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American Government Syllabus

 

Mrs. Myers

Phone:  785-889-4251

Email:   myerst@usd322.org

Words of Wisdom from Teacher

Grades are earned by students, and not given by teachers.  I will give you everything you need in order to be successful. It will be the choices you make that will determine your success.

Textbook/Source Materials Used:  Holt’s American Government

 

Course Description

 

American Government is a one-year course for seniors required for graduation.  It is designed to give students a background of our nation’s government, and explore how ideas over 200 years old still work today.  The Goal is to provide enough information and interest to make students active participants in the greatest working government ever created. God Bless America!!

Course Rationale

The United States is only as great as the people who live in it.  For the country to thrive, states, cities, churches, civic organizations, and neighborhoods must thrive.  Government is necessary to give students the knowledge and motivation to participate in groups that move America forward.

Methodology/How the Course is Taught

American Government is taught in a variety of ways, and is rarely the same course two days in a row.  There are the traditional textbook assignments, but there are in-class debates, interviews, simulations of lawmaking, primary document readings, outside speakers, and students teaching students.  I will rarely lecture more than 15 minutes in a row.

Course Outcomes

Most of the goals deal with communicating your ideas.  First comes the ideas.  You must be able to access reliable and useful information to make whatever case you want to make.  Once you have the information, you need to prioritize and arrange it to best suit your needs.

How you present the information will change.  On some occasions, you will be asked to write your opinion.  On some occasions, you will need to present it verbally to other students or to the class.  Power Points and videos will be made.  Blogs may be created.  Ideas may be expressed artistically.  The way ideas are given will constantly change, but the formula is the same.

Get good, usable information, and communicate it to me effectively.  Is there anything more to Social Studies?

Course Assessments

There are a variety of assessments.  They include writing assignments, presentations, homework grades, participation in projects and simulations, tests and quizzes, and other assessments that I haven’t even thought of yet.

Classroom Behavior:

 

RESPECT:  All students will respect themselves, their community members and their learning environment.

READINESS:  All students must attend class every day and come prepared to actively participate in daily activities.

RESPONSIBILITY:  All students must accept responsibility for themselves and their actions.

 

Course Requirements:

 

  1. Students must come to class prepared and ready to learn.
  2. Tests are given at the end of each unit (with exceptions).
  3. Students will be given daily assignments, which will usually be due the following day.
  4. Students are required to do one semester project that will be due in January.
  5. Students will participate in various group and individual projects.

 

Units of Study:

 

Governments                                                               U.S. Constitution

Federalism                                                                   Political Parties

Voting                                                                         Elections

Public Opinion                                                            Interest Groups

The Legislative Branch                                               The Executive Branch           

The Judicial Branch                                                    Participating in Government

 

Standards: For a complete list of standards covered in this and other social science classes at the high school level see the following KSDE website.

 

http://www.ksde.org/Agency/Division-of-Learning-Services/Career-Standards-and-Assessment-Services/Content-Area-F-L/History-Government-and-Social-Studies

 

 

 

 

 

Late Work:

Late work will be accepted with the following conditions:

Excused absences:  Assignments that were due on the date of absence must be turned in the day you return to school or they become late.  Assignments that were assigned on the date of absence will have the same number of days to be completed as non-absent students had.  If the revised due date is missed, the work becomes late.

Late work:  Students are expected to turn in completed work by the due date. Late work resulting from unexcused absences will receive a zero.

 

CHEATING, COPYING AND PLAGIARISM

 

Just don’t do it!!! Cheating, copying and plagiarizing are forms of dishonesty. Students caught copying will receive a zero for the assignment or test. Allowing someone to copy your completed paper will result in a zero for you as well.

 

Plagiarism: to use the words or ideas of another person as if they were your own words or
ideas. Source: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plagiarize  Do not copy directly from the Internet source and try to turn it in as your own work. Changing one or two words from an Internet source is still plagiarism. Read the information, process the information, and then rewrite the information in your own words. Students who plagiarize receive a failing grade for that assignment.

Attendance: 

Regular attendance is crucial to academic success.  If you must be absent due to illness or other issues make sure that you get your missed work and turn it in on time to receive full credit.

Come to class on time!  Tardis will result in lunch and after school detention as outlined in the student handbook.

Grading:

The following is the grading scale for Onaga High School: All grades will be on a point system and converted to a letter grade for reporting purposes. I do not round grades up, the grade you earn is the grade you get.

 

            A=92-100

            B=83-91

            C=74-82

            D=65-73

            F=64 and below 

Need Help?

I am available before and after school daily. Do not hesitate to come and ask for help!

In all classroom situations…

Be Respectful

Be Responsible

Be Safe

Topic/ Situation

Expectations & Routines

Absences

If you are absent, please see me before school when you return.  It is your responsibility to get any notes or work missed when you return from an absence.

Food and drink

Please enjoy your food and drink outside of class. Plain water is allowed in the classroom but no sodas, vitamin water, propel or flavored waters are allowed.

Getting help

I am available every day at 7:30 am or can set up a time to meet after school. Feel free to stop in and ask for help if needed.

In-class assignments and homework

Most of our work is done during class time please use your class time wisely. When we are in the lab working on a project or assignment please make sure you are working not checking email or playing games. 

Personality conflicts/ difference of opinions

You will potentially be asked to work with classmates with whom you do not get along.  Regardless, be respectful.  Keep in mind that this is usually for a limited duration.  Working effectively with those whom you may differ is an essential skill for your future!  If the situation is intolerable, please see me privately and be ready with some alternative ideas/ solutions. 

Restroom/ locker

Whenever possible, use the restroom and get items from your locker between classes.  If you must use the restroom or go to your locker, please wait until instructions/ whole-class activity such as note-taking or example problems are completed.  Be sure to ask for permission, use a pass, and do specifically what you asked in as quick a manner as possible.

Technology in the classroom

Cell phone use is restricted to the hallways. Cell phones are not to be brought into the classroom.