Baird Middle School 2020-2021 - 8th Grade Orientation - Mrs.Babcock Mr.Castañeda Mr.Walsh Mr.Wilkins Mrs.Wimer

 
Baird Middle School 2020-2021 - 8th Grade Orientation - Mrs.Babcock Mr.Castañeda Mr.Walsh Mr.Wilkins Mrs.Wimer
Baird Middle School
8th Grade Orientation
                 2020-2021

Mrs. Babcock   Mr. Castañeda   Mr. Walsh   Mr. Wilkins   Mrs. Wimer
Baird Middle School 2020-2021 - 8th Grade Orientation - Mrs.Babcock Mr.Castañeda Mr.Walsh Mr.Wilkins Mrs.Wimer
Welcome to Baird Middle School
                                 8th Grade
We appreciate your participation in our online orientation. Hopefully our video series has
been helpful in orienting you and your child to some of the important parts of Baird. Please
make your best effort to submit current contact information through our online form. In this
unusual year, we would love to be able to contact you before the school year begins.

Eighth Grade Teachers
Mrs. Babcock              Deidra.Pfitzer@fresnounified.org
Mr. Castañeda             Guillermo.CastanedaJr@fresnounified.org
Mr. Walsh                 Timothy.Walsh@fresnounified.org
Mr. Wilkins               Douglas.Wilkins@fresnounified.org
Mrs. Wimer                Ann.Wimer@fresnounified.org

Online Summer Learning
To best support your child’s transition into 8th grade, we will be providing
resources and some summer homework for your child.
Please look through this orientation packet to find a copy of Mr. Wilkin’s summer
homework requirement.

Please email Mr. Wilkins at Douglas.Wilkins@fresnounified.org with any questions. Be
prepared to complete Literary Outlines about your three books the first week of school.
Baird Middle School 2020-2021 - 8th Grade Orientation - Mrs.Babcock Mr.Castañeda Mr.Walsh Mr.Wilkins Mrs.Wimer
8th Grade English Language Arts GATE: Course
                       Syllabus
                                           Mrs. Babcock, Room 7
                                      Deidra.Pfitzer@fresnounified.org
                *Syllabus is subject to change at the discretion of Mrs. Babcock and/or Baird administration.*

Course Description: The overall focus in ELA will center around challenges which will be
examined over the course of the year according to the following breakdown.

Unit one will examine the hero’s journey archetype through the lens of both reader and writer.
Students will analyze fiction excerpts, poems, allegorical picture books, nonfiction articles, and
movie clips. After gleaning information, and a deeper understanding of heroism in all its forms,
students will write an expository essay in which they define what a hero is and what a hero is not.
Students will then write a narrative in which they include the elements of the hero’s journey
(according to Springboard and Joseph Campbell). Students will also be responsible for reading at
least one book from the list provided for unit one as well as several other books of their choice.

Unit two will analyze the effects of a dystopian society on its citizens through a focused reading of
The Giver by Lois Lowry. Along with the selected text, students will analyze poems, picture books,
informational articles, movie clips (based on true events), news articles, and media coverage
regarding historical and modern movements of oppression. Students will write an explanatory
essay which compares life in the dystopian society of The Giver to modern-day society. Students
will also select a controversial issue touched upon in The Giver to research and will use their
supporting evidence to write a persuasive essay. Throughout this unit, students will also be
responsible for reading at least one book from the list provided for unit two as well as several other
books of their choice.

Unit three will focus on the theme: “It is always possible to find light in the darkness.” The
autobiographical narrative titled Night, by Elie Wiesel, will be utilized primarily. Also utilized will
be the Italian film “Life is Beautiful” as well as poems, picture books, historical photos, mini-
biographies, nonfiction articles, and nonfiction narrative excerpts. After reading this heart-
wrenching true story, students will work collaboratively to create and present a multi-media
presentation to their peers and teacher. Students will also participate in a literature circle along
with several peers, which will spend ample time analyzing (through written and oral means) a book
of their choice from the list provided for unit three. The pinnacle of the literature circles learning
will be a panel discussion in which students present thematic findings and field level one, two, and
three text-based questions from their peers and teacher.

