9/6/16 – Welcome to 8th Grade

Welcome: Hello, and welcome to 8th Grade United States History.  In this course we will be covering United States history from the formation of the Constitution until the end of Reconstruction after the Civil War.  During this course, we will investigate the building blocks of our country, the events and challenges faced in the early years of the United States, and the ideas, beliefs, and principles of early America.We will start class with a short review of the events that led to the revolution, the people who colonized what would become of The Untied States, and that formed the country.

Contact Information: Jason Berry,  (734) 941-7742 ext. 224, 72.jberry@nhaschools.com

Textbook: The textbook for this class is Discovering our Past: A History of the U.S.  Textbooks will be used in class.  Students will be assigned a text book in addition an online textbook is available for students. For students with Internet access you will need to register an account with McGraw-Hill by following these steps.

  1. Go to https://connected.mcgraw-hill.com
  2. At the bottom of the page under “New Users” click on “Create a New Account”
  3. On the right side of the pop-up screen where it asks you for a redemption code enter the following code in the boxes: WGQG-PQKB-4GKQ
  4. On the next screen enter your first name and last initial and then click “Finish”

You will be issued a username and password that will give you access to the textbook.  Please write down this information so that you don’t forget.

Grading: Grading will conform to the NHA Scoring Scale of 0 – 4.0.  As a reminder a 4.0 does not equal an “A”, but rather that the student has gone beyond what was taught in class and a 3.0 means that you have achieved grade-level mastery.  It is important to reflect upon and understand your grades to determine both your successes as well as areas for improvement to attain mastery of our subject matter.

Assignments: Students will be expected to complete various assignments over the course of this school year.  Assignments will have clear directions and due dates.  It is imperative that you carefully read all directions and submit your work by the assigned due date.  In some cases, assignments will also include a rubric that outlines how I will be grading your work.  Use these tools to guide your work, and take time to double check instructions and rubrics to ensure you have completed all necessary elements of the project. You are expected to meet deadlines.  No late assignments will be accepted once a unit has ended.

Technology Note: Hard drive meltdowns, empty printer ink, corrupted files, lost flash drives or other electronic mishaps and difficulties are not acceptable excuses for late projects or missing work.  You are expected to save your work often, and problem-solve to ensure you meet deadlines.  I highly recommend using Google Drive to avoid these types of technical issues.

 Academic Dishonesty: Engaging in academic dishonesty is a serious issue and will result in disciplinary action. You are responsible for and expected to complete your own work, which includes assignments, projects, quizzes, tests, papers, etc.  Academic dishonesty includes:

  1. Cheating, which includes but is not limited to, using or attempting to use unauthorized materials; looking on someone else’s paper; using a “cheat sheet”; submitting someone else’s work as your own; collaborating on an assignment that you were not allowed to collaborate on; allowing another student to copy your work; or giving test information to students in later classes.
  2. Falsification, which includes making up information on an assignment; making up a source to cite on a paper.
  3. Plagiarism, which is using someone else’s work or ideas as if they are your own, such as quoting a source verbatim, or paraphrasing a source without properly citing the source; turning in work that was written by someone else as if it was your; and failing to give credit for ideas taken from a specific source.

 Absenteeism: In the event of an absence it is your responsibility to get missed work.  Assignments will be filed in the “Missed Assignments” folders for each week.  At the end of the week these assignments will be moved to the “Assignment Archive” bin directly under the missed assignment folders. If an assignment was due the day a student was absent it will be due immediately upon their return.  Missed quizzes or tests will be made up on the day a students return.

Mr. Berry’s Expectations and Classroom Policies

  • Be prepared for class – This includes being on time to class, bringing your materials (binder, paper, writing utensil, etc.), any due assignments, and an attitude that suggests that you are ready to learn. Avoid doing anything to disrupt or distract from another’s opportunity to learn (i.e. talking while someone is trying to explain an idea, being aware when class is beginning, etc.).
  • Do Now – When you enter the class you are expected to begin working on the Do Now immediately and follow the CHAMPS expectations. Your Do Now will be written down in your composition notebook unless otherwise noted. You will also write down the I Can statement for the day in your composition notebook.
  • Homework – If you are assigned homework you are expected to complete it as it is designed to assist you master the topics we are studying. Some homework may be required to complete in class activities and failure to complete it prior to class may result in missing out in the activity.
  • Organization
  1. You must have a binder for this class that you will keep well organized
  2. You must have a composition notebook only used for this class
  3. You must have a planner in which to write down nightly and future assignments
  • Mutual Respect – We must be kind, courteous and respectful toward one another. At times views may differ and disagreements make for a lively discussion, however personal attacks, insults, or rude behavior will not be tolerated.
  • Extra Support – If you are having difficulty with certain concepts or assignments, I expect you to come talk to me so that I can help you succeed.
  • Announcements – When phone announcements are made you are expected to stop talking immediately and listen to the announcement.
  • Breaks– A 3-5 minute break will occur during each period. This time will allow you to use the restroom, get a drink, and stretch your legs. If students do not meet expectations during breaks they may forfeit their break the following day. Students will not be allowed to use the restroom, get a drink, or visit lockers outside of break times so plan accordingly.
  • Snacks and Beverages – A bottle of re-sealable water is highly recommended. Other beverages that have any chance of leaving a sticky residue will not be allowed.  A healthy snack (fruit, vegetables, or crackers such as Goldfish or Cheezits) is permitted only during 3rd Period break. Students are expected to maintain a clean classroom and if this expectation is not met students may lose the ability to eat snacks during break.
  • Flexibility –A new school year and changes in our old routine can cause anxiety and stress. Teachers and students will try to understand the challenges of doing things differently by trying to be flexible and understanding.
  • Participation – As in a democracy, this class will work best when members are active participants. I expect you to participate in all activities and discussions, and to be attentive and prepared for class. Some of our assignments will be non-traditional and require you to role-play, present, or work as part of a group both in class and out of class.  You are expected to work and participate to the best of your ability.
  • Ending Class – I will inform you when it is time to begin packing up. You are expected to leave your area clean and organized.  Before leaving class you will throw away any trash and clean your workspace before I dismiss you.
  • Get Informed! – This nation is many challenges and difficulties both at home and abroad. By getting informed on current events, you’ll have a much better understanding of the relevance of the issues that we discuss in class as many have roots in the period we will be covering.

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