8th Grade Honors Social Studies Syllabus

  •  7th Grade Social Studies 2018-2019

    Syllabus & Classroom Management Plan


    Mr. Wade

    Room 610


    Welcome to a new school year at Sinagua Middle School! My name is Mr. Wade and I am very excited to welcome you to my class. My teaching philosophy and classroom environment respects all students and expects all students to actively engage in their learning process. I acknowledge various learning styles and encourage students to embrace the opportunity we have to work together to achieve individual goals and pursue personal growth in all academic areas. As an educator, I value education and the learning process but I also love to have a lot of fun doing so. I assure you that I will do my best to make social studies as fun as possible to learn, but in return I ask for you to come to class enthusiastic to learn and have fun as well. Together we will make this a tremendous year for you in social studies and 7th grade.


    Course Description:

    Students will gain knowledge of events and people of our past and to help understand their importance in shaping our country. Students will be able to gain insights, reflect, interpret and analyze important historical events and people that have contributed to influencing the world as well as the United States. This course will examine United States history beginning with the historical learning skills and Civil War, and reaching the early 20th century and World War I.


    I can assure you that this will be a class filled with inquiry and actually ‘doing’ something with the history and content discussed and presented in class. This will not be a class where the teacher lectures and the students simply take notes. That is boring for you the students as well as me the teacher. Instead, be prepared for a fun day filed with interacting and interpreting the history presented in class. You will be introduced to a variety of activities and projects that will cater to the many different learning styles in the classroom.


    Lastly, I would like to say that I appreciate each and every student that steps in my classroom. I value the learning process and believe every child has a right to a great education and I will do everything in my ability to ensure that happens for my students. I am committed to being prepared each and every day. In return, I ask my students come to class prepared, ready to learn and have fun, respectful to others and trying their absolute best.


    Core Values & Rules:

    Every student has the right to learn and no student has the right to interfere with the learning process of others. There are four rules I expect all students to abide by and follow in my classroom.


    1. Come to class on time
    2. Be respectful and considerate of others
    3. Be prepared, ready to learn and have FUN
    4. Try your BEST


    Scope and Sequence of the Course:


    Quarter 1

    • Introducing the Historical Thinking Process
    • World Geography


    Quarter 2

    • Civil War & Reconstruction
    • National History Day


    Quarter 3

    • Industrial Revolution
    • S. Imperialism


    Quarter 4

    • Progressive Era
    • World War I
    • Great Depression


    Enduring Understandings (The Big Picture Takeaways you will gain from this class):

    • History is a story composed from multiple perspectives.
    • History is a discipline driven by inquiry and questions.
    • World War II shaped the modern world.
    • It is important to study the past to avoid making the same mistakes of others in the past.
    • The United States is a melting pot of various cultures, ethnicities and ideas.


    Essential Questions:

    Each unit in the course will focus on these guiding questions:

    • How have the United States and the world evolved and to what extent do these changes affect us today?
    • How do people interact with the environment and what are the consequences of those interactions?
    • How doe social, political, and cultural interactions support the development of personal and social identity?
    • How are governments created, structured, maintained and amended?
    • What factors influences decision-making on issues of the production, distribution and consumption of goods?
    • What are the benefits from and problems associated with global interdependence?


    Materials Needed for Class: these materials will be required daily for this class

    • Spiral Bound notebook (Daily Warmups)
    • 3-ring Binder for coursework
    • Pencils
    • Pens
    • Colored Pencils – we will be doing fun assignments and activities with these and each student will need their own set

    **Any student who may have trouble bringing any of these supplies, please let me know and we will work it out!


    Optional Materials to bring:

    • Kleenex
    • Glue sticks
    • Colored Pencils/Colored Markers
    • Copy paper
    • Notebook paper
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Clorox disinfectant wipes
    • Index cards, index cards, and more index cards
    • Really anything!


    Thank You!

