January 23

posted Jan 23, 2013, 6:16 AM by Peter Knowles

Today is the semester Final

You can either take the multiple choice final test (65 pts)


Write an in-class essay explaining what you now know about American Government (65 pts)

Whichever one you choose, you may use any of YOUR notes, assignments, or information that YOU have created during the course. No textbooks, internet sources, or other students or outside sources allowed. This final should show what YOU know about American Government.

If you choose the essay, take a few minutes to review how it will be scored:

Introduction (5 pts)

Clear explanation/discussion of:

Unit 1: Presidential Elections / Electoral College  (10 pts)

Unit 2: Foundations of American Government (10 pts)

Unit 3: Civil Rights (10 pts)

Unit 4: State and Local Governments (10 pts)

Your own government elected officials (10 pts)

Conclusion  (5 pts)

Conventions  (5 pts)
If you write the essay, turn it in to the Assessment DropBox when done.

If you've brought your textbook to class, you can turn it in today. Otherwise, be sure to bring it tomorrow. 


January 22

posted Jan 22, 2013, 6:32 AM by Peter Knowles

Final information:
When: TOMORROW -- Wednesday, January 23 (8:45-10:15)
What: Open-note mulitiple choice test OR open-note essay -- you decide
Where: In-class. You should plan on completing it during the time for the 90 minute final 
The handout explains more.
Be sure to bring your textbook back at that time so you can get it checked in. 

Whichever one you choose, you will be expected to show what you know/have learned about a variety of things across all 4 units of study. 
Those writing an essay should focus on a clear structure (intro, body, conclusion) with clear discussion of a wide variety of topics and information, organized so the information is easily and clearly presented. 
Those taking the multiple choice test will be asked to do the same, based on a variety of questions covering all units of the course. 
Either one you choose, the expectations are the same:
Use your own assignments and notes
Do not use outside sources (other students, Internet, textbook, etc)
Complete the final during the time in class

Take today's class time to review and organize your work. Those writing the essay may want to create an outline in advance of the test. 

January 18

posted Jan 18, 2013, 6:16 AM by Peter Knowles

Today we complete our last assignment for the course, looking at the way that courts work at the state level. 
If you didn't turn in your assignment from yesterday in class, please make sure you do. Then turn your attention to the last assignment, a reading from your book called Chapter 25.4: The Courts and their Judges

Work with a partner if you like to complete the assignment in class. If you need to finish as homework, make sure you're done by the time we get back together next week, because you might want it for your final test/essay.

Final information:
When: Wednesday, January 23 (8:45-10:15)
What: Open-note mulitiple choice test OR open-note essay -- you decide
Where: In-class. You should plan on completing it during the time for the 90 minute final 
The handout explains more.
Be sure to bring your textbook back at that time so you can get it checked in. 

January 17

posted Jan 17, 2013, 5:09 AM by Peter Knowles   [ updated Jan 17, 2013, 9:48 AM ]

Let's decide what kind of final we should have. 


In class today we read about the court system as it exists at the state level. Open a read-only copy of the reading outline and make a copy for yourself. Then use the textbook to complete the outline as you read the material. 

As you finish the outline, you'll see a few links to information about the roles and responsibilities of jurors in the system, as well as a question about whether the use of juries should be curtailed. Think about that question as you prepare for class tomorrow as we'll deal with it as class starts. 

January 16

posted Jan 16, 2013, 5:09 AM by Peter Knowles   [ updated Jan 16, 2013, 8:04 AM ]

We begin with a self-check quiz over the assignment we discussed yesterday in class, dealing with the way that states collect revenue (MONEY!) to pay for their services. 
Take the quiz without help of textbook, homework, or other students just to see how well you do. Pay attention to what your score is so you can report it later (it won't go in the gradebook)

When you finish the quiz, take a look at question 6 on page 670 of the text. 
What do you think? 
Should people in our society who have more money be expected to pay a higher RATE in taxes than those who have less money? 
Or should all be asked to pay the same RATE in taxes, no matter how much money a person has?
Be ready to discuss this question in a few minutes. 

