Dick McMahon

Social Studies 8 – U.S. History

Mr. McMahon

C.R. Anderson Middle School


Room 222


Course Summary

This course is designed to provide students with learning tasks and opportunities to study American history from the Constitution/Manifest Destiny to the present.  Emphasis is placed on vocabulary, critical thinking, and interpretation of original documents as aligned to Montana state and C-3 Inquiry Based Learning Standards. Through lecture, discussion, debate, role play, and simulations, students will participate in a variety of class activities to develop a better understanding of where the United States has been and key issues that have shaped its development. Emphasis on continued progress towards proficiency in individual student reading and writing skills will be class goals so multiple assigned opportunities should be expected. It is important to note that students are expected to continually develop their Geographic, Civic, and Current Issues Awareness as well.


Text and Resources

TCI – History Alive! The United States Through Modern Times (online curriculum), Student News (10-minute current events news program), “America the Story of Us” (History Channel), “The Men Who Built America” (History Channel), and various other digitally delivered resources and applications.



Chromebook, pens and/or pencils, Highlighters, Colored Pencils, ear buds/headphones, 3-Ring Binder w/Class Notebook and Folder


How will students be assessed?

Classwork will consist of using the online TCI Interactive Notebook, various handouts, maps, and various short writing activities (bell ringers/exit tickets).  These will all have various assigned point values and will account for 30% of the student’s total grade.   Assessments in the form of online TCI Lesson Games (quizzes), vocabulary quizzes, traditional tests, written response assessments, and projects will account for the other 70% of the student’s total grade.  Grades are determined by dividing the total points you earned by the total that was possible with the appropriate weight for the two categories being assigned.  The grading scale will be 90-100 is an A, 80-89 is a B, 70-79 is a C, 60 –69 is a D, and 0-59 is a F.  Check your grades often to make sure you have everything in, and it is what you expect it to be. 


What can students do to raise their grade?

The goal in this Social Studies class is to ensure that students master the essential standards for the class, so any efforts to raise a student’s grade will have the same goal. Options include correcting assignments, enrichment, and/or test retakes.  KEEP IN MIND:

  • All reassessments must be done within a reasonable time of when the grade was posted to PowerSchool.
  • Reassessments must be pre-arranged. I will not accept a reassessment without prior knowledge and without first discussing it with you.
  • Test retakes must be completed at school either in Advisor, at lunch, after school, or in a study skills class with teacher supervision.



  • Attendance: Please be here and be on time. The more time you spend in class the more we can discover together.
  • Participation: Since your active engagement in lessons will dramatically impact your learning, I expect you to be fully engaged throughout each lesson. I will do all I can to keep the lessons engaging, fast-paced, safe, and fun.
  • Check TEAMS, and/or the white board in classroom every day, especially if you are absent.
  • Check Clever or Mr. McMahon’s Teacher Page for the class weekly outline so you are aware as to what we will be covering in class as well as to view various supporting links and materials.
  • Check Power School at least once a week. There should be no surprise missing assignments.
  • If you are gone, you are responsible for getting missed assignments and notes.
  • Reassess!!! Remember, you can show me that you have learned from your mistakes. Take advantage of this opportunity, meet with me, and reassess items that you struggled with.


 Classroom Rules

  1. Be responsible for yourself, respect others, and do your best!
  2. Bring materials to class every day: Chromebook, pencil, paper, binder, ear buds/headphones…
  3. Cellphones are turned off and put away.
  4. Non approved use of technology will have natural consequences; stay on task.
  5. No food (that includes candy) or beverages, other than water, should be brought into the classroom.
  6. I have ZERO TOLERANCE for harassment and bullying behaviors in any form. Be nice and respectful towards one another and try to keep an open mind to other viewpoints. It’s OK to “agree to disagree” and leave it at that.
  7. I want you to develop as a student who can PROFICIENTLY make their own unique claim and provide supporting details to justify that claim. As such, I have a ZERO TOLERANCE policy for cheating and plagiarism on individual classwork, tests, written assessments, and responses.  This means you do it, you get a Zero (0)! 


It should be an AWESOME JOURNEY that WE get to take this year.

Thanks So Much,

Mr. McMahon