Student and Parent introduction letter

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American History 7
Ms. Hurst
Overview
Welcome to American History! My name is Sherice Hurst, and I will be your child’s 7th grade
American History teacher this year. At Ponchatoula Junior High School, we use the Louisiana Comprehensive
Curriculum as our guide for assurance that your child is being taught the necessary components for the iLeap
and Leap assessments. The curriculum is divided into timed thematic units and various activities to support
each unit. In American History, there are seven units. Below you will find a tentative list of each unit and the
weeks allotted for completion:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
The American Revolution (1776-1789)
Building a New Nation (1789-1800)
Expansion and Conflict (1800-1850)
Growth of a Nation (1800-1861)
Reform Movement (1800-1861)
The Civil War (1850-1865)
Reunion and Reconstruction (1865-1877)
3 weeks
9 weeks
5 weeks
5 weeks
3 weeks
4 weeks
2 weeks
This packet will outline my expectations and how you will meet them. This packet will also serve as a
check of your understanding of these expectations, and it will serve as your first grade.
Learning and Teaching Goals/ Objectives
Research has shown that students (and teachers) perform better when they have clearly stated goals
that they are trying to achieve. YOU will write “learning goals/ objectives” and essential questions
for every lesson at the top of your notes. These goals/ objectives and questions explain your daily
lessons. Overall, I have three major learning goals for you this year:
1. Know and understand US History content from 1500s to 1877.
2. Develop your skills (study, test-taking, writing, etc.) that show an understanding of this
content.
3. Develop and enhance your critical thinking skills to develop new ideas and learning.
Why you must learn US History
There are many reasons why you must learn US History, and I will demonstrate those reasons to you
throughout the year. But you need to know up front that you MUST learn US History because it helps
you become a better thinker and a better citizen. US History is the one subject that binds all of us
together as Americans and makes us all unique and one at the same time. This fact will be
demonstrated to you throughout the year.
How you will learn US History
I will use many different techniques to teach US History. That is because all of you learn in different
manners. But, generally speaking, here is how each unit will be constructed:
1. You will review what resources you have to learn about the unit
- Textbook review
- Internet
- Unit Outline
- Other materials
2. I will present lecture, readings, and individual and group projects to give new information to
you. You will be given powerpoint presentations, but you will NOT receive 50-minute lectures
every class.
3. Tests and other assessments will be given along the way to check on your understanding of
the material and use of skills.
4. You will receive DBQs (document based questions) to allow you the chance to show what you
have learned to the teacher in the form of short answer responses and/or an essay.
How the teacher will measure your progress
I will use a wide variety of tools to measure your progress. You will be evaluated on written
assignments, quizzes and tests, group and individual projects, oral answers and other assorted
assignments.
It is important for you to understand that I WILL GIVE YOU EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO PASS THIS CLASS
AND DO WELL, but YOU WILL HAVE TO DO THE WORK.
What you will need for class
Generally speaking, you will need the following items for class EVERY DAY. You will need a pens or
pencils, color pencils, glue sticks, notebook paper in a three-ring binder or a 5 subject notebook, and
a folder to put in all of your papers.
RULES THAT MUST BE FOLLOWED IN CLASS
In order to ensure that you learn effectively and safely, the following rules must be followed in class:
1. Be on time to class.
2. Be prepared for class.
3. Try your best on every assignment.
4. Respect others property, feelings, and opinions.
5. Do your own work (No Cheating).
6. Always follow the teacher's instructions.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF YOU BREAK THESE RULES
Order and discipline are necessary in the classroom in order to keep you safe and to ensure your
learning. Every situation is unique when a student breaks a rule. Sometimes the infraction (broken
rule) is accidental and all that’s needed is a quick reminder from the teacher not to do it again. Other
times the breaking of a rule is intentional or represents a pattern of unacceptable behavior. In this
instance, I give you a warning. If the behavior continues, then you will receive reflection work and/or
a parent/ teacher phone call so that you and I can discuss ways to improve your behavior. If the
behavior does not change, then I will contact the principal and/ or disclipinarian. But in any case, you
must remember that YOU are responsible for your actions and the consequences for those actions.
HOMEWORK
ALL HOMEWORK MUST BE TURNED IN ON TIME.
No homework will be accepted after the turn-in date assigned by the teacher. This is because I often
goes over the homework in class that day and do not want students to get in the habit of trying to
turn in homework AFTER the answers have been given. If you turn in homework late, then it is a 0.
The only exception to this is if you were sick or legally absent on the day that it was assigned or if
you are legally given more time. In that instance you will have extra time to complete the
assignment.
A Final Word from your Teacher…
I look forward to teaching every one of you. I have the best job in the world: that is helping each of
you to begin realizing your full potential as students, young adults and citizens of this country. If I
can help you with anything, come and talk to me. If I’ve said something that you don’t understand
or that bothers you, come and talk to me. But make no mistake, just like your parents I am here to
push you and hold you accountable. In the end, that is the greatest way that I can show you that I
care about you.
Signatures
I have read this packet and understand the rules and procedures of this class. I will try to give my
best effort, obey these rules and follow these procedures.
Student Signature
I have reviewed this packet with my student and have made sure that he/she understands that Ms.
Hurst and I are confident that he/she will give his/her best effort in this class.
Parent Signature
(Note to Mom/Dad/Guardian: If you are short on time in reading through this packet, turn to the
next page (Appendix A) for a quick summary of everything in this packet.)
Please check this box if your child does NOT have access to a computer and the internet at
home or outside of class.
Appendix A: Summary of Packet
To the student:
This summary is given as a time-saver for Mom/Dad or your guardian. YOU, on the other hand, must
fully read this packet to ensure complete understanding of what’s expected of you.
To Mom/Dad/Guardian:
Thank you for reviewing this packet. Please feel free to read the whole packet or just read this
summary and have your student brief you on the points below. When your child “briefs” or
elaborates on this information to you, s/he is practicing a learning technique that will help them.
Learning Goals
1. Know/Understand US History Content.
2. Develop study, test-taking and writing skills.
3. Develop and enhance critical thinking skills.
Why students must learn US History
-The study of US History makes students better thinkers and citizens.
How students will learn US History
1. Resource review
3. Lecture, readings and individual or group projects
2. DBQ writing
4. Tests and other assessments
How the teacher will measure student progress
Wide assortment of written and verbal activities as well as group/individual projects
What students need for class
Students will need a pen/mechanical pencil, 5 subject notebook or three-ring binder with paper, and
one folder
Class Rules
Be to class on time, prepared and ready to give your best effort. Respect other people’s feelings and
property. Do your own work. Follow the rules.
Consequences for breaking the rules
The student is responsible for his/her behavior. Teacher will assign consequences if the behavior
continues (i.e., warning, reflection work, parent call or note, principal/ discliparian help or input if
needed).
No Cheating Allowed
Homework Policy
No late homework accepted (except for illness, IEP or 504 plans).
Other opportunities will be given to make up missed work.
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