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Contemporary World Issues Syllabus
Contemporary World Issues- Course Syllabus:
Freshman Social Studies

Teacher: Brittany Byrd
Voice Mail: 303-982-7737
Email:

Fees: None

Course Overview:
This Contemporary World Issues class was designed by the social studies teachers at WRHS as a semester long course and will be paired with the semester long geography course. A department-wide decision was made in Spring 2016 to move the American Government class to the senior year and introduce a Contemporary World Issues class that identifies two academic goals: 1) Assess the reading and writing skills of incoming freshmen students within a social studies curriculum and 2) Introduce students to the many world events that influence their day to day lives. The course begins with students completing a diagnostic reading to assess their reading and writing proficiencies. A wide variety of current event articles will be used to assess students’ reading proficiencies and then students will complete various writing assessments to also assess how well they are able to articulate their positions in a written format. Digging deep into historical events affords students the opportunity to become apprentice historians as they learn to “use historical facts and evidence to create a deeper conceptual understanding of critical developments in their world. The change in curricular direction is response to what the Social Studies Department believes is best for both freshmen entering the high school experience, and seniors who will better benefit from completing a government class as they enter the world outside of WRHS.

Learning Targets:
---Reading Learning Targets
I. Preview – How effectively is student able to access background knowledge to help in understanding reading material?
II. Predict
III. Ask
IV. Read
V. Clarify
VI. Summarize
VII. Synthesize

--- Writing Learning Targets

1. Deconstruct Prompts – How effectively does the
student understand what tasks he/she is being asked to
complete?
2. Gather Evidence – How effectively does student gather
appropriate and relevant evidence from text?
3. Thesis/Claim- How effectively does student develop
thesis/claim?
4. Argument – How effectively does student develop
argument?
5. Synthesis – How effectively does student
6. Organization – How effectively does student organize
his/her written response?
7. Social Studies Vocabulary – How effectively does
student use content specific vocabulary in his/her
response?

Homework: Homework is designed to complement and extend the learning begun in class. It is very purposeful and if assigned, will be utilized the following day in class. There is not a set amount of time or homework that must be completed nightly, but rather homework is determined by what is transpiring in the classroom daily.

Tests: Quizzes may be used to assess reading comprehension of various texts.

In-Class Discussions:
In- class discussions are a part of the student’s experience, and participation is expected and will be graded.

Grades: Grades are based on a percentage of total points earned as follows:
90 – 100% = A
80 – 89% = B
70 – 79% = C
60 – 69% = D
Below 60% = F

Mandatory Access - At the conclusion of the six week grading period, if your son or daughter has earned anything lower than a C, we require him or her to set up a mandatory access meeting once a week to get him/her back on track. The goal is always being to help your son or daughter recognize that we all slip, but can recover and get some learning strategies in place to help. This required access meeting will be ongoing for the rest of the year (as a proactive measure) and students cannot opt out.

Attendance Policy and Behavior Expectations:

Wheat Ridge High School attendance policy will be followed. Attendance is crucial for success here and in college, and poor attendance will result in a failing or disappointing grade for the class.

Supplies:
For supplies it is recommended that you bring the following to class:
• Three-ring binder
• Paper
• Pens or pencils
• Highlighters
• Planner

Tardy Party!
If you arrive late to my class without an excused pass, you have formally received an invitation to the Tardy Party! That means that you must come to my access in order for me to change your attendance. I will not stop my class to accommodate you. There are 30 + other students who are here to learn, and my focus is to help you learn.

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