Semester 2 Activities

June 6

posted Jun 6, 2012, 5:09 AM by Peter Knowles   [ updated Jun 10, 2012, 9:54 PM ]

CONGRATULATIONS Seniors!

Class is over; contact Mr. Knowles if you have questions about your final, final grade, or anything else related to the class. 

Also, your school Google Account that you've used all year will be deleted over the summer, so if you want to keep work from them, you'll need to convert your account to something you own, or download your work to a hard drive. Instructions on how to do this are available here.

June 5

posted Jun 5, 2012, 4:48 AM by Peter Knowles   [ updated Jun 5, 2012, 1:33 PM ]

Today's the day: your American Government Final (and your last day of classes) is finally here!

Some final reminders:
  1. You may use your own 3 x 5 note card, if you have one, while you take the final. 
  2. Write your name on your card, if you haven't already, and turn it in when you finish the test.
  3. While you take the test, you may not talk to other students or visit any other websites. 
  4. If you have questions, raise your hand. 
Any questions about all that? If not, and if you understand all those items, you may begin your final test.

When finished with the final, please take a few minutes to complete a short survey about the course.

You may also turn in your textbook when finished with the test. If you forgot it, a fine card will be turned in for it, but you can bring the textbook in tomorrow to have the fine removed.




June 4

posted Jun 4, 2012, 4:03 AM by Peter Knowles   [ updated Jun 4, 2012, 4:36 AM ]

All late assignments were due on Friday, so the only thing left is tomorrow's final. Be prepared. 

Information about the final is on the Final Review Sheet handed out in class last week. You should study and prepare your note card in advance of tomorrow's test. You may also want to bring your course textbook to turn in at that time to get it out of the way before Wednesday. 

Now, to help prepare for the test, here are some additional resources for your review. Test yourself to see how ready you are in these areas:
Textbook resources (Keep in mind that the online materials are from a newer edition than our textbook. Not everything in the chapter tests was included in our textbook or class activities, but they're pretty close.)
Study hard. This may be the last final of your high school career! :(

June 1

posted Jun 1, 2012, 5:14 AM by Peter Knowles   [ updated Jun 1, 2012, 5:40 AM ]

ALL LATE ASSIGNMENTS ARE DUE TODAY -- FRIDAY, JUNE 1st. 
DO YOU HAVE ANY MISSING ASSIGNMENTS? 
IF YOU DON'T WANT THEM TO REMAIN ZERO, TURN THEM IN BY FRIDAY.

Today we'll start with a sample of Tuesday's test; Follow this link to see how the final test will work. A correct answer on the first question will take you to the finish; an incorrect answer will take you to a different question on the same topic, and so on. Once you get a correct answer (or run out of questions) you'll end up at the final "SUBMIT" button. Your final will work just like this, only it will be 15 questions (minimum) long. 

Yesterday, you had a chance to read an article that points out some of the positive things the two-party system has going for it. If you've completed the reading and questions that go with it, share a link to it in the class DropBox. If you haven't finished, make sure you complete it and share it when you are done. 

Next, we turn our attention to last night's homework assignment. Together, we'll complete the last pieces of the handout  about Voting Rights (Chapter 6.1) and Voter Registration (Chapter 6.2). Here's a slideshow that helps breakdown how many voters can and do vote. 

COURSE FINAL INFORMATION:
Your final for American Government is Tuesday, June 6, during regularly scheduled class. Here's some information about it:
It's a comprehensive exam, covering (potentially) everything we've discussed, read about, or talked about in class since the start of the semester. You may use a 3 x 5 notecard (both sides) with notes that YOU create. You'll take it on the Chromebook; it's anywhere from 15 to 45 questions long (the more correct answers you get, the shorter it is). 

May 31

posted May 31, 2012, 3:56 AM by Peter Knowles   [ updated May 31, 2012, 5:03 AM ]

ALL LATE ASSIGNMENTS ARE DUE TOMORROW -- FRIDAY, JUNE 1st. 
DO YOU HAVE ANY MISSING ASSIGNMENTS? 
IF YOU DON'T WANT THEM TO REMAIN ZERO, TURN THEM IN BY FRIDAY.

Today we'll start with a QUIZ over last night's homework on minor parties' role in the political system. 

