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United States History Syllabus

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United States History/Social Science Syllabus

Mr. Garritson


Bear Valley Middle School


Grade 8 United States History/Social Studies


Prep: 4th Period, 10:56-11:40 a.m., 10:36-11:15 a.m. Thursday

Room #222

Wide varieties of teaching methods are used in this class to encourage historical and critical thinking that will help student retention of social science curriculum. Social science disciplines covered in this class include history, economics, geography, political science, philosophy, law, and sociology. Students will view and listen to lectures, watch short video segments and documentaries, take Cornell Notes on textbook lessons, analyze pictures, examine maps, memorize information by singing songs, analyze primary source documents, and create projects that reinforce historical thinking. The 2016 History-Social Science Framework, California Content Standards and Common Core State Standards will guide all instruction throughout this class.

Grade 8 California History/Social Science Content Standards

  1. Students understand the major events preceding the founding of the nation and relate their significance to the development of American constitutional democracy.

  2. Students analyze the political principles underlying the U.S. Constitution and compare the enumerated and implied powers of the federal government.

  3. Students understand the foundation of the American political system and the ways in which citizens participate in it.

  4. Students analyze the aspirations and ideals of the people of the new nation.

  5. Students analyze U.S. foreign policy in the early Republic.

  6. Students analyze the divergent paths of the American people from 1800 to the mid-1800s and the challenges they faced, with emphasis on the Northeast.

  7. Students analyze the divergent paths of the American people in the South from 1800 to the mid-1800s and the challenges they faced.

  8. Students analyze the divergent paths of the American people in the West from 1800 to the mid-1800s and the challenges they faced.

  9. Students analyze the early and steady attempts to abolish slavery and to realize the ideals of the Declaration of Independence.

  10. Students analyze the multiple causes, key events, and complex consequences of the Civil War.

  11. Students analyze the character and lasting consequences of Reconstruction.

  12. Students analyze the transformation of the American economy and the changing social and political conditions in the United States in response to the Industrial Revolution.


Learning Tools & Materials

  • Pen

  • Pencil

  • History Notebook

  • School Binder

  • Agenda/Planner

  • Assignment Card

  • Assignment

  • Color Pencils

Class Policies

  1. Always bring necessary tools and materials to class.

  2. Make effort to learn during class.

  3. Respect people and property; follow instructions; eat outside.

  4. Write all assignments in black or blue ink.

  5. Write all assignment and assessment due dates in the Agenda.

  6. Write all assignments and notes in the History notebook.

  7. Write posted assignments on the yellow Assignment Card. Do not lose it because it records all assignment scores.

  8. Students must make up any missing assignment or assessment when absent from class.

  9. Students need to use the class website as a resource to make up all assignments, notes, assessments, and events.

  10. Students need to head all assignments or assessments in this format:

Heading Template

John Hancock (First & Last Name)

00/00/00 (date) Period #

Full Assignment Title (Copy the Exact Posted Information)

Grading Policies

  1. Students will receive a grade based on scores from tests, quizzes, assignments, and participation.

  2. Grades are categorized and weighted according to these percentages:



Multiple-choice, matching, benchmarks, fill-in, essays, research papers, & presentations are announced and often take an entire class period to complete.



Fill-in and short answer assessments are usually unannounced, open-note, and seldom given longer than fifteen minutes for a student to complete.



Cornell Notes, lesson reviews, reflections, study guides, matrixes, maps, charts, illustrations, and other work are usually recorded on the Assignment Matrix.



Follow posted and verbal instructions, volunteer to read, answer questions, share information about a topic, make outstanding effort, and exhibit positive work habits.

  1. All grades are recorded in PowerSchool and based on this scale:

Grade Percentage

Letter Grade


A Outstanding


B Very Good


C Average


D Below Average


F Failure


Expectations and Participation Grade

  1. Respect People & Property

  2. Follow Instructions

  3. Eat Outside

Students are expected to make this classroom a learning environment at all times. SLANT (Sit upLean forwardAsk and answers questionsNod your head, and Track the speaker) is an acronym that students are expected to practice in class at all times. It for Participation is weighted 10% of a student grade and is based on ClassDojo points. Both Parents and Students can access ClassDojo by accepting the email invitation from me. If I do not have your email address, please send it to me and you will then receive an invitation. 

All students can earn or lose Dojo Points each day of class. Points are earned when a student follows posted and verbal instructions, volunteers to read, answers questions, shares information about a topic, makes outstanding effort on an assignment, and exhibits other positive work habits. A student will lose one Dojo Point whenever classroom expectations are not followed and valuable learning time is wasted. Use of the bathroom or a water break will also lose Dojo Points. Students may not leave class to use the bathroom or get water during the first and last ten minutes of a period. Students should remain in their seats throughout the period and need to wait until dismissal to throw away trash or use the sink. I strongly encourage students to keep a water bottle with them at all times.

Students are expected to line up outside of class and wait for the teacher to greet them at the door. They will enter class quietly, get out posted materials, leave their bags in the back of room, and immediately sit in their assigned seat. Any student who misbehaves will receive a negative Dojo Point and a verbal warning, but if multiple problems occur, the child is sent to a buddy room.

Students who do not follow all Participation Rules will lose Dojo Points, which can result in a low participation grade if done on a frequent basis. A student who continues to lose daily participation points will receive additional consequences that include behavior reflections, seat changes, referrals to an administrator, and parent conferences. Defiance and other severe problems are grounds for the immediate removal of a student from class.

Please print, sign, and date the lines below after reading this entire document. Students will keep this syllabus in the history section of their folders throughout the school year.

Student______________________________ Signature________________________________________ Date____________________ Per________

Parent_______________________________ Signature________________________________________ Date________________________________

Garritson History Syllabus

Subpages (1): Syllabus Text File