Your child will need the following supplies for my class this year:
          -their notes can be written with whatever your child chooses to use, but I prefer assignments to be completed in pencil.
          -to keep assignments and bellringers in
          -to write their notes in and should preferably be a wide-ruled composition notebook because they are practically indestructible.  Spiral bound notebooks will work also, but aren't as sturdy as composition notebooks.  Single sheets of paper should NOT be used for notes because most students have a difficult time keeping them organized and together.
          -to highlight vocabulary words and definitions in their notes.  This will help your child find these for bellringer questions and also for test preparation.

                                                               Complete Answers

When applicable, your child is expected to write his/her answers on assignments with complete answers.  This means the answer must be a complete thought.  For example, "Who is principal of Harpers Ferry Middle School?"  Instead of just writing, "Mr. Vandell", the answer should include a reworking of the question:  "Mr. Vandell is principal of Harpers Ferry Middle School."

Complete answers do not begin with pronouns:  "He", "She", "It", "They".

Complete answers also do not begin with "because".

Complete answers will make up 50% of your child's grade on applicable assignments.  It's possible to get all the answers correct and still earn only a 50% on that assignment because complete answers weren't written.  On the flip side, it's also possible to miss every single question and still earn a 50% because complete answers were written.

The reason I grade this way is because the state requires many writing objectives to be met in the Social Studies curriculum. 

                                                    Grading Shorthand

Part of my grading process is to let you and your child know why points were lost on an assignment.  I use several of my own shorthand strokes to communicate why your child earned what they did on an assignment. 

***First, it's important to know these answers are worth 2 points.

means your child's answer is both correct and written in complete form.
          (I normally stop writing +2 after halfway though the first nine weeks because students now know what that means)

     ***-1 NCA
means your child's answer is correct, but their sentence is not written in complete form (Not a Complete Answer)
          (I'll highlight the part of the
question your child should have included in their answer.)

     ***-1 (with the number of the question circled): 
means your child's answer is incorrect, but their sentence is written in complete form. 
          (If the answer is wrong because your child didn't answer part of the question, I'll highlight what they didn't answer.)

means your child's answer is both incorrect and their sentence is not written in complete form.


If your child earns less than a 55% on an assignment, I will usually give it back to him/her with the word "Redo" written on it.  Obviously, something happened as your child worked.  Perhaps he/she rushed or perhaps just didn't understand it well.  Whatever the reason, I want your child to understand the work so I'll give them another chance to improve their grade. 

***Please note this is ONLY for assignments that have been attempted.  If your child hands in an incomplete assignment, and that is the reason for failure, he/she will not have their assignment passed back for "Redo".  I also do not allow a "Redo" on Bellringers.

                                     Extra Credit

The only extra credit I give is in the form of Parent Signature assignments.  You'll normally see two of these each nine-weeks:  one dealing with your child's project and the other being his/her Social Studies midterm grade.

I don't give extra credit in the form of assignments.  Normally, if there's a problem with your child's grade, extra assignments are the last thing he/she needs.  The best thing to do is check LiveGrades on a weekly basis to see if your child is handing in their assignments.

                                 Late Assignments

I do allow students to hand in late assignments for full credit.  I am not trying to encourage, or reward, your child to hand in late work.  Experience has taught me students may occasionally place the importance of their school work on the back burner.  Responsibility, in my opinion, is highly developmental.  Some students just may not be there yet.  I give full credit because I want my grade to show my students' academic ability, not their level of responsibility. 

I will contact parents if I notice a regular pattern of unfinished work.

I also realize sometimes their busy home life interferes with schoolwork.  It could be one of those busy nights with soccer games and other activities.  I'd rather my students get a good nights sleep rather than stay up late to work on my assignment.  As long as this isn't a pattern, I can live with it.

                                                              WS/The Usual

On Mondays, your child is required to write their assignments in their assignment notebook for the week.  You'll often see the following:
     -WS:  This means your child has a specific worksheet to complete that day.  After giving instructions and going over the first couple of questions, I always give an appropriate amount of time for your child to get a significant amount of the assignment finished.  Sometimes your child may finish it all in class.  However, what isn't finished will need to be finished at home.  This may be more if your child has wasted their class time.
     -The Usual:  This means your child does not have a set assignment that night.  However, your child does have a project to work on and notes to study.  This might make a good night to do one of those.
     -When we are close to a test, I will have your child write, "Study for Test".


There are two purposes for bellringers.  First they are designed to give your child something to focus on the minute they enter my class.  This allows him/her to settle down a bit from changing classes.  More importantly, bellringers are designed for review.  Most bellringers are review for an upcoming test.  Some bellringers are review for material we review all year; such as government and time zones.  Since bellringers are review, your child is encouraged to use their notebooks or come to me for help. 

Regardless of the topic of our daily bellringers, it is a weekly grade and should be taken seriously.  Good bellringer grades can really help a student's grade by balancing other assignments that maybe didn't earn a high grade.  However, being careless on bellringers can lower a student's grade as well.

                                                                 Student Absence

Students are expected  to make up work missed during an absence.
     -Bellringers do not need to be made up.
     -If there were notes given during his/her absence, I copied them on a copier and highlighted any vocabulary words and their definitions.  I'll give them to your child upon their return.
     -If an assignment was missed, there are two options.  I do have all my assignments attached to my Classroom Calendar link.  You can go to that link, and download the assignment for it to be completed.  If you don't want to print it, you can download it, use a piece of paper you have at home, and have your child just write the answers, in complete form, of course!!

© 2018 Jefferson County Schools. All Rights Reserved.