USHistoryII Overview

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United States History II Honors 1929 to the present
J. Tovay-Ryder
textbook: The Unfinished Nation: A Concise History of the American People, Alan
Brinkley Cost to replace: $100.00
email: [email protected]
phone: ext. 4512
office hours: Tuesday, C114
Course Requirements:
1. A notebook: You are required to maintain a well-organized notebook containing only
history course material. All handouts should be regarded as class notes and saved for
future reference in your notebook or folder.
2. Preparation for class: It is your responsibility to have all items necessary for class
work. Your textbook, notebook, pens or pencils, handouts, etc. are all part of adequate
preparation. It should not be necessary to delay or interrupt the class for the purpose of
borrowing paper, sharpening pencils, etc. You will not be required to bring your textbook
to class on a daily basis. Rather it is to be used as a resource to enhance learning.
3. Attendance: If you are unexpectedly absent, phone a classmate to determine what
you have missed. During an extended absence, arrange with the Guidance Department or
a friend to receive class handouts and assignments. If you know in advance that you will
miss a class, it is your responsibility to see me to determine what you will miss.
Assignments given before absences are due when you return to school unless special
circumstances warrant extensions. Please understand that missing class due to frequent
absences can impact your grade. If you miss an assignment, it is your responsibility to
make it up. There is a make-up folder located on the table in the classroom.
4. Tests: There will be unit tests on topics or themes to check for understanding and
learning. You will be required to write persuasive, descriptive, and expository essays and
Document Based Question(DBQ) essays on various historical topics. All work must be
completed in ink or preferably typed. After each test you are required to complete an
EXCEL spreadsheet on the questions/skills you answered correctly and incorrectly. The
spreadsheet will be accompanied by a written/typed summary of your strengths and
weaknesses on the test and what you propose to do to do better on the next test.
5. Homework: You should regard homework with the same importance as you would a
test. Each assignment you submit must include your name, class period, and the date
completed. If your work fills more than a single sheet of paper, then remember to write
your name on each page. Homework should not be done in pencil! Homework is a tool
to assist you in reading your textbook and understanding the material. You are on the
Honor system to do your own work. When completing homework for the individual
chapters you are required to focus on the significance of the material. Use of internet
sources will result in no credit for work. All work is your own, no shared work!
6. Research paper: During the second marking period you will be given instructions on
completing a research paper. The topic of this paper will concern an issue on the
environment. You will choose from a list of topics and proceed to write a position paper
on your topic defining the problem, explaining the problem in some detail, giving an
example of the problem, preferably a U.S. example, and finally offering a solution(s) to
the problem. This paper will be due in April 2016.
7. Current issues: This year our current issues program will explore critical policy
choices facing the nation and the world. “Realizing the challenges that face us both
national and globally, it has become imperative that we give ourselves every opportunity
to keep in touch with the issues that top the American agenda. Current Issues can help
you face the challenges of being active participants and responsible citizens in today’s
rapidly changing environment.” Recent events have made it vital that you have a better
understanding of the forces that drive American politics both nationally and globally.
You will understand the difficult issues that face our nation and gain an understanding of
how our government operates in formulating policies. The focus is on participation, by
each and every student, in preparation for your role in becoming an informed citizen. It
is the goal of this program to assist you in the process of critical thinking and making
informed decisions. You should make it a practice to read a news source every day
to keep abreast of what is happening in the United States and around the world. In
particular, this year there are several candidates running to be president in the 2016
election, We will be discussing their views throughout the year.
8. Grading policy: Unit & Course/Grade Level Understanding & Performance- no less
than 85% of MP grade and Lesson Practice & Activities- no more than 15%. Items in the
first category may include but are not limited to: research, essays, DBQs, visual
presentations, oral presentations, group projects. Items in the second category may
include but are not limited to: daily assignments, small quizzes, reviews, warm-ups/DoNows, notebook entries, exit tickets, monthly performance rexcords.
9. Deadlines: There are deadlines for all assignments. You are required to meet those
deadlines. However, there may be times when the deadlines cannot be met because of
legitimate events beyond one’s control. If a deadline cannot be met you must inform me
via email before the assignment’s due date and I will discuss the possibility of an
extension with you. Do not assume you will be given an extension. If you do not have
your assignment ready on the day it is due, you are responsible for completing a Student
Responsibility Sheet located on the table in the classroom.
For your Consideration: Why is history important? In the words of author David
McCullough: “Trying to plan for the future without a sense of the past is like trying to
plant cut flowers.”
Remember to look for those not pictured, listen for the voices that are not
being heard and challenge the narrative.
Let’s Have a Wonderful Year Together!
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