Mr. Miller's guarantee: We will work hard and have fun. (Yes, that is possible)
I teach English Language Arts and Social Studies. I believe this a tremendous opportunity to connect the content of the two subjects. Success in studying Social Studies (history, geography, economics, and civics) relies heavily on ELA standards: finding and citing evidence, close reading, expository writing, etc.
For ELA, Pine Middle School uses the SpringBoard approach. It is a rigorous and demanding curriculum developed by the College Board, the organization that produces exams for college admissions. The theme for 8th grade is “Challenges": Unit 1 - "Challenges of Heroism," Unit 2 - "Challenges of Utopia," Unit 3 - "The Challenge to Make a Difference," and Unit 4 - "The Challenge of Comedy." Students read and write about challenges throughout the year, whether they’re dealing with fiction or non-fiction. An outline for the year can be found in the SpringBoard text, a PDF copy is available on the ELA page of this website. It also contains the major exams that students will be taking. These are called “embedded assessments.” The plan is to get through the first two units before winter break: that's means four major assessments per semester. Feel free to check the assessments out early and start preparing.
To me history is a collection of stories about people. I tend to concentrate on how history affected the people of the time and how it affects people today. My goal is to get students to understand the importance and relevance of studying history. A constant concern will be how historical events relate to their world, and what current events may mean to them and their futures. Below is the overall plan for Social Studies. The text is used for both 7th and 8th grade years. The Washoe County School District updated the pacing guide for Social Studies this year. You can access the guide from the Social Studies page on this website. We finished 7th grade with the Civil War and Reconstruction, we will spend a few weeks reviewing that time since the conflicts and outcomes still impact the nation today.
Drama (first semester, 7th-graders)
The main purpose of this class is to get students comfortable performing in front of an audience of classmates. We study basic stage directions and terminology, pantomine, puppetry, and monologues. Students are required to write scripts and perform.
I use a weighted grading system for both classes: Assessments and projects make up 45% of their grade, Classroom assignments = 35%, Homework = 10%, Behavior/work ethic = 10%.
Parents are welcome to contact me through email or the school phone number. I will contact parents to prevent any academic or behavior problems.