Unit four will examine the use of comedic elements in storytelling and will focus on the
Shakespearean play titled A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Students will watch video clips which
utilize comedic tone, movement, vocal delivery, facial expressions, timing, hand gestures, and a
wordplay. Other texts include: poems, nonfiction expressive writing, picture books, and portions
of the 1999 film version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Students will then collaboratively practice
and eventually perform a scene of their choice in front of their peers and teacher and complete a
reflective/expressive writing piece to end the school year.
Baird Middle School 2020-2021 - 8th Grade Orientation - Mrs.Babcock Mr.Castañeda Mr.Walsh Mr.Wilkins Mrs.Wimer
Student Responsibilities: Throughout the school year, students will be expected to do the
following:
     ▪ Respect all people and property inside             ▪ Participate in all class activities.
        and outside of the classroom.                     ▪ Attend AST to make up assignments,
     ▪ Follow the teacher’s instructions the first           quizzes, or tests when necessary.
        time they are given.                              ▪ Demonstrate professionalism with words
     ▪ Take responsibility for [student’s]                   and actions.
        actions.                                          ▪ Follow all school/district policies.
     ▪ Arrive to class on time and fully prepared
        (required materials brought daily).
     ▪ Complete all assignments within
        required timeframe and specified
        parameters.
Collaboration: Throughout the school year, students will have many opportunities to work with
their peers collaboratively including class presentations as well as performances (quarter four).
Students are expected to collaborate with their peers in a respectful manner and to cooperate to
the best of their ability. Should any concerns arise, students are encouraged to communicate with
the teacher immediately.
Required Materials: Students are expected to bring the following materials daily.
     ▪ Agenda (Baird planner)                             ▪ 2 pencils: (mechanical = preferred)
     ▪ Binder                                             ▪ Large eraser
     ▪ Composition Notebook: 100 sheets,                  ▪ Divider for ELA
        college rule, not spiral bound                    ▪ Earbuds or earphones
District Adopted Texts: The following texts will be the primary texts used, but many others will
also be utilized throughout the school year.
    ▪ College Board Springboard English Language Arts Grade 8
    ▪ The Giver by Lois Lowry
    ▪ Night by Elie Wiesel
    ▪ A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
Course Assessments: All written and project-based assessments will be scored using rubrics.
     ▪ Benchmark essays                 ▪ Unit tests                       ▪ Informal classroom
     ▪ Narratives                       ▪ Formal classroom                     assessments
     ▪ Projects                            assessments                     ▪ FUSD interim tests
     ▪ Quizzes                                                             ▪ CAASP ELA assessment

Grading Policy and Scale: Grades are weighted to emphasize points earned for standards
assessments, which include (but not limited to): essays, narratives, tests, quizzes, and projects.
Student grades will be weighted as follows:
 60%           Standards Assessments (benchmarks, process writing pieces, projects,
               presentations, tests, quizzes)
 30%           Standards Practice (class notebooks, quick writes, notes, homework, classwork,
               grammar and conventions work, listening/speaking cards)
 10%           Independent Reading (books completed, reading logs, reading conferences, oral
               reports)

 ▪   All submitted work is expected to be neatly   ▪   Students earning low marks may be
     written (or typed), clearly marked with the       assigned, and are expected to attend,
     “standard heading” and without doodles,           Academic Study Time (AST).
     random marks, tears, or excessive crinkles.
 ▪   All grades will be kept in the ATLAS online   ▪   Grades are earned, not given. I cannot
     gradebook and can be accessed by students         grade what has not been turned in.
     and parents at any time.                          Furthermore, completion of work and an
                                                       exhibition of effort do not guarantee an “A.”
Baird Middle School 2020-2021 - 8th Grade Orientation - Mrs.Babcock Mr.Castañeda Mr.Walsh Mr.Wilkins Mrs.Wimer
LS (listening/speaking) Cards System: Each class period students will have the opportunity to
earn participation points by: answering questions, collaborating cooperatively with peers,
following directions, using content-specific vocabulary accurately, asking insightful questions,
exhibiting speaking/listening effort, presenting the “idiom of the day” to the class, presenting
group/pair/independent findings (content-specific). Students will total up their independently
earned points at the end of a two-week period. The following breakdown represents the grade
students will earn based on the total points earned every two weeks.
 180 - 200 points      = A (10 points in the gradebook)
 160 - 179 points      = B (8 points in the gradebook)
 140 - 159 points      = C (7 points in the gradebook)
 120 - 139 points      = D (6 points in the gradebook)
 119 - 0 points        = F (5 points in the gradebook)
Late Work Policy: Late work will be accepted for partial credit up to one week after the original
due date.
Plagiarism and Cheating: Cheating and plagiarism of any kind is not allowed, as it is not
evidence of what students know and can do. Work that is discovered to have been plagiarized will
receive zero credit. In the case of copied work: the student who chose to copy another’s work will
receive zero credit, as will the student whose work was knowingly copied.
Tutoring: If a student is struggling, it is their responsibility to get help. I will be available at 8:45
AM (AST) Monday through Thursday and on select days during the designated lunch break. My
availability will be posted, so students know which lunch days will serve as an opportunity to get
additional help or clarification. It is the students’ responsibility to take the initiative and schedule
an appointment for tutoring.
Computer Usage: Students will be required to access the internet to complete various learning
activities which, at times, will include process writing assignments as well as homework
(occasionally). Students are to follow the FUSD Technology Acceptable Use Policy as well as the
Baird LMS Code of Conduct. Failure to adhere to said policies will result in consequences; the
severity of which will be contingent on the level of misuse. Computers are available in my
classroom as well as other locations on campus at various times for students without access at
home. For further information and specifications, see the FUSD acceptable use policy at

