Kenneth Childs

Syllabus, Classroom Procedures and Guidelines

2019-2020 School Year

Mr. Childs’ 8th Grade United States History (1607-1896)

Room: 121


Welcome to 8th Grade United States History, where history comes alive. My name is Mr. Childs. It is so exciting to be starting the new school year off with this 8th Grade. Below I’ve listed the major points that need to be put into place to guarantee us for a successful school year.




Historical Thinking and Literacy Framework (Close Reading):

Sourcing: Consider the document’s source and purpose

Contextualizing: Place the document in the proper time period, culture, setting, subject specific to the text. More specifically, what historical background information has led to the historical event in question.

Critical Reading: Read the text carefully to identify details and nuances in the author’s words, or in data, images, text features, etc.

Corroborating (Cross-checking articles and sources): Compare multiple sources against each other to develop a well-supported interpretation (i.e. do the sources agree or disagree?)


TESTS:  Students will be pre- and post-tested in this class as well as several quizzes will take place during each of the units of studies in this class.





As of July 1, 2019, students will be graded the same across the entire Baltimore City School System. Assessments will account for 70% of all students’ grades. This will include exit tickets, quizzes, tests, essay and research papers, research projects, and presentations. Meanwhile, classwork account for 20% of all students’ grades and will consist of the following types of classwork: in-class assignments, writing assignments in journals and/or notebooks, and group work (this includes small group work). In addition, homework will account for 5% of all students’ grades. Homework can be considered but is not limited to: take home writing assignments, reading assignments, research assignments (such as bibliography, thesis statement, parent signature, etc.), student notes, and project plans. And finally, participation will account for the last 5% of all students’ grades. Students can achieve an automatic 100% of their participation grade by doing all of the following: Engaging in class/group discussions, and activities.


Assessments:                  70% of overall grade

Classwork:                     20% of overall grade

Homework:                    5% of overall grade

Participation:                5% of overall grade


Infinite Campus: This is the grading and attendance system used by Baltimore City Public Schools to track progress of the students in this classroom. You will receive a letter on how to sign in later in the month.  Grades will be updated daily in this class to hold the student responsible for the work they are assigned.


Class Dojo: Hazelwood Elementary/Middle School is still a PBIS school. We reward positive behaviors with Class Dojo points. Login information should have already been sent home.


REMIND: You and your student will be asked to sign up for this service that will give you text message reminders about the class. The messages come through text and are only one way so you will not be able to respond back.


For students of 8-01 (Honors), text this message: @g46c8c

For students of 8-02/8-05, text this message: @k7e8hg



  1. All daily assignments and homework are to be kept in neat order in either a student binder or folder till collected. If an assignment is misplaced or lost, copies or instructions for the assignment can be found on Google Classroom
  2. Each assignment is required to have the title, students name, date, and section number.
  3. All assignments will be checked for accuracy and completion to be entered in Infinite Campus grade book.
  4. No sympathy for unreadable work or work left at home, in the car, eaten by dog, or in locker. More importantly those that do not write their name on it.


Resources:  Currently, all resources provided will be accessible on each student’s Google Classroom account. Students can access this account by using their student id and password. Students can catch up on missed work from home or at a library if they have missed a day or so of class. Please note that plenty of resources are constantly provided.


Curriculum:  Pacing For the year

Below are topics that will be covered over the course of the year in 8th Grade United States History.  Along with these topics students will have language arts skills embedded into each lesson.

The year will look at a variety of things

Unit 0: Colonization (1607-1754) – Students will evaluate how diverse cultures interact with one another. Students will be able to explain how Interactions between European, African, and Native cultures can lead to conflict, change, and/cooperation. (Topics Include: Jamestown Colony, Indentured Servitude, The NY Times 1619 Project – African Slavery, and French & Indian War)

Unit 1: The American Revolution (1754-1783) – Students will evaluate the causes and consequences of conflicts among and between Native Americans and European Colonies. Thus will learn about the birth of the United States of America. (Topics Include: Hamilton, Sons of Liberty, Boston Tea Party, and George Washington)

Unit 2: Founding of the New Government (1776-1791) – Students will evaluate how nations and governments form through conflict and compromise (Topics include: The Articles of Confederation, The Bill of Rights, and the United States Constitution)

Unit 3: A New Nation (1787-1825) – Students will evaluate how a new nation develop and grow through domestic and foreign affairs. (Topics include: War of 1812 and the Whiskey Rebellion)

Unit 4: Geographic Expansion and Political Division (1820-1860) – Students will analyze the influence of industrialization, technological, and demographic changes. Also, students will start reviewing the conditions that finally lead to the Civil War.

Unit 5: Civil War and Reunion(?) and Reconstruction (1860-1896) – Students will analyze how effective the U.S. was in resolving the political, economic, and social issues that led to, and stemmed from, the Civil War.


National History Day Project: NHD, a non-profit education organization based in College Park, Maryland, offers year-long academic programs that engage over half a million middle- and high-school students around the world annually in conducting and presenting original research on historical topics. Since 1974, NHD has continuously improved history education by providing professional development opportunities and curriculum materials for educators. It provides the organizational structure for students like you to enter contests at the local and affiliate levels, with top students advancing to the national competition at the University of Maryland at College Park.


These are just some of the major areas of focus for the year, we will also get an understanding of financial literacy through the classes partnership with Junior Achievement of Central Maryland. 


MAKE-UP WORK:  Make-up work will be provided for students with excused absences.  It is the responsibility of the student to acquire this work from Google Classroom and return it on time.  Items don’t need to be printed, questions can be copied by hand if original is lost. All work can be found on Google Classroom.


SUPPLIES:  Loose leaf paper, binder, pen or pencil (no RED INK!!), highlighters, folder for assignments, on-ear headphones for independent work and study, flash drive – for a copy of digital work, and an attentive mind should be brought to class daily. Art supplies for projects, reports, or posters/tri-fold boards will be requested with plenty of advance notice.


DISCIPLINE/RULES:                                              ADDITIONAL ADDONS

  1. Be respectful to everyone!       Absolutely NO cellphones
  2. Be responsible    Follow directions
  3. Be engaged                                                  Keep hands/feet to self
  4. Uniforms must be worn at all time
  5. Hoodies (unless Hazelwood issued) cannot be worn
  6. Lockers can only be accessed before first period and after last period. Or, before gym.


Consequences for rules violations will begin with verbal and/or written documentation.  Continued violations will be repeatedly checked.  A phone call to parent or guardian may follow.  Persistent discipline problems may result in detention or a visit to the office.  Serious discipline problems will require administrative punishment.


Contact Information:

Please review the following two pages to ensure the success of your student in this class.  Note that my contact information is available for you to keep and use. I will also be using a messaging system that will connect students and parents to important assignments and updates throughout the year so please sign-up for that. Remember please feel free to contact me whenever necessary.


Closing Words:

I am looking forward to this school year and working to help all of the students to gain expertise and knowledge in American History and High School Choice as they prepare for High School and beyond.  I am dedicated to making sure that all of our students at Hazelwood are considered among the best and the brightest in our great city. Parents, please sign below to show as proof that your child provided this syllabus to you to review with them. It is imperative that all of us are dedicated to their academic growth.


Yours in Education,


Mr. Kenneth Childs

7th and 8th Grade Middle School Social Studies (Honors) Teacher

8th Grade Coding Teacher

Hazelwood Middle Schools’ National History Day Advisor

Hazelwood Middle Schools’ Student Government Advisor

Hazelwood Middle Schools’ Robotics team Co-coach