Yesterday, you had a chance to read an article that points out some of the positive things the two-party system has going for it. If you've completed the reading and questions that go with it, share a link to it in the class DropBox. If you haven't finished, take some time in class to read it and answer the questions. Share it  when you are done. 

Next, we turn our attention from the candidates we vote for, to the people who do the voting. Just who is able to vote today, and how has our ideas about voting changed over time?
Use the handout to learn about Voting Rights (Chapter 6.1) and Voter Registration (Chapter 6.2). Leave the final two columns on the right blank; we'll complete them together tomorrow. 

COURSE FINAL INFORMATION:
Your final for American Government is Tuesday, June 6, during regularly scheduled class. Here's some information about it:
It's a comprehensive exam, covering (potentially) everything we've discussed, read about, or talked about in class since the start of the semester. You may use a 3 x 5 notecard (both sides) with notes that YOU create. You'll take it on the Chromebook; it's anywhere from 15 to 45 questions long (the more correct answers you get, the shorter it is). 


May 30

posted May 30, 2012, 3:46 AM by Peter Knowles

ALL LATE ASSIGNMENTS ARE DUE FRIDAY, JUNE 1st. 
DO YOU HAVE ANY MISSING ASSIGNMENTS? 
IF YOU DON'T WANT THEM TO REMAIN ZERO, TURN THEM IN BY FRIDAY.

Today in class we'll learn a little bit about political parties with a slideshow and some notes. 
Then, many people see the dominant two-party system in the United States as a negative thing. This article points out some of the positive things the two-party system has going for it. Read it and answer the questions. Be ready to discuss your answers when done.

HOMEWORK: Any late essays (due June 1) and a new assignment: 
Chapter 5.4: The Minor Parties (read pages 114-117 and answer the questions on the handout)

May 29

posted May 29, 2012, 6:00 AM by Peter Knowles   [ updated May 29, 2012, 6:02 AM ]

ALL LATE ASSIGNMENTS ARE DUE FRIDAY, JUNE 1st. 
DO YOU HAVE ANY MISSING ASSIGNMENTS? 
IF YOU DON'T WANT THEM TO REMAIN ZERO, TURN THEM IN BY FRIDAY.

Today in class we'll learn a little bit about political parties. Many people see the dominant two-party system in the United States as a negative thing. This article points out some of the positive things the two-party system has going for it. Read it and answer the questions. Be ready to discuss your answers when done.

HOMEWORK: Any late essays (due June 1) and a new assignment: 
Chapter 5.4: The Minor Parties (read pages 114-117 and answer the questions on the handout)

May 25

posted May 25, 2012, 5:50 AM by Peter Knowles

Today we continue working on  your next written assessment, a research assignment about a state, regional, or local issue. 
*** If you are finished, you may want to spend today's class working on the HOMEWORK that is due on Tuesday when you return (a Google Doc Template called Ch 5.1 Assignment -- Political Parties, pgs 99-107)

Unit 4 Assessment:  Due today, May 25, 2011

Your unit handout begins with a quote from Former Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill that "All politics is local", and the unit has presented various levels of local government, from the actions and responsibilities at the state level, down to your very own town and county councils. Your unit assessment is based on your understanding and reactions to some aspect of local government.

Here's what you need to do:

1) Choose an action or decision of your local government (city, county, state) that has been in the news recently

2) Learn about the background of the decision or action -- What was the problem? What were the options? Who was impacted by the decision?

3) Explain your opinion on the government's action or decision -- Was it the right one? Will it address the problems as desired? Will it cause new ones?

To complete this assessment, you'll need to learn some new information, perhaps by looking at recent issues of The Enterprise, (or The Columbian, or TheOlympian orThe Seattle Times if you want to look at a state-level issues). You may want to talk to parents or others who have been following the issues. You may even want to call up a member of your local government involved in the decisions to learn more. Whatever you decide is fine, as long as you:

A) Understand and explain what the issue is about

B) Explain your opinion on the topic, including a critique of the government’s actions

C) Keep track of where your information comes from so you can cite it in your writing

