Can I use spiral notebook paper for homework in Social Studies? No, you must use loose leaf paper or paper from notebooks that have perforated lines for tearing paper out. The only exception to this is homework packets which, of course, may be done in the packets.
Does spelling count and do my answers have to be in complete sentences? Social Studies homework must be in sentence form except for definitions, identifications and matching questions. Spelling ALWAYS counts. If we are working on study guides or review packets you will have to listen to the directions carefully because sometimes sentences are not required. When in doubt, use sentences.
Do I have to do Social Studies homework in pen? In 7th and 8th grade all social studies homework must be done in pen or typed. The only exception is map work which may be done in pencil.
In 6th grade, work must be done on loose leaf notebook paper but you can choose to use pen or pencil. There are advantages and disadvantages to each. I am comfortable with your choices - you must be comfortable with the consequences of your choices.
All work must be neat and legible. Using cursive is best but the most important thing about your handwriting is legibility - people must be able to read what you write. Word fonts must be large enough to be read easily (No smaller than 12). Please do not use ornate or cursive fonts - they are hard to read.
Please use only blue or black ink. These are the easiest to read.
What about math homework? Do I have to show my work? Math homework should be done in pencil. The math is not in the answer; the math is in how you got the answer, so yes, you have to show your work. Use the form you were given at the beginning of the year. Sometimes we will be using math packets and you will do your work in the packet.
How do I know what my homework is? At 6th and 7th grade your homework will normally be announced and it will be posted on the classroom website.. Take the time to write it down in an assignment book. If you are unsure about the assignment - ask a classmate, check the website or ask me after class.
In eighth grade - Math homework will be announced as well as being posted on the website and you will receive assignment sheets for American History. The assignment sheet you receive will look surprisingly similar to the information on the website. When in doubt, check the website.
Can I work on homework with my friends? I think students should always have a study partner or two and I expect my students to cooperate with their partners on homework. However, cooperation does not mean that one person does the work and the other person copies it. I would not expect social studies students to produce exact copies of answers because everyone writes in their own style. In math the situation is a bit different. Students will often have exactly the same answer.
If pages are assigned for reading, do I have to take notes? If reading is assigned, I expect you to know what you read. In 6th grade, note taking is required and I will be checking your notes when you take your test. In 7th and 8th, note taking is not required but it is strongly encouraged. I use quizzes to check on the reading assignments. You may use your notes on quizzes. If your quiz scores are low and you have not been taking notes, you should start taking them. If your quiz scores are low and your notes are not helping you (the answers aren't in them) you should come down to the Cave for help. Of course, note taking is not magic - you need to read through your notes frequently so you know what is in them.
What about late, incomplete or missing assignments? Don't have late, incomplete or missing work and you won't have a problem. If you do not hand your homework in on time you will lose 30 homework points. If you do not hand in the work by the next class, this score becomes permanent (That's a bad thing). If the assignment is turned in by the next class, you will only lose 15 homework points on that assignment, presuming it is complete and acceptable.
Work that is not homework (maps, reviews, class work, etc) that is late earns only half credit if it is turned in at the class following its due date. If it is turned in later than the next class, it earns no credit but it still must be turned in.
How is homework graded? Students begin each quarter with a perfect score in homework. They receive their homework points at the beginning of the term and at midterm.They can maintain this score by doing their best and handing their work in on time. Each late, incomplete, or poorly done assignment costs the student 30 points. If these assignments are handed in by the next class, the student loses only 15 points. A score of 100% on an assignment will earn 5 bonus points; a score above 90% will earn 2 bonus points.
At the midterm and end of each quarter, students who have not had any late, missing or poorly done assignments will receive an additional 5 bonus points when the next homework points are awarded. Students with missing assignments will lose 5 homework points for each missing assignment when the next homework points are awarded. For example, if student A has no missing, late or poorly done assignments at midterm, they will start the time after midterm with 255/250 homework points. If they have 2 missing assignments, they would start the time after midterm with 240/250 homework points.
I believe this way of dealing with homework rewards those who do their homework on a regular basis and I hope it will encourage those who have not done their homework regularly to change their work habits.
If I was sick when the work was assigned, do I get extra time? A good rule of thumb is if you miss a day, you get an extra day but it is still your responsibility to find out what assignments you missed while ill or absent. If you have been out more than a few days, make sure you check with your teachers as soon as you return. Sometimes you will not have to turn in all the assignments that you missed because the class has moved on to a new area. If you are gone for part of a school day (appointments or things like that) and you return to school for the rest of the day you are expected to find out the assignments for the classes you missed and to hand them in on time. If you leave school before the end of the day and do not return, you would have an extra day to complete assignments in the classes you missed. Just remember - if you miss a class for whatever reason, you need to make sure you know what was covered and assigned on the day you were gone.
If I am gone when an assignment is due, when should I hand it in? If you are not in class when an assignment is due, you should hand it in as soon as you return. If you wait longer than that, your assignment is late and the standard late penalties will apply.
What if I hand my assignment in on time but I didn't do a very good job? If you do your best on each assignment, this will probably never happen to you. But if your assignment score is too low, if you have too many cross-outs or misspelled words, or if your paper is too messy, you will lose 30 homework points and you will have to redo the work by the next class if you want to regain 15 homework points.
Are there consequences (other than low grades) for having missing assignments? It is the job of the student to do the work assigned on time and to the best of their ability. If you choose not to do this, you are choosing the consequences that follow from that decision. Consequences can be things like loosing the opportunity to go on field trips, ski trips or participating in extra-curricular activities. A student might expect to lose recess, lose elective, lose gym or stay after school if the problem becomes chronic. Homework should be done at home but if students cannot consistently do work at home, then they must do the work before they go home.