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Classroom Rules and Syllabus

 

General Information:  American Government 2017-2018 School Year

Instructor:      Mr. Blommel

E-Mail:           Shane.Blommel@WBWarriors.org

Room:             106

Planning:        6th Period

 

Course Description

United States Government is a challenging course. This course is designed to provide students with the analytic skills and factual knowledge necessary to deal critically with the problems and materials in US government and politics, and therefore, places great academic demand on the student.  There is an assumption made that the student will accept the demands that this course requires and will take the state test at the remainder of the school year as a requirement for graduation.

 

Course Objectives

• To know important facts, concepts, and theories pertaining to United States government and politics.

•To understand typical patterns of political processes and behavior and their consequences (including the components of political behavior, the principles used to explain or justify various government structures and procedures, and the political effects of those structures and procedures).

•To be able to analyze and interpret basic data relevant to United States government and politics.

•To prepare for the required state examination at the conclusion of the school year.

 

Hammurabi Blommel’s Code of Conduct

A Student’s guide to success in Mr. Blommel’s Government Class…

  1. Never lose this Guide…
  2. Remember that this is the class that details “your” role in “our” society.
  3. Participation is key…do not feel afraid to attempt to give an answer even if you think it might be wrong… Having said this, you should be prepared for multiple forms of assessment during the course of the year.  This will include Tests/Quizzes, Projects, Speeches, Stories, and even games.  Remember “Better to have tried and failed than to have not tried at all”
  4. In order to properly understand “your” role you must keep up with all assignments.  (Do your Homework!) Assignments and Tests will be posted on my Web Page! At least 5 points will be deducted for each missing assignment and larger point totals will be deducted for lack of participation and unexcused absences)
  5. Attendance: Come to class every day. If there is a reason you must be absent, please inform me prior to the absence, if possible. I shut the door when class starts. If you arrive after the door is shut, you are tardy. Please shut the door behind you. Any work missed due to an unexcused absence will result in a grade of zero for that assignment.
  6. Cell phones:  Cells phones and any personal communication devices should be turned off during class and stowed away. Please do not answer phones, text, or allow your phones to ring or vibrate during class. Laptops are allowed but must be shut unless I say otherwise. The first time your cell phone rings or vibrates or I see you texting in class, I will answer your phone or respond to or finish your text; there has never been a second time!
  7. Sleeping in class: You may not sleep in class without my permission. That won’t happen. Sleeping in class will affect your grade, leave you open to attack, & you might just awake with a lightning bolt on your forehead.
  8. Food and Drink: Leave the room as neat and tidy as you found it. I allow you to eat and drink in class (within reason: no waffles please). If your class leaves food or drinks in the room this privilege will be suspended.
  9. Respect others right to speak and have their own opinion.  When someone is speaking do not interrupt them, wait your turn (this includes the teacher).  NO PUT DOWNS!!! 

Discussion Etiquette:

-There is a great deal of opportunity for discussion in this class.

-Discussion (and life in general) works best if you observe the following rules.

-Listen.

-Speak your mind (not just your heart).

-Attack ideas, not people. Don’t kill the messenger.

-Ask as many questions as you make statements.

-It’s ok to disagree. You can still be friends.

-Do us all a favor and think about what you are going to say before you say it.

-Follow this guide: Is what you are saying true? Is it important? Is it worth saying? Is it hurtful?

-Don’t repeat things that have already been said. Don’t begin with, “Somebody already said this…”

-Respond to the current thread of the discussion, not what was said five minutes ago (let it go).

-If you start a sentence with, “I’m not racist, but…” you shouldn’t say it.

  1. Remember that all homework will be graded.  Cheating and plagiarism will be punished! Honor Code: I take intellectual property very seriously. Any instances of plagiarism, cheating, or unauthorized collaboration or copying of assignments will result in an automatic zero for the assignment with no possibility of make-up. All violations of the honor code will be reported to the Principal.
  2. In order to help you properly understand your role in “our” society you will need the following tools for class EVERYDAY…Government Folder/Binder, Pencil, Pen, and Highlighter, Notebook paper, and Electronic Device (will not be used without my permission) All School rules and punishments apply while in my classroom.
  3. Unfortunate Consequences… Verbal warning, sentences, detentions, office referrals, phone call home, suspension.

Thanks!! Now please turn off all personal communications devices, sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.

Overview/Syllabus:  American Government 2017-2018 School Year

**Remember that you must pass both Semesters of American Government in order to obtain the full credit required to Graduate from West Branch High School.  Also starting in the 2016-17 School year every student is required, by the State of Ohio, to pass the American Government State Assessment in order to Graduate High School.

 

First Nine Weeks:

Unit 1:   U.S. Citizenship and the Origin of our form of Government (Different                  Forms of Government) (Approximately 4 Weeks to start the school year)

Unit 2:  Civic Participation and Government Spending (Tax) Policies Ohio Government and Local Law

A.        The Ohio Constitution (Understanding and Comparing to the U.S. Constitution)

B.        The Ohio General Assembly (Comparisons to the U.S. Congress)

C.        Local Government Project

(Approximately 4 Weeks)

Second Nine Weeks:

Unit 3:  U.S. Citizens Basic Freedoms: The Amendments (Approximately 5 Weeks)

Unit 4:  Federalism…How to the various levels of Government work together… (Approximately 2 weeks)

 

Third Nine Weeks:

Unit 5:  The Legislative Branch

A.        House vs. Senate

B.        Elections

C.        Powers of Congress (creation of Law)

D.        Mock Congress Debate/Speech

(Approximately 5 weeks at the end of the 2nd Term into the beginning of the 3rd Term)

Unit 6: The Executive Branch

A.        The Electoral College/2016 Election Activity (supplemented with current 2016 Election information)

B.        The Powers of The President (Why do we follow the laws?)

C.        The President’s Cabinet

D.        Mock Cabinet Meeting

(Approximately 4 weeks)

Unit 7:  Political Parties and Voting Rights (Approximately 2 weeks)

Fourth Nine Weeks:

Unit 8: The U.S. Financial System; “The Fed”

  1. Explain how the federal government uses spending and tax

(fiscal) policy to effect changes in the nation’s economic

conditions.

  1. Examine applications of government regulation and

determine a cost and benefit of each application.

  1. Select one of the tools used by the Federal Reserve and then discuss the reasoning behind the use of the tool in a given set of economic conditions, how the particular use of the tool impacts the actions of banks, and the intended result for the particular use of the tool.

C. - Open market operations (purchase and sale of government securities)

-Adjusting the discount rate (interest rate on loans the Fed makes to financial institutions)

- Adjusting the reserve requirement (required reserve

ratio – the fraction of deposits that banks must keep on reserve and not use to make loans).

***Ohio American Government End of Course Exam Study and Year Review!!!

Unit 9:  The Judicial Branch

A.        The Structure and Function of our Court System

B.        Examination of Different Types of Law (Ex. Civil vs. Criminal Law)

C.        An Examination of Supreme Court decisions that have changed our Constitution (Approximately 4 weeks)