I am available to help students or meet with parents. I appreciate parents calling in advance to make an appointment.
COURSE OBJECTIVES & EXPECTATIONS
- This course is equivalent to a freshman/sophomore-level college course. It is specifically designed to prepare you for the AP U. S. History test given by the College Board each May.
- All APUSH students will take the AP Exam in may.
- Success in this course requires seriously committed students who are willing to work far above the level required in a regular high school history class. I expect every one in this class to attend all the time, to come prepared all the time, to participate in a constructive and cooperative manner all the time, and to shoulder the responsibility for the class work in a mature and diligent way without whining and complaining. This is a difficult course with potentially great benefits. If you are unwilling to do the work, you should be in another class.
- Pen or pencil, notebook paper, textbook—every day!— and whatever other materials we are currently studying. I will provide paper for in-class writing assignments. On days when tests are given, bring a pencil. I will not provide pencils for student use.
- Textbook. A textbook will be checked out to each student on the first day of class. You may use that text without marking in it and turn it in for a refund of a percentage of the book's cost at the end of the year. The APUSH text books are rentals and must be returned in May after the AP Exam.
- The text will be supplemented with primary and secondary source documents, time lines, maps, and other class materials. Please get a notebook in which to keep these documents.
CLASS RULES, BEHAVIOR, & PARTICIPATION
The following rules are posted prominently in the room and apply to every student.
- Be considerate to the teacher and to your classmates at all times.
- Do not disrupt the class in any way [this includes throwing papers away during class].
- Do not sleep in class.
- Do not bring food or drinks (you can bring water) to class.
- Do not do work for other classes in this class.
- Do not bring iPod's or other MP3 players, CD players, cell phones, wireless Internet-capable devices, graphing calculators, or pagers to class.
- Every student will be given 20 behavior points at the beginning of each quarter.
- If you choose to break a rule, you will lose behavior points.
- You can lose behavior points by being rude or disrespectful to the teacher or other students, for playing with things on the teacher's desk, for leaving your assigned seat, for talking to other students, or for disrupting class in any any way. You may do work for other classes only with teacher permission and if you do it quietly at your seat.
- You will receive a "3-5" in citizenship and lose all extra work points, past and future, for losing all of your behavior points.
- Every student will be given 20 preparation points each quarter.
- You can lose these points for failing to take notes on class lectures or for not having your book, pencil, or other materials when needed.
- You will receive a "3 - 5 " in citizenship and lose all extra work points, past and future, for losing all of your participation points.
Your academic grade is a percentage determined by dividing the number of points you earn by the total number of points possible each quarter. This total can be decreased by misbehavior in class, by handing work in late, or by failing to hand in assigned work. Under some circumstances, this total can be raised by doing extra work assigned by the teacher. Grades will NOT be rounded up.
93 - 100% = A
90 - 92% = A-
87 - 89% = B+
83 - 86% = B
80 - 82% = B-
77 - 79% = C+
73 - 76% = C
70 - 72% = C-
67 - 69% = D+
63 - 66% = D
60 - 62% = D-
0 - 59% = F
According to Mr. Cap's High School's Attendance and Tardiness Policy, all students will earn an "2" in citizenship unless a "3, 4, or 5 " is given for one of the following reasons.
Tardiness: You will receive a "3" in citizenship if you have 2 tardies at the end of the quarter. You will be marked tardy if you are NOT IN YOUR SEAT WHEN THE BELL RINGS. I do not accept notes from teachers or parents. Tardies may ONLY be made up by attending lunch detention.
Attendance: You will receive a "4" in citizenship if you have 5 or more absences in any quarter.
Truancy (absence unverified by a parent): You will receive a "3 or more " in citizenship for any unexcused absence.
Behavior and Participation: You will receive a "3 or more " in citizenship for losing all of your behavior or participation points in any quarter.
- Grades are updated regularly and are always available online. It is extremely important that you check your grades frequently. If you do not have a password, get one.
- Please keep all of your assignments during the quarter. If I have made a mistake in recording your scores and you have the scored work, I will gladly correct my mistake.
- I will notify parents if your grades or citizenship become unsatisfactory.
- After grades for the quarter are recorded, "if there is a perceived error, any grade change must be completed within the following quarter or by May 30 for fourth quarter"
LEARNING ACTIVITIES & ASSESSMENT
- You should plan for at least one hour of homework every night.
- You should also be prepared to work on weekends reading, outlining, and reviewing the text, reading supplemental material, and doing your required outside study.
- Homework is work that you do on your time. Please do not email me copies of your essays and expect me to print them and have them ready for you to hand in. It is your responsibility to get your homework done on your time.
Daily Reading Quizzes, Class Lectures & Discussions
- I expect you to read ahead of the class lectures. You will have daily reading quizzes from the text reading. These will be given in the first 10 minutes of each class (If you come late to class and we're on question 4 of the reading quiz then you will get 1-3 wrong.) and will count on your grade. If you miss one of these, you must make it up after school (3:05pm) on the next day you are in school or you will forfeit the points.
- I expect you to take notes on all class lectures and discussions. Failure to do this will result in a loss of participation points. I expect you to come into the classroom and start "doing history". Keep your social conversations in the hall, be in your seat by the time the bell rings, and start "doing history".
- There will be time before each test to ask questions and to have material clarified.
UNIT TESTS: This is a names and dates, facts and figures history class. You must carefully read, understand, and remember each chapter of the textbook. Failure to do this effectively will not only damage your grade in the class but seriously damage your chance of passing the AP test. Each Unit test consists of the following three parts:
- Unit Chapter Notes
- Effective students take thorough notes on their text reading. To encourage thorough note taking, you may use the original notes you take on your text reading —no downloaded, photocopied material, or notes on class lectures will be accepted—when writing your unit test essays.
