• Each US/VA Government course now has its own Google Classroom page as an online go-to resource for upcoming events, assignments, and assessments.  See Mr. Smith to get your info!

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  • Course Description

    The student learns about America’s political system through a study of the structure, function, and organization of the three levels of government. Emphasis is on the role of the individual in the democratic process and the impact of politics on his/her daily life. Key documents are studied to understand America’s political roots and democratic principles that shape contemporary issues.

    This course supports the Profile of a Virginia Graduate, an initiate where every graduate of Poquoson High School will experience in his/her K-12 career Content Knowledge, Workplace Skills, Career Exploration, Community Engagement, and Civic Responsibility. To reinforce this initiative, this course participates in Project Based Learning, where your student may work within a team on a sustained project that will include the “Five C’s” of Critical Thinking, Creative Thinking, Collaboration, Communication, and Citizenship.

    Course Goal

    At the end of this course, every student should—

    --understand America’s political system by studying the structure, function, and organization of the three levels of government;

    --identify the role of the individual in the democratic process and the impact of politics on his/her daily life;

    --analyze Key historical documents to understand America’s political roots and democratic principles that shape current events

    --successfully complete the end-of-year US/VA Government Exam

    Suggested Supplies

    It would be advisable for students to have a writing utensil; binder (or a section of a large binder) devoted to keeping handouts and notes; somewhere to keep passwords safe and handy, like an agenda or personal planner; a thumb drive is not necessary, but some previous students have found them useful for saving unfinished work.

    Expectations

    Students are to always have their supplies when they come to class.  As this is a computer lab, food and drinks are not allowed around the computers.  Students should be in their seat and ready to listen/work/learn when the bell rings.  All students have something to add to the discussions, but they will raise a hand to be recognized before speaking, and therefore not disrupt the learning atmosphere of the classroom.  Overall, students are expected to treat others with respect and courtesy, and abide by the Code of Conduct in the PHS Student Handbook.

    Copies of anything handed out will be on the class’ Google Classroom.  Many assignments will be turned in electronically online.    Paper notes will be handed out with the expectation that the student will use these to follow along the lesson and for reviewing for tests.  Most tests and quizzes will be done online.

    Grading/Assignments

    --Tests/Projects (40%) – Tests will be taken at the conclusion of most units and consists of multiple choice, matching, and short answer questions. Projects will be assigned periodically throughout the course and may be assigned as an individual or group project, and will usually require research and the use of technology.

    --Vocabulary Quizzes (30%) - Quizzes will be taken on key terms and vocabulary to check for understanding.

    --Current Events (20%) – Current Events will be assigned twice a quarter in which you will find a news article pertaining to government/politics/policy that is no more than 6 months old.  The student will turn in a printed copy of the article along with a written summary and personal response stating their own point of view on the matter.

    --Classwork/Homework (10%) – Any work (group or individual) that is assigned to be completed in class or at home.

    --Midterm Exam (10% of 1st Semester grade) - There will be a comprehensive mid-term exam given at the end of the first semester that will cover SOL related information from content covered in the first two quarters.

    --Final Exam – Details of the Final Exam are still being determined.