Eighth Grade Social Studies Dr. Lynch
Welcome to a new and exciting year at SHMS. Some of you know me from my tenure at SRS. I am thrilled to be apart of the SHMS family and community and I hope to come to know each of you very well. This is a special year for your children. It is their last at SHMS as they prepare for their high school journey.
Purpose of the Class –
The eighth grade social studies program focuses on Colonial America through Industrialism. The course also explores the foundation of the American political system—the philosophical and historical roots-- and examines the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The eighth program follows the seventh grade program, picking up from the Age of Discovery. It is partnered with the ninth grade program that continues the American historical journey from Industrialism to the modern day providing a seamless academic transition to high school.
The primary resource for this course is Discovery Education, an interactive Tech book built on engagement, exploration, explanation and elaboration. During the course of this program students research using primary sources, determine bias in research, create formal research writing with citation, engage in notetaking, develop multimedia presentations in a variety of formats, engage in formal debates, develop informational and persuasive writing, and explore filmmaking and storyboarding.Community Service Project – Every eighth grade student is expected to complete a 4-6 hour community service project during the course of the year. After performing the service, each student is expected to complete a 1-2 page paper on the experience. We provide opportunities for the students to complete this project during the year. The eighth grade at SHMS has well-earned reputation of compassion and altruism. To just mention a few projects over the past decade, the 8th grade students provided solar panels for a Gambian hospital, aided over 150 Darfur refugee families, supported Alex’s Lemonade Stand, provided education opportunities to the homeless through Back On My Feet, and last year screened over 500 children in our community for heart disease. We will present the exciting project for this year at Back to School Night.
Homework – Homework will be assigned two to three times per week. It consists of written and/or reading work. There will also be several long term assignments. All homework is posted on my website. Go to the school district website (www.wssd.org) and click on the link to my website.
Grading – My grading policy is based on a point system that breaks down as follows:
1. Sixty percent of the grade is based on tests and quizzes. All tests will be announced. Quizzes may or may not be announced.
2. Thirty percent of the grade is based on homework, presentations, formal debates, long and short term projects.
3. Ten percent of the grade is based on preparation, classroom participation, and effort.
With respect to retests, students scoring below 75% will have an opportunity to correct wrong answers in an appropriate form to be described. Upon completion, a student’s grade may be raised to 75%. All graded work is posted on the Parent/Student Portal.
Late Policy - Daily Assignments and Long Term Assignments
Homework and projects are expected to be turned in during class on the due date. If a project is turned in one day late, the student’s top grade will be no greater than B+. If handed in the following day, the top grade will be C+. If handed in on the third day late, the top score will be D+. On the fourth day late, the student can not receive a grade higher than a 59% (F). All homework, projects, essays and other assignments are expected to be completed, whether full of partial credit will be received.
Absent students will not be penalized unless the assigned work is not turned in at all. However, please note. I grant all requests for extensions for an assignment if it is requested before the due date. No reason or excuse has to be given for the request.
All marked papers are returned to students and are in their possession. Students are expected to maintain their papers in a binder or folder with all papers present. A test grade will be given for the binder for the first, second, and third marking periods.
Materials and Supplies – A binder or a folder, a notebook, pens/pencils
Class Rules – My class rules are simple. Respect yourself. Respect your peers and teachers. Respect your school, family and community. Use your common sense. Be on time or have a pass. Be prepared for class.
High School Placement -- At the end of the second quarter, the eighth grade teachers in Math, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies and World Language will be asked for their recommendations for placement of the eighth grade students at the High School in Honors, College Prep or Career College Prep. I like to think that I look at the whole student when making that recommendation. The factors I consider include classwork, participation in class, timeliness of homework and projects, missed assignments, class average, and class average on testing.With the advent of tiered testing at SHMS, the leveled test that a student chooses to take is a paramount consideration for me in making this recommendation. If a student wishes to be considered for Honors level placement in Social Studies at the high school next year, that student must take the challenge level test otherwise known as the Black Level Test. There are eight such tests given throughout the year. Please note that merely taking the test does not guarantee an Honors level placement. I look at that test average as well as the other factors listed above.
I am looking at a phenomenal year of friendship, learning and growth. With your help we can make eighth grade an exciting and rewarding experience. Thanks.