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 home this letter to introduce my 8th grade program to you. My name is Mr. Kelly and if you are receiving 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 education. Two of the focuses (besides curriculum) of my program are instilling and enforcing pride and respect. My program is designed to help my students develop or refine responsibility. One of the ways I work on this is with my assignment policy. I enforce the assignment policy by checking or collecting and grading assignments. When I check an assignment I go around the room with a clipboard and scan the work for effort and completion. When I collect an assignment it is studied more carefully, but again I’m 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
A Homework slip to be returned the next day signed or it results in a lunch
detention. If it is not in the next day the student will be assigned an after
- absent- Absent the day I check and the day I 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 it is recorded as a quiz grade. After the average is computed all of the check plus 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.
With this system, 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 a 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 to take their grade into their hands. It also prepares them for the challenges of the added responsibilities in high school.
Open book metade:
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 the 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. These worksheets will be worth ½ of a quiz or a metade. This is basically an open book/take home ½ quiz. Each assignment is given a 1-10 score.
Another way I work on responsibility is with the “Make up Board”. Tests missed because of absences are listed and the student has one week to make them up. I also require all tests and quizzes below a 70 to be signed & returned the next day after I pass them back. If the student fails to bring the test back signed, they receive a lunch detention. If the test is still not brought back the following day the student receives an after school detention.
The Class itself:
The class covers from the build up to the Constitution to just before the Civil War. Students are required to keep a 3 –ring binder (I often call it a notebook). The binder will be collected for test grades. The binder used in social studies must be solely used for this class; no other subject’s notes should be in it. Students will need a 2 inch or more strong 3-ring binder for this class so all of the notes, classwork and homework can be kept together. The “notes” are typed up by me with page numbers and unit headings. Student 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 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 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 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 pdf. form. Along with assignments I also list other class related information on the site. You can also get to this site directly through the http://www.drregional.org/BMS ; 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 e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can reach me by phone. If I am unavailable leave a message in my voice mail for me to call you back (1-508-252-5080 ext. 5210) or just call the office and leave a message.
____________________________________________________________________________ Parent/Guardian Signature
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