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8th Grade Course Outline

I. Course Summary:

United States History and Geography: Growth and Conflict

Students in grade eight study the ideas, issues, and events from the framing of the Constitution up to World War I, with an emphasis on America’s role in the war. After reviewing the development of America’s democratic institutions, particularly the shaping of the Constitution, students trace the development of American politics, society, culture, and economy and relate them to the emergence of major regional differences. They learn about the challenges facing the new nation, with an emphasis on the causes, course, and consequences of the Civil War. They make connections between the rise of industrialization and contemporary social and economic conditions.

Students will learn how history and geography affect each other. Students will work on drawing out, identifying and exploring the interconnected nature of the social science disciplines. Students will use critical thinking skills to conceptualize and make relevant to their lives the idea that change, cultural developments and characteristic patterns of humanity occur across time and place.

At Albert Einstein Academies we are bound, in part, to California State Standards for Social Science, which we aim to align with MYP objectives and aims.

At Albert Einstein Academies we support the fundamental concepts of the IB MYP, our studies will be:

Holistic- We will support students in their understanding that all knowledge is inter-related. Einstein students will be encouraged to connect their learning to other disciplines while creating links between the core subject, themselves and the world.

Intercultural- We will examine a variety of viewpoints and consider alternative perspectives that frame issues in order to foster global awareness and an understanding of our interconnectedness.

Focused on Communication- Communication is fundamental to the learning at AEA, both verbal and nonverbal. We will expand our competencies in critical reading, speaking, and writing. Through both reflection and expression students understanding will be supported.

The aim of the IB program is to develop internationally minded people who help create a more peaceful world. The study of United States History is a natural laboratory for developing in students the identity and habits of mind that support IB. Throughout this course students will work toward developing the qualities of the IB Learner Profile through the course curriculum. IB Learners strive to be:

Inquirers Knowledgeable Thinkers Communicators

Principled Open-minded Caring Risk-takers Balanced Reflective

II. Areas of Interaction and Units of Study

The program will be based on the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program (MYP). IB focuses on teaching the “whole child” and lessons are based on the student profile and more importantly the five Areas of Interaction, over the course of the year teaching and learning will be organized through the contexts of the areas of interaction which allows for acquisition of attitudes, values and skills:

IB Areas of Interaction

Approaches to learning: (ATL) Through ATL teachers provide students with the tools to enable them to take responsibility for their own learning, thereby developing an awareness of how they learn best, of thought processes and of learning strategies.

Community and service: This component requires students to take an active part in the communities in which they live, thereby encouraging responsible citizenship.

Human Ingenuity: Students explore in multiple ways the processes and products of human creativity, thus learning to appreciate and develop in themselves the human capacity to influence, transform, enjoy and improve the quality of life.

Environments: This area aims to develop students’ awareness of their interdependence with the environment so that they understand and accept their responsibilities.

Health and social education: This area deals with physical, social and emotional health and intelligence-key aspects of development leading to complete and healthy lives

Projects both inside and outside the class will be a major focus of our learning. The focus placed on projects makes parental involvement critical and strongly encouraged.

Units of Study/ Instructional Topics

All units will be centered on a “guiding” question and cultural focus, both of which will be open ended. Below, the topics that will be covered this year are listed. These topics may be combined into units or separated into different units of study depending on the depth of content.

· Events leading to the founding of our democracy-Focus on the Declaration of Independence

· The Peopling of the Americas-Native Americans , Africans and Europeans

· The American Revolution

· Principles of our Constitution focusing on enumerated and implied powers

· The Bill of Rights

· The process of political participation and our political participation

· Aspirations and Ideals of American people early in our history-1776-1830

· Manifest Destiny and the Growing Nation

· Mexicano Contributions to the Southwest

· Early foreign policy and how that shapes current world relationships

· Challenges of people in different regions of the country (with emphasis on: Northeast, South, West)

· Causes, events, and consequences of the Civil War

· Reconstruction

· Industrial Revolution

· Modern America-1950-2009

III. Texts and resources

Textbook: History Alive: The United States Through Industrialism. Publisher: Teacher’s Curriculum Institute

IV. Methodology

Varying teaching methods will be used in each unit to reach students with diverse learning styles. These teaching methods include case studies, debates, role plays, historical simulation, the creation of power points, presentations, projects, art history analysis, music appreciation, class work in “stations” (multiple activities in one period), group and partner work, cooperative learning, critical discussion, reflection journals, note taking on a chapter by chapter basis and lectures/guided discussions.

All of these activities are designed to help develop and nurture engaged learners who understand that contemporary issues have their roots in the past. Furthermore students will understand that acquired knowledge is drawn from an understanding of the experiences of the past.

V. Methods of assessment:

Assessment at AEACS is an integral part of teaching and learning. Both formative and summative assessments will be used throughout the course. The use of assessment in a formative sense, to judge regularly the effectiveness of both teaching and learning processes, is essential in allowing teachers and students to identify strengths and weaknesses. Summative assessments will also be used. Summative assessment includes examinations, writing and quizzes which measure the students understanding of the material in the unit. The purpose and means of assessment will be explained to the students.

MYP Criteria:

Organization and Presentation

VI. Grading and Reporting :

Late work will receive full credit if turned in during that unit of study.  Work turned in after the end of a unit will receive partial credit. Get make up work after class/school or on your own time. If you are caught cheating on an assignment, you get a zero. This includes both allowing someone to copy from you or you copying from someone else.

Students’ progress will be continually assessed using the following methods: tests, reports, maps presentations, essays, PowerPoint, classroom activities, culminating projects etc. so that all students will have a chance to excel.

Grading Scale
-use the following information to help you better understand the new IB grading scale

Percentage              IB                  Traditional Letter Grade

87-100                     7pts                  A

80-86                       6pts                  B

73-79                       5pts                  B-

64-72                        4pts                  C

50-63                        3pts                  C-

39-49                        2pts                  D

21-38                        1pt                    D-

0-20                          0pts                  F

VII. Contact Information

Parental involvement is strongly encouraged as your emerging historian undertakes the difficult task of studying the past, present, and future of the United States. Please feel free to contact me to discuss any questions, comments, or concerns regarding your child.

Faculty Name: Matt Allen

Classroom Location: B-34

Faculty Telephone: (619)795 1190 ext.3034

Faculty Email: mallen@aeacs.org

Faculty Website: www.aeacs.org
Matt Allen,
Oct 12, 2009, 10:18 AM