Survival Guide to Coleman’s Social Studies class

    First I want to welcome you to the exciting subject of Social Studies. Our lives are surrounded, impacted and influenced by History, Geography, Civics and Economics! We can connect what we study in this class to better understand the world around us. This year for 7th grade, the curriculum is called global studies and we begin with the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment. Then Revolutions around the world, global imperialism, industrialization and organized labor and global depressions. The second semester will include WWI and WWII, the Cold War, global conflicts of the 20th century and government and economic systems.

    Here are some things you will find helpful to be successful in my class this year. Once we are in the classroom again!  I will always write the plan for the day on the white board behind my desk. Be sure to take time to check what you are expected to do-this is true even if I am absent! You will get the information for your planner here too.

     It is important to have a section folder in your binder that is for Social Studies, so you can keep organized and not lose assignments that sometimes you will keep for several days before turning in. Avoiding zeros for missing work is a key strategy for success. How I collect and grade work consists largely of the following.

    1. Bell work is at the beginning of class each day first 5 min. The questions are designed to help with review, the study of maps, graphs and charts, and reflection on learning. You will turn this in every Friday. If you are absent, remember to turn it in when you come back! It is worth 10 points a week so if there are 9-10 weeks in a quarter; you see the importance of weekly Bell work!


    1. Current Events- these I collect at the end of each month worth about 20-30 points per month. Mostly we watch CNN Students News http://www.cnn.com/cnn10 and make connections comments or summaries on a higher level of thinking. Junior Scholastic can be used if you are absent. This year we will have group discussions about current events, remember that we won’t always agree on each topic, but it is important to be civil and hear others point of view.


    1. Class-work during class time we will be doing various activities, projects and worksheets that you will turn in. Often you will have time to collaborate and create assignments with your classmates. Sometimes these will take only a class period, but often more than one, so it is super important to keep your work stowed away in a Social Studies folder/section of your binder. If you need more time this is where you would have homework.


    1. Tests and essays- I will always let you know which it will be and generally give these assessments big and small during and at the end of each big unit. Reading and writing in the content area of Social Studies is something I stress, so expect to do lots of both! Always make an effort, as I take that into account for grading. There will also be some opportunities to write with your classmates to share out information collaboratively.


    1. Cornel Note taking- this AVID strategy is important to develop here in middle school as you will continue to use this skill in future classes. We won’t always follow a strict format but will adjust to make them work for you. The front pages should have a page for year-long vocabulary like urban or rural.


    1. Planner- this is a tool to help you keep up in class and remind you when you have a test to study for, and essay to write and when it is due, or if you missed class and have make-up. Remember it is a tool to help you keep up and organize so think about how you want to use it. If you write down assignments for sure it will help you keep caught up. I also communicate grades with a class report of each assignment, what you received for that assignment and what your overall grade in the class is.


    1. Grading policy: If you do the daily work you should have an A or a B if you don’t do an assessment that can drop your grade a little. I give progress reports with your grade every two weeks so you should be able to see any missing work. I discourage late work, but for sure will accept it sometimes with diminished points. I am available after school many days if you need extra help, also you can email or contact me. My academic expectations for my class are simple and straightforward.  I expect every student to do his/her own work to the best of their ability. Do NOT copy or allow others to copy from your work. Taking or receiving answers you did not find yourself is cheating, even when doing group work. Group work is a time to assist and guide each other in finding the answers, not give or take answers, I know you can discuss and do your own work! 


    1. A little about me-MS Coleman. This is my 18th year in the district and I love teaching. It is a fun and delightful career for me. I enjoy watching students collaborate and have those ah-ha moments where they are building confidence. I enjoy people, history and culture, so it is fun for me to see all the different personalities and ways my students interact in the classroom. I have traveled extensively to places south of the border including Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Guatemala, and Honduras. In Europe I have been to Italy and Spain and also to Morocco which was incredible. I went back and got a Post-Bach in secondary education to be able to teach, after getting my University of Arizona degree in Latin American studies, with a focus on history and language. I am fluent in Spanish and have numerous long-time friends from Mexico, Peru and Chile. I love music and have enjoyed attending concerts for decades. Visiting ruins and historical places and museums are also of great interest to me.  I am an advocate for animals and live with numerous Chihuahuas and have 4 yard cats as well. I work with animal rescue groups and even saved 2 dogs this summer.


    So this should help you be successful in my class this year for sure!  I look forward to being your teacher and an excited for the learning to come this year!

    MS Coleman 520-696-6276-call to classroom

    Google voice for texting is 520-314-9691

    Email is icoleman@amphi.com