American Government 1st Semester Syllabus - Mrs. Cravens

American Government Syllabus
Mrs. Cravens
Class Description: We will be studying the government of the United States. We will take an in depth
look at the Constitution, Legislative Branch, Executive Branch, and Judicial Branch. We will also study
elections, voter behavior, interest groups, the media, and bureaucracy. This class is designed to help
students understand how their government works so that they can be active participants in it.
Materials: You need to have materials to take notes and a place to keep your notes, warm-ups, and
handouts. I recommend a 3-ring binder with 4 dividers (warm-ups, notes, graded papers, and handouts).
You also need a pen or pencil - any color is fine EXCEPT red.
Website: My website is
There will be times throughout the semester that I will require to go to the website for assignments.
There will also be information on it that may help you in the class.
Parent/Student Vue in Synergy: Please check Synergy on a regular basis. All grades will be updated by
Friday no later 3pm. If you are trying to reach me, please email me at:
Expectations: I expect you to come to class prepared, listen when others are speaking, keep up with the
reading, respect yourself and others, put forth your best effort, and ask for help when you need it. You
can expect me to be prepared, respect you, be fair, listen to you, and help you when you need it.
Class Rules:
Follow directions.
Be respectful.
Be responsible.
Be kind.
No iPods, phones, or other electronic devices unless otherwise directed.
Unit Homework: For each unit, you will be given a list of vocabulary words and section assessment
questions which may be on the unit test. Homework is due on the day of the unit test and is worth 50
Textbooks: If you need to use a textbook outside of class, you are welcome to come in before or after
school, during lunch, or if you have a free hour and use the book in my classroom
Warm-ups: Each day there will be a warm-up question on the board. You will be expected to write the
date, the question, and answer. Answers should be 1-2 paragraphs in length. If you are absent, it is your
responsibility to find out what the warm-up was and complete it. I will collect warm-ups at the end of
each month. Warm-ups are worth 30 points.
Tests: Tests will cover the reading, homework, notes, class activities, videos, handouts, and class
discussions. Tests will consist of vocabulary, multiple choice, short answer, and essay questions. Study
guides will be given out before the test. If you complete the study guide you will receive 5 extra credit
points on the test. Tests are worth 100 points.
Cheating/Plagiarism: If you cheat or plagiarize you will given a ZERO on the test/assignment, given an
office referral, and your parents will be notified. This includes copying someone else’s homework, as well
as giving someone your homework to copy or giving someone the answers. You will not be allowed to
make up assignments/tests if you are caught cheating.
Makeup Work/Tests: If you are absent, it is YOUR responsibility to find out what you missed and to
schedule any tests or quizzes. If you missed notes, it is your responsibility to copy them from a classmate.
I will not print copies of notes. If it is an extended absence, I will work with you to create a schedule for
turning in makeup work. You will have the same number of days that you were absent to turn in work
that you missed.
Due Dates: Assignments are due at the beginning of class. Any assignment turned in after my “last call”
for assignments will not be accepted. Projects are due at the beginning of class on the day they are dueNO EXCEPTIONS! If you are absent, you need to figure out a way to get the project to me on time- have
someone else bring it to school, email it to me, hire a carrier pigeon, etc.
Late Work/Late Coupons No credit is awarded for missing an assignment deadline. This includes
homework, class work, bell work, projects, quizzes/tests, etc. COMPUTER/PRINTER PROBLEMS ARE NOT
AN EXCUSE FOR LATE WORK! You will be given TWO late coupons for the semester. You may use these to
turn in work that is late for full credit. You must attach your late coupon to your assignment. There will be
opportunities throughout the semester to earn additional late coupons. If you lose your late coupons you
will not be given new ones. If you do not use your late coupons, but have no missing assignments, you will
be given extra credit for them at the end of the semester.
Emailing Assignments: Generally, I will not accept emailed assignments. If you need to print an
assignment, be sure you do not wait until the last minute. You will not be allowed to print anything off my
computer or from the office or computer lab! Plan ahead!
Grades: My grades are based on total points. To figure out your grade simply divide your actual points by
the total possible points. Generally speaking, projects are worth 200 points, tests are
worth 100 points, essays are worth 100 points, unit homework is worth 50 points, warm-ups are worth
30 points, editorials are worth 25 points, and other in class/homework assignments are worth 5- 25points.
Grades are cumulative and based on the following breakdown:
45% Assessment (includes tests, quizzes, projects, and other forms of assessment)
45% Practice (includes notes, homework, in class work, etc)
10% Final Exam
No Name Papers: You are expected to put your name on all papers that you turn in. If I find a paper with
no name I will hang it on the board. If you find one of your papers there, please take it down, put your
name on it, and turn it in again to receive full credit. Once the board is full, I will take down all papers and
throw them away. It is YOUR responsibility to check the board for your papers.
Respect for the Classroom: This classroom has to be used by over 100 students per day. Please be
respectful and pick up after yourselves. If you have trash, put it in the trash can. If you use a book, put it
neatly back on the shelf. If you use other materials, put them back where they belong.
Final Exam: The final exam will be comprehensive- it will cover all material covered throughout the course
of the semester.
How to reach the teacher: I am available Mon- Thurs from 3:30-4:00pm for Academic tutoring- please be
sure to sign in when you come in for tutoring, make up work, conferences, etc. You may also reach me
through email:
The instructor reserves the right to alter the syllabus as needed.
American Government COURSE SYLLABUS RECEIPT Fall 2015
Please sign the bottom of this page and have the student return it to the teacher.
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DATE: ______________________________________________
EMAIL: _____________________________________________________________________
PARENT/GUARDIAN NAME: _________________________________________________________________
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