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History Syllabus

Dripping Springs Middle School 

8th Grade US History Syllabus 2016-2017 

Mr. Fyall /Room C.120 


Course Synopsis: 8th grade social studies is the study of American History from its European origins, beginning with the English settlement of Jamestown in 1607, and continuing through the end of the post-Civil War Reconstruction in 1877. The ultimate goal of this course is to have students prepared for the rigor of high school US History classes, and perform their very best on the Social Studies  STAAR Test. 

How to reach me: 

Telephone Number: 512-858-3439

 E-mail address:  

Web page: http://www.dsisdtx.us/index.aspx?nid=540

Conference Time: Daily from 1:10-2:01 (The purpose of teacher/parent/student conferences is to work together to enhance the student’s middle school experience. An open line of communication among all stakeholders is ALWAYS in the student’s best interest.)

Textbook: Students will use a variety of resources to complement the district-adopted textbook, such as primary sources, literary selections, newspapers, and the Internet. Their textbook, History Alive! The United States Through Industrialism, is available online at: 


Login information will be provided the first week of class.

BYOD: Students are encouraged to use electronic devices in class at Mr. Fyall s discretion. It is understood that technology and social media can and will be a distraction. It is extremely important that each of us does our best to remain respectful as learners and digital citizens. There will be consequences if the technology disrupts the learning environment, either your own personal learning environment or the learning environment of those around you. Under no circumstances should the following occur in class: 

  • ? Headphones use during large class discussion, small group discussion, assessments, or in hallways.
  • ? Pictures taken of any assessment. This will result in a zero on the assessment and will have disciplinary consequences. 
  • ? Pictures taken or images recorded of other students or teachers without their consent. 
  • ? Refusal to give your device to any DSMS employee if asked.
  • Upon entering class daily, devices MUST be turned OFF in keeping with DSMS policy. Students will be instructed when to turn on their device to access it for instruction. 
  • Meaningful Homework: Written homework will occur only when a student is unable to complete class work in the time allotted during the school day. However, reading designated sections from the textbook will be assigned regularly, and each section should require, on the average, 20 minutes of focused reading. The purpose of the reading is to build a foundation of knowledge to support the enrichment of the content in class the next day. Short, formative assessments (mastery checks) will be given following every reading assignment to determine mastery of the content. Studying for scheduled tests is also a must! I will be available for individual or small group tutorials from 8:30-8:55 every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday morning in one of the four Social Studies classrooms; schedules will be posted throughout the B and C Halls. If your child is consistently spending more than 20-30 minutes on homework for this class, please contact me. Homework assignments and test schedules will be posted on my webpage.
  • Project Based Learning
  • This year we will be incorporating an innovative educational approach called Project Based Learning. Within a PBL model, students are guided by instructors towards making significant discoveries resulting in projects based upon the student’s passions  Instructors will facilitate projects to enrich content knowledge.
  • Grading procedures: 
  • ? 30% formative assessment (Interactive Notebook entries; skills practice, weighted reading mastery checks) 
  • ? 70% summative assessment (tests, quizzes, projects) 
  • ? On average, two grades per week will be taken 
  • ? Students who are absent have a maximum time to complete make-up work equal to the number of consecutive days missed by the student. Students are responsible for finding out what they missed. 
  • ? Late formative work: Students have a two-day window to turn in late work for a maximum grade of 70. After the two-day window, the grade will be a zero. 
  • ? Late summative work: Students have a one-day window to turn in late work for a maximum grade of 70. After the one-day window, the grade will be a zero.
  • Correcting assignments / retesting policy:
  •  Students may not correct formative assignments. Students will have the opportunity to re-take or correct summative assessments for a maximum grade of seventy (70). However, final exams may not be retaken.
  • Supplies: Many of the materials needed on a daily basis were listed on the DSMS 8th grade supply list. Students in my class will be maintaining an Interactive Notebook in a spiral–bound, single-subject notebook (the plastic-cover spiral referenced on the list). It will be an ongoing project all year long and will be a source of both daily and project grades. A 9x11 inch single-subject spiral with a plastic cover (i.e. Mead Five Star) is preferred; however, any single subject spiral of approximately the same dimensions will suffice.
  • Meet the Teacher is Tuesday, September 6, 6:00-8:00pm
    • Original Post August 16th 2016

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DSISD - 510 W. Mercer St. - Dripping Springs, TX 78620 - Ph: 512.858.3000 - Metro: 512.465.6100 - Fx: 512.858.3099