Syllabus Fall 2018
High Tech Middle Chula Vista
7th Grade Humanities
Syllabus - First Semester 2018
Instructors: Callie Sprague and Jean Catubay, Room 214
Office Phone: (619) 591-2530 ext. 25318
Digital Portfolio: mscalliehtmcv.weebly.com
Callie Sprague, email@example.com
Jean Catubay, firstname.lastname@example.org
What is humanities?
The study of humanities is the study of the stories of our lives and experiences. As humans, we share a lot of experiences in common – stories of love, loss, life and death. There is an incredible richness in the human experience – and in particular, in your experiences. In this class, we will discover our stories and we will practice telling them to one another in a variety of different ways.
In this course, students will explore world history, geography, literature, and the writing process. We will work to make connections between historical cultures and events and the world today.
Students will engage in learning through a variety of projects, as well as through daily reading and writing workshops. Through projects and literacy workshops, students will grow as readers, writers, and critical thinkers. We will spend a lot of time working in groups and together as a class, so students will also grow in their collaboration, problem solving, and communication skills. In this class, we will work hard, help each other, have fun, and create beautiful and meaningful work.
Student Support Plan:
Students learn content and skills at different speeds and in a variety of ways. In some cases, students may need extra help; at other times, they may be ready for more advanced challenges. Students are always able to ask for extra help sessions, after school tutoring, peer tutoring, or a family conference to develop an action plan specific to the student's needs. In the case that a student feels he or she needs extra help, we encourage students to meet with us as soon as possible to discuss their questions or concerns.
Project Calendar: (subject to change)
First Semester Overview
9/10 - 11/9: Journeys and Survival
In this project, students will investigate two big ideas: How do individuals survive in challenging environments? And How do culture, time, and place influence the development of identity? We will explore themes of identity and survival through both literature and informational texts. In particular, we will read the novel A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park, which provides two compelling stories of survival during the Second Sudanese Civil War. These themes of identify, survival, and understanding different perspectives will be revisited throughout the year as we learn about and participate in solving global issues.
HumanKIND is a mini project that will launch us into our second semester exploration of global citizenship. In this project, we will study what it means to be a citizen of our local communities and a citizen of the world. In order to understand the roots of citizenship, this project will take students on a journey through human history. We will look back at how and why our ancestors formed groups and, ultimately, established countries with the formal political and economic systems that we see today. This project will provide the historical context for our second semester projects, in which we will study and participate in solving local and global issues.
In our daily literacy work, students will participate in a variety of reading and writing workshops to enhance their literacy skills and engage with language arts content.
This year, we will be reading a variety of texts as a whole class, in small literature circles, and independently. We will practice reading skills as a class and students will apply these skills to their independent reading. An important part of this class is developing a strong and positive relationship with reading, so it is crucial that students are reading every day. Students will maintain reader’s notebooks where they will apply critical thinking skills to their reading. In class, students are expected to engage in regular discussions about their reading in order to develop comprehension and critical thinking skills. As a class, we will share and celebrate our reading lives, support one another, and challenge each other to grow as readers!
Throughout the semester, students will use writing as a way to find their voices and communicate their ideas. Writing is a powerful tool for expression, and it is important that we have the skills to express ourselves clearly and thoughtfully through our writing. Students will keep a writer’s notebook where they will have opportunities to write freely. Students will also write in a variety of structured styles, often connected to our projects. In order to improve their writing, students will engage in a process of critique. Writing is a process, and it takes many drafts and support from others to create beautiful work!
Weekly Word Studies
Each week, students will be given a list of words to study. We will begin with a list of 6 affixes and roots. Students are responsible for defining, studying, and using these words each week. At the end of the week, students will be tested on the words.
A socratic seminar is a formal discussion, based on a text, in which the leader asks open-ended questions. Within the context of the discussion, students listen closely to the comments of others, thinking critically for themselves, and articulate their own thoughts and their responses to the thoughts of others.
We will have weekly, student-led, socratic seminars. Each student is responsible for leading 1 socratic seminar during the year. With support from their teachers, students will choose a topic, find relevant texts to share with the class, and create questions to guide the discussion. The student will then facilitate the discussion either on their own or with teacher support. When students are not leading the seminar, they will be participants. As participants, they are responsible for reading the assigned texts, preparing answers to the discussion questions, and sharing their ideas during the seminar.
It is important that we have shared expectations of how we conduct ourselves in and outside of our school. As a community we will create a standard for which will conduct ourselves and develop a list of shared responsibilities to take care of our environment. There is a general expectation that all students will come to class on time, ready to work and engage. All projects are designed with differentiation in mind, so every student will be able to excel and succeed.
Assessment is an interactive, reflective and important part of the learning process. You will always receive points for your completed work, but more importantly, we will reflect on your challenges and successes together to constantly raise expectations that will push you to grow as a lifelong learner. Throughout this course, you will receive feedback and detailed assessment from your teachers, your classmates, community experts, and from yourself. For larger projects, we will construct rubrics and establish expectations together. All projects will have a reflection component. You will formally reflect and present on what you have learned during your Student Led Conference and Presentations of Learning. Grades and comments will be available on Powerschool.
You will receive a team planner, which you are responsible for keeping and using to keep track of your weekly assignments. The assignments for each week will be written on the weekly agenda in the classroom. Each week, you will have time in class to write down your assignments for Humanities class. You must bring your planner to class each day. The planner serves as an organizational tool for your work.
Each week, students are responsible for completing their weekly word study work, preparing for socratic seminars, and reading for at least 30 minutes each night. There may be additional homework depending on the project work each week. Assignments that are not finished in class may be assigned as homework, as well.
We generally offer Humanities tutoring on Thursdays from 3-4pm. If this changes, I will let students know as soon as possible.
All assignments are expected to be turned in on time. You will not earn full credit for any assignments that are turned in late. If you know that you are not going to be able to complete an assignment on time, please come speak with me before the due date so that I can help you. Please use your planner to stay organized, and remember that you can always come for extra help after school if you are struggling with an assignment.
If a student is absent, it is his or her responsibility to find out about missed assignments and confirm the due date with the teacher. In the case of a planned absence (family vacation, dentist appointment, etc.) the student should notify the teacher beforehand and request assignments prior to the absence. Work should be turned in on the day the student returns from the absence. In the case of an unplanned absence, students should turn in work assigned before the absence on the day he or she returns. For work assigned during the student's absence, the student will be given extra time to turn in the work. Extra time = the number of days the student was absent. Students should email me or check my digital portfolio to find out about missed work and print class handouts.