Mr. Tessmer's U.S. History Class

Classroom News
We have been exploring the Presidency of George Washington. Focusing on the precedents he set being the first President of the United States. Students took notes from the textbook and from teacher lecture. We have also explored answering questions using facts from a reading. Students are currently working with a partner to become an expert on one specific aspect of the presidency of George Washington.   

In other news:   We are moving into the 3rd week of the 3rd quarter. We revisited expectations on the first day of the quarter and we also discussed the new quarter/semester being a fresh start. All students can find something to work on as they get closer to becoming high schoolers. Things we need to focus on: Staying focused in class and working hard, turning assignments in, setting aside time in the evening to do homework and study, getting better at filling out our planners and becoming organized. Middle school is a great time to build better habits that will lead to high school success. 

 Students, please look at your planners and get your schoolwork turned in on time. Learning to meet deadlines and following through are life-long skills. Parents, please ask to see your child's planner and check up on assignments. Parents can also use Skyward to help with that. We want our students to develop personal responsibility, but it doesn't  hurt to give them a nudge in the right direction. 

If you have specific concerns/questions about a Classroom Grade or Behavior, please feel free to contact that specific teacher through email or by telephone.

Parent/ Guardian Tips:    
  • Check Skyward on a regular basis (use your home computer or cell phone (app))
    1. Check grades, missing assignments, attendance, lunch account 
  • Check your check your child's daily planner (all students are required to have one) and sign it.
    • Check for current assignments, due dates, test dates, activities, teacher notes, current lessons and expectations.
    • Daily planner will be graded every Monday in our Social Studies classes. Parent/Guardian signature is required.
  • Email classroom teachers
    • You can find email addresses on the middle school page of  
    • My email: 

Current Unit
Third Quarter:
  • Third week: The presidency of George Washington. Setting the course for the new nation.
Sixteenth Week: We are wrapping up our look at the Constitution and will take a test on Thursday

Fifteenth Week: We are continuing to look at the United States Constitution. Looking at its creation, the parts of the constitution, and the government it created.

Weeks 13 & 14: I apologize for neglecting to update my webpage. Life got busy. We wrapped up the Revolutionary War and began looking at the creation of the US Constitution. 
Twelfth Week: We will look at the creation and parts of the Declaration of Independence. 

Eleventh Week: We are wrapping up our look at the Revolutionary War by reading and taking notes on how the Americans won the war. We will then turn our focus to the Declaration of Independence. 

Tenth Week: Students have been working on a map of the Revolutionary war, that really forces them to follow directions carefully. They will also answer questions based on a few of the battles of the Revolution

Ninth Week: Students will continue working on their compare and contrast essay, due by the end of the week. They will also get an opportunity to retake their NE States map quiz. Depending on available time we may begin a map assignment on the Revolutionary War.

Eighth Week: Students will  do a compare and contrast of Colonial protest and Current protest. They will take notes, fill out a Venn diagram, and write 3 paragraphs. 

Seventh Week: We will examine the laws and taxation from England that caused the Colonists to protest. 

Sixth Week: Continue looking at events that led up to the Revolutionary War. We started with the French and Indian War.

Fifth week: We turn our focus to the events that led up to the Revolutionary War and the war itself. History Standard 4.1.2: Fighting for Independence (1753 - 1783). 

Fourth Week:  We will wrap up our topic of why we study history with a group activity (we did not get to it last week). Students will be introduced to my Warrior Board on Thursday and we will wrap up this Unit with a Quiz on Friday. 

Third Week: We will continue to examine why we study history and how to think like a historian. Our primary focus this week is thinking like a historian.
 Second Week: We will examine why we study history and how to think like a historian. The goal is to help students gain an appreciation of examining the past. 