                                https://www.fresnou.org/dept/it/Pages/fusdaup.aspx#.WXfLuogrJP
                                Y
Cell Phone Policy: As per Ed. Code 51512, the use of electronic devices can be considered to be
disruptive to the learning process in the classroom. Students may only use an electronic device in
the classroom when given prior permission by the teacher. The use of an electronic device is
acceptable before school and after school. Parents should not expect their students to read or send
text messages or receive calls during class time. Exceptions shall be made in the event a student
has received prior permission for the use of an electronic device by district staff or when the
principal or designee has determined that the use of the electronic device is essential for the
student’s health or safety (Education Code 8901.5).
    • Cell phones are to be turned off and put away (should not be visible at any time) or put in
       the designated phone section during class time, unless permission is otherwise given by the
       teacher.
    • Visibility of an electronic device, without the permission of the teacher, is unacceptable.
    • If a phone goes off in class or is visible at any time, it will be confiscated and turned in to the
       front office. (This is a school-wide policy and any questions regarding this must be taken up
       with administration.)
Communication: Communication between the student, parent/guardian and teacher is essential
for your child’s success. Please encourage your child to speak to me regarding any concerns.
Please free to contact me by phone or email if you have any questions or concerns regarding this
course; but please ask your child to come speak with me prior to calling or emailing. Baird
students learn to advocate for themselves through open communication with the adults on campus.
Baird Middle School 2020-2021 - 8th Grade Orientation - Mrs.Babcock Mr.Castañeda Mr.Walsh Mr.Wilkins Mrs.Wimer
Math 8
Mr. Castañeda, Room #9
2020-2021

EMAIL
Guillermo.CastanedaJr@fresnounified.org

COURSE DESCRIPTION
It is our goal this year to enrich your foundation of the eight grade Common Core State
Standards and prepare you for 9th grade Algebra 1. This course builds on the foundation
established in 7th grade of the following topics: the number system, bivariate applications,
geometry, expressions, and equations. This course also includes an in-depth study of
functions.

COURSE EXPECTATIONS
Students will come to class ready to participate in group discussions and be attentive
during teacher instruction time. Classwork will be assigned daily. Quizzes will be given
daily in order to monitor student progress. Students will also be expected to perform
satisfactorily on tests. Punctual attendance is important for this course. It is expected that
students bring necessary materials to class such as pencils, paper, and a binder.

TEXTBOOK
Our textbook is Go Math: California Edition published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publishing Company.

CALCULATORS
Calculators (includes cell phone calculators) are not allowed.

EVALUATION
Students will be evaluated on their understanding of the major goals and objectives of the
class. Evaluations will be conducted in a variety of formats such as: classwork, quizzes,
math tasks/activities and tests. Parents/guardians may check your student’s current grade
on the Internet by logging onto ATLAS.

GRADING
The grading for this course will be on a weighted scale as follows:
Tests: 60%
Quizzes: 30%
Class work: 10% (Tasks, activities, and classwork)
The grading scale is as follows:
A 90%-100%
B 80%-89%
C 70%-79%
D 60%-69%
F Below 60%
Baird Middle School 2020-2021 - 8th Grade Orientation - Mrs.Babcock Mr.Castañeda Mr.Walsh Mr.Wilkins Mrs.Wimer
TESTS
There will be tests given at the end of each unit. Make-up tests will only be given if a
student has an excused absence on the day of the test. It is the students’ responsibility to
come see me if they need to make up a test otherwise, they will receive a 0 for not making
up a test. Students will have up to a week to make up test. Tests will include: tasked based
responses, free response questions, and written responses. Test will be cumulative.

QUIZZES
A quiz will be given daily to monitor students’ mastery of a specific standard that was
presented the previous class period. Quizzes will consist of one problem based on notes
and classwork. If absent, you are to make up the quiz during AST.

CLASSWORK
Classwork will be given daily. If classwork can’t be completed by the end of the block,
then students have until next class period to turn in their classwork. Late classwork will
be accepted but for partial credit. Students have up to a week to turn in late classwork. If
you are absent, then you have as many days as you were absent to turn in your missed
assignments.
*Note: You must show all of your work to receive credit in this class. Even if you can do the
work in your head, it is impossible to grade your thoughts.

