8th Grade U.S. History
Ms. Lynch and Ms. Parker
Welcome to U.S. History class! We will be studying the history of theUnited Statesfrom the arrival of the continent’s first inhabitants to the end of the Civil War. We’ll not only learn about the facts of history, but also about why and how history is recorded and written. Who do we remember, and who does history allow to be forgotten? Why do we study some things and not others? Why do we study history at all? Can we ever know what “really” happened?
Classroom Rules and Expectations
In order to create an environment which will allow us to learn and ask questions, there are a few rules that should be observed:
In addition to these rules, I also expect that students will display a positive attitude and will respect one another. We are learning, so there are no stupid questions, and I expect that students will be patient and will feel free to ask any questions that they might have.
We will also have a daily routine. At the start of class, there will usually be a short writing prompt or other activity on the board that students should complete individually before the bell rings. It is a warm-up for the day which we will discuss in the first few minutes of class. Exceptions to this are test and quiz days, when the time before class should be used to look over review materials.
A special note about substitute teachers: Think of substitutes as guest teachers. They don’t always know how we do things, so it is the job of the students to be courteous and helpful. I am the one assigning the work to be done when there is a guest teacher, and they are helping me by filling in when I cannot be here.
Assignments and Grades
Activities are designed to help you learn and remember new material. I will be assigning different kinds of work over the course of the year so that everyone has the opportunity to perform to their strengths as well as develop new skills. Having different types of assignments also allows us to better remember material. During the course of the year, expect activities like skits, writing projects, drawing cartoons, learning historical songs, reading articles, and reenacting historical events.
Before each project, I will be sure to explain the project thoroughly and to give out a rubric so that you know in advance what it is necessary to do in order to receive the excellent grade you want. As always, ask any questions! Projects or essays are often worth as much as a test grade.
Before any test, students will have plenty of notice. I will pass out review sheets and provide the opportunity for students to ask any last minute questions. We will also have shorter quizzes in order to assess if students are on track and understanding the material. This will also help to prepare everyone for tests.
Grading will be done on a points system. Each assignment will be worth a given number of points (announced in advance). A unit test, for example, may be worth as much as 50 points, while homework might be worth 10 to 20 points. In addition to projects, homework, and tests or quizzes, students will be required to submit their notebook at the end of each nine weeks grading period for a grade based on organization and completeness. The daily warm-ups will be a big part of this notebook grade.
I accept late work and make-up work. There will, however, be a 10% penalty (one letter grade) for each day it is late. If you anticipate being out of class for a vacation, field trip, or other reasons, be sure to notify me in advance so that I can get work to you and know that your grades should not be penalized when you hand in work after you return. For unexpected but excused absences such as illness, an extension equal to the number of days absent will be granted before the work is considered late.
There are a number of procedures to be followed in my room. These allow our class to run with as little disruption as possible. They are as follows:
For successful participation in U.S. History, there are few supplies that students will need on a daily basis:
Other useful but optional supplies include:
Ms. Lynch’s Wish List:
If you would like to donate supplies for everyone’s use, there are several items that are small but missed when we run out. These are:
"We are not makers of history. We are made by history." - Martin Luther King Jr.