If you're ready to talk, and you want to see how federal income taxes have changed over the years, check out the interactive feature at "Check your US tax rate for 2012...." and/or "Who Pays Income Taxes" (as of 2009)

And here's another article, if we have time, about the new governor for the state of Washington and the job he faces as he takes office today. 

Tonight's Homework (Second-to-last assignment): 
READ In the Courtroom (25.3; pgs 672-674)
ANSWER QUESTIONS 1, 3, 4, and 5

January 15

posted Jan 15, 2013, 6:12 AM by Peter Knowles

Yesterday we looked at the Klickitat County Website, looking at the information provided there as we tried to find answers to a variety of questions. Today we'll wrap that up quickly with a quick discussion of your experience and the results.

Then, we'll look at last night's assignment, answering any questions you have, then adding to your information with a brief slide show about Washington State's Budget. Use the slide show to take notes as you watch.  

Washington State's Budget Process

Tonight's Homework: 
READ In the Courtroom (25.3; pgs 672-674)
ANSWER QUESTIONS 1, 3, 4, and 5

January 14

posted Jan 14, 2013, 5:27 AM by Peter Knowles

Last night's homework was to learn about the services provided by county governments. 

5. Providing Important Services (25.1)



We'll start with any questions you might have about it, so ask 'em if you've got 'em.

Next, we'll look at the kind of services YOUR county provides by visiting the Klickitat County website and looking for specific information. 

Working with a partner, open a single copy of today's assignment then share a copy with your partner. Use the Klickitat County website to collect information. Remember to find the answers to the questions as well as the web address (URL) where you found it. 
Be sure to use the Klickitat County site as the source for ALL your answers (no fair Googling for them) because one of the things you need to know is 1) how useful the site is for someone who lives here and 2) how much of the information you need is there.
Some of the questions are easier to answer than others, but work with your partner, treat it like a scavenger hunt, and see how many you can answer by the end of the period.

Turn in your work in the DropBox before you leave. It's not homework if you don't finishm because....
You already have some of that!

Homework: Due tomorrow at the beginning of class

6. Financing State Government (25.2)

Pages 667-671

 Questions 1 & 2


January 11

posted Jan 11, 2013, 6:16 AM by Peter Knowles

Today we'll be wrapping up a few things:
Yesterday's activity and last night's homework
The state executive branch slideshow from earlier this week

Any time left over can be devoted to your homework for Monday (below)

Homework, Due Monday, Jan 14

5. Providing Important Services (25.1)

Pages 663-667

Questions 1-4

January 10

posted Jan 10, 2013, 5:51 AM by Peter Knowles

In class today you'll start tonight's homework with a special focus on three basic types of city government. There's a lot of information and subtle differences between the three types; to help you keep track of them and understand the differences, you and a partner will complete a series of charts using information from the text. 
Open a Read-only Google Doc called Cities and Metropolitan Areas then use File > Make a Copy.... to save a copy you can type in. You can share your copy with your partner, or each of you can have your own and complete them together. 
Follow the directions in the assignment to collect information about the three types of city government. Don't forget to use the graphics on the pages to help you understand how each type works. 

When finished, you can add tonight's assignment (below) to the same file, or you can answer the questions on a separate piece of paper. 


4. Cities and Metropolitan Areas (24.4)

pgs 650-657

questions 2,3,5,6

due 1/11

January 9

posted Jan 9, 2013, 6:30 AM by Peter Knowles

Learning Target ImageWhat will I be able to do when I've finished this lesson?   What idea, topic, or subject is important for me to learn and understand so that I can do this?   What will I do to show that I can do this? How well will I have to do this?
 Create a list of my current representatives in government at the state, county, and local level.
How is my area of the State of Washington organized in terms of elected representation?
Collect information about the different elected officials in my area using a variety of Internet sites.This is a formative assessment; I need to collect the information so I can work with it later to show how well I understand even bigger concepts.

Last night's homework was to read Chapter 24.3: Counties, Towns, etc. (pages 643-648, questions 1, 2,3,5) We'll start there, with any questions you might have. Be ready to ask them. 

Then, we'll go over yesterday's in-class assignment. Open your copy of the State & Local Government assignment, and get ready with some questions.

Finally, we'll go back to Monday's assignment about the State's Executive branch.


No homework tonight.

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