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Advanced Placement US History Syllabus

January 1, 2018 by Marcie Gorsuch   

Advanced Placement United States History Syllabus 2017-18

Mrs. Marcie Gorsuch Email address:    Room 213

Course Description:   AP US History is designed to provide students with the analytical skills and factual knowledge necessary to deal critically with the problems and materials in American History. The purpose is to present the United States History curriculum in a critical and analytical manner. It is important for students in this course to recognize that simply the memorization of facts is not the goal of the course. This factual base is only the beginning of an understanding. Students should learn to assess historical information and assess historical materials-their relevance to a given interpretive problem, their reliability, and their importance- and to weigh the evidence and interpretations presented in historical scholarship. There will be much emphasis on critical thinking, evaluative writing and the assessment of events or issues in American History.

Student Expectations:  Students will be expected to participate fully in this class. This class will be conducted using a variety of class discussions and often students will be responsible for studying basic materials outside of class. A variety of supplemental readings such as documents, essays or journals will be included. Students are asked to conduct themselves in a respectful and courteous manner during class. Oftentimes, we will be working in groups to assess information and conduct a variety of comparison discussion on the information at hand. Cooperation and responsibility are very important. Students should avoid absences whenever possible. In the case of an absence, please see me as soon as possible or email me when you can so that we can keep you up to date. Refer to the blog. All makeup work should be scheduled as soon as you return to school. Tardies will be handled according to school policy (refer to you HHS student handbook). Students need to be responsible for contacting me should you need any help outside of class. I am usually available after school each day Mon – Thurs and often in the am several days a week.  Please let me know if you would like help. If you have an issue that conflicts with this time period, please let me know and we can work it out. Please dress appropriately as outlined in the handbook. Please use passes out of class sparingly.  As this if the first AP course for several of you, please be aware that you may need additional help with skills or strategies especially regarding study skills and time management. Completion of assigned out of class reading is critical. You will be responsible for checking the blog on a regular basis for assignments and additional resources.

Students are encouraged to take advantage of the Internet Links that can provide additional support for you.  Bailey’s Outlines: History/     College Boards Web Page:      Primary Documents:  Digital History  ,  Great General Site:    Avalon Project (Yale Law School w/ incredible resources) National Archives: http://www.archives/gov

Academic Dishonesty : An F will be earned on the assignment and parental notification will be made. A “U” in conduct will be earned for that grading period and a letter of the infraction will be filed with an administrator and subject to scholarship and college application inquiry. Plagiarism is cheating and addressed as with any other school infraction of the honor code. Please take this seriously and avoid not only compromising you average GPA but consider that your reputation and my perception of your character are important.

GRADING:   Assessments 35%   Formal Essays/ Projects (Decades counts X 2)/Summer Assignments  25%     Non-test assignments such as Debates, Reading quiz,  homework assignments, etc. 10%     Final Exam 10%   Milestone End Of Course State Mandated Test 20%

TESTS: Because you must become comfortable with the format of nationally normed tests, as much as possible we will be practicing each of the testing methods found on these kinds of exams –multiple choice questions (both fact based and analytical in type), Short Answer Interpretive, Document Based Essays (DBQ’s) and Free Response skills addressed in parts, with an emphasis on covering the content in a shortened semester due to the AP exam in May.  There are fewer grades than the students may be accustomed to. Textbooks:      America: A Narrative History, Shi, Tindall  United States History: Preparing for the Advanced Placement Examination (Amsco, 1998)

Precourse Assignment: 2 Parts = movie analysis/ book review  *  themes and movie list posted on the blog. *check the HHS website for due dates & specific instructions -Departments, Academics, Social Studies, AP US History

Classroom Materials:  COLLEGE ruled notebook paper, Glue stick.  Blue/black pens for essay writing, 1 dedicated notebook =your choice of 3 ring or 5 subject college ruled spiral

CELL PHONE POLICY“Students shall not use, display or turn on cellular phones, video phones, or electronic devices during instruction time except when a teacher uses these devices for instructional purposes.  The consequences for inappropriate cell phone use are:

1st offense – Saturday School    2nd offense – 1 Day of ISS    3rd offense – 2 Days of ISS

Course Objectives:   1. To provide students with a working knowledge of the subject
2. To help students learn to manage their time in a college level class
3. To encourage students to look beyond the “bottom line” to bigger questions and issues which have driven and continue to drive history.
4. To teach students how to work effectively in study teams to improve learning
5. To develop the ability to analyze historical documents, to understand the process of historical inquiry and to evaluate the quality of various historical arguments
6. To provide practice in the skills needed to do well on nationally normed standardized tests. (AP, PSAT. SAT.) Exams.
7. To participate in Socratic discussions, debates, and persuasive speaking assignments to perfect the kinds of critical thinking skills required
8. To come to value study techniques like marginal notes and outlining.
9. To learn to write coherent social science essays which demonstrate depth of thought, mastery of material, and critical thinking.
10. Be able to decode primary source documents, “make meaning” from what you read.                                                                                                                                                  The Advanced Placement test is issued by the College Board gives the students the opportunity to earn college credit for the AP United States History course. Scores range from 0 to 5 with 5 being the superior score. Scoring a 3 or higher will earn students college credit at most accredited colleges and universities. Students in APUSH have the opportunity to earn credit for up to two college courses. Harrison High school highly encourages all students enrolled in the APUSH course to experience the AP test. There will be extensive review sessions during spring semester to revisit content knowledge, skill acquisition, and build confidence.  The test will be administered in May.

Please devote the time and energy needed to obtain a good grade. Remember that this is college level work and will require your dedication.  U.S. History is required for graduation. Your attendance, organization and attention during class are critical. I look forward to a fun and interesting semester.


Advanced Placement United States History- Gorsuch 2017

 Our academic mission at Harrison is One Team, One Goal: Student Success!  Our goals are to:

  • strengthen college and career readiness skills,
  • continue professional learning that is data driven by academic departments,
  • strengthen culture, customer service, and communication, and
  • increase stakeholder satisfaction and opportunities for involvement.

Please devote the time and energy needed to obtain a good grade. Remember that this is college level work and will require your dedication.  U.S. History is required for graduation. Your attendance, organization and attention during class are critical.  Please let me know if you have any concerns or questions. Email is the best way to contact me outside of class.

Mrs. Gorsuch



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