TASKS/ACTIVITIES
A mathematical task is a problem or set of problems that focuses students’ attention on a
particular mathematical idea. A task can be used to help solidify students' understanding of
that particular mathematical idea and see if they can apply what they have learned. They
will be using what they’ve been learning to solve real world problems.

ATTENDANCE & PARTICIPATION
In order for you to get the most from this course it is necessary for you to be an active
participant in learning, and to be in class every day.

CLASSROOM RULES
1. Be to class on time and prepared to work with all required materials including
completed homework.
2. Be respectful to the teacher, students, and other adults that enter the classroom.
3. Take responsibility for your actions.

TUTORING
If you are having trouble in the course, it is your responsibility to get help. I will make
myself available at 8:45 AM (AST) and at lunch. It is the students’ responsibility to come see
me in order to schedule an appointment for tutoring.
It is the students’ responsibility to:
• Come to class prepared with all supplies and ready to work each day.
• Turn in all assignments complete and on time.
• Attend Academic Study Time to make up assignments or tests, if necessary.
• Participate in class activities.
• Check Atlas to monitor their grades.
• Ask for help if something isn’t clear!
8th Grade Math Syllabus

I acknowledge that I have read and received a copy of 8th Grade Math Syllabus. I will
conduct myself according to these rules, procedures, and expectations.

_______________________________________
Student Name

_______________________________________             _________________________
Student Signature                                               Date

_______________________________________
Parent/Guardian Name

_______________________________________             _________________________
Parent/Guardian Signature                                       Date

_______________________________________
Cell Phone Number

_______________________________________
Home Number

_______________________________________
Email Address

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the course or course syllabus, please
contact me via email.
Algebra 1
Mr. Castañeda, Room #9
2020-2021

EMAIL
Guillermo.CastanedaJr@fresnounified.org

COURSE DESCRIPTION
Algebra 1 introduces the student to variables, algebraic expressions, equations, system of
equations, solving quadratic equations, exponential equations, functions, inequalities, and
their graphical representation. The student develops the ability to explore and solve
mathematical problems, think critically, work cooperatively with others, and communicate
mathematical ideas clearly.

COURSE EXPECTATIONS
Students will come to class ready to participate in group discussions and be attentive
during teacher instruction time. Classwork will be assigned daily. Quizzes will be given
daily in order to monitor student progress. Students will also be expected to perform
satisfactorily on tests. Punctual attendance is important for this course. It is expected that
students bring necessary materials to class such as pencils, paper, and a binder.

TEXTBOOK
Our textbook is Algebra 1: California Edition published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Company.

CALCULATORS
Calculators (includes cell phone calculators) are not allowed.

EVALUATION
Students will be evaluated on their understanding of the major goals and objectives of the
class. Evaluations will be conducted in a variety of formats such as: classwork, quizzes,
math tasks/activities and tests. Parents/guardians may check your student’s current grade
on the Internet by logging onto ATLAS.

GRADING
The grading for this course will be on a weighted scale as follows:
Tests: 60%
Quizzes: 30%
Class work: 10% (Tasks, activities, and classwork)
The grading scale is as follows:
A 90%-100%
B 80%-89%
C 70%-79%
D 60%-69%
F Below 60%
TESTS
There will be tests given at the end of each unit. Make-up tests will only be given if a
student has an excused absence on the day of the test. It is the students’ responsibility to
come see me if they need to make up a test otherwise, they will receive a 0 for not making
up a test. Students will have up to a week to make up test. Tests will include: tasked based
responses, free response questions, and written responses. Test will be cumulative.

QUIZZES
A quiz will be given daily to monitor students’ mastery of a specific standard that was
presented the previous class period. Quizzes will consist of one problem based on notes
and classwork. If absent, you are to make up the quiz during AST.

CLASSWORK
Classwork will be given daily. If classwork can’t be completed by the end of the block,
then students have until next class period to turn in their classwork. Late classwork will
be accepted but for partial credit. Students have up to a week to turn in late classwork. If
you are absent, then you have as many days as you were absent to turn in your missed
assignments.
*Note: You must show all of your work to receive credit in this class. Even if you can do the
work in your head, it is impossible to grade your thoughts.

TASKS/ACTIVITIES
A mathematical task is a problem or set of problems that focuses students’ attention on a
particular mathematical idea. A task can be used to help solidify students' understanding of
that particular mathematical idea and see if they can apply what they have learned. They
will be using what they’ve been learning to solve real world problems.

ATTENDANCE & PARTICIPATION
In order for you to get the most from this course it is necessary for you to be an active
participant in learning, and to be in class every day.

CLASSROOM RULES
1. Be to class on time and prepared to work with all required materials including
completed homework.
2. Be respectful to the teacher, students, and other adults that enter the classroom.
3. Take responsibility for your actions.

