Info for Parents

Email updates

Throughout the year, I will send out updates to parents on what is happening in the class. This usually contains information about upcoming quizzes or major assignments. Use the button below to access the form to be added to the email list.


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FAQ

What content will my child be learning this year?

We will be studying American history from the first colonies through the Civil War.

How are grades determined?

I use a point system, with each assignment being worth a certain amount. A typical marking period will have between 300 and 400 points. Quizzes are usually 15-50 points, tests are 50-100, essays are 50-100, projects and larger presentations are 50-100. We will also do many class activities and take-home assignments that are worth less.

How is homework graded?

There is no separate homework grade, however there will often be homework assigned. I make use of the “flipped classroom,” in which students watch videos at home in place of teacher-led instruction. This will provide the time in class for more student-centered learning. Students will ultimately be assessed on their understanding of the HW on tests, quizzes, and other assignments.

What are the minimum requirements for an honors recommendation?

An 87 cumulative average plus a teacher recommendation. Recommendations are made towards the end of the second marking period. Students who earn an honors recommendation need to maintain their average over the remainder of the school year.

What are the keys to doing well in this class?

Just like any other class, keeping up with assignments and turning everything in on time is critical. If students have questions or are struggling with a concept, they should come see me during EP. They should also bring drafts of long-term writing assignments to me during EP.

How will students be using the iPads this year?

Students will use the iPads for many daily functions, such as organization, completing assessments, and turning in assignments. Beyond that, my goal is to use the iPad to transform the classroom so that students can create in ways that were previously impossible. There are many great educational apps, with new ones being created all the time. We will use them for exciting ways to check for understanding, collaborate with classmates, take virtual field trips, and more. Some apps that I have used in the past with success are Kahoot, Nearpod, iMovie, and the Google Suite.

How to help your child prepare for ...

Quizzes

In order to study for quizzes, students should refer back to their notes from the unit. Student notebooks will be color coded, with the handouts that should be studied on colored paper, and other handouts on white paper. Each unit will have a different color. In addition, the notes that should be studied for a given quiz will be posted on the front board in class. If you are helping your child study, the first action to take should be to find the notes on colored paper from that unit.

When it comes to studying, I highly recommend mind maps because they help students create connections between the information. In creating mind maps, students also need to organize the information in a logical way, which will help them to understand the material. Below are examples of mind maps that students have created in the past.

Mind map example Mind map example

Many mind mapping apps exist as well, with PureFlow being a popular choice. The mind map below was created by a student who used it to study for the final exam.

Mind map example

As stated on the syllabus, students will be able to earn additional points on a test/quiz provided they have fulfilled the following criteria:

Any students who meet this criteria will be given a verbal quiz to demonstrate their understanding of the concepts from the unit and the amount of additional points earned will depend on the accuracy and depth of the answers provided.

Assignments

Major assignments will be accompanied with rubrics, which are reviewed in class. It is vital for students to check the assignment page and rubric before beginning work and once again before submitting it to ensure that all components are included. The best way you can help your student on major assignments is to encourage them to read over the assignment page before submitting their work.