Suggested outline

Introduction -- Write a full, inviting introduction that introduces your topic to your reader. 
Background -- Use a well-organized, clearly written paragraph to explain the context of the government's decision. Tell the story of what happened before the decision. What was the problem? Why did the particular government group take it up? How did they consider possible solutions to the problem? How did they manage the needs of those who would be impacted by the decision? Include citations to show where all information came from. 
Decision -- Write a well-organized, clear paragraph that explains the action taken by the government. Explain clearly what the actual decision was. Who made the final decision? How did they explain their actions? What was the reaction of those who were involved?  Include citations to show where all information came from. 
Your opinion -- Use a well-organized, clearly written paragraph to explain your own opinion about the government's decision and actions. Include reference material  / resources to support your opinion if possible, but at the very least, make sure you explain your position clearly as well as your reasons for that position.
Conclusion -- Write a clear, well-organized paragraph to close your essay, reviewing main points and making clear that the essay is coming to a close.
Reference list  -- Be sure to list all sources you used to learn about and write about your topic. Make sure that all sources listed are fully and correctly identified, and that each one is cited at least once in your essay. 

Unit 4 Essay Scoring Guide       

GRADED ELEMENTS

Excellent

Good

Avg

Fair

Poor

Missing

INTRODUCTION clearly identifies topic & gives sense of beginning for essay

5

4

3

2

1


0

BACKGROUND on chosen topic clearly identified; evidence that writer understands & can clearly explain problem, options, and current situation (step 2 above)

15

12

9

6

3

0

OPINION/ PERSUASIVE evidence, arguments, and language used to explain writer’s point of view (step 3)

10

8

6

4

2

0

BODY remains focused on main argument of essay; paragraphs/ideas logically presented

5

4

3

2

1

0

CONCLUSION wraps up essay with summary or restatement of thesis

5

4

3

2

1

0

CONVENTIONS applied correctly to support essay; Spelling, grammar, punctuation support message

5

4

3

2

1

0

RESEARCH documented with accurate citations and reference list

 5

4

3       

2     

1     

TOTAL

/ 50


HOMEWORK due on Tuesday: a Google Doc Template called Ch 5.1 Assignment -- Political Parties, pgs 99-107

May 24

posted May 24, 2012, 5:27 AM by Peter Knowles

Today we continue working on  your next written assessment, a research assignment about a state, regional, or local issue.

Unit 4 Assessment:  Due tomorrow, May 25, 2011

Your unit handout begins with a quote from Former Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill that "All politics is local", and the unit has presented various levels of local government, from the actions and responsibilities at the state level, down to your very own town and county councils. Your unit assessment is based on your understanding and reactions to some aspect of local government.

Here's what you need to do:

1) Choose an action or decision of your local government (city, county, state) that has been in the news recently

2) Learn about the background of the decision or action -- What was the problem? What were the options? Who was impacted by the decision?

3) Explain your opinion on the government's action or decision -- Was it the right one? Will it address the problems as desired? Will it cause new ones?

To complete this assessment, you'll need to learn some new information, perhaps by looking at recent issues of The Enterprise, (or The Columbian, or TheOlympian orThe Seattle Times if you want to look at a state-level issues). You may want to talk to parents or others who have been following the issues. You may even want to call up a member of your local government involved in the decisions to learn more. Whatever you decide is fine, as long as you:

A) Understand and explain what the issue is about

B) Explain your opinion on the topic, including a critique of the government’s actions

C) Keep track of where your information comes from so you can cite it in your writing

Suggested outline

Introduction -- Write a full, inviting introduction that introduces your topic to your reader. 
Background -- Use a well-organized, clearly written paragraph to explain the context of the government's decision. Tell the story of what happened before the decision. What was the problem? Why did the particular government group take it up? How did they consider possible solutions to the problem? How did they manage the needs of those who would be impacted by the decision? Include citations to show where all information came from. 
Decision -- Write a well-organized, clear paragraph that explains the action taken by the government. Explain clearly what the actual decision was. Who made the final decision? How did they explain their actions? What was the reaction of those who were involved?  Include citations to show where all information came from. 
Your opinion -- Use a well-organized, clearly written paragraph to explain your own opinion about the government's decision and actions. Include reference material  / resources to support your opinion if possible, but at the very least, make sure you explain your position clearly as well as your reasons for that position.
Conclusion -- Write a clear, well-organized paragraph to close your essay, reviewing main points and making clear that the essay is coming to a close.
Reference list  -- Be sure to list all sources you used to learn about and write about your topic. Make sure that all sources listed are fully and correctly identified, and that each one is cited at least once in your essay. 