TUTORING
If you are having trouble in the course, it is your responsibility to get help. I will make
myself available at 8:45 AM (AST) and at lunch. It is the students’ responsibility to come see
me in order to schedule an appointment for tutoring.
It is the students’ responsibility to:
• Come to class prepared with all supplies and ready to work each day.
• Turn in all assignments complete and on time.
• Attend Academic Study Time to make up assignments or tests, if necessary.
• Participate in class activities.
• Check Atlas to monitor their grades.
• Ask for help if something isn’t clear!
Algebra 1 Syllabus

I acknowledge that I have read and received a copy of Algebra 1 Syllabus. I will
conduct myself according to these rules, procedures, and expectations.

_______________________________________
Student Name

_______________________________________             _________________________
Student Signature                                               Date

_______________________________________
Parent/Guardian Name

_______________________________________             _________________________
Parent/Guardian Signature                                       Date

_______________________________________
Cell Phone Number

_______________________________________
Home Number

_______________________________________
Email Address

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the course or course syllabus, please
contact me via email.
8th Grade PE
      Mr. Walsh, Boys Locker Room, South Gym
         Timothy.Walsh@fresnounified.org
Course Assessments:
Standards based assessment is always used. Monitoring
student progress through structured observations such
as skills tests, performance tasks, self-assessment, peer
assessment, quick writes, essays, logs, Journals, rubrics,
presentations, projects, and more. Assessment is clear
and students will know prior to formal assessments what
expected outcomes are to be met.

Grading and Assessment:
Assessments that are “authentic” in nature, that is, designed to take place in a real-life
setting rather than in an artificial or contrived setting, and are aligned to the standards.
Each grade level teacher will provide a syllabus outlining the grading policy. Physical
Fitness Testing Information: The State Board of Education has designated the Fitnessgram
test as the Physical Fitness Test for students in California public schools. Baird Middle
School will assess students Pre-, Mid-, and at the end of the year in grades 5-8 and submit
the required results in the spring to the state for grades five and seven.

Standards Based Grading
1. Standards-based assessments will include:
        a. Standards 1-2 (physical performances, reflections, quizzes, etc.)
        b. Standards 3-4 (fitness testing, workout logs, etc.)
        c. Standard 5 (daily journals, daily dress-out, class preparation, etc.)
2. All assignments are expected to be completed and turned in on time.
        a. Utilize AST (8:45-9:10 am) to communicate with teachers whenever you are absent.

Walk-Run/Off-Campus Procedures

P.E. students may sometimes use neighborhood sidewalks and ponding basin for their
workout or activity.
        a. Do not talk to strangers or neighbors.
        b. Do not pick anything up.
        c. Do not walk on a neighbor’s property.
        d. Do not walk/run in the street.
        e. Always stay in front of the teacher.
Atlas Grades are updated weekly. Students who turn in work on time, assignments will be
entered promptly. Late work will be entered after all current work is entered.

Units & Activities*

    • Cooperative Games                              •   Tchoukball
    • Badminton                                      •   Jump Bands
    • Lacrosse                                       •   Eclipse Ball
    • “Nuke” Ball                                    •   FITNESSGRAM Testing
    • Court Hockey
* all activities subject to change:
Class Rules:
1. Be in appropriate area when tardy bell rings
2. Bring all needed materials to class (which means also dressing out)
3. Follow all directions

Class Materials:
1. School Binders (brought to class daily) - The following items will be kept inside student
binders:
       a. daily journal entries
       b. personal fitness data
       c. class notes and handouts
2. Pens or pencils
3. Loose-leaf binder paper
4. Appropriate Attire
- per Baird Middle School Physical Education Handbook

Nature of Physical Education:
Physical education is the content area that teaches learners about movement. It is an
essential academic component in the school curriculum that emphasizes learning in the
psychomotor domain and guides learners in the process of becoming physically active for
a lifetime. Physical education is distinctively different from recess, free play, recreational
sports, and athletics. Rather, it is a comprehensive instructional program that provides
developmentally appropriate activities while meeting the needs of all learners.

PE Minutes:
Middle School Minutes: All pupils shall be required to attend a total of (period of time) but
not less than 400 minutes each 10 school days.

Physical Education Excuses:
1. Parent: A student may be permitted three parent excuses during the school year. This
note must state the reason for, and extent, of non-physical activity and must be specific with
the dates that the student may not participate from activity. The maximum amount of time a
student may be out is three consecutive days via Parent note. This does not excuse a
student from any class work or grades that are being conducted during this time, and the
student may be required to make up the activity.
2. Medical: Medical Notes are given to the school nurse and then given to appropriate
teacher(s). A medical excuse for physical education also applies to all extracurricular
activities, including sports.

