Mr. Miller's guarantee: We will work hard and have fun. (Yes, that is possible)
Students in Mr. Miller’s class are on a team of combo-teachers. Students will have Mr. Miller for English Language Arts (ELA) and Social Studies, and Ms. Klock for Math and Science.
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 close reading and the writing of expository texts that are required in many Social Studies assignments.
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 7th grade is “Choices.” Students read and write about choices and consequences throughout the year, whether they’re dealing with fiction or non-fiction. An outline for the year is on the following page. 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.
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 two major assessments (DBQs, which stands for document based question) are on Jamestown (Why so many colonists died?) and the Constitution (How did it guard against tyranny?).
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. I’ve created a behavior plan (The Cauldron of Consequences) where students draw a consequence that has choices that usually requires them to write, create, sing, or perform a physical exercise in front of the class, the last option is a minor behavior entry into their student record and a call home.