Honors American History
Mr. Winkler, Instructor
“To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child.”
― Marcus Tullius Cicero
Nature of Course
This course examines American history from Reconstruction up through the 1980’s and is an honors course meeting the requirement for American history for graduation from Liberty High School. The course differs from the regular course in several important ways: 1. You will be expected to read more independently and learn the basic content on your own. 2. You will be expected to be curious about everything and constantly ask questions. 3. You will be expected to be willing think deeply about history. 4. You will be expected to write clearly and concisely about history.
The reality of this course is that you will be doing most of the work. My job will to help guide you into thinking and investigating history, but this way you will learn how to do history and I believe that you will find this a much more enjoyable process than listening to me lecture about history, fascinating as I am.
“Study the past if you would define the future.” ― Confucius
I am starting my 30th year in the classroom. I graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in secondary education, certified to teach both social studies and English. I am a rabid Jayhawk fan and will let you know about the Jayhawks on a regular basis whether you want to hear or not. I have a master’s in American History from UMKC.
I have been married for 15 years and have two kids (8 and 12 years old) who attend Lewis and Clark Elementary and Heritage Middle. I live in Liberty and am committed to the community and school district because I do not just work here, but I live here.
“If you don't know history, then you don't know anything. You are a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree. ” ― Michael Crichton
Grades are figured out of total points earned by students. All homework, classwork, formative assessments, and summative assessments will be added together to get a grade. Homework will be give and graded, but know that this class has no busy work--all work done in class or as homework has
“History is a set of lies agreed upon.” ― Napoleon Bonaparte
Late Work Policy
The following is the late work policy for all of Liberty High School:
Homework or in-class work will be accepted for up to 60% of its original value starting the day after its due date until the day of the exam or assessment for that unit. After the test or assessment has been given, no work from that unit will be accepted for credit.
The reasoning behind this policy comes from the nature of homework or in-class work. Homework or in-class work is designed to help students learn or master material for an exam or assessment, not to “boost” a grade in the course. In the social studies department, exams and assessments are derived from specific learning goals set for the unit and are, therefore, the most important and culminating feature of measuring a student’s success in the course. Accepting homework or in-class work after the exam or assessment might raise the student’s grade but would not support the belief that homework and in-class work serve to help a student succeed on an assessment or exam, which in turn shows proficiency in meeting learning goals.
Retakes on summative or unit exams are not allowed. Students may, however, retake CFAs (common formative assessments) that the American History team develops for all freshmen to take if the student gets below 80%. The retake can only happen after a student comes in during Liberty Hour for tutoring, and the highest grade that will be recorded for a retake is 80%, even if the student performs at a higher level.
“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”
― George Orwell
The purpose of this class is to discover the history of United States and examine the nature of the discipline while improving academic skills in written and oral communication, in reading, in study skills, and in research. For these goals to be met by every student, the classroom must be a safe place to share ideas, to fail in pursuit of knowledge and skills, to succeed in pursuit of knowledge and skills, to experiment with new ideas, and to be curious. In order for this classroom to be a safe environment, all students must meet the following expectations every day:
- Be respectful of yourself and others. This includes common courtesy and appropriate language.
- No food or drink other than water is permitted.
- Come prepared for class--have your work done, laptop charged, and most importantly, be ready to participate in class whatever that looks like for the day.
- Be on time to class; be in the room when the bell rings. LHS tardy policy will be enforced.
- Seek help when you need it from the teacher or fellow students--Be responsible for your own learning.
- No cell phone or mp3 use during class time.
“The first duty of a man is to think for himself”
― José Martí
Technology Expectations for Students
- check classroom Blackboard site daily for course information, assignment postings, weekly schedules, and/or handouts and materials
- respect a teacher’s direction when to or when not to use technology
- use proper grammar and punctuation in all email communications
- only use laptops/cell phones/earbuds/headphones during class if directed by teacher
- have earbuds/headphones available for use daily
- check student school email daily