8th Grade Global Studies Course Information
Parent Letter, Expectations, Grading Policy

September 9th, 2015

Dear Parent / Guardian:

Welcome to another school year! Your child is enrolled in 8th grade Global Studies. 

Global Studies features geography as the lead discipline with a strong secondary emphasis on contemporary world history. Content drawn from citizenship and government, and economics, enriches the study of world regional geography, and further develops the interdisciplinary "Studies" approach.

This letter will explain what is expected of your child and some ways you may be able to provide assistance to your child in having a successful  school year.

RECIPE FOR SUCCESS:  Do work, on time, to the ability at which you are capable of.

REQUIRED MATERIALS:  Students should bring the following materials to class every day:
1.  Planner,
2.  Notebook,
3.  3-ring binder, and
4.  A pen or pencil to write with,

Highlighter, and colored pencils (when noted on the classroom door or white board)

DAILY WORK:  (30% of quarter grade) Homework will be assigned regularly Monday through Friday evenings.  Each student will receive some type of daily outline that clearly identifies what we are doing in class, the homework that was assigned, and when it is to be turned in.  This outline is most often written on the classroom board or displayed on the  SmartScreen in the classroom. Students will also be given a format to follow on completing assignments.

Homework is due at the beginning of the hour (unless specified otherwise). Late homework policy is for students to be given an opportunity to earn full credit for assignments. 

Projects may also be assigned throughout the year.  These projects should be completed on time and as directed.  These projects are typically done individually or in pairs and with the use of technology during our class periods. 

Homework is intended to encourage both work and study skills that prepare our students to be successful in the future.  Homework should be viewed as a means for expanding knowledge and achievement of the content area studied.   Research consistently suggests that student achievement is significantly raised when teachers regularly assign homework and students conscientiously do it.  Further, research also suggests that the #1 variable to learning is through repeated trials (repetition).

Assessments comprise 70% of the student grade and consist primarily of Content Tests and Quizzes.

CONTENT TESTS: Tests will be given on the content of our textbook and materials we cover in class.  These provide for evaluation of student understanding of main facts, vocabulary, geographic themes, and ideas at regular points throughout class.  Each student will be provided with a study guide in advance of the test (usually two or three days prior to).

QUIZZES:  There are two types of quizzes:
1.  MAPPING QUIZZES:  Map location quizzes are given on most regions of study.  Please take time to regularly study and review maps with your child so that these quizzes will be a success.
2.  CONTENT QUIZZES:  Quizzes are given periodically in order to offer a way of reviewing and evaluating the material from reading selected textbook sections.

GRADING:  Assignments, quizzes, and tests are given point values to be achieved.  Each item, including the end total, will be graded as follows:

A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F
95-100% 90-94% 87-89% 83-86% 80-82% 77-79% 73-76% 70-72% 67-69% 63-66% 60-62% < 59%

ACADEMIC PROGRESS:  Grade Updates regarding student progress are provided regularly for students to check.  On average, students will receive 8-12 updates each quarter.  Mid-term progress reports are accessed via Infinite Campus Portal.  Students are expected to demonstrate individual responsibility and accountability by using their planner as a way of communicating their grade update with their parents.

COMMUNICATION:  On left side links bar, click Contact Information / Schedule.

EXTRA CREDIT / ENRICHMENT POLICY:  Students must have ALL WORK completed before any extra credit work will be given.  It should not be viewed as an alternative method of making up previously assigned work which was never completed. 

Should you have any questions regarding 7th grade World Geography, please feel free to contact me.  I will respond as quickly as our schedule allows to any questions that you may have.  I do ask for your understanding and patience if I do not get to responding immediately.

Sincerely,

Jon P. Buchanan, Teacher
Kasson, Mantorville Middle School

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