    Classroom Expectations:

    • Daily Warmups – warmup’s will be based on either reviewing past material, introducing new material, or fun writing prompts to start class with.
    • Classwork – each day students will be interacting with the content in some manner. Assignments and activities whether it be individual, with partners or group work will be done with enough time to complete during class. Assignments that are multi-day assignments or projects will become homework should students fail to finish within the designated time allotted to work on the assignment/project in class.
    • It is expected that assignments must be legible and written in complete sentences with proper grammar and punctuation.
    • It is the responsibility of the student to turn in assignments on time and make up missed worked promptly. Assignments need to be turned in by the end of each unit covered in class (see quarterly breakdown – ex. Civil War & Reconstruction). Units will typically last 3-5 weeks and grading for each assignment, project, test will become final at the end of each unit.
    • Agendas – Students will begin class by writing the daily activity in their agenda along with any upcoming assignments, tests, quizzes, projects, etc. Students will have their agendas stamped when completed at the beginning of each day. Students who don’t have their agendas or are not wearing lanyard I.D. will receive TLC per SMS policy.
    • It is the responsibility of the student to maintain accurate records of their grade. This is made very easy by the studentvue resource tool on the SMS website that students should know how to use. Progress reports will be sent home periodically throughout the schoolyear per SMS policies, however it is the students discretion to maintain accurate records for their benefit. Whenever students fall below passing I will be calling a parent in addition to sending a detailed grade report home showing any missed or late assignments that will need to be signed and returned the next school day or the student will receive TLC for each day they fail to return the academic progressive report.
    • Come to class enthusiastic to learn and most importantly, have fun doing so!


    Standards Based Grading System:

    *We will be utilizing standards based grading this year.  Standards will be assessed using a 4-point rubric.  If your child attended an FUSD elementary school you should be familiar with this.


    * Semester Grading - Set by district administration

    Measurement and Performance - tests and projects are worth 100% of the class grade

    Practice – homework, class work and quizzes are worth 0% of the class grade


    *Please make sure you read and sign your child's agenda each week.  This is a great communication tool between home and school. 


    *I will be using these indicators and rubric to help parents and students make the transition between traditional grades (percentages) and standards based grades.


    Insufficient Evidence






    Minimally Proficient




    Insufficient evidence to determine proficiency

    Demonstration of foundational skills.


    Demonstrates little knowledge of grade level standard

    Exploring grade level standard.


    Beginning to apply key concepts, processes and skills of grade level standard.

    Independently demonstrates grade level standard.


    Applies key concepts, processes and skills of grade level standard.

    Independently demonstrates advanced understanding of grade level standard.


    Extends key concepts, processes and skills above grade level standard.


    *To earn a 3 or a 4, students must demonstrate that they can perform the skill independently; they do not need

    help from a teacher, peer, or parent. It is unrealistic to expect any of our students to demonstrate proficiency of

    a standard the first time they are assessed on the skill. Most students will need extra repetition and practice.

    Standards-based grading takes the practice into account and does not penalize students for not knowing how to

    perform a skill the first time. At the beginning of the quarter, grades are certainly lower than what one might

    expect. However, as the semester progresses, those early grades mean less and less. What matters most is the

    growth that the students show and their final skill level at the end of the semester.


    **PLEASE—sign up for ParentVue to monitor your child’s grades at any time.


    *This is the first year SMS will be shifting to Standards based Grading as well as myself, so it will definitely be a learning process to start. Any questions or concerns regarding this grading system are welcome. Should any major questions or concerns arise, I have no problem scheduling parent teacher conferences that can include myself and an administrator more familiar with the grading system.



    The majority of the classwork throughout the school year will be largely based on project based assignments that allow students to interact with the history in various ways that connect and build upon various concepts and tasks. Projects will be based upon the unit in focus and will be due by the end of that particular unit. Projects will be both individual and group based and will focus on various learning styles in the classroom.



    Assignments are given for practice and development of skills and content; they are given to enhance the understanding and mastery of concepts discussed in class. Homework assignments will only become homework when students fail to use their time in class to finish. Assignments will rarely be assigned and expected to be completed that same school day, but rather over the course of multiple school days. I expect students to work diligently and to use their time in my class appropriately and wisely to get their work done. Homework will be posted on the calendar and whiteboard in the classroom as well as online on my classroom page on the SMS school page. Students are expected to write this information in their calendars/planners at the beginning of class daily. If assignments become homework it be clearly understood between the teacher and student that the assignment is expected to be finished and turned in on time.


    *All assignments in class will need to follow a template in which the student will place their name, date and class period in the top right-hand corner of their notebook paper, as well as title of assignment in the top middle portion of their notebook paper or the assignment. Assignments will not be accepted until the student has followed the proper template as explained above.



    Quizzes will take place periodically throughout the year to assess students on material covered in class. Students will know about any upcoming quiz or test well in advance of the quiz or test day and will have plenty of time to prepare.