Unit 4 Essay Scoring Guide       

GRADED ELEMENTS

Excellent

Good

Avg

Fair

Poor

Missing

INTRODUCTION clearly identifies topic & gives sense of beginning for essay

5

4

3

2

1


0

BACKGROUND on chosen topic clearly identified; evidence that writer understands & can clearly explain problem, options, and current situation (step 2 above)

15

12

9

6

3

0

OPINION/ PERSUASIVE evidence, arguments, and language used to explain writer’s point of view (step 3)

10

8

6

4

2

0

BODY remains focused on main argument of essay; paragraphs/ideas logically presented

5

4

3

2

1

0

CONCLUSION wraps up essay with summary or restatement of thesis

5

4

3

2

1

0

CONVENTIONS applied correctly to support essay; Spelling, grammar, punctuation support message

5

4

3

2

1

0

RESEARCH documented with accurate citations and reference list

 5

4

3       

2     

1     

TOTAL

/ 50

May 23

posted May 23, 2012, 5:10 AM by Peter Knowles

Today in class we'll continue working on  your next written assessment, a research assignment about a state, regional, or local issue.

Unit 4 Assessment:  Due Friday, May 25, 2011

Your unit handout begins with a quote from Former Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill that "All politics is local", and the unit has presented various levels of local government, from the actions and responsibilities at the state level, down to your very own town and county councils. Your unit assessment is based on your understanding and reactions to some aspect of local government.

Here's what you need to do:

1) Choose an action or decision of your local government (city, county, state) that has been in the news recently

2) Learn about the background of the decision or action -- What was the problem? What were the options? Who was impacted by the decision?

3) Explain your opinion on the government's action or decision -- Was it the right one? Will it address the problems as desired? Will it cause new ones?

To complete this assessment, you'll need to learn some new information, perhaps by looking at recent issues of The Enterprise, (or The Columbian, or TheOlympian orThe Seattle Times if you want to look at a state-level issues). You may want to talk to parents or others who have been following the issues. You may even want to call up a member of your local government involved in the decisions to learn more. Whatever you decide is fine, as long as you:

A) Understand and explain what the issue is about

B) Explain your opinion on the topic, including a critique of the government’s actions

C) Keep track of where your information comes from so you can cite it in your writing

Suggested outline

Introduction -- Write a full, inviting introduction that introduces your topic to your reader. 
Background -- Use a well-organized, clearly written paragraph to explain the context of the government's decision. Tell the story of what happened before the decision. What was the problem? Why did the particular government group take it up? How did they consider possible solutions to the problem? How did they manage the needs of those who would be impacted by the decision? Include citations to show where all information came from. 
Decision -- Write a well-organized, clear paragraph that explains the action taken by the government. Explain clearly what the actual decision was. Who made the final decision? How did they explain their actions? What was the reaction of those who were involved?  Include citations to show where all information came from. 
Your opinion -- Use a well-organized, clearly written paragraph to explain your own opinion about the government's decision and actions. Include reference material  / resources to support your opinion if possible, but at the very least, make sure you explain your position clearly as well as your reasons for that position.
Conclusion -- Write a clear, well-organized paragraph to close your essay, reviewing main points and making clear that the essay is coming to a close.
Reference list  -- Be sure to list all sources you used to learn about and write about your topic. Make sure that all sources listed are fully and correctly identified, and that each one is cited at least once in your essay. 

Unit 4 Essay Scoring Guide       

GRADED ELEMENTS

Excellent

Good

Avg

Fair

Poor

Missing

INTRODUCTION clearly identifies topic & gives sense of beginning for essay

5

4

3

2

1


0

BACKGROUND on chosen topic clearly identified; evidence that writer understands & can clearly explain problem, options, and current situation (step 2 above)

15

12

9

6

3

0

OPINION/ PERSUASIVE evidence, arguments, and language used to explain writer’s point of view (step 3)

10

8

6

4

2

0

BODY remains focused on main argument of essay; paragraphs/ideas logically presented

5

4

3

2

1

0

CONCLUSION wraps up essay with summary or restatement of thesis

5

4

3

2

1

0

CONVENTIONS applied correctly to support essay; Spelling, grammar, punctuation support message

5

4

3

2

1

0

RESEARCH documented with accurate citations and reference list

 5

4

3       

2     

1     

TOTAL

/ 50

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