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American History

Course Syllabus 2019-2020

Ms. Reich

Course Description:

American History is a Block (semester) course that all 8th grade students are required to take either in the fall or the spring.  This course examines United States History from the French and Indian War to the Civil War.   The students will describe and analyze the major causes, key events, and important personalities of this time frame.  The students will examine in greater depth the factors, events, documents, significant individuals, and political ideas that led to the formation of the United States of America.  These will be pursued through a chronological study of the early national period, westward expansion, towards the Civil War and Reconstruction Eras.  Citizenship skills will focus upon the historic development and understanding of constitutional government in the United States.  The student will continue to develop and put to use a variety of Social Studies Process and Literacy skills.


Required Daily Materials- These will not be provided by the teacher


3 ring binder (1 ½ to 2 inch) to serve as a history notebook only.                                  Pencil bag to go in binder

Loose leaf notebook paper (no spiral)                                                                               Map pencils

Pens/Pencils (black or blue- no red allowed)                                                                    Scissors                 


Students are responsible for bringing required items to class each day.  DO NOT FORGET YOUR CHROMEBOOK.  Notebooks will have one section each for warm-ups, notes, assignments and study guides.  Students are expected to keep all returned assignments until the end of the semester.


Method of Calculating Grades

I will follow the handbook grading policy concerning progress reports/report cards.  Grades will be posted on line as they are graded.  All students will also receive in-class updates.  I will be glad to print or email, and discuss a grade report upon a parent request.  Grades will be calculated based on total point accumulation.  There are 3 categories for grades; Daily, Tests, and the Block Tests.  Each of the three categories will be averaged respectively and then factored together to result in the final grade.


% Value Grade     Explanation

90-100                   A             Exemplary

80-89                     B              Proficient

70-79                     C              Minimum Standards Met

65-69                     D             Improvement Needed

0-64                        F              Substandard


Daily Work

Daily work will consist of Bell-work, readings, worksheets, etc.  Often, daily work can be completed in class but at times extra time at home may be required to finish the assignment.  The class will have a set of textbooks and each student will have an online textbook for daily use.  Use of in-class time wisely will decrease the need to complete work at home. 



Occasionally we will do atlas work in class.  The atlas for 8th grade IS NOT the same used for 6th and 7th.  There is a classroom set provided for use in class.  They are for classroom use only.  Although atlas assignments are worked on in the classroom it is recognized that there are some instances where completion in class is not possible.  Students may use Encore or complete at home if not completed in class.    


Missed Work

It is the student’s responsibility to not misplace work once it has been provided.  As per the Student Handbook, STUDENTS are responsible for promptly getting and completing make-up work after an absence.  Students are expected to utilize the website to check on what happened if class was missed.  Students can see what happened in the classroom and what work was missed by looking on the school website on Ms. Reich’s webpage under SNAPSHOT.  If the student has questions about days missed, they may pick up make-up assignments between classes, after school, or during Encore on the day of the return to class.  There shall be one day allowed for make-up work for each day of absence.  Pre-announced tests or assignments that were assigned prior to an absence will be required the day the student returns.  If missed work or zeros are causing a failing grade then the student is required to attend Student Enrichment (Encore) until passing. 


Bell-work is due the day assigned.  If the student is not absent from class, bell-work will be completed during the allotted class time and if not turned in, will be counted as 0, it may not be turned in late.  All other work will be allowed turned in late.  The grade will be adjusted as follows:  1 day -25%, 2-3 days -50%. Late work may not be accepted after 3 days.  There will be a few specific assignments that will not be allowed late and these will be noted to the students when assigned.  Assignments with no name on them will be allowed to be claimed for full credit ONLY if the student attaches a paper with their name written on it 50 times.




The purpose of the ZAP program is to help the student eliminate daily grade 0’s.  If a student receives a 0 on a daily assignment, it will only be allowed to be made up during Encore or if the STUDENT requests and completes a form for ZAP and gives it to the teacher.  The teacher will assign the ZAP on the earliest Tuesday or Thursday, with the duration the same as detention.  ZAP forms must be signed (phone calls are not accepted) and returned no later than the day of the assigned ZAP.   Only one assignment is allowed per ZAP.  Please note that ZAP assignments ARE NOT homework.  The assignment will be due and collected at the end of the ZAP session.  25% will be deducted from the assignment for being late.  If the student fails to attend a requested ZAP, the 0 will stand in the grade book.  The student will have 2 weeks from the date the assignment is due to complete a ZAP.  Test grades and Bellwork are not eligible for ZAP. 


Extra Credit

Extra Credit up to 5% of the total semester points will be accepted.  All extra credit will be tied directly to the course curriculum.  Extra Credit will be announced and posted in the classroom throughout the semesters.  Please note that extra credit will reflect 0 points possible in the grade book field.  Please look to the assignment description and the points received to determine points earned.  This is the only way to “force” the system to accept extra credit.



Cells phones ARE NOT allowed to be used in the classroom unless instructed by the teacher.  There will be a place for students to place their phones when they enter the classroom.  The first time a phone is found not to be put up, the phone will be confiscated and the student will get the phone back from the office at the end of the school day.  Any subsequent time the student will be referred to the office to the principal.


Absences and Tardies

Please note the Tuttle Middle School policy regarding absences and tardies.  A student may not have more than eight absences per block.  If a student is not in his/her seat when the bell rings, for any reason, he/she is tardy.  A student is also considered tardy if it is necessary for him/her to leave the room during class time to take care of responsibilities that should have been taken care of between classes. "Tardies" are cumulative for an entire block. The third tardy will result in detention, any subsequent will result in further disciplinary action.


Classroom Expectations

  • Our classroom will be a positive and encouraging environment.  Good manners, using appropriate language, and helping others when needed is expected behavior in this classroom.  Each person is respected as a unique and valuable individual.
  • Respect for all members of the classroom will be given by being attentive when someone else is speaking, following directions and allowing others to learn without distractions.
  • Academic success will be pursued by bringing necessary supplies to class, using class time wisely, and turning in neat and complete work in on time.  The teacher will not provide basic supplies for the students, so please be prepared. (ie: paper, writing utensil, etc.)
  • The classroom will be kept neat and orderly.  Desks and walls will be kept free of graffiti, trash will be placed in the correct receptacles and all belongings will be taken with the students at the end of class.  BACKPACKS ARE NOT ALLOWED IN THE CLASSROOM.       


Entering the Classroom/Dismissal

  • Sharpen pencil.
  • Turn in any assignments due.
  • Sit in assigned seat.
  • Write the Bell-work prompt and complete your answer after consideration of the prompt.
  • Roll call will be taken.
  • Remain seated until verbally dismissed by the teacher.
  • Clean up area as needed before you leave.




Students can see what happened in the classroom and what work was missed by looking on the school website on Ms. Reich’s page under SNAPSHOT.  This can be accessed through the schools website at  The link is located down the left side of Ms. Reich’s teacher page under FACULTY AND STAFF or access directly at


I will return any calls or correspondence as soon as class time allows. 

Thank you for all your time.  I look forward to teaching your student.


Jeannie Reich                    8th Grade Social Studies      


Parent Signature ________________________________________________________

**If your student returns this syllabus signed by the parent on

 Monday, August 20th, they will earn 20 extra credit points!

Not a bad way to start off the year J