GLOBAL HISTORY (Regular & Honors)
This course is going to be the most difficult Social Studies course your son/daughter takes (except APUSH), and you will very likely see a drop in quarterly grades from previous years, which in some cases will be very significant, if your child chooses not to put forth the effort to try their absolute best. Your children are going to be challenged, and some personal sacrifices may need to be made to not fall behind. They are going to be held accountable for completing assigned work as instructed (not the way they feel like doing it), remembering when test dates are (cell phones have "alert" options on them), and to manage their time outside of school accordingly if they want to be successful. They will be told often that you as parents can not bail them out of their expectations or their grades, and the only option is to stay prepared and work hard. I will do my best to help them while they are at school, but outside of my classroom is where your role as a parent fits in to hold them accountable as well.
2. UNIT TESTS/ESSAYS = 60% of Grade
One of the reasons why my course is hard is because I do not use multiple choice, matching, or true/false questions on tests/quizzes. They are all fill-ins and short answers, which makes it much more difficult and more time must be devoted to preparing; you really need to know the information to succeed. Making index cards to study from, and studying a little bit every night vs. cramming the night before, is the best way to prepare; I will help them learn how best to use this strategy. Specifically, they should write themselves out what they think might make good test questions on index cards (question on one side, answer on the other), and I will review each one with them and make suggestions (e.g. what to add, what they can take out, etc.). This process gives them a better sense of what will be on the test, but they have to put in the effort and come here to reap that benefit; there is no better tutor than me, their actual teacher who makes the tests.
Important: (1) If your child is absent for a test/quiz and missed the entire school day, it must be made up the very next day he/she is present even if that means staying after school. If the student has no valid, verifiable reason why he/she can not stay the day they return, it is a "0". (2) If your child misses a test and came in after my class, he/she must stay after that same day to make it up, even if it means staying after school. If the student has no valid, verifiable reason why he/she cannot stay, it is a "0". (3) If your child missed a test and it is determined to have been an illegal absence, it is a "0". (4) Zeros can not be made up. (5) Exceptions will be made in emergency circumstances (hospitalization, death in the family, etc.), so please let me know as soon as possible.
3. WEEKLY QUIZZES = 30% of Grade
There are also weekly vocab quizzes from the vocab packet they get at the start of the course. Each term (around 110 of them) has a definition, examples, and important names/events associated with each one. Memorizing the definition word-for-word will be of no help; they must understand the meaning of it. Some vocab quizzes will ask for a definition, others will ask for examples, and yet others may have a set of examples or a definition and they must know the term. They take a number of forms, and they must know and understand all the info for each of the roughly 110 terms to succeed. I strongly recommend reviewing these terms every day for 10-15 minutes.
Students will be taking notes from PowerPoints and are the bulk of what they must study from for unit tests. These provide course material that covers the HW and the readings, and I include several visuals which are proven to help aid in their recall as many are visual learners. I purposely do not put notes on my website, and copies are not given to students in advance unless specifically required on an individual basis per special education/504 requirements. If students are absent, they must make time to come and see me after 2:35 (or copy them from another student, which could be less reliable). If your child is absent, I strongly recommend he/she contact a fellow student to copy the notes before they come back to class so as to not fall behind.
5. HOMEWORK = 10% of Grade
Homework must be complete and ready to be checked at the start of each class in their spiral notebooks. (It can not be handed in later that day for credit). Also, I never, ever assign group work. Students caught "working together" will earn a "0" on the assignment and will be reported to my administrators for cheating. (If this happens with Global 10 Honors students, I will seek to have them removed and placed in general Global 10.)
Important: If your child arrived late and missed my class, or left early and missed my class, they must make the effort to come and see me to have HW checked in and collect any assignments before they leave for the day (some may not be able to be put on my website). If they fail to do this, they will receive a "0" both for what they didn't turn in that was due that day and a "0" the next day for the assignment they didn't bother to come and get from me. The same policy goes for missing my class because they were in the Office, the Nurse, Guidance, Band Lessons, Leaving for Field Trips/Sports, etc. Only in extreme emergencies is this policy not enforced (rushed to the hospital, death in the family, etc.).
