My name is Mr. Thalhammer and I will be your 7th and 8th Grade Social Studies teacher for the 2015-16 school year. This will be my sixth year as a teacher, and my third at South Loop Elementary. I have really enjoyed my time at South loop, and can’t wait to get to work this year. I look forward to meeting you and speaking with you as the school year gets started.
What You Can Expect From Me:
My principles as a teacher are relatively simple. I believe in achieving excellence through hard work and practice. I am committed to making myself the best teacher I can be, and helping my students reach their full potential. This means setting high standards for all my students, and doing whatever I can to help make sure they can flourish. I also believe in teaching students to be strong critical thinkers. I see it as a crucial duty of an educator to help students hone their critical thinking skills to make sense of their world and become autodidactic thinkers and responsible citizens. This is something I take very seriously. Literacy will be another focus of the class as students will use our study of Social Studies to sharpen their written and verbal communication skills to help prepare them for the rigor of high school, college, and beyond.
Our Units this year will be thematic and align with Common Core Standards. There will be considerable overlap in the themes explored by both 7th and 8th Grade Classes. While themes will be similar, the 7th Grade Classes will focus on early life in the Americas leading up to the Civil War, while 8th Grade Classes will study the Civil War through modern American History.
7th Grade Unit Themes
Q1, Unit 1: Power – Worlds Meet: Conflict, Challenges, and Change
Q1, Unit 2: Identity – Early Colonial America
Q2, Unit 3: Identity – The Meaning of Liberty
Q2, Unit 4: Conflict/Compromise – Confederation or Nation
Q3, Unit 5: Justice/Injustice – Challenges of Expansion
Q3, Unit 6: Power – War or Rebellion
Q4, Unit 7: Conflict/Compromise – The Promise of Reconstruction
Q4, Unit 8: Identity – A Dream Deferred
8th Grade Unit Themes
Q1, Unit 1: Power – Progress at What Cost?
Q1, Unit 2: Identity - The Changing Face of America
Q2, Unit 3: Justice/Injustice – Introduction of Modernity
Q2, Unit 4: Power – America: Emerging Power
Q3, Unit 5: Conflict/Compromise – World at War: Lasting Legacy
Q3, Unit 6: Identity – Changing Face of the World
Q4, Unit 7: Power – The Rise of America in the Modern World
Q4, Unit 8: Conflict/Compromise – East Meets West: America’s Role in the World
What I Expect From Students
Students should arrive to school and class on time and ready to begin work. Classes will begin with a Bell Ringer Activity that will be used to preview or review material, or get students ready for a discussion/debate on the material for the lesson.
Students need to come to class prepared. This means having a notebook, a pen or pencil, a folder for keeping handouts and assignments, textbooks, and Data Binders. Textbooks will be issued during the second week, and Data Binders will be created during our first days together.
Additional specifics about my classes and expectations for this year can be found in the Syllabus that your student will be bringing home for you to review. My syllabus is also available on this website. Please take this opportunity to review the Syllabus and expectations with your student so that there is no confusion about what to expect from my classes.
Once again, welcome to 7th and 8th Grade Social Studies. I look forward to working with you all and making this a productive and successful year at South Loop Elementary.