8th GRADE HISTORY SYLLABUS
United States History
History, we can confidently assert, is useful in the sense that art and music, poetry and flowers, religion and philosophy are useful. Without it -- as with these -- life would be poorer and meaner; without it we should be denied some of those intellectual and moral experiences which give meaning and richness to life. Surely it is no accident that the study of history has been the solace of many of the noblest minds of every generation.
This course is what is called a “survey” course in American history. Our study commences with the birth of our nation in the Revolutionary War period, and concludes with the aftermath of the Civil War and Reconstruction. We will approach history as the living, breathing testament to both where our nation has been and where it is going, and over the course of the year we will examine the experiences of the myriad of groups, individuals, and political and social movements that have come to define our heritage. Our basic goals are threefold: 1) To develop an appreciation of the multicultural, pluralistic nature of U.S. society in the context of the principles of democracy; 2) To understand and appreciate American ideals as expressed in historical documents, speeches, songs, art, and symbolic representations and rituals; and 3) To recognize that our country’s original ideals are ever-evolving and in need of constant protection and reaffirmation.
Our primary resource for the year is the ONLINE History Alive textbook. Additionally, we will draw upon numerous documents, videos, scholarly websites, and audio/visual sources to augment the text.
My Classroom Website
It is imperative for your success in this class that you are able to access my classroom website at least two times a week. You will be required to visit my classroom website for homework assignments, class notes, class projects, online assessments, and other tools for your success. Students will use
Google Classroom and Mr. Saindon’s Website.
Organization is the hallmark of scholarly pursuit. Therefore, you will be expected to maintain a high degree of organization with respect to your notes and handouts throughout the year. Accordingly, you will need one three-ring (one inch) binder to store your class notes, handouts, and graded quizzes, tests, and homework assignments. Please keep a supply of lined paper in your binder or a spiral notebook. Students will access the Textbook on line. A hard copy can be requested.
This year students will be given an Interactive ‘History Alive’ Notebook. This is a wonderful resource that will be utilized on a daily basis at school and at home. The activities in the notebook allow students to manage and learn the material in a fun, creative, clever, and interesting way. Students are expected to take the time needed to make this important ‘history scrapbook’ a genuine reference to be used throughout the year. Students will be responsible for bringing this to and from school each day.
For homework students will not only do traditionl types of homework; but, will also watch video lectures and screencasts created by Mr. Zoeller, Mr. Saindon and other teachers, and complete a list of questions online or on a worksheet video guide. During the video, students will record notes, answer questions as they appear in the video, and finally respond with a question either about something they did not understand, want more information about, or something new that they learned.
The videos give students the power to learn at their own pace. They may rewind, pause, or re-watch each lesson. As a self-directed learner they can go back over concepts they did not fully grasp the first time it was explained.
Each video is roughly 3 to 15 minutes and usually covers multiple concepts. They are accessible through my website, Google Classroom, EdPuzzle, and YouTube. Because the lessons are posted online just about any internet-capable device can access them, such as a smartphone, iPad or computer. If a student does not have access to a device with internet at home, there are resources available to them at school. The library is open from 8:05 AM to 4:00 pm daily and the Chromebooks and computers in my room can be accessed before school starting at 8:25 am and after school starting at 3:00 PM. Several days a week, students can come into my classroom at lunch to complete the videos. I also have the ability to load the videos onto a flash drive or onto a dvd for students to watch at home.
If you have any concerns about your student’s access to the videos, please contact me so I can help.
Approximately 20-30 minutes of homework will be given each week. Quizzes will be administered, both announced and unannounced, and will generally center upon the previous night’s reading assignment, so class preparedness is of the utmost importance. A variety of different types of assessment will comprise a large portion of the grade, and will cover class discussions, reading, videos, handouts, and notes. They will be conducted every 2-3 weeks.
It is my assumption and expectation that you and only you complete your own work. I am interested in how well you understand, learn and master the material offered in this course. I take Courage, Honor and Truth extremely seriously in my classroom. Please practice the art of paraphrasing and ‘putting it into your own words’. Please site and/or put quotation marks around any words that are not yours.
The American Revolution
Government Under a New Constitution
The Age of Expansion (from ‘Sea to Shining Sea”)
Revolutions in Agriculture and Industry
Civil War and Reconstruction
Parents and Students
Please check the class website each night for homework and information about the course.
Be sure to really take the time needed to watch the videos at home.
50% Homework/Class work/ Interactive Notebook
25% Mastery Checks
25% Final Assessment
Please fill free to call me with any questions or concerns at 588-6044
You may email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Attention All Parents And Students You Are Responsible For:
Check the Freedom Middle School website and the Agenda for update on homework and other information about the course. We spend a huge amount of time updating our website and filling out the Agenda – So, please get into the practice of using this as your guide each night to keep up with the course.
Checking the Power Questions and Power Vocabulary given out to each student at the start of every chapter. This review covers all the important vocabulary, questions, and content standards that will be discussed for the week. Be sure to work together on this assignment. Review it together! Go over it together! Discuss it at home! If your student is weak in an area, then go back over that question or term in the text. It is our goal that all of our students understand who they are and to understand the world around them. We want them to go off to high school and the world knowing the rights and power they have as American Citizen
Making sure students turn up at school each day with a positive attitude and be prepared to learn is important as well. Let’s have some fun!
History can be really interesting! Really!! I promise!