Week of 2/11 - 2/15:
  • 2/11 - snow day - no school
  • 2/12 - Planner check and project work (George Washington)
  • 2/13 - Washington project (organizing information)
  • 2/14 - Washington project (creating a visual based on information)
  • 2/15 - Students will share out their work
Week of 12/17 - 12/21:
  • 12/17 - planner check, work time, and overview of Icivics "Executive Command"
  • 12/18 - Students will play "Executive Command" on Icivics (learning how to function like the President)
  • 12/19 - Students will get the period to study for Thursdays Test
  • 12/20 - Test
  • 12/20 - Early release day and Spirit assembly. Short classes - fun activities
Week of 12/10 - 12/14: 
  • 12/10 - Planner check and paired activity (cause and effect Constitution) - time to finish crossword
  • 12/11 - Newsela reading (Checks and Balances) and note taking
  • 12/12 - ICivics - Branches of Government game
  • 12/13 - ICivics worksheet/reading "Anatomy of the Constitution
  • 12/14 - ICivics worksheet/reading "Anatomy of the Constitution
Week of 11/19 - 11/23:
  • 11/19 - Planner Check and worksheet/reading on the Declaration of Independence
  • 11/20 - Discussion and notes on the Declaration of Independence
  • 11/21 - Early Release (Pilgrims worksheet)
  • 11/22 - Thanksgiving No School
  • 11/23 - No School
Week of 11/12 - 11/16:
  • 11/12 - No School: Veterans Day
  • 11/13 - Planner Check and Reading (How the colonies won the Revolutionary War)/ Marking the Text/ Graphic Organizer
  • 11/14 - Reading (How the colonies won the Revolutionary War)/ Marking the Text/ Graphic Organizer
  • 11/15 - Text book reading and assignment (Ch. 6, Section 1, pg. 170 - 173). Video (reading of the Declaration of Independence)
  • 11/16 - Discussion of the significance of the Declaration and its terms. 
Week of 11/5 - 11/9:
  • 11/5 - Planner check, Newsela on Presidential elections, and time to finish their essay
  • 11/6 - Revolutionary war map assignment
  • 11/7 - Revolutionary war map assignment and start worksheet about battles of the Revolution
  • 11/8 - Time to finish newsela, to finish their essay, to finish map, and to work on Battles worksheet
  • 11/9 - Time to finish newsela, to finish their essay, to finish map, and to work on Battles worksheet
Week of 10/28 - 11/2: (each day this week is a half day)
  • 10/29 - (1st, 2nd, 3rd period) - continue working on Compare and Contrast Essay. Do the NE Map quiz retake, if needed.
  • 10/30 - (4th, 5th, 6th period) - continue working on Compare and Contrast Essay. Do the NE Map quiz retake, if needed.
  • 10/31 - (1st, 2nd, 7th period) - 1st period will finish essay and start map assignment. 7th period will continue working on Compare and Contrast Essay and do the NE Map quiz retake, if needed.
  • 11/1   - (3rd, 5th, 6th period) - finish essay and start map assignment
  • 11/2   - (4th, 7th, 1st period) - finish essay and start map assignment. The last period of the day is a reward day for all students passing all 7 of their classes. 
Week of 10/22 -10/26:
  • 10/22 -Planner check and Newsela (voting for the US President)
  • 10/23 - Introduction to the Compare and Contrast assignment (Colonial protest vs. Modern Protest)
  • 10/24 - work on assignment
  • 10/25 - work on assignment  
  • 10/26 - No school -- teacher inservice
Week of 10/15 - 10/19:
  • 10/15: Planner check and Newsela article (School Uniforms). We will spend some time discussing writing questions in Cornell Notes (this is a segment of Focused Note Taking). 
  • 10/16: Students will take notes on a series of events that led to the start of the Revolutionary war. (We are examining cause and effect). (Northeast region maps are due)
  • 10/17: Continue Tuesdays activity.  
  • 10/18: Students will begin to examine Colonial Protest and Modern Protest. This will be a compare and contrast analysis. 
  • 10/19: Northeast region map quiz. Students should have an opportunity to get caught up on work today. 
Week of 10/8 - 10/12: 
  • 10/8: Planner check and Newsela article (Video games and violence). We will also have a discussion on note-taking. We have an assembly today, which will alter our normal schedule.
  • 10/9: Students will use images to learn how to ask different levels of questions (Costas levels of questions)
  • 10/10: A look at the French and Indian War. Notes and activity
  • 10/11: Wrap up French and Indian War. (how did it lead to protesting in the colonies)
  • 10/12: Protesting in the Colonies
Week of 10/1 - 10/5: 
  • 10/1: Planner check and Newsela article (Dangers of Football). We will do some housekeeping (handing out graded assignments and talking about missing work). Students will make sure they can log on to Newsela and get instructions for tomorrows work. 
  • 10/2: (I will have a substitute teacher in the AM) Students will be reading Newsela articles to become familiar with the British Colonies in North America. They will be expected to take notes and take the Newsela quiz.
  • 10/3: We will have a discussion on the British Colonies and how that led to the French and Indian War.
  • 10/4: A look at the French and Indian War. (we did not get to this, this week)
  • 10/5: Fifty States/ Fifty Capitals pre-test -- students will receive their first regional map (Eastern U.S.) afterwards. Due date for the map will be October 16 (Tuesday), Map quiz will be on Friday, October 19. 
Week of 9/24 - 9/28:
  • 9/24: Planner Check, Newsela article (Social Media), Collaborative groups work, and hopefully getting started on Group Activity (I might be a little too ambitious for a Monday).
  • 9/25: Group Activity -- "Who owns the land?"
  • 9/26: Group Activity -- "Who owns the land?" (I hope to wrap it up today)
  • 9/27:  Students will be introduced to my Warrior Board and Bushido (Samurai code of conduct).
  • 9/28: Students will take a quiz. Topic: Why do we study history? -- (including: Why is studying history important, understanding how a historian works, How to think like a historian, and Primary/Secondary Sources) 
Week of 9/17 - 9/21
  • 9/17: We will wrap up our "History Detectives" video and worksheet. Students will receive their results on their Citizenship test and we will review correct answers. This is the first week of Planner checks (every Monday) -- this is a graded activity.
  • 9/18: May need a little time to wrap up citizenship test review. We will then start to examine How to Think like a Historian, through a Google slide presentation, note-taking, and discussion.
  • 9/19: Continue our examination of How to Think like a Historian.
  • 9/20: Students will work in small groups to practice thinking like a historian. They will be given a set of evidence (primary and secondary sources) to answer questions and solve a problem.
  • 9/21: Students will wrap up their group activity. 

