn your work in on time. Late assignments will receive a maximum of half credit until the end of the unit.
    • Accept responsibility for grades and other consequences.

    How do you grade?

    The breakdown of your grade is as follows: 

    40 % Tests and Quizzes 

    40% Labs/Projects and performance assessments

    10% Homework

    10% Classwork

    Each marking period, your grade will be based on performance on lab reports, tests, quizzes, projects, homework and classwork assignments. Each assignment will be worth a fixed number of points. Your grade will be determined by dividing the number of points earned by the total number of possible points.


    Is there any other information I should know?

    Absences: If you miss class, it is your responsibility to complete assignments and make-up labs within one week of the absence.

    Extensions: If for some reason you need an extension on an assignment come and see me no later than the day before it is due to request one.
    Homework: Assignments turned in at the beginning of class on the due date may earn full credit. Students are permitted and encouraged to hand in a missed assignment for up to half-credit until the end of the unit.

    Projects and other large assignments: Projects are expected to be turned in at the beginning of class on the due date. If not, the student will lose 10 points or one letter grade. An additional two points will be deducted for each subsequent day late up to one week. After a week the assignment will not be accepted for credit.

    Laptop number: I will assign you a number that will be your laptop number- please remember it or write it down somewhere in your agenda, so you know it.

    Class Web Site: My contact information and this syllabus can be found on my SHMS webpage.

    Google Classroom: Here you will find assignment and homework updates, reminders of important quizzes, tests and other information and a resource page to supplement classwork.

    Extra Help: Please set up a time to come see me after school as needed, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.