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T R A V E R S E

C I T Y

C E N T R A L

H I G H

S C H O O L

:: Civics ::
Course Syllabus Mrs. Paul Room C183 paulpa@tcaps.net 933-3568 (Voicemail) :: Course Description :: If all men were angels, no government would be necessary. - James Madison Of course, all men and women are not angels. We live in a world full of conflict and war. Therefore, a system of government that fosters law and order is necessary for civilization. Understanding government and current issues is a crucial first step in becoming good citizens. By truly understanding history and the world around us and making reasonable decisions based upon an understanding of the past and the present, good men and women will not sit idly by and do nothing they will become positive citizens of the United States and active members of their local communities. Good men and women of this class will positively affect those around them, and take an interest in and a responsibility for their fellow men and women, whoever they are and wherever they live.*** :: Textbook/Readings :: Government Alive!: Power, Politics & You. Teachers Curriculum Institute, 2009. Various supplementary articles and readings provided throughout the trimester :: Course Units of Study::

UNIT 1 UNIT 2

I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII.

Voting and Elections Foundations of American Government Constitutional Overview & Federalism Legislative Branch Executive Branch and Foreign Policy Judicial Branch & 14th Amendment Amendments Especially 1st and 4th

UNIT 3

:: Essential Questions :: What is the best form of government? How should a society balance common good with individual rights? Is it important for citizens to be involved in the political process? How should the U.S. try to influence what happens globally?
***Adapted from Tak Ready, West Senior High

:: Course Expectations :: BE PREPARED on time, in assigned seat when the bell rings, with textbook, netbook, notebook paper, folder, planner and pen/pencil. PARTICIPATE complete work on time, contribute to group work, volunteer during discussions, ask questions, and give your best effort at all times BE RESPECTFUL be respectful of yourself, others, materials, and the classroom.

:: Civic Participation Requirement :: Each Civics student is required to complete Civic Participation in order to receive credit for this class, with NO EXCEPTIONS OR EXCUSES. The purpose is to advance student understanding of the importance of community involvement and citizenship as responsible personal conduct in a democracy. This requirement must be completed two weeks before the end of the trimester. The civic participation must be done during the trimester in which you are taking Civics. More information will be provided by Mrs. Paul in class and can be found on Edmodo. :: Hall Passes :: If there is an emergency and you need to leave the room during class, use the hall pass at the front of the room. Only one student is allowed to be out of the room at any given time. Leaving the classroom without using the hall pass will result in a tardy or an unverified absence. If anyone seems to be abusing this system, he or she will lose the privilege of leaving during class. :: Tardy Policy :: Tardies are disruptive to the educational process and will be dealt with according to the Student Handbook and RTC guidelines. If a student is tardy, he or she must have a note from another teacher or the office. Failure to do so could lead to the tardy being marked as an absence. Absences will not be changed to tardies at a later date. Leaving class before it is dismissed will result in a tardy or an unverified absence. The official RTC School Policy regarding tardies is as follows:
Tardy #4 Sent to RTC to formulate a plan for timeliness Student must call a parent/guardian in presence of RTC teacher Student must negotiate with teacher Sent to RTC to formulate a new plan for timeliness Student must call a parent/guardian in presence of RTC teacher Student must get a principal signature on his/her plan Student must negotiate with teacher In school suspension

Tardy #5

Tardy #6

:: Edmodo :: This class will use Edmodo as a resource regularly, both as a communication tool and as a way to turn in assignments. While using Edmodo, you will be expected to adhere to the expectations for responsible technology use as outlined in the Student Handbook. On Edmodo, you will find helpful links to grades, activities, research resources, quizzes, and course information. New resources and assignments are constantly added, and it is important that you access Edmodo on a daily basis. You will learn in class how to connect via text message alerts. Your class group code for enrollment is: ____________ :: Course Evaluation :: 100 93 % - A In this course, you will be evaluated in a number of ways: 92 90 % - A Quizzes, announced and unannounced 89 87 % - B+ 86 83 % - B Objective Tests and Written Tests 82 80 % - B79 77 % - C+ Major Projects 76 73 % - C Class Assignments 72- 70 % - C69 67 % - D+ Homework 66 63 % - D Exam 62 60 % - D59 0 % -E

:: Extra Credit Policy :: Extra credit is available on an individual basis, with a maximum of 20 points possible in a trimester. You can have no more than 2 missing assignments in order to be eligible to earn extra credit. There are three ways to earn extra credit: 1) Announced opportunities in class; 2) Additional Civics relevant readings, books and films; 3) Civics themed extra-curricular work (must be approved). Extra credit points will not be calculated into the trimester grade until the end of the trimester, when students are responsible for handing them in to Mrs. Paul.

