• 8th Grade Social Studies

    Focus for the Year: 

    Early American History beginning 1492 through Reconstruction 1877.

    Teacher:  Mr. Neil                               Classroom: #105


    Welcome to eighth grade social studies class!  This year the content that you will be learning will center on American History as defined by the Ohio Grade 8 Social Studies Standards:

    U.S. History Studies from 1492-1877:  Exploration through Reconstruction

    The curriculum of the eighth grade focuses on the study of European exploration, the foundation of the country from colonization to states, its movement westward, and closes with the Reconstruction period following the Civil War.  When students study particular historic events in the United States, the study will incorporate all four of the essential content strands (“Power Standards”) that the state of Ohio has identified in the model curriculum for 8th grade social studies:  History, Geography, Economics, & Government.  Students will examine how historic events are shaped by geographic, social, cultural, economic, and political factors.


    In order to succeed in my classroom this year, you will need to be aware of some basic information that I have outlined for you:



    1. Always remember and follow “The Golden Rule.”

    *Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!

    1. Have all appropriate materials and supplies at your desk and be seated when the bell rings.

    *Materials that are needed daily for class are:  Creating America: Beginnings through Reconstruction textbook, pencil or pen, notebook or folder with writing paper, and binder or folder to put class handouts in (organized chronologically by date. 

    1. Respect the people, equipment, and furnishings of the classroom.
    2. Be attentive and follow directions the first time they are given. If you do not understand the directions, please ask for clarification. 

    *The only foolish questions are the one's not asked, so please do not be afraid to ask questions if you don't understand something.

    1. Observe all of the rules in the Student Handbook (An overview of the main points of the handbook will be covered in class, so that you are aware of your student rights and responsibilities). The handbook can be assessed at: https://www.johnstown.k12.oh.us/Page/638



    1. Attendance to class.

    *It is very important that you are here in class so that you are able to learn the content as it is presented

    **If you miss a class, you will need to make up any missed work.  It is your responsibility to get any missed assignments.  When you enter class following an absence, you should have documentation from the office and you will have one day for each day that is missed to complete your makeup work with an excused absence.

    1. Attentiveness to lesson and/or class activities.

    *You are expected to have class materials on hand, use time well, work without reminders, and complete work on time.

    1. Complete assignments by assigned due date (use agenda book to help you keep track of assignments and when they are due!).

    *If you have incomplete work and/or missing assignments, you will be assigned to “Working Bunch" until the work is completed.

    1. Be a positive class member!

    *Following class rules, doing what is asked with a good attitude, and contributing to the class by performing tasks of a lesson (including listening, working on an assignment, and/or actively taking part in class discussions). 

    1. Be considerate of others!

    *Listen to and respect others, avoid sarcasm and negative criticism, don't put down other students, and avoid disrupting the class.

    **To sum it up, see classroom rule #1 "The Golden Rule!"

    1. Try and always remember the three R's in and out of the classroom and things should go smoothly:

                    Respect for self, Respect for others, and

                    Responsibility for your actions!


    If there are any issues adhering to the class rules and/or expectations, then disciplinary action may result over the course of the school year.




    Grades are significant for various reasons such as communicating student achievement to students, parents, and administrators.  They provide information for students so they can self-evaluate themselves and assist in planning learning goals.  They also document student performance in order to evaluate how effective a program is.  The grades for this course will be based on standards-referenced grading.  In a standards-referenced grading system, grades reflect what a student knows and can do in relation to grade-level standards.  As a result, both formative and summative assessment will be incorporated in this course focusing on the Ohio Grade 8 Standards for Social Studies.

    Formative Assessment provides direction for review, re-teaching, and other adjustments for individual students or for the entire class.  These assessments are for learning, such as:  the use of previews, charts, questions during instruction, learning activities, etc.  Keeping progress on formative assessments separate from summative assessments gives a more precise picture of student achievement.  While feedback on and assessment of a student’s formative learning activities are important, these scores will not be reflected in the student’s grade. 

    *To use an analogy to possibly help clarify, formative assessments are like practices and scrimmages to help prepare for a contest or game.   

    Summative Assessment provides information to judge a student’s achievement at the conclusion of a period of instruction, such as:  quizzes, tests, projects, and/or quarterly assessments.  These are all assessments of learning.  Each quarter, there will be various summative assessments.  These assessments will comprise the student’s grade each quarter. 

    *Again, using an analogy to aide in clarification, summative assessments are like the big game that you have been practicing for and are now being measured on.  If there are weaknesses exposed, then those weaknesses must be corrected through extra practice time.

    Reassessment on summative assessments will be optional in some cases.  If a student shows mastery with a minimum grade of at least 60%, but would like to try and improve their grade on a summative assessment, he or she may have the option to reassess.  If a student has failed to show mastery of content on a summative assessment (a failing score of 59% or less), he or she will be required to reassess.  In each case, the student will have one week after the assessment is graded and passed back to show evidence that he or she has prepared for the reassessment.  A student will not be permitted to reassess without going through the process of completing learning activities or additional practice that reinforce the content.  There will be a limit to the number of times a student has the opportunity to reassess on a particular assessment.  The maximum score that a student can receive on a reassessment is 90%.  Reassessment opportunities on projects will not be permitted due to the fact that there will be printed requirements, time to complete it in and out of class, check points to evaluate progress, and a specific due date.  Students also will not be permitted to reassess on the final S.L.O. assessment.



    Each student can access Progressbook™ online (https://pa.laca.org/district) to view a daily record of performance and progress or lack thereof. 

    The current grading scale is printed inside the Johnstown Middle School Student Handbook that can be found online at: https://www.johnstown.k12.oh.us/Page/638

    If you have questions throughout the year, all you need to do is ask.  If your parents have questions, they can reach me by email at sneil@jmk12.org and/or by phone at 740-967-8766 ext. 3105.



    Each student can access the Creating America: Beginnings through Reconstruction textbook that will be used in class this year online by going to the following website (no more excuses for forgetting textbook at school J): http://www.mrthompson.org/tb/textbook.htm


    There will be a hard copy of the textbook under each student desk throughout the school year for students to use and refer to during class if need be (textbooks will be sanitized after use).  If a student would prefer a hard copy of the textbook over the online version, they can make arrangements to sign out a book for the year if they choose.