Uniforms: (please see FUSD Physical Education Policy)
All grade levels will be required to dress out for physical education daily.
Locker Room:
Lockers:
All students will be provided an assigned locker at the beginning of the year. Bring
combination from home, combinations must be given to teacher before putting on locker. If
lock needs to be removed from locker for some reason, and student or teacher cannot
open, lock may be cut off.
*Anyone caught stealing or performing any other illegal action will be reported to the
school administration and police if necessary.
*No Food, No Drinks, No Gum, No Hats allowed in Gym. Water is permitted.
*Restroom needs must be taken care of before reporting to roll call.
Cell phones in locker room: The use of all cellular telephones and all devices with
photographic or video capabilities is strictly prohibited in the locker room areas!

Bad Air Day and Weather: (per FUSD Physical Education Policy)
When a Health Advisory is sent to the school showing the forecast of the Air Quality Index
(AQI) students with special health problems shall follow the precautions recommended by
their physicians. The district monitors real time (AQI) conditions and inform schools when
PE is to be canceled all together. Athletics: Bad Air Quality: At 11:00am a real time call will
be made for the safety of the students. An announcement will be made to the students and
they will be allowed to contact home to notify parents of a
cancellation of practice or a game.

Inclement Weather:
Depending on the weather pattern, Baird Athletic practices
may be canceled. As soon as the Athletic Director is informed,
an announcement will be made to the students and they will be
allowed to contact home to notify parents of a cancellation of
practice or a game.

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8th Grade PE Contract
Please sign and return to your PE teacher:
By signing this contract, you have read and understand the rules, grading, off-campus
procedures, and materials needed for class.

Student Name (Print) _________________________________ID #:______________Block:______

Student Signature:__________________________________________________Date: ___________

Parent Signature: __________________________________________________Date: ____________
Baird Middle School
                   Pre-A.P. U.S. History 8 Syllabus
                                  Mr. Wilkins, Room 8
                           douglas.wilkins@fresnounified.org

                                United States History and Geography: Growth and Conflict
Course Description:
       The eighth-grade course of study begins with an intensive review of the major ideas, issues,
and events that shaped the founding of the nation. In their study of this era, students will view
American history through the lens of a people who were trying—and are still trying—to fulfill the
promise of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Throughout their eighth grade
United States history and geography course, students will confront the themes of freedom, equality,
and liberty and their changing definitions over time. This course will also explore the geography of
place, movement, and region, starting with the Atlantic Seaboard and then exploring American
westward expansion and economic development, the Civil War and Reconstruction, and finally,
industrialization. Covering parts of three centuries…
       As students learn American history from the late 1700s through the end of the nineteenth
century, they will develop reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills that will enhance their
understanding of the content. As in earlier grades, students should be taught that history is an
investigative discipline, one that is continually reshaped based on primary-source research and on
new perspectives that can be uncovered. Students should be encouraged to read multiple primary
and secondary documents; to understand multiple perspectives; to learn about how some things
change over time and others tend not to; and they should appreciate that each historical era has its
own context and it is up to the student of history to make sense of the past on these terms and by
asking questions about it. (Adapted from Ca 8th Grade Social Science Framework)

Standards and Pre-AP:
This course will address California’s Common Core guidelines for Literacy in History/Social
Studies, the C3 Framework for Social Studies and the California History-Social Science Framework.
For more information on these standards please visit the California Department of Education at
https://www.cde.ca.gov/. This course is designed to prepare students for Advanced Placement
Social Studies courses in high school. For more information on Advanced Placement courses,
please visit the College Board website at: http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/Controller.jpf

Class Expectations: Students are expected to:
   •   respect all persons, property, and                •   be prepared and on time
       school/district policies                          •   observe quiet signal
   •   follow teacher’s instructions                     •   complete all assigned learning
   •   participate with civility                             activities

Speaking, Listening and Cooperative Learning:
Students are expected to participate in classroom discussions and present ideas/information to
partners, small groups and large groups. Points may be awarded and taken away in the speaking
and listening category in ATLAS based on the student’s daily performance. Formal presentations
will be graded using a speaking and listening rubric. Please see CCSS standards for more specific
information on the Speaking and Listening requirements for grade 8. Students in history class will
work together in a cooperative learning format including group projects and presentations.
Students are expected to respect one another and help their fellow classmates achieve a high-
quality education.
Middle School Democracy Project:
All 8th grade History students will be participating in the Middle School Democracy Project
sponsored by the Civic Education Center (www.fresnociviclearning.com). During this process
students will: (1) create a democratic classroom (2) examine identity and community (3) identify
issues and envision change (4) conduct research and set goals and present findings (5) analyze
power (6) strategize, plan and act. (adapted from https://mikvachallenge.org/). Students will begin
by researching several local issues. Nearly all our students at Baird have had direct or indirect
connections to these very real issues which can lead to emotional and even personal discussions.
Please be aware that we will address these issues as young adults while maintaining an atmosphere
of civility, respect and civic responsibility. Topics from previous years have included: mental
illness, homelessness, drug/alcohol addiction, racism, immigration, deforestation, human
trafficking, suicide, obesity and nutrition. It is likely that similar topics will be selected this year.
Students will be interacting and communicating with members of the community through email,
letters, class visits, field trips and service projects. Work on the project will commence during the
third week of school. Parents with questions/concerns are encouraged to speak with Mr. Wilkins
prior the third week of school.