ONLINE GRADEBOOK KEY Z X 0 Missing Assignment The assignment can still be


turned in for credit or partial credit.

:: Late Work Policy :: It is the students responsibility to know what work is assigned and when it is due. There is an assignment chart updated on the board each day, and extra handouts are located in the crate folders in the front of the room. Please check both of these areas, and/or ask Mrs. Paul if you have any questions about assignments or due dates. Late work will be accepted, but WITH A MINIMUM 50% PENALTY. IF ABSENT, check the assignment chart and whiteboard for any missed assignments, and if necessary, with Mrs. Paul BEFORE OR AFTER CLASS/SCHOOL (not during class). You will have as many days as you were absent to turn in most assignments, and longer for extended excused absences. UNVERIFED absences on the day an assignment is due or work is completed in class will result in a ZERO for the assignment/quiz/test.

Not Applicable The student has been excused and does not
need to complete the assignment, or the assignment has been given credit on a completion basis.

Zero Credit Either the assignment was completed and


received zero points, or it was never turned in and is beyond the deadline for turning it in late.

Incomplete Work Grade reflects an assignment that was .01 the unit test for which it was completed. For example, an .02 Late Work Grade reflects a late penalty. Absence Zero Any assignment collected .03 Unverified when UNV receives an automatic zero.
not finished. Incomplete work can be resubmitted anytime before assignment on supreme court justices must be resubmitted before the Unit VII Test.

Examples: 4.01 Student received 4 points for submitted work, but did not finish (.02 indicates that the grade is a result of the work being incomplete). 15.02 Student received 30 points, but the work was late (50 % penalty). .03 Student skipped class on day assignment was turned in.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I have read and understand Mrs. Paul's Course Syllabus for Civics. Student Name (Please Print) ____________________________________ Student Signature ____________________________________________ During the course of the trimester, we will be watching various films, TV shows, news reports, and online videos, whether in short clips or in entirety. Each is conscientiously chosen based on its instructional value and relevance to course content. A broad list of clips and films that may or may not be shown is included on the back of this syllabus. Please do not hesitate to call or email me if you have any questions or concerns. By signing this syllabus, you are giving permission for your student to participate. Parent Name (Please Print) ____________________________________ Parent/Guardian Signature ____________________________________ Email Address: _______________________________ Phone Number ______________________________ Date ______________________ As a parent/guardian, you have access to your student's assignments on my Edmodo site. Please contact me by phone or email if you would like the unique access code for your student, and I would be happy to provide it.

Not all of the following are used, but I wanted to provide as comprehensive a list as possible. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Various Current News Reports Used to introduce and discuss current events related to Civics class, and in our unit on media bias. In the past I have used clips from the following networks: C-SPAN, CNN Student News, CBS, NBC, Fox, MSNBC, CNN, BBC, Reuters, Al-Jazeera, Comedy Central, ABC, NPR Online Sources Used in short clips (2-8 minutes) to aid instruction, illustrate concepts, and review. Past clips have included: Schoolhouse Rock (I'm Just A Bill, Tyrannosaurus Debt, Preamble), Commoncraft (The Electoral College), West Wing Week, Living Room Candidate (archived campaign commercials, 1952-present), GOOD Magazine, C-SPAN Classroom, iCivics Documentaries/Films/Mini-series Most are used only for scenes and clips. Used to give historical context, analyze concepts, and gain perspective. HBO's John Adams (2008), no rating Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), rated G National Geographic's Inside North Korea (2006), no rating The Patriot (2000), rated R Schessinger Media Educational's Foreign Policy and Comparative Government, rated grades 5-12 Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore? (2005), no rating History Channel Documentary Clips (Elections, The Presidents, Founding Fathers), no rating