Social Studies, Grades 5-8
Patty Burns-McNamara, with Da Vinci since 2001
Phone: 847-841-7532 ext 225
BA in Sociology, St Norbert College
M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction, National-Louis
University - 2005
M.Ed. - C.A.S. - Educational Leadership, National-Louis
University - 2007
Type 75 Administrator's/Principal's Certificate, Illinois State
Board of Education - 2007
I believe in a "hands on" classroom with lots of student
involvement. I work hard to teach to a variety of learning
styles and offer a variety of ways to be assessed. In my
social studies classes, I try to bring history alive while helping
students understand and discuss the ethical and moral implications
and impact of world events on each one of us. In the
classroom we engage in continual debates and discussions on a
variety of topics. My goal is that every student will feel
empowered to express themselves and their ideas in a safe and
accepting learning environment.
My work here at Da Vinci is both exciting and
rewarding. Our students offer us exceptional
teaching challenges beyond the everyday classroom. Working at
Da Vinci is more than a job - it's an experience and a gift.
U.S. history from the Revolutionary period through the Civil War
and Reconstruction. We have periodic tests in a variety of
formats. Students are asked to write essays from time to time
as another form of assessment. We work very hard on
note-taking skills, and students will learn to read for content and
understanding. Learning good study habits is a major part of
the curriculum and students are taught to create study guides and
other study tools that will help them succeed. We will work
on organizational skills and complete short-term and long-term
projects throughout the year.
Civilizations of the Ancient World and Medieval World. The
curriculum incorporates the following methodology into lessons,
including, but not limited to: videos, literature, technology, art,
role-playing, oral presentations, essays, debates, and
writing. We will continue working on organizational skills
begun in 5th grade and focus again on note-taking and reading for
content and understanding. Students will be introduced to
primary source materials and learn to interpret material, problem
solve, and make real life connections.
World geography and cultures. Students will read
about and study numerous places throughout the world.
Physical and human geography, human systems, and the environment
will be the focus of this class. The five themes of
geography will be at the center of learning. Students will
continue learning to take notes, read for understanding, and study
for tests. Short-term and long-term projects will be a major
part of assessment.
U.S. history from beginning the late 19th century
to the present. Additionally, students study the United
States Constitution and several legal cases that are a vital part
of our history. Discussion is a main part of this
class. Students are expected to read material at home in
preparation for classroom discussion and supplemental
material. Students will write several essays each term.
How Can Parents Help:
Students will be given reading assignments on a daily basis.
Asking to see your child's notebook would be a good way of opening
up discussion about what we are studying in class. Homework
is generally posted on the homework page along with rubrics and
assignment descriptors. Checking your child's assignment book
is also very helpful. Noting due dates and monitoring your child's
progress, especially for long-term assignments, would be helpful as