Course Title: 100: Early American History 1500 - 1900 (1 Credit) 

    Grade Level: 9th Grade, MYP Year 4  

    Teacher: Bjarki Sears

    Email: bsears@acsdvt.org

    Phone: (h) 802-458-5339  (w) 802-458-5339

    Room: D-107

    Course Description: 


    In this course, you will explore the development of the United States of America, both in its own process of creating order and structure as a nation and people and in its interactions with the rest of the world. An International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program (MYP) course, Early American History uses a thematic approach in exploring history, allowing for substantial connections to be made between historical events and the world today. Paired with the chronological development of the United States, you will also explore the following themes: the relationship between people and the land; American ideologies and the tension between the rights of the individual and the well-being of the whole; the development of understandings of class, race, and gender; and the impact of economic change on society. 


    In this class, you will approach the study of history by emphasizing transferable skills that will be of use in other areas of academics and beyond. Throughout the course, you will be asked to deeply engage in your own education as inquirers and problem-solvers, and reflect upon your process and growth throughout the year. 

    Units of Study(subject to change)


    Interdisciplinary Unit:  Language and Literature and Individuals and Society

    • Statement of Inquiry:  People choose symbols that express their identity and culture. 
    • Summative Assessment:  Symbols: Past, Present, and Future


    Unit #1: Human and Physical Geography & The Roots of American Society 

    • Statement of Inquiry: Time, place and space influences growth in natural and human landscapes. 
    • Summative Assessment: Design Your Own Colony 

    Unit #2: Governance, Ideology & Religion in Early America 

    • Statement of Inquiry: Systems’ structures and ideologies establish government and civil society. 
    • Summative Assessment: Research Essay 

    Unit #3: Shore to Shore - Westward Expansion 

    • Statement of Inquiry: Disparities in the face of change influence power and privilege. 
    • Summative Assessment: Peace Conference, Treaty & Position Paper 

    Unit #4: Civil War & Reconstruction 

    • Statement of Inquiry: 
    • Summative Assessment: Argumentative Essay 

    Unit #5: Innovation, Immigration & Identity 

    • Statement of Inquiry: Innovation and global interaction lead to interconnection and diversity. 
    • Summative Assessment: Humans of New York Project & Reflection 

    Types of Assessment

    • Formative Assessment is assessment for learning (practice).  Formative assessments may include open-ended tasks, written and oral assessments, reflection prompts, self-assessments, peer-to-peer feedback, exit tickets, etc.  
    • Summative Assessment is assessment of learning (prove it!). It is used to evaluate your achievement and serves as evidence of what you learned during each unit. Summative assessments may include tests, papers, projects, presentations, performances, debates, and other creative ways for you to convey your learning. Summatives may take place at the end of a unit of study and/or at any point within a unit of study when it is appropriate for you to demonstrate learning.  Summative assessments are the only graded assignments.  Each quarter, you will have three to five summative assessments.  
    • Reflection is assessment on learning.  Both during and after a unit, you have a responsibility to reflect on their learning goals and relevant success criteria to gauge personal progress toward course objectives. Your reflections can be expressed in various ways (e.g., written, drawn, and/or recorded). 


    How am I assessed?

    All MYP teachers use MYP Year 5 rubrics to evaluate you on each Summative Assessment.  These rubrics clearly outline expectations for student achievement and separately assess student progress toward each assessed criterion on a scale of 1-8.  


    You will be assessed on the following Individuals & Societies’ Objectives (see MYP handbook for more detailed achievement bands)

      • Knowing & Understanding 
      • Investigating 
      • Communicating 
      • Critical Thinking 


    Can I retake summative assessments?

    Only if you score a 3 or below on a given assessment will you have the opportunity to reassess.  

    • This MUST happen within a TWO-WEEK window from the time the original work is returned to you.

    This two-week window may only be extended by the teacher due to extenuating circumstances and in consultation with the administration/guidance team. You will ONLY will be given the opportunity to reassess a specific assessment once. 


    NOTE! If students would like to re-assess, the student must do the following:

    • complete ALL missing work from the unit
    • identify and correct mistakes and/or missing concepts on the original assessment
    • complete any related practice per the teacher’s request
    • conference with the teacher, showing completion of missing work, corrections on the original assessment.


    Late Work

    I will set and clearly communicate all due dates for assessments on our google classroom and assignment prompts. 


    Missing and incomplete work will be marked as M (missing), I (incomplete) and/or IE (insufficient evidence aka not attempted). 


    All students will use the Modern Language Association (MLA) format and cite all written work. 


    Classroom Expectations


    1. Throughout the year, you are expected to develop the attributes of the IB Learner Profile: 


    Balanced Open-Minded Principled Risk Taker Communicator 

    Thinker Knowledgeable Inquirer Caring Reflective 


    1. Come to class each day, on time and prepared. 
    2. Complete homework when it is assigned. Use your google classroom to help you with this! 
    3. Bring all required materials to class. 
    4. Take the initiative: make up all work, get any notes due to an absence from a peer. Or, set up a meeting with me (outside of class) to discuss what you missed and how to make it up. If you are aware of your absence ahead of time, be sure to let me know so we can come up with a plan to keep you on track. 
    5. Be kind, polite, responsible, and respectful of your classmates, Mr. Sears and Mr. O’Connor at all times! 
    6. Be mindful of all that you do and stay on task. 
    7. You may eat in class, as long as you don’t make a mess. 
    8. Put away any classroom materials that you use, respect the space!
    9. CELLPHONES are not permitted unless you are given permission. They will be put away. 
    10. Communicate. Always ask questions at school and via email



    Google Sharing: 

    • Sharing documents is also a really efficient way to allow me to edit your writing. I will NOT accept digital submissions of homework UNLESS I ask you to do so. In fact, the majority of the assignments that you will turn in this year will be submitted via Google Classroom. Or, I will ask for hard copies in order to provide you with feedback. However, if I do ask you to share, please ensure that your document is TITLED so I know exactly what it is. My Google Drive is filled with student work and it is much more efficient if you include the assignment name (all names of assignments will be in the grade book or on the prompt). 


    Extra Credit:

    Per the MUHS Assessment Policy, I will not offer extra credit or bonus point opportunities, as these do not provide useful information about learning in a proficiency-based system.