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United States History Syllabus

Back to School 150827 BVMS JGarritson

Mr. GarritsonLearnee.com
Bear Valley Middle Schooljgarritson@eusd.org
Grade 8 U.S. History


Prep Hours: MTWF 10:56-11:40 a.m. & Th. 10:36-11:15 a.m.

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, philosophy, sociology, and political science. 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 FrameworkCalifornia 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, and eat outside at all times.
  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 any posted assignment on the yellow Assignment Card. Keep this Card because it records all assignment scores.
  8. Students must make up any missing assignment or assessment when absent from class.
  9. Students must use the class website as a resource to make up all assignments, notes, assessments, and activities.
  10. Students must head all assignments or assessments using this format:

Heading Template

John Hancock (First & Last Name)

00/00/00 (date) P#(period)

Full Assignment Title (Copy the Exact Posted Information)

Grading Policies

  • Students will receive a grade based on these category weights:



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 twenty minutes for a student to complete.



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



Positive work habits include following written and verbal instructions, participating in a discussion, volunteering to read, sharing information, and making outstanding effort are recorded daily on a spreadsheet.
  • All grades are recorded in PowerSchool and based on this traditional grading 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. Participation is weighted 10% of a student grade and is based on a 5 Point Scale that is recorded daily on a spreadsheet. All students begin class with 4 points and can choose to keep, earn more, or lose them. Additional points are earned when a student immediately follows posted and verbal instructions, volunteers to read, answers questions, shares information on a topic, makes outstanding effort on an assignment, and exhibits other positive work habits. One hall or restroom pass worth 5 extra participation points is given to a student at the start of each six week grading cycle.

Students who do not follow all Participation Rules will lose daily points, which can result in a low participation grade. Losing daily participation points will lead to additional consequences that include infractions, seating changesbehavior reflectionsreferrals, and parent conferences. Defiance and other severe problems are grounds for the immediate removal of a student from class. Here is an example of a previous Participation Spreadsheet:

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_________________________
Subpages (1): Syllabus Text File