“History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.”
~ Maya Angelou
Advanced Placement World History
Mr. Nicholas Elmquist
360-426-4471 ext. 16310
Advanced Placement World History is designed to mirror a college level World History class. That being said, this course is meant to be taught at a college level. One advantage of this is that students can earn college credit in high school by taking and passing the AP World History exam (see next section for information regarding the exam.) This can save time and money in college. Enrollment in AP level classes can give students an edge in college admissions. Most importantly, by exposing students to college-level rigor in a high school setting, this class will help prepare students for much greater success in future college coursework.
However, the same level of rigor makes this course harder than non-AP courses, and rivals most freshman and sophomore level college history courses. The reason for this is that the AP exam is harder than most final exams in college. It has to be. Otherwise, colleges would not accept the scores for credit. Another challenge is the pace. We must finish a college textbook in early May, well before the end of the second semester. All this must be accomplished by high school sophomores who are three years younger than the students taking the comparable course in college.
As a result, only highly motivated and disciplined students are likely to find success in this course and on the AP exam. Even though good attendance and homework completion are essential to success, they are not enough. Students will have to demonstrate their mastery of essential skills and content on college-level exams and essays. This will require a level of hard work and study that is new to many students. Many students may struggle at first as they adjust to the work load, expectations, and pace. Students involved in extracurricular activities, taking multiple Honors/AP classes, and/or who are employed need to make sure they have enough time and discipline to manage all of their commitments successfully.
The AP World History Exam
The AP World History exam, administered Thursday May 16th, 2013, is 3 hours and 5 minutes long. The first part of the exam is a 55 minute, 70 question multiple choice section. The second part is a 130 minute essay section. Students are required to answer three essays.
The AP World History exam is graded on a five point scale. Generally, most public universities award credit or placement to students who earn a 3 or higher, while many private colleges require a score of 4 or higher. However, since each school is free to set its own policy, students need to check the specific policies of the institutions they are interested in attending.
All students enrolled in this class are highly encouraged to take the AP World History exam. Each exam costs about $85. Any student who does not take the AP exam will be required to take a similar exam on the same day that will comprise 20% of that student’s second semester grade. Although the AP exam is in May, official AP exam scores will not be published until the summer. However, any student scoring 4 or higher will have the option of changing his or her grade to an ‘A’ for one semester. Any student earning a 3 will have the option of changing their grade one letter grade (for example, C to B). Changes will take place retroactively in September the following school year. When you receive your AP score report, bring it to Mr. Elmquist for any changes you want to make. Failure to meet with Mr. Elmquist in September for grade changes will result in no change in your grade.
Show CLIMBER P.O.W.E.R. (Pride, Ownership, Work Ethic, Enthusiasm, Respect)
- Pride – Your actions reflect the type of student you are. Take care to produce high quality work that you can be proud of. Hard work done well feels great!
- Ownership – Take responsibility for your choices. This classroom is as much yours as it is mine – leave this space better than you found it. If it is to be, it is up to me!
- Work Ethic – Always strive for consistent and quality effort. Your harshest critic should be you. Relentlessly pursue your potential. Ask for help and be willing to give something your best effort.
- Enthusiasm – Be engaged and motivated. Understand that the challenge of learning new things is what makes it so rewarding. Come to class every day with a positive attitude and help pick your classmates up.
- Respect – Consider yourself, others, and the classroom space. Show respect by taking your learning seriously, helping other students and striving to make this a positive classroom environment.
- Students will be prepared for the Advanced Placement World History exam
- Students will study selected historical themes and the significance of major interpretive questions
- Students will learn to analyze and interpret primary sources, including documentary material, maps, statistical tables, and pictorial and graphic evidence of historical events
- Students will learn how to approach history critically and be able to analyze and evaluate competing sources of historical information
- Students will be able to express themselves with clarity and precision and know how to cite sources and edit phrases and ideas of others
- Students will learn test-taking skills, including how to successfully take timed exams
- Students will learn to take notes from both printed materials and lectures
Punctuality and excellent attendance are required and necessary to succeed in this class. Therefore, Shelton High School’s attendance policy will be strictly enforced. Specifically, students are allowed only the number of days absent (x2), truancies not included, to make up any work missed.
All students are expected to behave in a manner appropriate to a college setting. Those who do not can expect fair, consistent, and natural disciplinary consequences for their inappropriate actions or attitudes. Typical consequences include but are not limited to warnings, time outside the classroom, after school or lunch detentions, referrals, parent phone calls, parent conferences, behavior contracts, and even expulsion from the class. Consequences may also be remedial, such as cleaning all desks if caught writing on a desk.
1st Semester Categories
2nd Semester Categories
Unit Exams 30%
Unit Exams 30%
Timed Writes 20%
Timed Writes 20%
Chapter Homework 20%
Chapter Homework 20%
Major Project(s) 10%
Major Project 10%
Other Assignments 10%
Final Project 10%
Final Exam 10%
Other Assignments 10%
Unit exams will usually be given following each major period of the class. Each exam will cover all the readings, lectures, discussions, etc. since the previous exam. Students who know they will be absent on the day of an exam must inform the instructor several days prior to arrange an alternate time to take the test. Otherwise, they will receive a make-up exam which may be more difficult than the original, missed exam. Excused absences and field trips are not acceptable reasons to miss an exam without informing the teacher several days prior. Only students in extreme situations, as defined by the teacher, will be allowed to make-up the original exam without prior permission. Throughout the year, exams will gradually increase in length of the total multiple choice questions. The lowest first semester exam score of each student will be automatically dropped at the end of the first semester. No second semester exam scores will be dropped.
