Mr. Joyce’s The World Today
Teacher(s) Michael Joyce
Phone Number: (856) 848-8200 ext. 621
Google Classroom Code: All students will be required to join the World Today google classroom. The code to join the class: v9umda
Course Description: This course is an elective that is designed for students with a passion for learning about today’s society. The focus of this two-semester course is on major events and trends in the world today. The first semester will focus on local and domestic issues and the second semester on international issues. Students will learn important social study skills, the importance of citizenship, and make personal connections to history.
Course Expectations and Assessments
Textbook: There is no assigned textbook for this course. Students will read articles from magazines and newspapers provided in class. Students will be required to conduct research for major projects and gather their own materials including articles that may be found online.
Submitting work/ Emailing Assignments: Work should be turned in through the google classroom through the provided Gateway student email only. Newly created documents should be shared with the teacher(s) at firstname.lastname@example.org . To ensure academic honesty, instructor should be able to see revision history. Assignments may be submitted early but must be turn in work by the class period on the day the assignment is due. Emailed assignments or shared documents after the class period it is due will be considered late.
Test Retake Policy: In order to qualify for a retake of a unit test, students must have completed related classwork, current events and homework relating to that unit on time (scavenger hunt, scenarios, small projects) and conference with the instructor before retaking test. Students needing to make-up or retake a test will arrange a mutually agreed upon time with the teacher outside of class.
Assistance Students may set up an appointment for extra help, make up or test retakes after school Tuesday-Thursdays in Room 410. From November through January Mock Trial practice will also meet during this time.
Grading Policies: The class is divided into units with the point values for each assignment clearly labeled on the unit overview sheet posted in the google classroom at the beginning of each unit. In accordance with department policy, grades are posted by category as follows:
Support Assignments worth 10% of their final grade
Secondary Assignments worth 30% of their final grade
Primary Assignments worth 60% of their final grade
Support assignments generally include designated in class assignments- 10 points for each assignment (ranging 20-30 points per unit) including weekly current events
Secondary assignments generally include in class assignments, geography quizzes, quizzes factoring in class participation, small group projects etc. (30-50 points per unit)
Primary assignments generally include major projects (60-100 points per unit), unit tests and benchmarks (100 points per unit)
Units of Study Major Assignments
Hot Button Topics (Sept) Major Events Presentation, Unit Test
Homeland Security (Oct) Homeland Security Scenarios, Unit Test
Government and Politics (Oct-Nov) Political Platform Assignment, Quiz
Social Issues (Nov) Oral Debate and Argumentative Essay, Quiz
Economy, Energy and the Environment (Dec) Problem Scenarios and Unit Test
Health Care and Education (Jan) Jigsaw and Unit Test
Second Semester Major Assignments
North and Central America (Feb) Geography Quiz, Jigsaw, Unit Test
Europe (Feb-March) Geography Quiz, EU Research Assignment, Quiz
Asia (March) Geography Quiz, Jigsaw, Unit Test
Middle East (March-April) Geography Quiz, Oral Debate and Argumentative Essay
Africa (April-May) Geography Quiz, Jigsaw, Film Reflection, Unit Test
South America (May) Geography Quiz, Jigsaw, Unit Test
Oceania (May-June) Geography Quiz, Quiz, Culminating Project
Skills: The following skills will be taught during units throughout the year.
Read a political map Analyze newspaper articles (current events)
Create a budget using an excel spreadsheet Write a well-organized essay
Analyze political cartoons. Create multimedia presentation.
Create a bibliography Debate controversial issues
Read and create a graphic organizer Plan a trip around the world
Write a grant Read/Write an editorial
1. Respect other people’s rights, person, and property.
2. Gateway Code of Conduct will be followed and enforced.
3. Do your own work! Copying a classmate’s work or allowing someone to copy yours will equal an automatic 0 on the assignment for both of you plus an hour of detention and notice to your counselor and parents.
Absences- You are responsible for the information presented in class even when you are absent including excused absences. Please discuss long-term absences (vacations, extended college visits) ahead of time. Make a friend with someone in class who can help you catch up.
Tardies: Majority of employers report that need and expect workers to show up on time. Being on time is a crucial workplace requirement. Attendance is taken at the beginning of class; if you are not in your assigned seat when the bell rings you are late. Excessive tardies will lower your grade and result in detention time!
Current Events are to be placed in the World Today bin at the beginning of the class period or shared by the beginning of the period.
Latework: All assignments for the unit are handed out at the beginning of the unit. Current Events are collected at the beginning of the period. Late current events are worth half credit (5 points for current events). Late Projects will be reduced by 10 % per day and will not be accepted 1 week past the assigned due date.
Possible Films shown: The following films or clips from films may be shown in class.
If you or your parents have an objection to any of these films, substitute assignments will be made available. Other films may be added to this list as related to the curriculum.
1. The First Grader by National Geographic (Africa)