Mrs. Virginia Parra
Human beings are meaning makers. We constantly try to find the meaning and make sense of the world around us. Civics provides the tool that enables this amazing nation to face and overcome challenges and obstacles, and to improve the communities in which we live. Civics examines how our government works and how “we the people” work together to improve the lives of all Americans. Our founding fathers designed our government to protect our rights and to provide for our needs. The U.S. Constitution provides the framework for our government in such a way that prevents a tyranny of the minority, as well as a tyranny of the majority. Your job this year is to learn why our government serves as a model for other countries around the world, how our government functions, and the role of an educated citizenry in preserving our proud nation and its system of government It will be my privilege to serve as your guide. Let the adventure begin.
My best advice to students is to keep up with your assignments. The greatest learning tool ever invented is the notebook. When your mind is full and weary, you can always go to your notes in the Civics section of your binder. I expect you to keep the Civics section of your binder organized by date and neat. Your notes will indicate what you are expected to know and master. Review the day’s notes each evening and focus on your notes in preparation for quizzes and tests..
I encourage students to access my website daily through the Osceola website. My website will contain many tools to help students be successful: essential questions, summaries of daily topics, reading assignments, homework directions and rubrics, study guides, as well as educational links to other websites. Please form the habit of viewing my website on Monday as a heads up on the week’s schedule. If you are absent, this is a great source to keep up with your assignments
- Homework 10%
The majority of homework consists of reading the textbook. Nonfiction reading requires students to think while they read. Make sure you check your comprehension by asking why an event happened and be sure you can explain causes and effects! The goal is not to read quickly, but to understand and remember what you read. You will notice a huge emphasis this year on close reading of complex text. The goal is to challenge you to read and reread complex text to promote increased comprehension and deeper analysis of the text. If you don’t remember what you have read, that’s a sign to reread. Persevere! This transition to Florida Standards focuses on academic progress and better preparing students for college and career!
- Class work, Quizzes (review of notes & textbook reading) RWAs (Reading & Writing Assessments) & DBQs (Document Based Questions) 40%
The goal of class work is to review important concepts and skills as well as to assist students with organizing concepts so that students can better understand how the concepts are related and connected. Use the Essential Questions to help you focus on key concepts and ideas. Keeping good notes is the key to being academically successful. Students are therefore expected to make a copy of missing notes when absent.
A quiz serves as an opportunity for the student to reinforce concepts and to determine content mastery. If you miss something on a quiz, you need to go back to the textbook or your notes to review the information. Some quizzes will be posted ahead of time but students should expect pop quizzes as well. DBQs and RWAs include district required essays. This is where good reading and writing skills are of critical importance.
- Tests/Performance Assessments 50%
Tests and performance assessments are cumulative in nature. That means that students will be expected to demonstrate mastery of content by their ability to analyze and synthesize information. In other words students should be able to explain how and why our government has remained flexible enough to meet and overcome new challenges and obstacles. Furthermore, I encourage students to explore how past events continue to impact our lives today. I want students not only to demonstrate mastery of content but to make meaningful sense of Civics and their role in shaping our future Therefore, students will be given an extend period of time, usually including a weekend, in which to investigate, create, and design a “finished” product representing their best effort. Rubrics will be available to guide the students through the process.
Missing Work Due to Absences: Osceola allows students 2 days for each absence to make up missed work including missed tests. Missing Tests, Quizzes, Classwork and Homework due to absences will receive a zero grade, until made up, with a footnote of “Missing.” IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE STUDENT to utilize either my website, ask a reliable student, email me to keep up with assignments and make arrangements to take missed tests or quizzes. Preferable makeup times are after school in order to avoid further out-of-classroom time. I expect you to take responsibility for your education and to make up all assessments and assignments.
Osceola takes plagiarism seriously. Plagiarism (i.e. failure to write information or ideas in your own words, copying another student’s work, allowing another student to copy your work, etc.) is cheating and dishonorable. I want to know what you think and how you respond to a question; do not pirate someone else’s words or ideas. The minimum consequences include a discipline referral and an automatic zero grade.
As a 7th grade student I expect you know the basic rules. I want you to be successful and I expect you to take an active role in this process by taking responsibility for your education. Students are here to learn and that happens in an environment where everyone commits to creating a cooperative, caring classroom. I neither appreciate nor tolerate those who consistently disrupt the educational process and opportunity for others to learn. I don’t expect anyone to be perfect, but I expect you to take responsibility for your choices and actions. I am here to help you be successful and am willing to work with you and provide whatever assistance I can. All I ask is that if you make a mistake, make an honest effort to correct the situation.
- Be a positive role model (know that you can be successful and can help others be successful)
- Be responsible (this is your education - make the most of it!)
- Be respectful (of yourself, to others, and the property of others – no teasing or name calling!)
- Be prepared (on time, with necessary supplies, and ready to learn)
Note to Parents:
I look forward to working with you and your student to experience an exceptional school year. Please feel free to contact me with your concerns at any time during my planning period of 1:45 – 3:00 P.M. You may contact me by phone or email. (352-671-7100)
I have read and understand what is expected for a successful year in Mrs. Parra’s Civics class.
I have read the attached syllabus for 7th grade Civics.