Week of 9/10 - 9/14:
  • 9/10: Students will take the US citizenship test. I want them to gain an appreciation for what new citizens must know in order to gain citizenship status.
  • 9/11: We will examine the importance of studying history, through slides, videos, and discussion. Students will be expected to take notes
  • 9/12: continuation of Tuesday
  • 9/13: Students will watch "History Detectives Special Investigations: Civil War Sabotage" as a way examining what historians do and how to think like a historian. Students will fill out a video guide as they watch.
  • 9/14: continuation of Thursday (video is 55 minutes)
Week of 9/4 - 9/7 
  • 9/4: 6th grade only -- getting acquainted with middle school life
  • 9/5: All students -- meet teachers, building and classroom expectations
  • 9/6: All students -- Information day (fire drill, lockdown, student handbook, classroom syllabus)
  • 9/7: All students -- students will do some general testing, learn about PBIS, and learn about our new student planners)


Weekly Assignment: Planner Check -- every Monday I will check student planners for completeness and parent signatures. This is a school wide expectation and it is a graded assignment. 

Quarterly assignment: Students will take a US states and capitals pretest quiz on October 5. They will receive a regional map each quarter. They will be expected to fill it out properly and STUDY from it. At the end of the quarter they will get a quiz on that region. First Quarter: Eastern United States -- Map assignment due October 16 -- Map quiz will be October 19. (At the end of the school year they will take a test on all 50 states and capitals).

Mr. Tessmer's Contact Info.
  • Phone Number: (360) 501-2920
  • Email:
  • Room Number: 202

Mr. Tessmer's Daily Schedule: 
  1. AVID (6th grade)
  2. US History (8)
  3. US History (8)
  4. US History (8)
  5. US History (8)
  6. Elective
  7. Prep

  • Some entries on the calendar have links attached. Please click on the blue item and the click "more details" to find them.

Mr. Tessmer's Classroom Calendar

Scroll down to the bottom and check out the Subpages:
There are subpages for each Unit that will be updated as we progress through the school year. 

Units we will explore
  • Civics/ U.S. Government
  • Forming a New Nation (1745 - 1790)
  • The New Nation (1789 - 1840)
  • The Nation Expands and Changes (1800 - 1860)
  • Civil War and Reunion (1846 - 1896)

Academic Focus
  • Castle Rock Middle school is focusing on WICOR strategies as we continue to implement school wide AVID.
  • W - writing
  • I - Inquiry
  • C - Collaboration
  • O - Organization
  • R - Reading

Extra Credit

From time to time students will be offered extra credit opportunities. Students must be caught up in class and not have missing assignments in order to receive extra credit.

Trivia Question
Be the first student in each History Class (period 2,4,5,7) to correctly answer the question and win a prize!

Must Have (on paper/notecard)
  1. Name
  2. Period
  3. Date
  4. Question
  5. Correct Answer
  6. Hand in to Mr. Tessmer (give it to me)

First Question (9/8/18): Four U.S. presidents have been assassinated. List all four, including the date, location, and their assassin.