Required Supplies: Students are to keep all handouts neat and orderly in binders until instructed
to remove them. Students are required to have the following items in class daily:

Agenda                             Earbuds or Headphones               Pencils and eraser
Binder: 3 inch “D” ring            Scissors (small)                    50 sheets of binder paper
3 Dividers for each subject        Colored pencils (12 pack)           Highlighters, two colors
12” ruler                          Ballpoint pens (black or blue)      Silent Reading Book

Grading Policy and Scale:
The purpose of grading is to provide important information and feedback regarding the student’s
academic progress/citizenship to the student and parent/guardian. A variety of activities will be
assigned throughout the year to address different standards and skills. Not all assigned work will
be reviewed/graded by the teacher. Please be aware that this is a rigorous course, students may
earn an A by demonstrating exemplary work beyond grade level proficiency. All submitted work is
expected to be legible, orderly and free from doodling and random marks. All assignments and
activities must be clearly marked with student’s full name, student ID #, history block # and date
submitted.

All graded assignments will be graded on a 0-4-point scale using the following indicators:
0 = not submitted, 1 = incomplete, 2 = approaching standard, 3 = proficient, 4 = advanced

Film and Historical Context in the History Classroom:
The use of video is often beneficial to students in their endeavor to connect with history. Videos
allow students to contextualize their learning in unique ways. Students in this course will view
historical documentaries as well as excerpts from historical fiction films, all of which were either
made for educational purposes or are rated G, PG, or PG-13. Dramatized documentaries may
include elements related to war. The study of U.S. History allows students opportunities to learn
from social and cultural issues of the past and present. In this course, students will be introduced to
difficult issues our nation faced, including but not limited to war, racism and prejudice. Please be
advised that these difficult topics/issues and their related language/media will be introduced and
taught in an historical context and will require respectful maturity on the part of the students.

Plagiarism and Cheating:
Cheating and plagiarism will not be tolerated. Students found copying another student’s work will
receive zero credit for the assignment as well as the student whose work is being copied.
Technology Policy:
Students will be required to use computers and the internet to complete various learning activities
including homework. Students are to follow the FUSD Technology Acceptable Use Policy as well as
the LMS Code of Conduct. Computers are available on campus at various times for students without
access at home. Students are not permitted to use cell phones in class. Phones are always to be
turned off and stored in the student’s backpack during the school day. Cell phones may be
permitted on field trips; however, they are the sole responsibility of the student, are subject to the
Baird cell phone policy and may only be used when permitted by Baird Staff. Please see the FUSD
acceptable use policy at
https://www.fresnou.org/dept/it/Pages/fusdaup.aspx#.WXfLuogrJPY

Student/Parent/Teacher Communication:
Communication between the student, parent/guardian and teacher is essential for your child’s
success. Please encourage your child to speak to Mr. Wilkins regarding any concerns. Please feel
free to contact Mr. Wilkins by phone or email if you have any questions or concerns regarding this
course; but please ask your child to come speak with Mr. Wilkins prior to calling or emailing if
possible. Baird students learn to advocate for themselves through open communication with the
classroom teacher. Students will record their assignments and due dates as well as special
announcements in their student agendas. Please check the agenda daily to keep track of your
child’s assignments. Student grades may be accessed via the internet. The 8th grade team may
occasionally use REMIND to send SMS text messages and or emails to parents and students.
Standard text messaging rates may apply.

_____ Initial here if you do not want to receive text messages

_____ Initial here if you do not want your child to receive text messages

* Syllabus is subject to change at the discretion of Mr. Wilkins and/or Baird staff

Parent/Student Agreement:
By signing this document, both the parent/guardian and student acknowledge that they
have read and understand the course syllabus and agree to comply with all policies therein
as well as all school and district policies.

Student Name_______________________________ ID #__________ History Block #___________

Student Signature____________________________ Date__________________________________

Parent/Guardian Name______________________________________________________________

Parent/Guardian Signature____________________ Date__________________________________
Mr. Wilkins
                     Grade Eight, US History
                   Summer Homework 2020-2021
The summer homework for 8th grade U.S. History is designed to accomplish three
specific objectives and are described below. Please visit the link provided for
complete instructions and to submit your summer homework.

