2012 Course Selection Information For Ms. Barben’s Students Her analysis and recommendations • AP US History: – This is a challenging and independent course for students who like to work solitarily and tests well on multiple choice questions and DBQs. – You will be covering the entire span of American History between September and early May. – On average, you will read one to two chapters a week. It is your responsibility to read each chapter and take detailed notes on the content. – There is usually a test every Friday. Most tests are multiple choice. – Every few weeks there is a DBQ or a traditional thesis essay writing assignment. – After the May AP Exam, you will then go through the Research Paper Process writing an argumentative thesis paper based upon primary source research. – This course is taught by Ms. Sargent. • AP US History Continued: – To qualify for this course, you must have the following: • B+ or higher average in your Modern European History and English classes • Received a letter from Mr. Morabito indicating that your PSAT scores qualified you for the AP Potential Criteria • Teacher recommendation • If you do not have all three and still want to take the class, you will have to sign a waiver indicating that you are electing to take a class that is not completely appropriate for you and do not have the option of dropping out of the course your junior year if you are struggling. • American Studies: – This is a thematically team-taught American Literature and American History course. It is taught by Mrs. Druckenmiller and Mr. Verna. – The literature covered is the same as High/Honors American Literature, but it is taught in combination with American History, so you study the literature in a historical context. – It allows for more in-depth study and better understanding of both the literature and history. – In eleventh grade, you are to write an argumentative thesis paper in both American Literature and American History. – With American Studies, the papers are combined, so while it is a longer paper, you are only writing one instead of two. – Since this is a large group instruction class of about 50 students that is then often broken down into smaller groups, there are many thoughtful and creative projects utilizing technology, interacting with the community, etc…. – If you enjoy projects, working with groups, and are not as strong as a testtaker as others, this is a good match for you. – All of my former students who I recommended for American Studies have come back to tell me how much they are enjoying the course and so glad they took the class. • American Studies Continued: – To qualify for this course, you must have the following: • B+ or higher in both your Modern Western Civilizations and English courses • Teacher recommendations from both your Modern Western Civilizations and English teachers • If you are inconsistent with homework completion, not as strong with Talking to the Text, and writing, I will not recommend you for this course. • High American History: – This is a traditionally taught course covering the entire span of American History. – This class, while taught by a few different teachers, all use a very similar approach. – There are common assessments all three teachers use. – It is more lecture-based with the expectation that the students are reading and taking good notes on each chapter. – Most of your grades will come from tests and quizzes. – The argumentative thesis research paper begins at the end of September or beginning of October. The final draft is usually due around the beginning of February. • Standard Level American History: – This course covers the entire span of American History. – It is a traditionally taught course where most of instruction comes from lecture, reading the textbook, completing worksheets, and tests and quizzes. – There are a few group projects. – There are a few creative art or writing projects. – You begin the argumentative thesis research paper process the begins at the end of September or beginning of October. – The final draft of the research paper is due around the beginning of February. – This is where the emphasis is placed. Electives • AP Psychology: – This is a fascinating course, year-long course – It is the study of the human brain, human development, mental disorders, and learning disabilities. – This course follows a national curriculum, a college-level textbook, and many supplemental readings. – The assessments range from multiple choice tests, essays, talking to the text, reading journals, and a few research projects. – For students considering careers in the medical profession, law enforcement, political science, and education, this will prepare you for some of your courses in college. – You will take the AP Pysch Exam in May. • AP Psychology Continued: –To qualify for this course, you must have the following: • B+ or higher in Modern Western Civilizations • Received a AP Qualification Letter from Mr. Morabito based upon your PSAT score and their AP Potential Scoring Electives • Psychology: – This is an unleveled course. – It is a semester course. – It is the study of the human brain, human development, mental disorders, and learning disabilities. – Since it is an unleveled course, it is much more projectbased than AP Psych. – The projects are hands-on, interactive, and creative. – For students considering careers in the medical profession, law enforcement, political science, and education, this will prepare you for some of your courses in college. Electives • American Civil War: – This is an unleveled course. – It is a semester course. – It is an in-depth study of the causes, battles, and effects of the American Civil War. – This course uses a number of sources ranging from films, documentaries, primary sources, and secondary source readings. – There will be a focus on the research process. – You go on two field trips…one is to Gettysburg. – For those American History or Military History buffs, this is the course for you. Electives • Law and Justice: – This is an unleveled course. – It is a semester course. – It is a study of the American legal and criminal systems. – You learn about police enforcement, civil liberties, prisons, etc… – With this course, you will visit a nearby prison for a fieldtrip. – There will be a research process focus with this elective. – For those students who are considering a career in law, police, or social work, this is a good course to take to prepare you for your college work. Electives • Current Issues: – This is an unleveled course. – It is a semester course. – This course is based upon utilizing technology to track global and local current events. – It will be focusing next year on the presidential election. – It is based primarily around your current events portfolio. – There is a research process emphasis within this elective. – If you enjoyed Global Studies, like to follow politics, and are a news-junkie, this is the course for you. Denmark • This is a special elective unique to Great Valley. • It is taught on Wednesday nights by Ms. Carlino and Ms. McGregor. • It is a detailed study of the history, government, economy, and culture of Denmark. • You will be assigned a Danish student to correspond with. • In the second semester, you will visit Denmark and stay with your Dane for ten days. You get to live and study like a Dane. • Also in the second semester, your Dane will come to Great Valley and stay with you for ten days. Your Dane will get to live like an American. • This is an amazing, life-changing experience. • This is a great way to see if you would like to do a semester study abroad in college. • Most of my former students still keep in touch with their Danes and go one to visit them again. • One former student, Jill Curley, actually met her future husband who was one of the Danes in the program. They are currently married and living in Denmark. • If you are concerned about financial costs, there are ways that this can be addressed to help your family.