Syllabus

Milwood Magnet: Center for Math, Science and Technology

2017-2018

Social Studies 7

Mr. Robert Tillman

tillmanrt@kalamazoopublicschools.net  OR (269) 337-0670 

Blog:  mmstillmanrt.wordpress.com

Course Description: This course provides students with an understanding of the first three eras of ancient world history including the early civilizations of the Eastern and Western Hemispheres.  Students will examine the time periods through the lenses of historians and social scientists.  The course will integrate informational reading and writing including visual literacy with the study of charts, graphs, maps and video.

  • No course prerequisites
  • Full year (three trimester class) 1 credit

Course Objective:  Upon completion of this course students will be able to see the world through the eyes of a historian and social scientist.  They will be able to make better sense of the world around them and be prepared to be a more productive member of society.

Course Outline:  Seventh Grade Social Studies is a world history course. During this course students will be introduced to a global picture of the people and events of world history. It is an in-depth survey of the history of human existence on earth with special emphasis on the mysteries of these ancient civilizations: Mesopotamian, Sumerian, Egyptian, Indian, Chinese, Greek, and Roman. Students will also learn about the development of Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity. Students will explore the relationship between the challenges faced by early civilizations and how they might relate to today’s civilizations.

In my classroom, students don’t just read textbooks and answer questions. They discover information for themselves. They reason through problems. They debate complex issues. Students will interact in pairs and groups so they are engaged in their own learning. There are also opportunities for personal reflection and processing. Giving students a variety of ways to experience content helps them better retain and recall key information. Within our coursework we will also utilize technology as much as possible.  Cumulative projects from our magnet theme will help students connect their learning to the real world and other course subjects.

Technological Innovations: Origins of civilization (Mesopotamia/Sumer)

Biotechnology Focus: Technology plays an ever-increasingly important role in the quality of life on our planet.  Through various processes of research and development, students will be able to engage in explorations of scientific questioning, investigations data gathering, and other methods in order to gain an understanding of scientific processes.  Students will process a crime scene by collecting and analyzing data in order to solve the mystery of the stolen ancient artifact.

Global Food Chain: Ancient Egypt

Biotechnology Focus:  Food / nutrition are a basic factor for survival.  As the global population increases, so does the need to feed those populations.  Students will investigate cells and the process of photosynthesis leading to the discussion of quality food and its availability to all people.

Alternative Energies: Ancient India/China

Biotechnology Focus:  Students will research various alternative energy sources and how they work.  Students will be investigating the sources of these energy sources and how energy is converted or moved from place to place.

Medical Biotechnology: Ancient Greece

Biotechnology Focus:  Students will investigate genetics and how characteristics are passed from parents to offspring as well as the causes and treatments of different genetic disorders.

Environmental Biotechnology: Ancient Rome

Biotechnology Focus:  The make up and interaction of the atmosphere with the other spheres on earth create our ever changing weather.  Students will investigate the change in our climates and weather and how different types of weather are created.

Sustainable Systems: Fall of Rome to Islam

Biotechnology Focus:  Water is the most precious resource on Earth.  Students will investigate the parts of the water cycle and how their communities water and pollution effects their own water quality.

Textbook: Our textbook is History Alive: The Ancient World by TCi.  I do not check out physical copies of textbooks to students as they are needed for classroom usage; however each student is encouraged to create an account for an electronic text and learning materials at “learntci.com.”  Further directions for this can be found on the homepage of our classroom blog.

Additional Materials:  Students are required to bring their social studies notebook and a writing utensil with them each day.  I will provide the first notebook of the year at no charge.  If they should need a replacement at some point during the year students will be required to purchase them on their own or from the school store.  Pencils may be borrowed for the hour and returned at the end of the class period so that the next class has the same opportunity.

Textbook: Our textbook is History Alive: The Ancient World by TCi.  I do not check out physical copies of textbooks to students as they are needed for classroom usage; however each student is encouraged to create an account for an electronic text and learning materials at “learntci.com.”  Further directions for this can be found on the homepage of our classroom blog.

