7 Social Studies (K. Shaffer)

Welcome to Social Studies!  In this class we will explore the beginning of people and civilization through the European Middle Ages.  We will follow important developments within world civilizations and see how they shaped and changed our world today.  We will cover eight units this year:

Unit 1:  Social Studies Skill Building (Core Concepts Handbook)

Unit 2:  The Beginning of Civilization (Chapters 3, 5)

Unit 3:  Egypt and Greece (Chapters 4, 10, 11)

Unit 4:  Rome (Chapters 12, 13)

Unit 5:  India (Chapters 6, 7)

Unit 6:  China (Chapters 8, 9, 17)

Unit 7:  The Americas (Chapters 19, 20)

Unit 8:  Middle Ages in Europe (Chapters 21, 22, 23)

Your grade in this class will be determined by your performance on homework assignments, projects, tests, quizzes, a notebook, and PACE.  You will be able to see your grade at any time during the school year, either by checking Power School or asking me.  If you are absent you must get your work before the beginning of class on the day that you return, NOT during the middle of class.


Late Policy

Homework assignments:  I do not accept late homework UNLESS accompanied with a valid, school-accepted excuse.  Any assigned homework is due by the time the bell rings to begin the period, no exceptions.

Notebooks:  All notebooks are due by the time the bell rings to begin the class.  If your notebook is not on the notebook table by the time the bell rings, it is a zero.

Projects:  Your project will lose 30 points for the first day it is late, and an additional 10 points for every day after that.  These points will be in addition to any points lost according to the rubric.


  • Homework assignments will be given periodically through each nine weeks. 
  • Projects may range in style – anything from a poster to a timeline to an oral presentation to an essay may be considered a project.  You will be assigned at least one project per nine weeks. 
  • There will be a unit test at the end of each unit we cover in this class.  The only exception will be Unit 3, where each civilization will be given its own smaller test.  You will have at minimum a week’s notice prior to each test.  Tests will be composed of any of the following combinations:  multiple choice, true/false, matching, identifying key terms, and essay.  If you are absent the day of a test, you will make it up when you return.  Please see me to establish a time that works for both of us.
  • Quizzes will be periodically given during each nine weeks.  Be sure you do all your assignments on time because ANY material covered for our class is fair game for a quiz.  Quizzes are not able to be made up, but will not count against you if you’re absent that day (so don’t worry).
  • A notebook is absolutely REQUIRED in this class, and you must keep one throughout the year.  Notebook checks will occur during test days (because you don’t need your notebook for a test) and will be part of your overall grade.  I will be checking to make sure you are keeping up with all notes and handouts.
  • Spelling tests will be given during each unit.  Vocabulary will be drawn from the unit material and you will have a one week minimum to learn your spelling words.  I feel correct spelling is extremely important and spelling will be an important part of each grade you receive in this class.
  • PACE stands for Participation, Attitude, Cooperation, and Effort.  You as a student need to participate in our class to make it fun and interesting.  In order to participate fully you need to have your reading and assignments completed and you need to be prepared for the day, meaning you ALWAYS have your notebook and writing utensil.  A positive attitude means that you are ready and willing to learn in class and you treat every single person in the classroom with respect.  Cooperation means cooperating with the teacher and with other students in the room (again, another part of respect).  Effort means giving your all every day in class.  For example, even if you aren’t sure of an answer, volunteering to help create an answer shows effort.  A PACE grade will be given at the end of every week during the school year. 


A few other housekeeping tips:

  1. 1.   Please do not be late to our class.  You are late if the bell rings and you do not have both of your feet inside my door.  Per school policy, three unexcused lates will result in a detention.  When the bell rings pencils are to be sharpened, notebooks are to be opened, and you are to be ready to learn.  Class begins when the bell rings.
  2. 2.   Please do not eat in our classroom.  If you carry a lunch keep all food and beverages in your lunch bag or else they go in the garbage. School policy says that all food and drink must not leave the commons.  I do not mind if you chew gum, but keep it in your mouth or else it goes in the garbage and you lose your gum privileges.
  3. 3.   Keep all electronics OFF AND OUT OF MY SIGHT.  If any electronic device makes its presence known in our classroom it will be taken and you will need to see me after class to get the device back.  Cell phones will be dealt with per school policy.
  4. 4.   All other school policies as outlined in the student handbook you receive at the beginning of the year will be observed in our classroom. 
  5. 5.   Be sure you ask questions!  If you are unsure or have questions about assignments, class material, due dates, or class requirements be sure you ask! 




Social Studies Book Policy


          This year we are lucky enough to have BRAND! NEW! BOOKS!  I am very excited about this and I love our new books.  My goal is to keep them looking brand new for a long time.  I have a few rules regarding our new books that you need to please follow this year.


  1. 1.   Do not write in them.  EVER.  If I see you writing in them you get one warning.  If I see you again you will receive detention.  There is never a reason to write in our books.
  2. 2.   You must have it covered at all times with a PAPER BOOK COVER.  I feel that brown paper bags from grocery stores or paper shopping bags from places like Macy’s are the best covers, and they’re free if you shop at places that provide these bags.  If you don’t, you can buy rolls of brown paper at the Dollar Tree.  If I see a book sock or any other sort of cover on your book you have 24 hours to get a paper cover on your book.  If you do not comply you will receive a detention.  Book socks and other covers break the binding if they do not fit properly.  To avoid that discussion, stick with a paper book cover.  I can show you how to put one on if you don’t know how. 
  3. 3.   NO SHARPIES ON YOUR BOOK COVER.  They can bleed through and ruin the cover underneath.  If you have Sharpie on your cover you have 24 hours to get a fresh cover.  If you do not comply you will receive a detention.
  4. 4.   Don’t let your cover get too worn out.  If I feel your cover is too beat up you will have 24 hours to replace it.  If you do not comply you will receive a detention.  I will always have paper to assist you in recovering if necessary.


          If you have any book questions it is better to ask than to suffer the detention consequences.  I am very excited to have these books and I want you to take amazing care of them.  You should VERY RARELY have to take them home because we will work with them in class and your test material will come solely from your notes.  There should be no reason why they can’t stay in great shape this year.