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United States History Advanced Placement by fzw45252


                 United States History Advanced Placement
                                     Reconstruction- Present
                                                Grade 11
                                             Mrs. Hornstein

Course Description
        Knowledge of the way people have lived and of the way events and ideas have shaped our lives
helps us understand the world of the present. E Pluribus Unum is the nation’s motto: Out of Many,
One. From the multiple backgrounds, interests, and experiences of its people, to what extent has the
United States forged a national identity? How close has it come to realizing the ideals of its founders?
Have noble intentions been forever corroded by the realities of slavery, discrimination, poverty,
conflict, war, and special interests? As the United States faces its future, especially after September
11, can it expect from its people a unity that respects diversity, patriotism that respects dissent, and
laws that respect individual rights? As we grapple with such questions in this course, I hope that you
will emerge with: (1) an enjoyment of- or at least satisfaction from- the learning process itself; (2) a
broad knowledge of the history of the United States sufficient enough to feel prepared to take the
Advanced Placement exam in May 2010; (3) an appreciation of some of the cross-currents in the
nation’s history implied by the unity/diversity theme; (4) the acquisition of skills useful to an ongoing
study of history and the social sciences, and (5) an enhanced understanding, through a study of
contemporary events, of the role of the United States in today’s world.

       AP U.S. History II is a challenging course that is designed to be the equivalent of a freshman
college course in a high school setting. It is a two-semester survey of American history from
Reconstruction to the present. Solid reading and writing skills, along with a willingness to devote
considerable time to homework and study, are necessary to succeed. Emphasis is placed on critical
and evaluative thinking skills, essay writing, interpretation of original documents and historiography.

        You will be required to apply the effort necessary to act as an historian and develop the ability
to analyze historical evidence to determine its validity and relevance, identify point of view and the
nature of bias, and recognize the necessity of objectivity and substantiation. The methodology of an
historian involves skills that are highly transferable; the ability to formulate generalizations, interpret
and use data and to analyze and weigh evidence from conflicting sources of information are applicable
to many other academic and practical disciplines.

        Besides listening to occasional lectures and quite a few PowerPoint presentations on important
themes of U.S. history, you are expected to participate in class verbally through discussions of primary
documents and events, debates of key issues, possible role-playing of historic figures and partner and
group activities. Furthermore, you are expected to continually develop your writing skills through
regular short essays, essay exams and maintain a notebook of all class materials. The volume of
material involved in a survey course of U.S. history is extensive and you can expect to do a lot of
reading not only in the text and document book, but also from outside sources and research both in the
library and through the Internet.

       AP United States History is challenging and stimulating and, compared with other high school
courses, takes more time and requires more homework (but you already know that). Consequently,
there will be a focus on strengthening skills in taking objective exams, in addition to writing clear and
compelling essays and doing research and analysis of historical data. Therefore, regular study,
frequent practice in writing, historical analysis, class discussions/debates/seminars, and
study/review/and test-taking strategies are major elements of the course. A substantial research and
writing assignment, as required by the Board of Education, will be completed during the first semester.

       To “keep you all on your toes,” there will be brief, unannounced 5-10-point quizzes often
based on the homework readings at the beginning of class. Expect to have one every day that a
reading is due so that you will prepared. This is a necessary way to make sure that you keep up with
the work.

 Course Objectives
      Master a broad body of historical knowledge
      Demonstrate an understanding of historical chronology
      Use historical data to support an argument or position
      Interpret and apply data from original documents, including cartoons, graphs, letters, etc.
      Effectively use analytical skills of evaluation, cause and effect, compare and contrast
      Work effectively with others to solve problems
      Prepare for the Advanced Placement Exam

Materials Required
      Wide loose leaf binder (at least 2” or larger to be kept at home) - this is where you will store all
       of your materials from past units. You should keep it neat and well-organized so that you have
       materials at your fingertips. Be sure to have dividers to separate the major topics of study.

      One small (1”) binder (your “working notebook”) that will be brought to school each day with
       the materials/homework notes, etc., needed for the current unit being studied. Include some
       clean loose leaf paper and some blank, white computer paper in the back. This binder must be
       for Social Studies ONLY.

