Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them become what they are capable of becoming” -Goethe
I am sending this letter to introduce my 8th grade program to you. My name is Mr. Kelly, and if you are reading this letter, I will be one of your daughter’s/son’s teachers this year. I feel the 8th grade is a very important year in preparation for the transition into high school. A few of the focuses (besides curriculum) of my program is to help my students develop and refine responsibility along with instilling and enforcing pride and respect. One of the ways I work on this is with my assignment policy.
In the virtual and hybrid world this will present new challenges and new opportunities. Let me start by explaining my homework/classwork policy. It is rooted in the idea that if I ask students to do something I want them to get credit for it. While I often do not expect them to show mastery of it, it is more important than ever that I see true effort. I enforce the assignment policy with a system of grading homework and classwork assignments. I check homework, classwork, participation and “Do Now’s”(class warm ups) this way. Again when I “collect” these assignments and review them, I’m mostly looking for effort and completion. After four assignment grades, the student is assigned a grade equal to a quiz grade based on the following system.
check minus- “Bus work”: work not finished or poorly done = 40
zero-“No assignment” : wrong assignment/forgot it home or locker/dog ate it = 0
During remote and hybrid phase I will contact parents through remind or email
Please sign up for “Remind” the codes are on my website.
Check “W”- Check warning, they need to put more effort into it. They don’t lose points unless it continues.
absent- Absent the day I collect/check and the day I assign the assignment = Ab.
This assignment will turn into a 0 if not made up. **They are responsible.
In parent portal it will eventually be listed as a zero with a note that it is
check- Assignment complete = 90
check plus- Assignment thoroughly done, 3 bonus points are awarded = 90 +3
check plus plus - Wow, 6 bonus points are awarded = 90 +6
Again after four assignment grades, the four grades are averaged and that number is recorded as a quiz grade. After the average is computed all of the check plus points( Bonus points) are added. A student can have 3-24 points added to the average depending on the amount of check pluses they received on assignments. In this way bonus and extra points are always available in my class. This system is challenging for some of my students in the beginning, but it places the responsibility on their shoulders, preparing them for the challenges of high school. The system is not a universal system in the 8th grade. Each teacher has his/her own policy regarding homework, make-up, homework slips, and sign and returns.
For example, if a student completes three out of four assignments, a 68 quiz grade is entered into the average.
Assignment #1 / #2 / #3 /#4
√ √ 0 √ = 68 quiz grade
On the other hand, if a student works hard and does well on all four assignments a score of over 90 quiz grade is entered into the average (from an average of 93-114). This is a good way for students to earn bonus points.
Assignment #1 / #2 / #3 /#4
√+ √ √+ √ = 96 quiz grade
I find this system helps students who score poorly on tests earn extra points. Students have many opportunities to improve their grades. It also prepares them for the challenges of the added responsibilities in high school.
Open book metade (½ Quiz):
Students will be assigned a section in the book (ex. chapter 7 section 1) to read and will be assigned 2 activities to complete. After reading, they will have a vocabulary section that will ask them to explain names and terms in the context of the section they read. They need to identify the word and then explain the role it played in this section. Next they will need to answer several questions about the section. The answers will be graded based on the evidence they provide that they read the section, not if the answer is correct. This Metade will be worth ½ of a quiz. This is basically an open book/take home ½ quiz. Each assignment is given a 1-10 score.
The Class itself:
The class covers from the build up to the Constitution to the birth of a new nation . Students are required to keep a 3 –ring binder that I often call it a notebook During the remote and hybrid phase this year this notebook will be a series of google slides they must fill in and keep in order in google classroom.. The binder will be collected for test grades. The “notes” are typed up by me with page numbers and unit headings. Students fill them out in class as we go. Tests generally are infrequent and cover a great deal of material. Students will need to study the notes, quizzes, “do now‘s”, and homework as we go along so they do not get overwhelmed. If your child says they do not have any homework you can always tell them to look over / study the social studies notes. Students will have at least two days to work on all homework assignments. Because of this I expect the students to read the section and answer fully (not one word answers) all of the assignment questions. Answers should always be in full sentences.
One of the benefits of this remote/hybrid start is that during study students can contact me for help on assignments. I will also stay “after school” at least once a week for office hours, where students can get help. I will post these times on my website. I will also answer simple student questions in google classroom and Remind throughout the day.
One of the greatest tools available to my students is my class website. I update the site everyday; I list the assignments everyday on the site, and I also post all assignments in google form readable by anyone. Along with assignments, I also list other class-related information on the site. The address is mrkelly.org Please sign up for my Remind announcements the codes are listed on my website.
You can also get to this site directly through the https://bms.drregional.org ; the school website.
I am truly looking forward to working with your daughter/son in this very important year in his/her life. Please feel free to contact me with questions, comments, or concerns. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, through the Remind app, or you can reach me by phone 1-508-252-5080 the office can connect you to my room. If I am unavailable, leave a message with the office.
Student Name Please keep one copy of this for yourself and sign and return the other.
The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet. ~Ari