Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Introduction to US HISTORY

Please review this with your Parents, And then go complete this form saying that you have seen the assignment.  If you don't have convenient internet, take a hard copy.

US History
Instructor: Luke Smith

Dear Student,

I’m writing to present the material and expectations for the course in United States History. I’m looking forward to teaching you, and I hope that the class will be challenging and rewarding for you.

My curriculum is centered on the common core and state standards for United States History and for other relevant literacy and Social Science standards. Daily lessons will include note taking instruction, primary and secondary document review, and reading and writing in US History ranging from ‘SETTLEMENT’ to the present.   Additional activities will work on test taking skills, geography skills, and encouraging an understanding of current events. This class is a core class, and as such the expectations are high for all students.

Instructional techniques will include research, writing, map skills, understanding charts, graphs, and political cartoons, ‘hands on’ projects, group work, and lecture as we work towards becoming better informed of the world around us. Students will develop not only an understanding of history, but a better ability to teach themselves, think critically, analyze, organize their thoughts, and communicate. Also, I hope that all students will grow as individuals towards becoming good citizens, and successful people in whatever career path they follow.

There will be less direct instruction in class.  Once we have the iPads, I will post short lectures (5-10minutes) on youtube, or make them available by download if you don't have internet.  We will decide whether or not doing this small amount of homework is workable for all students.  Showing the video in class is an option.  

Students will be taught to create questions about the presentations, to make sure that along with their notes, and the very detailed test review, they are ready for their tests.  The powerpoints I used to make the videos will be available.

Following is a list of class policies and expectations for all students. I would greatly appreciate if you and your parents/and or guardians could review the list and sign the online google form.

I’m looking forward to the school year. If either you (the student) or your parents have any questions, please do not hesitate to email (or call).

Thank you,

Luke Smith

Classroom Policies and Expectations for Modern American History

This is the general list of class expectations. This should be basically the same as all other classes. If you have any questions about any of the specific points, please do not hesitate to call. I’m asking you to sign the list so that everyone involved knows the general expectations.

First and foremost, every student will speak, and write in every class. You won't have to give a 5 minute improvisational speech, or write a novel, (every day)but you will be challenged to express yourself daily.

I will require daily note taking. I will check notes periodically, and randomly for completion for a grade.

Attendance. Attendance is required. Students with unexcused absences will not be allowed to make up work.

Tardiness. A student is tardy if they are not in their seat, ready to work, when the bell rings.

Behavior: The classroom is a professional environment. Students are expected to be prompt, to participate, and to be polite and respectful towards each other and towards the teacher.

Class Materials: Each student must have the following EVERY DAY.

A notebook or binder dedicated to the class.
A set of colored pencils (8 is plenty).
Pencil, and Pen (Blue or Black)
a ‘fine tip’ or ‘roller ball pen’ for maps.

If students cannot afford the materials for whatever reason, the FAN office can provide the material. The student can talk to the FAN office directly, or talk to me.

Late Policy: Late work is not acceptable. The department policy is 1 letter grade off for each day late. After the 3rd day, the work will not be accepted.

Grading: I will provide examples of work for students so that expectations are clear. Work is graded as soon as the last student takes the test.   Grades are available online through the synergy system.

Tests are 50 points each, and make up about 1/2 the grade.  Each test will have a DETAILED review available 2 days before the test.  Tests will cover the material from notes, from the discussions, and from the activities we do in class.

Homework:  Homework demands are modest, assuming that you use your time well in class.

I understand that students have other classes, and lives outside of school. If students have legitimate needs for extensions, they should see me as soon as possible. If the students contact me in advance, I will make every reasonable accommodation.

Cheating and Plagiarism: The penalty for cheating or plagiarism is that the work will be marked as a zero. I will also contact the parent or guardian and request a conference.

Electronics Policy: With new iPad's coming in, obviously we will be using some technology.  The policy is as follows -- we will use appropriate technology for school activities.  General social / distracting use of phones/ iPads / computers etc.  will be dealt with appropriately.  Phones and mp3 players will be collected on the spot.  Keeping until lunch, the next day, or a parent conference are the likely outcomes.

Thank you,

Luke Smith

Student ______________________________________

Parent/Guardian _______________________________

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