      Highlighters, pens and pencils with erasers should be brought to class daily.

        At the beginning of each unit, you will receive a syllabus that will specify the readings and
assignments for each topic within the unit. This syllabus will also give you a general idea of the
length of the unit and the possible evaluation type and date for the unit. All syllabi are vital to the
course and must not be misplaced. All assignments must be completed by the assigned due dates.
Assignments may not be handed in late because the material that is due is the basis for that day’s
discussion. If you should be legally absent, it is your responsibility to make up the work you have
missed. Get the notes from a reliable classmate, check your syllabus and assignment sheets for any
work due, check the pile for any handouts you missed, and check with a reliable classmate for
important announcements that may have been on the blackboard. If you have any questions, see me
immediately. Missed work is your responsibility. Makeup tests and quizzes will be done at my
convenience. I am very flexible with these times, so be sure to check with me the day you return to set
up an appointment. Additional announcements such as quizzes, tests, or changes to the syllabus will
be written on the chalkboard in the AP US II section. Be responsible- check the chalkboard daily.
The main homework assignment throughout the year will be reading in the textbook. Other
assignments should be expected as well, especially document analysis and essay writing. You are
invited and encouraged to see me for extra help, advice, or guidance. Please make an appointment to
see me; my extra help times are flexible.
Classroom Procedure and Expected Decorum
        Be in your seat when the bell rings, not on your way to it. Tardiness may result in detention.
Tardiness, cutting, and excessive absences will inevitably affect your grade. Classroom rules- simple
yet vital:
             Always give your best effort on all class activities and assignments. They are
               opportunities to learn, achieve and grow. Take advantage of them.
             Academic Freedom: Be respectful of others at all times. Respect your teacher and
               your peers by listening carefully to their ideas and contributions. Engaging in private
               conversations, doing work for other subjects, and packing up early are considered
               disrespectful and could result in disciplinary action. You may disagree with someone’s
               ideas without being disagreeable. All contributions are worthwhile and important to the
               individual making them.
             Remember that your personal honor and integrity are very precious and are important
               parts of who you are. Therefore, I expect that you will do all of your OWN work at all
             Come to class prepared and be in your seat when the bell rings.
             If you anticipate being absent, inform me immediately and request the work you will
             I encourage you to approach me after class so that I can give you my undivided
               attention (if I am free) or see me in the halls, drop a note in my mailbox, or stop by
               before or after school, so that I know we need to talk. Never hesitate to share your
               respectful feelings with me. Students quickly learn that I will eagerly listen and
               respond to their concerns when they approach me courteously.

        Your evaluation is based on everything you do in the class. This includes tests, quizzes,
reports, homework assignments, the research project, and the quality of your group work, cooperation
and participation. I grade all assignments on a point system.
    Tests – usually 100 points each. 1-3 per marking period.
        Students are expected to know detailed, factual information on all topics covered in class and
        in the assignments. This includes information given through classroom discussions, oral
        reports, debates, and the textbook assignments. All major tests will be announced in advance.
        These tests be multiple choice exams the majority of the time, but may also consist of essays
        and DBQs.
    Essays- 30-100 points. At the minimum, two per marking period.
        There will be many types of written assignments this year. These assignments will allow you
        to perfect your writing skills. Some of your homework assignments will be essays. All essays
        must be typed if completed as homework.
    Quizzes- 5-10 points. At least one per week.
        As mentioned previously, unannounced quizzes based on the textbook reading assignments
        will be given often.
    Class participation/ discussion/ presentations/preparedness- 40 points.
        A college course of this type requires vast responsibility on your part. Class discussions will
        be a key part of this course and reflected in your grade. Informal debates, based on the
        previous homework assignments will also be considered in your grade. This grade is based on
        a rubric and you will see your grade at the end of each marking period.

       Please sign below indicating you have read and understand this syllabus:

       Student signature ______________________________________________________
       Parent/Guardian signature _______________________________________________

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