McMurray Middle School

    Ms. Sweeney



    Welcome to the wonderful world of Humanities!!!  Here you will develop an understanding and appreciation of the many aspects of Social Studies and Language Arts.  This course will invite you to explore the interrelationships between people, their cultures, history, and literature through reading, writing and communicating.  It is our goal to realize that people come from many different cultures, but that common bonds are shared across humanity.



    Text:               (Textbook will be provided by school. Please protect with a cover.)

    A Message of Ancient Days Houghton Mifflin, 1994


    Notebooks:     Separate notebook or three-ring binder with divider for Humanities

                            Composition Notebook (to be provided by school)

                            McMurray school planner (provided by school)


    Pens:               Blue or black pens, colored pencils or fine-tipped pens for map-making and art projects, red pen for correcting


    Other:             A book to read (we will visit the school library for this or bring one from home), scissors, glue stick, tape, notebook paper



    All supplies are due no later than Monday, September 9th.  Please see me before the due date if you have trouble getting supplies.  I will be glad to help you. J




    • Respect
    • Students, faculty and staff
    • School and personal property
    • School policies
    • Participation
    • Arrive on time and prepared for class
    • Turn in assignments on time
    • Active involvement in daily class - paying attention, making positive contributions, doing quality work
    • Participation points are based upon the above expectations


    • Respect
    • Students, faculty and staff
    • School property and policies
    • Participation
    • Arrive on time and prepared for class
    • Grade assignments in a fair and consistent manner and return as soon as reasonably possible
    • Address violations of students’ expectations in a fair and consistent manner

    CONSEQUENCES: Will be consistent with policies as stated in school handbook



    Grading is done on a point system.  Points are earned for preparedness, weekly assignments, projects, quizzes, tests, and participation in class activities and discussions.  Students may revise their work to improve their scores to a passing grade.  There is no extra credit, but opportunities for “Above and Beyond” points abound!  Example:  FIVE POINTS are possible for having supplies and this paper signed by Friday! Listen for other opportunities throughout the year.


    Points are weighted as follows:

    1. Homework/Class work 35%
    2. Tests, Quizzes 30%
    3. Projects 20%
    4. Preparedness/Participation - behavior, effort, all the social niceties 15%


    The following grading scale will be used:

                            A   = 100-94                            C = 75-73

                            A-= 93-90                                 C- = 72-70

                            B+ = 89-87                              D+ = 69-66

                            B   = 86-83                              D = 65-63

                            B-9-76                                     F = 59 and below



    Much of our work is done in class, so it is best to avoid absences.  You are responsible for assignments missed when you are absent.  Ask a classmate the evening of the missed class to find out what went on in class and what assignments were given/are due.  Check the website/webpage for Humanities.  When you return to school make an appointment with your teacher to work, get help, and/or take tests after school.  Students will have one extra day to make up work for each day they are absent.  Students are required to make up all work/quizzes/tests upon returning to school. 



    There will be regular homework assignments and projects.  However, much of the work we do is class work.  When students use in-class time wisely and effectively, there is less homework!  If homework is taking more than 15 minutes a night per class (30 minutes for block period Humanities) please let me know. 

    Assignment Guidelines;

    1. All work must be written legibly. If it cannot be read, it will be marked wrong.  Spelling always counts.
    2. All homework must have a heading. (No name = no points)
    3. Final assignments and projects must be in ink (erasable is fine), typed, or computer printed.
    4. Assignments are due at the beginning of class. Late assignments lose points- 30% the first day, 10% each following day.  Work that is more than one week late will not be accepted without a parent/teacher/student conference.


    Organizational Tips:

    1. Keep your planner up to date. We update planners every Monday.  The class website is updated weekly or as needed.  Check the whiteboard daily and website weekly.  Late and missing work results in low grades!
    2. Remember to bring your homework to class and turn in your work when due!
    3. Keep your notebook organized so you can find what you need. Put all papers where they belong immediately.  Keep everything until you get your nine-week progress report.  Clean out old work every nine weeks after you receive your progress report.
    4. Extra copies of handouts will not be available. Put papers away where you will not lose them.  If you do lose a handout, you may borrow one from a classmate and make a copy.
    5. Have a regular place and time to do your homework every My room is open for make up tests and individual homework conferences on Tuesdays and other times by special arrangement. 
    6. If you do not understand an assignment or concept, talk to your teacher right away (don’t wait until the due date!). Keep asking questions until you do
    7. If there are any questions, comments, and/or suggestions, please talk to me before or after school, by telephone (463-8542), or email (csweeney@vashonsd.org). I want you to succeed in this class, and am here to help.  Just ask!  If we address your concerns, we can have a productive and inspiring year!

    Thank you!

    Colleen Sweeney