8th Grade Social Studies Honors

Welcome to our class schedule, calendar and agenda.


Welcome to 8th Grade Honors Social Studies!! I am looking forward to having your child explore & analyze United States' history! This year will my 18th year of teaching in the area of social studies, and my 10th year teaching for Mesa Public Schools (6 years at Taylor Jr. High and my 4th year at Stapley). I was born and raised in British Columbia, Canada. I graduated with a degree in Psychology from the University of British Columbia and a Masters degree in Education from Simon Fraser University. The social studies curriculum your child will receive will closely align itself to the Arizona State Standards, and will reflect a high degree of rigor and critical thinking. Simulations, debates, class discussions, and group projects are a foundational, and integral aspect of this class, intended to foster relevance and promote a deeper understanding of the topic/issue at hand. Students and parents/guardians are encouraged to contact me if you have any questions or concerns at any time throughout the year. ***Please note that I will utilize this teacher webpage to inform parents of any upcoming assignments/homework/projects, quizzes, exams and debate results. I will be posting this information on a weekly/daily basis. Posted information is subject to change, therefore please check the site on a continual basis. 



Grades in this class are computed on a regular 10% scale.  

                                    90-100%= A

                                    80-89% = B

                                    70-79%= C

                                    60-69%= D

                                    0-59%= F

    --At the end of the quarter, if your grade is an 89.5% or above, I will only round to an A if ALL of your assignments are completed by the due date and exhibit the effort and quality of the student’s personal best.

*Late assignments are accepted up to the END of the UNIT. Students will lose an automatic 50% of the total grade of the assignment.  Please use your calendar in your notebook or online to keep track of assignments.

*As a GT student, you will do many projects that require self motivation, team work and a sense of maturity to participate in the different activities appropriately.  Also, you required to maintain grades of B or higher. If you receive a C or lower, you will be placed on probation and a meeting will be held to discuss your continued participation in the program. 



*A 3 ring binder or a folder dedicated to this class will help you stay organized.

During class, you will be answering daily questions, taking notes and receiving handouts.  The folder/binder will be turned in periodically for a grade.

*One Portfolio (Presentation folder)

*Loose leaf paper                               *glue stick 

*colored pencils                                  * markers

*flashdrive (to be shared with English)



It is possible during the course of the year that we will watch edited movie clips to enhance understanding of certain content areas.  Possible movies include:

            America: The Story of US   

            Freedom Song (Civil Rights Era)



        The 8th grade curriculum covers a large time span in United States history. I use a “modified chronological” approach.... meaning I present the content in a chronological sequence, but I also encourage and prompt students to see patterns as we go. This thematic component in my teaching will have students move back and forth from past to present. Discussion, debates, simulations, and mock trials are integrated into this class, and highly valued as way to cultivate critical thought. 
Below is a tentative timeline for this year's curricular topics. 
Road to Revolution                                                 2 - weeks
Evolution of the U.S. Government                         6 - weeks
Historical Foundations of Economics                   4 - weeks
Great Depression                                                     4 - weeks
World War II                                                              3.5 - weeks
Cold War                                                                   3.5 - weeks
Civil Rights & Life in the U.S                                   4 - weeks
Contemporary World                                                5 - weeks

Again, welcome to 8th grade honors.  I am honored to be teaching and learning with your child.