How to Complete HW Properly for Full Credit: Students are instructed how to answer questions in the proper form I expect, which is rephrasing each question entirely into their answer in a complete sentence and avoiding pronouns, and if not done properly a score of "0" is earned, even if all questions were answered. Below are examples of my expectations for every single HW question unless specifically told not to do it.
Question: "What former South African civil rights leader also supported the Communist Party and was imprisoned for terrorism?"
Answer earning credit: "Nelson Mandela is the former South African civil rights leader who supported the Communist Party and was convicted of terrorism." Notice how the question is rephrased completely into the answer, and that it is a complete sentence. Every single HW question must be answered this way or the entire assignment is a zero (not just that one question), even if only done for 1 question out of 10). I do not give any partial credit for HW; it is either "full credit" or a "0". Answers do not need to be all 100% correct, but they must put forth an honest effort and try their hardest in attempting to answer all questions.
Answers earning no credit: Simply writing only "Nelson Mandela" or "Mandela" or "Nelson Mandela was a civil rights leader." Why is this marked wrong even though "Mandela" is the correct person? Because their response is incomplete and not written out properly.
6. CELL PHONE POSSESSION/USE
Cell phone use or possession is not permitted permitted in my classroom at any time. They are a major distraction in general in classrooms, and they must be kept away from their desks at all times, either left on my counter or in their lockers. If you need to reach them, call the main office and they will be paged. Having their phone on them, even if not being used, is a write up and a 4:30 detention. I am allowed to set and enforce my own individual policy in my classroom and am very strict with it, so please encourage your son/daughter to comply.
7. EXTRA CREDIT
I do not give extra credit for any reason, so it's best to work hard and stay on top of things.
8. WHAT CAN BE DONE TO IMPROVE MY CHILD'S GRADE?
Since I do not offer extra credit, and earning zeros on HWs and tests can not be made up, below is a list of how your child can improve his/her grades and/or some questions to think about:
a. Attendance - Make sure your child is attending class regularly. Instill a sense of importance to be at school.
b. HW - Make sure they are doing HW assignments regularly, properly, and completely. They must follow my expectations for every single question, every single time and not simply how they feel like doing them. There is a reason why I want it completed a certain way, and simply being "done" or the answer is "correct" does not mean it has been "completed."
c. Tests - Make sure they are making index/study cards and preparing ahead of time. Do you see them studying at home? Ask to see them regularly and/or study with them.
d. Do they spend their time wisely in study halls and in resource rooms while at school?
e. Do they spend their time wisely at home?
f. Are extra-curricular activities/part-time jobs affecting their available study time?
g. Has your child come to see me 9th period for help?
h. Check my website regularly. I post most assignments with copies of the assignments plus their due dates (which is handy if they lost their HW sheet), as well as quiz & unit test dates at least 2-3 days in advance.
i. Check Powerschool regularly to see what grades your child is earning on tests/quizzes/homework.
9. SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES for EMERGENCIES
I reserve the right to alter any of my policies for certain students on an individual basis in emergency or unavoidable situations, and I am very understanding in these matters especially when they can affect overall grades. In these situations, I do not personally need to know the nature of you or your child's personal business, but someone in Guidance, the Main Office, or the Health Office does if I am to excuse your child or allow extended time to make up work; I have to know it is a valid, verifiable reason from someone in authority at school who knows the situation.
10. CONTACTING ME
My preferred method of communication is email as this is how I can most quickly respond to you. I check it regularly throughout the day between 7:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., and I will return a message within 24 hours if I was contacted during the times above, though it might not always be the same day I receive your email. I want your child to succeed, so don't hesitate to contact me! (Jcronin@akronk12.org)