8th GRADE GEORGIA STUDIES 2011-12 COURSE SYLLABUS:

CLASSROOM EXPECTATIONS
All students are expected to observe the “SEA DAWG” Team Rules at all times:
  1. Show respect for all staff, students and property.
  2. Respect the personal space of others.
  3. No gum or candy at any time.
  4. Know and follow dress code rules.
  5. Be on time and prepared for class.
In addition to the “SEA DAWG” Team Rules, all students are expected to read, know, and follow the student handbook in the front of the student agenda. The student agenda should be brought to class every day – it is the primary means of communication between teacher, parent, and student and will, in most cases, be signed daily by teacher and parent.

ACADEMICS
Grading Overview – Rossville Middle School is a standards-based school. The learning goals for this year are reflected in the Georgia Performance Standards (www.georgiastandards.org), and all of the various activities used in class are designed to guide the student toward mastery of these standards. In a very real sense, therefore, the purpose of the classroom is to position the student for success. To facilitate this, students will be assessed on a four-point scale (with a score of 4 reflecting a high degree of mastery of a performance standard and 0 reflecting no progress). Students will be encouraged to map their own progress in their class resource books in order to motivate them by providing a visual depiction of their learning goals and their progress toward those goals. In addition, students will be permitted to revisit previously taught standards in order to permit them to constantly work toward the progress of skill mastery throughout the year, regardless of where the rest of the class is in the course sequence. Progress is expected, and any progress attained will supersede the previous level of achievement. It will not be unusual, therefore, for a student to earn a 1 on a particular performance standard, but to “work up to” a 4 on the same standard at a later date.

For progress report and report card purposes, a student’s achievement on the 4-point scale will be converted to the traditional 100-point scale model used by Rossville Middle School. The traditional A through F 100-point scale is depicted below, along with an indication of how the 4-point scale translates into the 100-point scale:

4 – Highest level of Mastery (100 - 95 %)
3.5 – Partial success toward 4 (95 – 90 %)
3 – Target learning goal (89 - 80 %)
2.5 – Partial success toward 3 (79 – 75 %)
2 – Simpler content attained (74-70 %)
1.5 – Partial success toward 2 (65 – 69 %)
1 – With help, success at 2 (64 - 50 %)
0.5 – With help, partial success at 2 (49 % or less)
0 – Even with help, no success (0 %)

A - 90-100%
B - 80-89%
C - 75-79%
D - 70-74%
F - 69% and Below

Makeup Work – If a student is absent or tardy, it is THE STUDENT'S RESPONSIBILITY to collect missing assignments from their class box. The teacher will make all reasonable efforts to assist a student in completing makeup work. In order to assist a student in makeup work or receiving content that was missed during an absence, a number of tools are provided, including the course study guide and copies of classroom presentations and audio lecture files posted on this classroom website.

Extra Credit – Because students are assessed on a 4-point scale, opportunities for extra credit are available during every unit. A student is expected, through the battery of assessment tools provided over the course of a unit, to be able to demonstrate that they have attained a level of “4” (i.e., content mastery). If a student has not demonstrated 4-level competency, they may resubmit work or participate in discussion forums on the class website. Though discussion forums are not typically assessed for record, they may be used by students to demonstrate content mastery.

COURSE OVERVIEW
Generally, 8th grade Georgia Studies will follow the following timeline:


1st Quarter – Geography, Prehistoric Traditions, Exploration, Early Statehood, State and Local Government
2nd Quarter – The Antebellum South, the Civil War, Reconstruction, the New South
3rd Quarter – The 20th Century, Depression and Recovery, World War II, the Civil Rights Movement
4th Quarter – Modern Georgia, Economics, Personal Finance

A tentative assignment schedule is provided in the downloadable syllabus, indicating all coursework and expected assignment due dates. The schedule is only a guideline and is subject to change at the teacher’s discretion (changes can be expected due to inclement weather, rate of class progress, etc.). Click the following link to obtain a downloadable copy of the course syllabus:



COURSE PERFORMANCE STANDARDS & ENDURING THEMES:

Clink the links below to obtain a copy of the 8th Grade Social Studies Georgia Performance Standards and Connecting Themes:



In order to assist students in mastering the performance standards and enduring themes, the following study guide has been created. A copy of the study guide will be provided to each student, but students are free to download the .pdf attachment and print additional copies:



Opportunities are provided, in many of the units, for students to engage in primary source investigations/analyses. The following worksheet may be downloaded to guide primary source analysis: