For each unit I will share with you my plan. You will know how each unit connects to things we have learned, as well as how this unit is leading to more learning. You will know the questions we are exploring (but you will have opportunity to ask many of your own questions!).
If you need to know if there is a homework assignment, look at PowerSchool. It will also be posted in our history classroom. Sometimes your homework will be to complete some writing we started in class: be sure to check and see that you have completed all of your work.
8th grade is a busy year for students and teachers. Be sure to keep an agenda, so that you can balance your school work and your time with friends and family. If you ever have trouble keeping up, come see me and I'll help you plan for your success.
Below is a handout for students on the first day--it has some helpful suggestions and answers about some common procedures.
Below are a collection of anchor charts that answer the question "how do I..." or "what does my teacher mean by..." We will practice these skills in class, and students will have a copy of the charts if they have a question at home.
Special thanks to Gretchen Schwanfelder, who wrote 3 of these charts.
Click here to go to Office 365 Teams, where you can get copies of some worksheets, and turn in work electronically.
Update March 2018: I am now putting class worksheets into Teams. Look in Teams under the “files” tab for needed worksheets.
Additionally, please go back to Teams once you’ve received a grade to get additional feedback on items turned in digitally. If you don’t see comments on your work in the Teams app, try to open a document in Word from OneDrive.
Click here to access readworks assignments to preview content. www.readworks.org/student. The class code is 6ZYQRE. Ask me for a password.
Here is an interesting collection of maps, with some good information about World War II: http://www.emersonkent.com/map_archive/wwii_major_operations.htm
About History Class
Structure of our work
In this course we will investigate American History from the Civil War to the present. Each unit will include skills such as chronological thinking, research, reading and understanding historical sources, note-taking, map-making, analyzing and interpreting historical issues, and writing. Daily lessons will help students gather information with which they will draw a conclusion about the unit's compelling question.
Here is the history content we will study this year:
Reconstruction (after the Civil War)
The Rise of Industry and Growth of the Country
World War I
The Roaring Twenties
Depression and the New Deal
World War II
The Cold War Era
Civil Rights Movement
Work and Grades
Some work we will do together as a class, other work will be independent. All of the activities will be such that you will explore history, develop your own ideas, and produce your own work.
While content and skills will be the same for everyone, the way in which you learn and sometimes express your learning will be as unique as you are. Everyone is different, with different talents, as well as different areas for improvement. Sometimes you may to choose your method of presenting your work: a poster, or an oral report, or a written analysis, or a set of thorough notes. In this way you may learn history through methods that meet your individual needs and interests.
Each unit is developed around a collection of historical resources, specific content and skills. For example, we will use a collection of oral histories, historical fiction, poems, political cartoons and pictures to study what it was like when immigrant families found work in America. In addition to reading and analysis, we will examine perceptions and write an informational text in this example.
Supplies to bring every day:
You will have homework several times a week. History homework should take about 25 minutes, although some days it may take less time, and some days it may take more. History homework is background information for the next day’s class. In class we examine original documents, work in groups, or discuss what we’re studying. It is important that all participants do the homework so that they know the history and have fun participating in class.
Some students find our textbook challenging to read at first. For this reason, you may click on "audio files" at this website and listen to a file of me reading the text aloud while you follow along in the textbook. This practice may increase your reading fluency, in addition to helping you learn history!
In addition, instructions to access our textbook online are listed under the "helpful links" tab. This way you can do your homework almost anywhere there is Internet service!
You earn grades on all of your work: tests, quizzes, projects, class work and homework.
Formative (Preparation and Practice): 30%
Homework (10%)—sometimes from the textbook, requiring reading quietly and completing an assignment on the unit plan. Other times there will be worksheets, organizers, essay writing or reading assigned for homework.
Classwork (20%)--notes, class discussions, reading and short answered responses
Unit-ending essays and/or projects
Incomplete work: I assign work in order for you to learn and enjoy class. If you get behind, make up your work as soon as possible, so you can enjoy and learn. If you are struggling to keep up, come see me so we can identify strategies we both can use to keep your learning rigorous and enjoyable. When students need an extension on work, I will almost always grant it, I understand that we are all busy juggling work, sports, friends and family. However, I do not believe that allowing regular late or poor work is truly beneficial to students; therefore, any pattern of late work will lead to penalties and/or discussions with the student and parents if necessary.
Re-do's:If you do poorly on an assignment, you may re-learn the material and show me that you have now mastered the content and/or skills. In order to do this students must
1. Arrange to meet with me during lunch or after school. We will have an honest discussion about what happened and why. We will make a plan for you to catch up and improve your work.
2. Complete any missing formative work (preparation and practice).
3. Write a short analysis of what you have learned about your learning skills, abilities, and plans for the future to keep working at a high level.
Most of the time work is not graded for completion only (an automatic "A" for doing it). Instead I compare the quality of work to a rubric that defines quality on a four point scale. In the fall these marks will seem harsh, as students are just beginning their journey in 8th grade. Throughout the year I will help every child become prepared for their next steps in 9th grade. In the Spring, attaining a "3" will be accomplished easily.
4 = above grade-level work.
3 = B and means the student has met end-of-year expectations for 8th graders.
2 = C and means the student work quality is lower than grade level (students may receive this score in September, but they will rise as the year continues).
1 = D, meaning the work is incomplete or extremely weak.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask! If you need some extra help we can arrange a time that is good for both of us including after school or at lunch. You may also email me (I check email on weekends and until about 8 pm each night).