Assignment 1
Students will watch a short video about the role of US Citizens/Residents and write one
paragraph reflection.

Assignment 2
Students will read about the three branches of the United States Federal Government and
design a poster summarizing the form and function of the federal government.

Assignment 3
Students will introduce themselves to the teacher by writing a brief autobiography.

All assignments are to be completed online and are described in detail at
https://tinyurl.com/y7hf3m6n or by scanning the QR code. If you are not able to
navigate to the link, please email douglas.wilkins@fresnounified.org.
8th Grade Science - Mrs. Wimer
                            Ann.wimer@fresnounified.org

Course Description:

Over the course of the school year, our class will be exploring the world around us and
learning scientific explanations for why things are the way they are. Our curriculum
includes many opportunities to do labs, experiments, and projects related to everyday
phenomena.

Science is observing, investigating, and experimenting with our natural world and
everything that happens in it. The 8th grade Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
explain phenomena central to the physical sciences (motion, forces, and energy) but also
the life sciences and earth and space sciences. During each unit of study, we will apply
what we have learned to the real world.

This syllabus is designed to help you understand more about the expectations and policies
for 8th grade science. I am looking forward to a rewarding year with you!

Curriculum Sources and Instruction:

    • Holt - Physical Science (textbook)
    • American Chemistry Association - Middle School Chemistry
    • WestEd Making Sense of Science - Waves
    • NGSS@NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) vetted lessons (NASA...)
    • California Academy of Sciences - Carbon Cycle Integrated Unit
There is one to one laptop technology in this class. You will be assigned a specific laptop
to use almost daily throughout the year. Most lessons (including lab responses) will be
assigned through Microsoft Teams (MST) with digital links that you can access at school
and home. Please remember to have headphones or earbuds with you daily. Many
assignments will be submitted through MST. Please do not email assignments to me.

Course Expectations:

To do well in science, you must do the following:
   1. Participate responsibly in class activities. This includes paying attention in class,
      following all written and verbal directions, and most importantly – LEARNING!
   2. Turn in all assignments on time, neatly and thoughtfully completed, with the proper
      Baird heading.
   3. Spend 1-2 hours a week on Science in a quiet place at home. This includes
      completing assignments, organizing your binder, studying for tests, reading science
      non-fiction books/articles, or going over recent lessons.
Grading Policy:

 Assignment Category                           Point Value                Percent of Grade

 Daily Classwork: Labs, Activities, Notes...   1-25                       30%

 Projects                                      10-50                      30%

 Tests & Quizzes                               3-50                       40%

*Academic Integrity is expected at all times. There will be no tolerance for cheating or
plagiarizing.

Absences & Late Work:

It is the student’s responsibility to find and complete missed
assignments. For each class that you miss you will have one
class to make up an assignment. After that it will be considered
late and will not receive full credit. Late projects will earn no
higher than a “C” grade. If you miss a lab you will need to get
the observations/data that were collected from a teammate and
finish the lab writeup based on that information.

Late work will be accepted in science up to one week after it was assigned. Missed
assignments/late work must be submitted to your specific class folder with a complete
Baird heading, Grades for these assignments may not be entered into ATLAS until the end
of the grading period. Missed tests are to be taken the next science class you attend.

If you have questions about what you missed, you may ask me, or another student for
clarification. Always check MSTeams for a recap of the day’s lesson – digital or not! A
good time for this is during AST or 8th period electives. Please do not ask for missed
assignments during instructional class time.

Classroom Behavior:

As your teacher I have the responsibility to teach you. As a student you have a
responsibility to learn and allow others to do so as well. In order to make this possible,
certain behavior is expected of you during your time in Science class.
In addition to following the school rules, you are expected to:

   1. Arrive to class on time, prepared and ready to learn.
   2. Allow everyone the opportunity to learn by being polite,
      cooperative, and respectful.*
   3. Follow all safety procedures during labs and activities.*
   4. Respect all personal and school property.*
*Individual lab privileges may be temporarily or permanently
revoked, at my discretion, for violations of the rules 2-4
above.*
Please return this page by:

      We have read and understood the attached 8th Grade Science Course Syllabus.

Student Name: _____________________________________________ Block: _______________

Student Signature: __________________________________________ Date: _________________

Parent/Guardian Name: ___________________________________________________________

Parent/Guardian Signature: _________________________________ Date: _________________

Parent Contact Information:

Phone number: ____________________________________________________________________

Email Address: ____________________________________________________________________

Preferred Method of Contact: ______________________________________________________

Best Time for Contact: _____________________________________________________________

Preferred Language for Contact: (please circle one)

      English     Spanish      Hmong       Other: ___________________________________

Questions, Comments, or Concerns:
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