Additional Materials:  Pencils may be borrowed for the hour and returned at the end of the class period so that the next class has the same opportunity.

Grading Criteria:  Classroom Assignments/Participation = 30% of total grade,

Homework = 10%of total grade,

Quizzes/Tests/Projects/Other Assessments = 60% of total grade.

Grading Scale: 

90-100           A

80-89               B

  70-79             C

60-69               D

59 and below   F

Class work/Participation:  There will not be a day in my classroom that you will not be expected to complete work.  Over the course of the year we will work on a variety of assignments which include but are not limited to:

  • Mapping
  • Comparing and contrasting
  • Sequencing events
  • Analyzing cause and effect
  • Making predictions
  • Distinguishing fact from opinion
  • Taking notes
  • Summarizing
  • Selecting credible primary and secondary resources
  • Conducting research
  • Type 1, 2, and 3 Collins Writing

Your involvement in this class will make it more exciting and educational.  I encourage you to raise your hand and speak up in class, work cooperatively in your team projects, and help your fellow students with their learning.  Together, we can all succeed.  Your active participation in this class will positively affect your grade.

Homework: According to Kalamazoo Public Schools District Standards, students will receive homework each Tuesday and Thursday that school is in session.  Homework will be used to utilize further discussion of a topic covered in the classroom and is due upon entering class the following day. Additionally if an assignment is to be turned in before the student leaves that day but the assignment remains unfinished it is expected that the student will complete the assignment that evening and be prepared to turn it in upon entering class the next day.  Homework will be available online at mmstillmanrt.wordpress.com (Homework Tab).

Late work: Students that are in class are expected to turn assignments in on their due date.  If a student does not turn in an assignment in on time, ten percentage points will be deducted per day of tardiness up to five days.  After five school days of tardiness the assignment will NO longer be accepted for credit.

Make-Up Procedures: Students are expected to complete work in a timely manner after missing a class.  It is the student’s responsibility to request materials that were missed on the day that they return to school.  These make up materials should be completed and returned within the number of days absent plus one. (Example – Two days absence plus one day = Three days to request and complete missing work.)  If academic assistance is necessary the student may request to work in the Academic Center or request to receive after school tutoring from myself.   A request for help should also occur within the same time frame so they do not get too far behind the progression of the class.

eSchool:  I grade student assignments every weekend and as my schedule allows during the week.  Student grades will be accurate and updated every Monday morning.  Additionally, I will continue to try to leave comments alongside assignment grades so that the adult(s) at home can have more meaningful conversations about their child’s educational experiences.

School/Classroom Rules:  Each student is expected to exhibit Lancer Core Values in every part of the school; those Values are Honesty, Caring, Respect and Responsibility.  Inside every classroom on our team each student is expected to:

  1. Follow directions immediately the first time they are given.
  2. Attempt work during all work times.
  3. Keep hands, feet, objects and unkind words to themselves.
  4. Bring materials to class each day.
  5. No food or drink may be consumed in the classroom unless supplied by Mr. Tillman.

If a student fails to follow one of the classroom rules they are given a friendly reminder.  If a disruption of our classroom activities occurs, staff have been trained with the “Responsible Thinking Process” and will have a private conversation with the student allowing them think time to adjust their words/actions.  If the disruption would continue the student would reflect on the same questions in a different classroom on our team or move to the “Responsible Thinking Center” and be given additional time to think and write out a plan for how they can achieve/allow those around them to achieve success in the classroom.

Academic Dishonesty: All students caught sharing answers will automatically receive a zero for that specific assignment/assessment. If a peer asks for answers, just say “NO.” Help your friends by giving them tips on tough questions or by encouraging them to talk to their teachers for extensions or help.  Silence during testing periods is mandatory to maintain the integrity of the environment so all can do their personal best.

Contacting Mr. Tillman:  If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me via e-mail, voicemail, or class blog.  I respond as my schedule allows during the day, but will make contact back at my earliest convenience.

Email – tillmanrt@kalamazoopublicschools.net

Telephone – (269) 337 – 0670

Blog- mmstillmanrt.wordpress.com

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