- Chapter notes are due in the basket at the back of the room when the bell rings to begin the period on the days the essays are written. They will not be accepted at any other time.
- The notes from the unit chapters will be considered all together and will be scored on their completeness: 1 = 20 points; 2 = 40 points; 3 = 60 points; 4 = 80 points; 5 = 100 points.
- Unit Multiple Choice Section
- The multiple choice section of the unit tests cover several chapters of the text.and consist of 50 questions taken from the textbook publisher's question database. Each multiple choice test is worth 100 points.
- Two forms of these tests will be used in class. It is your responsibility to put the correct form of the test on your answer sheet. Improperly marked answer sheets will not be re-corrected.
- Unit Essay Section
- Each unit test will include one essay written to a prompt that requires you to use facts from the chapter reading and information from class lectures in constructing your response.
- As a reward and incentive to take quality notes on the reading, you may use your chapter notes to write the unit test essays.
- These essays will be written in class and will be graded on a 9-point AP rubric as would free response questions on an actual AP test. Each of these essays is worth 100 points.
- Making up missed unit tests
- I expect you to be prepared and to take the unit tests on the scheduled days.
- If you know that you are are going to miss class for a school activity or for other legitimate reasons, you should take the test in advance.
- If I notice that you are checking in and out of school to avoid taking scheduled tests, your work will be marked late and penalized 50%.
- If you miss any section of a unit test, you should make up the missed work on the next school day. If the work is not made up on the next school day, the work will be marked late and penalized 50%.
- Multiple choice tests, essays, or chapter notes that are more than one calendar week late will not be accepted.
QUARTERLY REVIEW TESTS
- There will be a review test at the end of each quarter. The tests may consist of multiple choice questions and/or essay questions dealing with the material covered in the quarter. The dates for these term reviews are posted on the course calendar. Information regarding the form of each test will be given in class.
- I will teach you how to write effective AP essays and you will have document-based, in-class assignments that will build these skills.
- All essays will be done in class and will be timed as they are on the AP test: 60 minutes for DBQs and 35 minutes each for free response essays.
- Document-based questions (DBQs) count 200 points; free response essays count 100 points each.
- All of these will be graded on a 9 point AP rubric.
- It is your responsibility to produce a legible essay. Essays that are illegible will not be graded.
- If you miss a day on which essays are given, you must make them up the next school day whether you have this class or not or the essay(s) will be marked late and penalized 50%.
- Essays that are more than one calendar week late will not be accepted.
- I will assign you one outside reading of 40 to 60 pages each quarter. You are to do this as homework and thoroughly fill out an outside reading form on that reading.
- The outside reading is due when the bell rings at the beginning of class on the last Friday of each quarter. These may not be turned in late.
- You are required to memorize the names and dates of service of all of the Presidents of the United States and to demonstrate that knowledge by writing on a blank sheet of paper the first and last name and dates of service of all of the Presidents in order.
- I expect you to do this before the end of 2nd term. Points will be awarded according to the following schedule:
- 1st term: 100 points
- 2nd term: 50 points
- You may NOT earn extra work unless all assigned work in the quarter is completed.
- You may NOT earn extra work if you have lost all of your behavior and/or participation points.
- You may earn a maximum of 100 points of extra work in each quarter by doing projects from an approved list.
- In addition to project points, there will be historical trivia or jeopardy games, historical bingo, or puzzles with clues from the text each quarter. These will be done in class and cannot be made up if you are not in class on the days they are given regardless of the reason.
- All extra work points must be in and recorded before the last week of the quarter. The deadline will be posted and there will be no exceptions to this deadline.
ADDITIONAL COURSE INFORMATION
- One full credit of sophomore/junior/senior-level United States history is a state requirement for graduation. The GCS Pre-US History and this APUSH course fills that requirement. If you are a junior and fail this class, you cannot re-take the class during the regular school day and will have to make arrangements to remediate the lost credit. If you are a senior and fail this class, you may not have the required number of elective or social studies credits to graduate.
- It is your responsibility to keep up with all assigned work; it is your responsibility to know what's been assigned and it is your responsibility to make up missed work promptly.
- You can turn in all of your work and still fail the class. You must do the work with scores high enough to warrant passing the class.
- When making up missed work before or after school, please come in early enough to finish the work. It is inappropriate for you to do part of a test, then have the rest of the day to "prep" before finishing the task.
- The personal property of the teacher is strictly off limits. Any breach of this will result in a "4" in citizenship.
- A grade of "incomplete" will be given only to those students who have missed long periods of the term due to excused illness. I will check with your parents or guardians and will clear this with the office before considering this option.
FAMILY EDUCATION RIGHTS & PRIVACY ACT (FERPA) STATEMENT
Please know that ongoing critical evaluation by peers, which may include exchanging drafts of papers, will be used to enhance the educational process. Final assessment of student work is my job as the teacher of the class. Student privacy will be respected when providing all confidential information.
NOTE ON CELL PHONES
If you carry a phone, it should be turned off and in your backpack before coming to class, and the backpack of purse should be on the floor under your seat—not on your lap. If your phones rings during class, if I see you sending or receiving text messages, or if I see a camera phone in the room, I will confiscate the phone and turn it in to the office where you may pick it up from an assistant principal. You will lose all of your behavior points, lose all extra work points earned or possible in the quarter, and receive a "3" in citizenship for that term.
NOTE ON WIRELESS INTERNET PHONES & COMPUTERS
The use of any handheld wireless device (phone, PDA, computer) in class is inappropriate. If I see you with such a device in the room, I will confiscate it and turn it in to the office where you may pick it up from an assistant principal. You will lose all of your behavior points, lose all extra work points earned or possible in the quarter, and receive a "3" in citizenship for that term.