    Each unit will start with a pre-test that will help assess students prior background knowledge on the content and help provide insights on where the focus should be. After each unit, students will take a unit exam that will serve to assess students on the content covered and identify growth and evidence of learning. The post unit test will be the same as the pre-assessment. Because I do not believe that tests should be the end all be all for grading, each unit will conclude with a unit test and a project based assessment that will allow students to demonstrate their knowledge and mastery of the content covered in a different manner than a test. Both the unit test and unit project will be weighted the same in regards to grading.

    Assessments will not be intended to trick students, but simply to assess knowledge and show evidence of learning.


    Make-Up Work:  

    *Content will be broken down over the course of the school year into units, with each unit lasting roughly 3-5 weeks. Any assignments, projects, tests, quizzes, etc., within each unit will not be final until the end of each unit. Students may retest test or quizzes or redo assignments within time frame of each unit should they desire to.


    *At the end of each unit, I will no longer accept assignments, tests or quizzes to be turned. Grades are final at the end of each unit. This is something that will be discussed in detail in class at the beginning of the year and reviewed throughout the year at the start of each unit.


    *Students have the same number of days to make up assignments as the number of days they were absent.  If a student misses class, it is the student’s responsibility to find out what work needs to be completed. 


    Student Preparedness:

    Sinagua Middle School expects students to be prepared daily from following dress code requirements, wearing their ID lanyard, to having completed assignments and all materials necessary for class each day



    *I encourage students to participate in tutoring on Tuesdays or Thursdays from 2:30-4:00 for assistance with any assignment, computer time, or make-up work needed. Additional tutoring times until 4:00 can be arranged if student desires they just need to schedule with me. I am here to help and want you to be as successful as possible, please let me know if you want extra help and I will do my best to accommodate.


    Discipline Policy:  

    *Students are expected to follow the classroom and school guidelines and are held responsible for their choices. Students will be held responsible for the actions and decisions made in my classroom. For the first offense, students will receive a warning. Following the students’ initial warning and redirection, if the student’s behavior continues I will discuss the rules and expectations in my classroom and how the students behavior is in conflict. If the students’ behavior continues, the student will be asked to leave my class and will be sent to RTC per SMS policy. Consequences that follow may include a phone call home (made by student), lunch detention, removal from class, going to the Responsible Thinking Classroom, or a discipline referral to the office. It is my preference to handle discipline issues in house, however, I will not hesitate to send students to TLC, or to the office for referrals if necessary. Any students sent out of my class for behavioral issues will be expected to cover the material covered in class on their own.


    The Learning Center (TLC)

    *Should any student receive TLC for not completing assignments, being late or tardy to class, not having their lanyards visible, or not having their agendas per SMS policy they will entered into the TLC after school program. TLC is from 2:30 – 4:00 pm and allows students to complete any unfinished classwork or extra studying time. Should any student receive TLC in my class, they will be placed in TLC will not be removed.



    Communication is key to success. I try my best to keep my staff page on the SMS website updated weekly with assignments, projects, tests that are coming up as well as resources that may be helpful to students about content and material covered in class.

     In an effort to maintain ongoing communication, I prefer email or phone correspondence as it allows me to respond quickly and from many locations. Parents are always welcome to drop by and discuss any issues they or their student are having (Please make sure to check-in with the office and get the proper visitor pass. I can be reached most all times of the day at bwade@fusd1.org or during school hours at (928)-527-5500 and ask for me. If I don’t respond right away, please be patient and I assure you that I will get back to you by no later than the next school day. I value parent involvement in the academic process and welcome any help or clarification I can provide.


    **As the teacher, I reserve the right to make changes to this syllabus throughout the school year should the need to arise. Should any policy changes be made, all students and parents will be informed of the changes to the syllabus.













































    ***  Please sign the bottom portion of this document, cut  and return by Monday, August 13, 2018. Please provide a preferred email address and phone number where I can reach a parent.


    Student Name _______________________________________________  Class Period_________


    Student Signature ___________________________       


    Parent Signature  ____________________________       Date _______________


    Parent Email _________________________ Parent Phone Number ___________________________






    Movie Permission


    Dear Parents:


    Welcome to Mr. Wade’s 7th Grade Social Studies class. Throughout the year I will periodically show appropriately selected G and PG rated films for academic purposes. I may also show movies for classroom celebrations and/or reward days. Please sign below if you give your permission for your student to view these films. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me anytime. Thank you!




    Mr. Wade

    SMS Social Studies


     (928) 527-5500


    *I give permission for my student to view appropriately selected G and PG films this year in Mr. Wade’s class.



    Student Name ____________________________


    Parent Signature ____________________________________Date ____________