The largest part of the AP exam is the essay portion. Therefore, considerable time will be spent learning and practicing how to write effectively. Specific essay guidelines and expectations will be handed out at a later date. Those essay guidelines must be followed carefully. (AP World History essays are often times different than the style of essay students may be used to writing in English class) Students will usually be required to write essays once per unit, starting in October. It is anticipated that all essays will be in class “timed writes.” Students who miss an in class “timed write” will be subject to the same make-up policy as those who miss a multiple choice exam. Class essays will be similar to those given on the AP World History exam and will be graded on the same nine point scale. The following chart shows how the rubric’s point values will be converted in a grade book score.
9=100% 8=95% 7=90% 6=85% 5=80% 4=75% 3=70% 2=60% 1=30%
Students are expected to complete a major assignment each chapter that will force them into the details of the text. Students are expected to stay on track with the readings and complete their chapter homework on time. Students that turn in homework on time will be eligible for the full point value for that homework. Students turning in homework late will have additional work to do in order get credit for that homework. More details will be provided later.
One or more group projects will be assigned in the first semester. These may consist of a formal debate, a student-lead lecture or review activity, a counterfactual activity, historical simulations, etc. Projects will require a significant amount of research and preparation outside of class. Rubrics and detailed instructions will be forthcoming.
Students will receive various other assignments, such as secondary readings, maps, primary source materials, etc. Students will usually receive either full, half, or no credit for these assignments depending on the quality of their work. All in class assignments are due at the end of the class period and all take home assignments are due at the beginning of the next class unless otherwise stated. Some assignments may also fall under the category of ‘participation’. Late assignments will only be accepted if the student does some additional work, above and beyond the original requirements of the assignment. More details will be provided later.
All students will take a cumulative, multiple choice final exam at the end of the first semester. A second semester final exam may also be required. No students will be allowed to waive a semester final exam.
During the second semester, students will work in groups to create a document based question, essay, poster board, and related materials. This project will require significant research and teamwork outside of class. Groups will choose potential DBQ topics from an approved list. No groups will be allowed to cover the same topics. Rubrics and detailed information will be forthcoming.
After the A.P. exam, students will work in groups to create one or more projects. Topics, rubrics, and detailed instructions will forthcoming.
While students are encouraged to help each other and work together, cheating will not be tolerated. Cheating occurs whenever a student attempts to take credit for someone else’s effort. Cheating can take place in or out of the classroom on anything that has a point value attached to it. Any student found cheating will receive a 0% on that assignment (test, essay, etc.). A second offense could result in a loss of credit for the class. I will follow the SHS policy on cheating and plagiarism.
Plagiarism is similar to cheating in that it will not be tolerated. Plagiarism happens when a student uses another person’s words or ideas without giving them due credit. Plagiarism is most prevalent in essay and research based work. If you are getting information or ideas from another source (book, website, article), you must credit that source. Plagiarism also often happens when students ‘cut and paste’ from an online source and claim it as their own. Plagiarism will be handled in the same manner as cheating.
The teacher reserves the sole and complete right to modify this syllabus at any time and in anyway he sees fit. Minor syllabus modifications often happen during the school year. However, any changes will be made for the good of the class and announced as soon as possible.
AP World History can be harder on parents/guardians than it is on students. The main reason is that you may witness your student struggling to keep up, frustrated at not performing up to his/her expectations, of simply overwhelmed at the amount of ‘stuff’ that has to be done for the class. The keys to success in AP are organization, thinking smarter about how to accomplish tasks, communication with parents and teachers, and positive, proactive approach to learning. There is flexibility in the reading schedule to allow for family events, sports etc., but it requires that the student work ahead rather than fall behind. Procrastination often results in poor exam scores and a defeatist attitude. Please be aware of such signs and I encourage you to have an open and supportive dialogue with your student. The goal is to build a framework for success in college and beyond. This class is about learning first, grades second. Remember, if your student meets standard on the AP exam in May, they can make changes to their grades in September. This is a process of learning and skill development. Rarely is there a student who can master it all in the first semester.
Web site: Please contact me and I will send you an invite to the web site. Web site includes all activities as well as a calendar of daily events.
AP World History Syllabus Summary
· AP World History is as hard or harder than a typical college level survey history class
· AP World History students will read an most of a textbook by the end of April
· Many students will not earn an ‘A’ in this course.
· Students that earn a 3 or above on the AP test can change their grade for one semester
· Only students who are motivated, disciplined, and take initiative will do well
· Students will learn much more in this class than a standard World Studies class
· Students who take rigorous classes in high school will have a much easier transition to college level work
· Students are highly encouraged to take the A.P. Exam on May 16th 2013; not only to potentially earn college credit but to intellectually challenge themselves
· Students will have to complete several large projects outside of class
· Any student caught cheating or plagiarizing will receive no credit for the first offense
This summary is meant to highlight some of the key points from the syllabus. Please read the entire syllabus for more details about AP World History.
I have read, understood, and will abide by all of the provisions of the entire AP World History syllabus
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