Our Path to becoming Awesome!

Hey everyone!  I’m Ms. Villanueva, but everyone calls me “Ms. V!” Welcome to our advisory page.  I’m really excited to have all of you in our advisory group and to get to know each and every one of you throughout the school year! It’s going to be a year of fun, excitement, advisory circles (what’s that?!), and down time with each other as we each discover our own path to becoming awesome!

Check back here from time to time as I’ll be posting all updates, important information, cool videos, and fun stuff just for us! For now, check this one out…



Looking forward to meeting you all at our first Advisory on Monday!

Ms. V




Welcome to Social Studies 8!

Social Studies 8

ISM School -Wide Student Goals

At International School Manila, we expect students to work to the best of their ability to be:

Effective Communicators: who can interact through a range of modes of communication and for a variety of purposes.

Knowledgeable and Skilled Learners: who continually acquire useful knowledge and skills while developing understanding(s) across a broad and balanced range of contexts.

Self-directed and Balanced Individuals: who strive to achieve their personal best and understand the importance of intellectual, physical and emotional balance.

Inquiring and Reflective Problem Solvers: who can think critically and creatively to make informed decisions and then take appropriate action.

Responsible, Caring and Ethical Contributors: who can empathize and be tolerant of differences and are committed to make a positive impact on their communities and environment.

Course Description

Each quarter, we work on one coordinated multi-disciplinary unit focusing on one rich concept in all core subject areas.   All core areas focus on the same overarching understandings and essential questions, but will be assessing subject-specific standards and indicators. In grade 8, the units of study are Systems, Transformation, Power, and Connections. Some topics of study in social studies will include:

Systems:  A study of how international systems work and how decisions are made at a global level.  Primarily a study of the history and functioning of the United Nations and its role in bringing change to the modern world.

Transformation: A regional study focusing on the Middle East and the current transformations taking place in this region.

Power:  An historical study and evaluation of the Philippine People Power Revolution and a modern-day examination of issues faced by the current Philippine government.

Connections:  A transdisciplinary study held in conjunction with English classes in which students Advocate for Change (AFC) on a global issue of importance to them.  This year-end high-school level project applies many important skills learned in both social studies and English during the year and involves a research, critical thinking, and writing skills and culminates with a day-long AFC Summit in which students debate and demonstrate their knowledge.

Assessment and Reporting

The type of content assessment, work time spent on a task, and its level of challenge to a student determine the number of points an assignment is worth. Students will demonstrate their understanding through tests and quizzes, projects, formal writing, oral presentations, class work, and homework. This work will be individual or collaborative.

Quarterly grades are based on an accumulation of total points. Teachers will report on student achievement via Powerschool.  Grades will be based on a combination of social studies intended learnings and transdisciplinary skills.  Assignments will be categorized in Powerschool according to the skill being assessed.  For example, a test assessing specific social studies indicators will fall into the category of Social Studies Specific Intended Learnings.  Some assignments may have portions of the grade falling within a few different categories.  Additionally, you can expect teachers to make comments in Powerschool if an assessment earns a particularly low score.  Please refer to it approximately every two weeks to best monitor your child’s progress.

Classroom Supplies

Supplies that are required for social studies class include:

    Accordion Folder (shared with English class)

    Writing utensils

    Highlighting Markers

    Notebook (approximately 50 pages)

    Loose-leaf paper

    Colored Pencils

Laptop Computers

Due to the nature of the social studies curriculum, students use laptop computers regularly in class.  In order to promote an environmentally-sustainable approach to education, there are many assignments completed and submitted electronically.  Also, due to the research-based nature of many assignments and projects in social studies, computers are a useful tool.

Whenever computers are used in social studies, teachers will be certain to provide enough for student use.  However, students are strongly encouraged to bring their own laptop to school for use in social studies classes.  Students with their own laptops can typically access the internet more quickly and are able to use an organizational system on their own laptop that works best for them.  Also, with the high school now requiring all students to bring their own laptops, an investment in a student laptop in 8th grade will be beneficial for high school – especially at ISM.  Personal laptops are not required of students in 8th grade and students without their own laptop will never be denied one.  However, the recommendation for 8th grade students is to bring a laptop if possible.

Homework Policy

As per the Middle School guidelines, all assignments are only considered “on-time” if submitted on the assigned due date.  In social studies, every assignment has one “Personal Management” point included as part of the grade.  If an assignment is not submitted, a grade of “0” will be entered in the grade book, and one personal management point will be deducted.  The student may still submit and receive full credit for the assignment, provided it meets the criteria of the assignment.  The deducted personal management point cannot be recovered for a late assignment.

Extenuating circumstances resulting in a late submission of work must be communicated to the teacher before the assignment is due.


Communication is a vital link between student, teacher and parent to ensure productive learning. Parents should feel free to contact us should any questions or concerns regarding your child’s progress in school arise. To share concerns or to arrange a time to meet, please email me at:  villanuevam@ismanila.org