Mrs. Degolian S 8Th Grade Social Studies

Mrs. Degolian S 8Th Grade Social Studies

Mrs. deGolian’s 8th Grade Social Studies

The Study of United States History

Welcome to 8th grade social studies. In social studies we will study the history of the United States from the arrival of the first Americans through the Civil War. As we study each period in US history, we will complete many types of activities, including cooperative learning, computer projects, virtual field trips, map-making, project designing and many more. Each activity will require your full attention and positive attitude, so make sure you come to class ready to participate and learn!

About Me

This will be my ninth year teaching middle school and eighth year teaching 8th grade social studies. I taught in South Carolina, in Scott County, and at UK before coming here three years ago. I live in Lexington with my husband Crady, my son Cooper, who is eighteen months old, and our dog Gatsby. I love teaching the eighth grade because I think it is the best year of middle school, so I look forward to getting to know everyone and having a great year!


  • One 1 ½ or 2 inch 3 ring binder with pockets
  • One composition book
  • 5 tab dividers
  • Pencils and/or blue or black pens (You may not use any other pen colors in my class.)

Please use a permanent marker to label your binder and composition book with your first and last name as well as the period you have social studies.


In this class, organization is the key to success. Your binder will be used to keep everything including bell ringers, notes, vocabulary, in class assignments, group work, and homework. The binder will be divided into 5 sections. These sections will include:

  1. Current Unit
  2. Word Wall
  3. Flashback Fridays
  4. Assessments
  5. Previous Units

We will organize our binders on Monday and I will explain in detail what goes in each section. In addition, you will be told where everything goes as you get it. We will also keep a table of contents to help you keep everything in the correct order. You will be graded on the upkeep of your binder at the end of every unit. The binder is an important part of success in this class, therefore, it is important that you keep it organized and bring it to class EVERYDAY!

Bell Ringers

You will have a bell ringer everyday. When you enter the room it is always the first thing that you should accomplish. The bell ringer is a question or series of questions that review something we have learned the day before, or something we are getting ready to learn. All bell ringers will be kept in your composition book and that will be placed in the pocket of your binder. Each bell ringer will be graded based on the following criteria:

  • Date and entry number at the top of the page
  • The question has been re-written in your notebook
  • Each entry is answered correctly according to your power verbs. (Example: if it states “to list” you may list, if it states “to describe” I expect several complete sentences. Most paragraphs will require paragraph answers.)
  • If you are absent for any reason from my class, it is your responsibility to make up your journal entry. You will lose credit if you write Not Here in place of any journal entry.

Homework/Grading Policy

Homework will be given several times each week in order to practice mastering the content we are learning. Homework is non-negotiable. If I assign it, I deem it worthy of being completed for a grade. If it is not completed, you will not be permitted to make it up. If you consistently fail to complete homework, parent contact will be made. Failure to complete homework on a regular basis may also result in disciplinary consequences, which may include silent lunch, team safe, after school detention, or a meeting with one of the principals.

In addition, for almost every unit you will have an on-going project assignment. I will assign a project, but you will have two to three weeks to work on it. Projects will count for part of your content mastery grade and are expected to be completed on the date due. Failure to turn in a project may result in assignment of Friday detention.

Grades will be updated every Friday and posted by student number on the wall outside my classroom. In addition, every parent/student should have access to Infinite Campus where you can check your grades as often as you like.

The breakdown of grades in social studies will be:

  • Content Mastery (tests, quizzes, exit slips, Flashback Fridays, projects)75%
  • Binder Checks/Bellringers10%
  • Homework15%


You will be allowed to re-take a test if you decide you are unhappy with your grade. You will have two weeks from the time the original test is returned to re-take it. If you choose to retake a test, you must do the following:

  • Complete another study guide based on the content you missed on the first test.
  • Have your parents sign your study guide to show you are prepared to retake the test.

Rules and Procedures

As 8th graders, I have certain expectations for the way you should behave in my classroom, as well as, throughout the entire school. You are the oldest students in the school and I expect everyone to lead by example. Your behavior is a reflection of your attitude and certain behaviors will not be tolerated in this classroom. These rules are in addition to our Team Navigator team rules.

  • Come prepared to class. You will need a pencil/pen and binder every single day. My philosophy is that if I must come to work prepared everyday, I expect you to show me the same respect.
  • Discrimination or teasing about race, gender, religion, intelligence, or physical appearance is absolutely forbidden in my classroom and will be met with strict consequences. If there is a problem I am not aware of please do not hesitate to see me after class.
  • Make-up work will always be kept by the door to the classroom. You will have one day for every day that you were absent to complete the work and get it turned in for full credit. Any notes that were taken need to be copied from a friend, or from my binder. You are also responsible for completing the bellringers you missed during your absence. All assignments will be written down on the assignment calendar. Do not come up to me to ask me what you missed. I expect you to be responsible for yourself.
  • No Gum- No exceptions

This letter is a contract. By signing this you state that you understand this information and that you are agreeing to abide by all the rules. Please review this with your parent or guardian and return it signed by both parties. Afterwards, this paper goes into the current unit section of your binder and will remain there ALL YEAR. I look forward to getting to know you and having a great year learning about United States History!

Betsy deGolian

Team Navigator Social Studies Teacher

Parent/Guardian Signature______

Parent/Guardian E-mail ______

Student Signature______