8th Grade Social Studies Informational Letter

WARM SPRINGS MIDDLE SCHOOL

8th GRADE SOCIAL STUDIES (United States History and

Geography: Mid 1700’s – 1900 AD.)

 

Dear Students, Parent (s)/Guardian (s),

                It is with pleasure that I welcome your son/daughter to 8th grade. It is my hope that this year will be a rich and rewarding learning experience for your son/daughter. It is my strong belief that education relies on a joint effort by Parent, Student, Teacher, and Administrator. The purpose of the following information is twofold: to ensure that your daughter/son gets off to a good start for the 2013-2014 school year, and to present a brief introduction of my policies for Social Studies. Please read this over with your son/daughter and discuss your expectations for the upcoming school year and how to make it a successful one. After you have gone over this letter, please sign your daughter/son’s Warm Springs Middle School agenda book at the Social Studies space for Aug. 11th or 12th. If you have any questions concerning the contents of this letter, or if you wish to contact me any time, please call the school at (951) 696-3503 ext. 3190, or e-mail me at cmeyer@murrieta.k12.ca.us. Please leave a message including a time when best to reach you (note: between 3:10 and 4:00 is best for me) and I will return your call or your e-mail as soon as possible. Also, please visit my website [https://www.murrieta.k12.ca.us//Domain/1348] for current information, homework assignments, daily agenda, and long term assignments.

 

MATERIALS:

·        *Spiral Notebook with a minimum of 120-150 page capacity. Preferable notebooks are: Mead Five Star, Stuart Hall Peak Notebook, or Stockwell 1 Subject College Ruled Notebook, etc. Ideally the notebook is very durable and will last the whole year; no notebooks bound w/tape.

·         Pen (black or blue only)

·         Pencil and erasers

·         I will provide various art supplies in the classroom, but the following items are strongly recommended:

Colored pencils

Colored markers

Ruler

Glue stick

Highlighters

·         A small supply of 8.5x11 college ruled paper.

 

INTERACTIVE STUDENT NOTEBOOKS

*Spiral Notebook

Interactive Student Notebooks allow students to record information about history in an engaging way. Students combine both colorful graphics and words in their notebooks. Key ideas are underlined in a color or highlighted; Venn diagrams show relationships; cartoon sketches show people and events; time-lines illustrate chronology; indentations and bullets indicate subordination; arrows show cause and effect relationships. Ideas are taught and represented in different modes. Students develop graphic thinking skills. This spurs many young people to understand and express their ideas.

 

 HOMEWORK/CLASS WORK:

·         NO LATE HOMEWORK WILL BE ACCEPTED. Projects, notebook collection, assignments spanning more that two days, etc. will be accepted late.

·         All final work is expected to be neatly written, typed, or processed on a computer

·         All final work is expected to be grammatically correct with correct spelling

·         All work turned in must contain the proper heading a designated by Language Arts and Social Studies (the exception would be assignments in the Social Studies Interactive Notebook)

·         If absent, the student is responsible for making up any missing assignments. One day to get the assignment, and the allowed amount of time to turn it in

Missed assignments due to absence may be obtained from me before school starts, at break or lunch, after school ends, from a fellow classmate, or on Mr. Meyer’s Web Page at: https://www.murrieta.k12.ca.us//Domain/1348 There is a link to my web page on the WSMS website. Go to “teachers” and follow the link

LATE WORK:

Late work is any assignment not turned in on the due date. Exceptions are assignments due to excused absences, modified work, and any special arrangement.

GRADING:

                Note-The following percentages are approximations based on previous year’s grading:

·         Test/Quiz                                                                                                               27%

·         Interactive Notebook (In-class assignments, activities, warm ups,

homework, etc.)                                                                                                    50%

·         Projects                                                                                                                  23%

All grades are based on a point accumulation process. Tests, notebooks, and assignments are given a point value. The student score is divided by the total points possible to receive a percentage for their grade. The grading scale is as follows:

                                A=100-90%

                                B=89-80%

                                C=79-70%

                                D=69-55%

                                F=54% and below

 

EXPECTATIONS:  I believe all students have gifts, talents, and abilities, and I see one of my my roles as a facilitator (educator) to support students in pursuing their gifts, talents, and abilities. Therefore, there are certain expectations of all students for the purpose of promoting a safe, respectful, learning environment where students can feel safe to be themselves:

·         GIVE YOUR BEST EFFORT ALL THE TIME

·         BE ON TIME , PREPARED , AND READY TO WORK BEFORE THE BELL RINGS

·         BE RESPECTFUL OF YOURSELF AND YOUR CLASSMATES

·         BE HONEST

·         DO NOT LEAVE UNTIL YOU ARE DISMISSED

·         PLEASE RAISE YOUR HAND

 

PLEASE REFRAIN FROM THE FOLLOWING:

·         PERSONAL GROOMING

·         EATING FOOD OR DRINKING SODA (WATER IS FINE)

·         WEARING HEAD COVERINGS IN CLASS

·         CHEWING GUM

·         USING ELECTRONIC DEVICES (other than for educational purposes)

I define discipline as: TRAINING THAT DEVELOPS SELF CONTROL. I realize that every infraction, disruption, inappropriate display of behavior, etc. has its own circumstances, therefore I take into consideration circumstances before applying disciplinary measures, yet discipline is a component of the classroom. The school guidelines will apply to my class room:

 

CONSEQUENCES (DISCIPLINE POLICY):

·         ONE WARNING

·         SECOND WARNING – Move seat/in-class consequence (depending on the severity of your disruption)

·         THIRD WARNING – SCHOOL DETENTION/PHONE CALL HOME

·         SEND OUT OF CLASS

·         VISIT TO THE OFFICE

·         3 TARDIES IN ONE SEMESTER (3RD TARDY AND EVERY SUBSEQUENT TARDY) = AFTER SCHOOL DETENTION

SEVERE INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR WILL RESULT IN IMMEDIATE REMOVAL:

·         FIGHTING

·         DEFACING SCHOOL PROPERTY

·         TALKING BACK

·         DEFIANCE

 

EXTRA CREDIT:

Students have opportunities through out the year to earn extra credit. Although extra credit opportunities exist all year, there are only two approaches to earning extra credit. These are:

·         Presenting a current event on Thursday/Fridays. These current events have pre-determined topics. Each event must be related to the region in which the class is studying and the current event must be from a reputable news source. Students must be prepared to turn in the article (printed off the web is o.k.), a half page summary of the article, and present it orally to the class. Worth 10 points for every current event.

·         By having the agenda book filled out for the week with the daily class agendas and assignments, and having the agenda books signed by the parent. I will check agenda books for signatures at the beginning of each week. Worth 3 points for each week completed agenda and signature.

WISH LIST

                From time to time parents have approached me asking to donate classroom supplies; consequently,                I feel compelled to add a wish list to my introductory letter…and THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

1. Glue sticks                                                 5. Colored pencils

2. 18 x 24 poster paper (recycled newsprint)           6. Ream of computer paper

3. Washable colored markers                                     7. Pens/pencils

4. .07 and/or .05 pencil lead

I am excited by the prospect of participating in your son/daughter’s educational process for the year. I believe that school should prove to be a safe, nurturing environment that serves to facilitate a rich learning experience. It is my goal to provide a safe environment where students are encouraged to learn through engaging, interactive, and innovative means.

 

Sincerely,

 

C. Meyer