Aug 19, 2005

Grade 8 Social Studies

Eighth Grade Social Studies: American History II
Ms. Kim Allen
St. Luke’s School
Room 205
September, 2005

I welcome you to what I expect will be a wonderful year for you – and for me. I am truly excited about working with you, the new eighth grade (can you believe it?), in your last year before you go on to high school. As before, this class will be a combination of learning about what happened in the past, as well as developing the skills and attitudes of the historian. Keep in mind that becoming a good student historian means becoming a better thinker and problem solver. The following are the topics we will study.
·Historical Inquiry Method
·Judging Reliability and Validity of Sources of Information
·Comparing and Contrasting
·Understanding Cause and Effect
·Expressing Critical Opinions
·Writing Analytically (Essays/Research Paper)
·Speaking and Listening Effectively in Large and Small Groups

* Constitution, Past & Present
* Growth of the U.S. as a Nation
* The Civil War & Reconstruction
* Difficult Topics in U.S. History (such as slavery, racism, and war)
* Civil Rights Movements (struggles for racial justice, women's rights,
Native American rights, gay rights, and the experiences of South Africa)
* American Frontier
* Rise of Industry & Cities
* Immigration
* Foreign Policy Unit: Imperialism, World Wars, Cold War, Vietnam,& Terrorism
* Human Rights Law
* Social & Economic Rights
* Children’s Rights

* Events in the News
* Amnesty International Chapter (selected Fridays at lunch)
* United Nations Millennium Goals:
In class, we will focus on social and economic rights, such as the right to clean water, to an education, or to adequate shelter. A couple of times this year, we will leave the block to participate in service learning activities that will enhance your understanding of these rights, including volunteering at St. Clement’s Food Pantry and Peter’s Place, a shelter for homeless elderly people.

The key to success as a student is o r g a n I z a t I o n! You know that, and you’ve heard it over and over again. We repeat it over and over again because it’s true.

Put together a three-ring binder with dividers. It should have at least the following sections in this order. No exceptions! Keep it neat!

1. Notes, Homework, and Handouts (keep in order of the topics studied).
This section includes old homework and new homework. Don’t separate your notes, homework, and handouts. Together, they will tell the story of the history you’re studying. If you keep the “story” together in this section, you’ll have study notes for quizzes and tests.

2. Quizzes, Tests, and Projects (things with grades on them)
I will be checking this section regularly. Make sure everything is signed.

In the Classroom:
1. Follow all the rules of St. Luke’s School.
2. Be on time and prepared. Being late disturbs others.
3. Do all homework to the best of your ability so that you can participate fully in class.
4. Respect the property of others and treat your own things well.
5. Be polite at all times.
6. Be responsible when absent by asking for and completing all makeup work.
7. Help making learning a top priority in this classroom!
8. Laugh and smile frequently throughout the day.

You already know the way it works. Take your assignments seriously – and I will do my best to keep you challenged and interested. Remember the importance of turning your work in on time. Ask for makeup work.

Assignments are recorded as points in the grade book, and grades are given based on an attained percentage of points. I will only mark letter grades on quizzes, tests, writing assignments, and projects.
A 93 – 100 B+ 87 – 89 C+ 77 - 79 D 65-69
A- 90 – 92 B 83 – 86 C 73 – 76 Below 64 does not
B- 80 – 82 C- 70 – 72 meet requirements

Two Types of Grades:
Grades are divided into two main parts which are equally important to the final mark each trimester. Hard work and organization are just as important as testing for success (in real life as well as in school).

Daily Grades (1/2)
In-class Assignments
Group Work
Test Grades and Project Grades (1/2)
Major tests
Pop quizzes
In-class essays
Take-home essays
Creative projects
Research reports

1. A parent, Ms. Spyropoulos, and team coaches will be notified about a pattern of missing or late work.
2. A parent will also be notified if you make a C- or below (below 73) on any test, quiz, or project.
3. Please have your parents sign all project descriptions, quizzes, tests, and graded assignments so they know what’s going on in social studies.

Please ask for help when you need it. I don’t always know. I am available by appointment before school, and always after school. You may also email me at: I want you to be confident and successful as you move on to high school. Let’s work as a team!