Course Expectations

American History I

Shikellamy High School – Room 203

Instructor: Mrs. Berger



Course Description

The history of this country is filled with incredible stories! This course begins in the early 1800s with the Industrial Revolution and continues to World War I. We will cover approximately 3 chapters a marking period. There will be many different approaches to learning the material as long as the classroom behavior is conducive to a positive educational atmosphere. Complete the assignments, participate, behave and we will all have FUN exploring this truly exciting subject. 



The purpose of this course is to provide students with the factual knowledge necessary to critically analyze the past, so that he/she can make balanced and informed judgments about the present and future.


Grading System

The grading system for this course is based on a point system. Each assignment is worth a number of points based on its length and difficulty. All graded assignments will have a point value assigned to them.  The total number of points you earned on your graded assignments are divided into the total number of possible points reflecting your grade in a percentage. You can check your grades at any time by logging into Powerschool.


Tests and Quizzes

Chapter tests will usually be worth 100 points.  Chapter Quizzes will vary from 25 to 50 points and may be announced or UNANNOUNCED!



It is strongly recommended that you keep a notebook (or folder or binder) which will greatly assist you in achieving satisfactory grades. Notebooks will NOT be collected or graded and are YOUR responsibility to keep organized and bring to class. Your notebook should contain lecture notes, quizzes, tests and assignments which will help you when participating in class activities, preparing for tests or the final exam. 


*Keep your chapter tests! You can turn them in at the end of each semester for extra credit!


Late Work

Late assignments will be accepted BUT only ONE school day late. Late points will be deducted from all assignments handed in late (usually 25% reduction).  No late points will be deducted from work missed due to EXCUSED absences. 


Missed Work

 It is YOUR responsibility to make up any class work or homework missed while you were absent. When you return to class, always check with me to see what you missed. I will provide you with any handouts or other assignments completed while you were absent, but it is YOUR responsibility to get any notes that were presented from someone else in the class. You will have the number of days you were absent to make up all work and after that will receive a 0. 



Very little homework is assigned in Mrs. Berger’s Social Studies classes. This will continue AS LONG AS you participate in class and follow all rules. On the occasion that homework is assigned, it is expected to be completed! You will always have some class time to begin assignments. Come to class, participate, follow the rules and give me 42 good minutes in class and the homework will be kept to a minimum. 

Cell Phones

Cell phones are not permitted in Mrs. Berger’s classroom. Every student will be assigned a numbered spot to keep their cell phone in a holder on the wall at the front of the room. Cell phones should be placed in this spot at the beginning of class and remain there for the class period. Students may choose to keep their cell phones in their bag, pocket, etc. but if they are out AT ALL during class, the student will automatically receive detention.  Mrs. Berger is NOT responsible for cell phones while they are in the cell phone holder. Extra credit will be awarded to students who follow this policy.


The form of cheating that is defined as: the false assumption of authorship or the wrongful act of taking the product of another person’s mind. To use another person’s ideas or expressions in your writing without acknowledging the source is PLAGIARISM. Plagiarism will result in an automatic ZERO on the first offense and a ZERO plus a discipline referral on any additional violations.


Classroom Rules



If you forget your notebook, pencil or assignment and have to retrieve it from your locker or borrow from me, you will make up the missed class time after school, during consultation time. BRING YOUR STUFF TO CLASS! I do not have an unlimited supply of pencils, etc. 


PLEASE make me aware of any trips you are taking where 1 or more days of school will be missed. I will make sure you have all assignments before your trip, to make it easier when you return to school. This is ESPECIALLY important when we are in the middle of group projects and activities!



BIG IDEAS we will explore this year

  1. Industrial Revolution                                   7. Second Industrial Revolution
  2. Reform and Expansion                              8. The Gilded Age
  3. Pre-Civil War America                                9. Imperialism
  4. The Civil War                                                10. Progressivism
  5. Reconstruction                                             11. World War I
  6. The Wild West                                              


Textbook    (which we will rarely use)

Boorstin, David and Brooks Mather Kelley. A History of the United States. Prentice Hall, 1996.