TEACHER: Mr. Fleischman

Course Description

Welcome to Civics, this course is designed to provide you with an understanding the American governmental system with a focus on your responsibilities as a citizen. Throughout this course you will have the opportunity to explore how our government works by readings, projects, simulations, class discussions and quizzes. Listed below are the five units and their essential questions that we will be covering this year.

  1. The Nature of Government will explore the following questions:
  1. a. Why do we have government?
  2. b. Which government systems work best?
  3. c. How do different economic systems meet the needs of their citizens?

During the Nature of Government unit students will have the opportunity to apply concepts allowing them to frame, analyze and solve a range of increasingly complex problems involving real world scenarios.

  1. Legislative Branch will explore the following questions:
    1. How do the structures and purpose of the legislative branch differ at federal, state, and local levels
    2. What influences the legislative process at all levels
    3. How does each level of government meet the needs of its citizens differently

The Legislative Branch unit will provide students the opportunity to engage in appropriate collaborative and independent inquiry to question, investigate/research a topic, gather and present information. Students will also have the opportunity to understanding changing global issues and their worldwide impact.

  1. Executive Branch will explore the following questions:
    1. How do the structures and purposes of the executive branch differ at the federal, state, and local levels?
    2. Why has government changed its' policies?
    3. What considerations are there before an executive makes a decision?

The Executive Branch unit will allow students to construct clear and concise arguments to support their reasoning and provide an opportunity to appropriately critique the reasoning of others.

  1. Judicial Branch will explore the following questions:

a. How does the principle of federalism work in the judicial branch?

b. What is the relationship between the Judicial Branch and the citizens?

c. How has Supreme Court developed and changed over time?

The Judicial Branch unit will allow students to read actively and critically to comprehend information of increasing complex texts, from a variety of sources as well as engaging in collaborative and independently inquiry to question, investigate/research a topic, gather and present information.

  1. Civic Participation will explore the following question:
    1. How can any citizen be part of the political process?

The Civic Participation unit will allow students to participate in the democratic process by staying informed and by engaging in independent inquiry to investigate a topic and present information. In addition students will use their interpersonal and collaborative skills required to keep harmony in a diverse community.

Final Project

This course is a study of how our government works and your role in that system. For your final project tin this course you will have the opportunity to take an active role within your own community. You will be asked to select a current issue facing our society (issue can be at the city, state, or national level), research that issue, develop a plan to address that issue and then take action.

GRADING CRITERIA: Quarterly grades will be determined by following system:

Test/Quizzes: 40%

Homework 15%

Classwork 15%

Projects: 30%

Voluntary and meaningful class participation can only increase quarter grades.

Expectations for Students

Be Responsible

  • Students are expected to be in class at their assigned desks when the bell rings; excessive tardiness can result in after school detentions and calls to parent/guardians.
  • Students are expected to have a writing utensil, notebook, textbook, paper and any other materials needed for class that day; you will not be allowed to run to your locker to get any of these supplies.
  • All assignments are due at the start of the period; those assignments that are received afterwards are considered late and not accepted.
  • If a student is absent, it is the responsibility of the student to get any notes or assignments he or she has missed. Work not made up 3 days after returning to school, will not be accepted. If a student misses a test or quiz, they should sign up immediately to make it up, failure to do so will result in a zero.

Be Respectful and Be Safe

  • Students will behave appropriately, if misbehavior occurs, detentions will be assigned in 20-minute increments to be served after school the next day. The teacher can write an office referral if the behavior warrants one.

COMMUNICATION: Your progress will be communicated in the following manner:

1) Work that has been graded and returned.

2) Conferences between student and teacher and/or parent and teacher.

3) When needed, phone calls and notes to parents.

4) School mid-term progress reports.

5) Teacher grade updates.