AP U.S. Gov. & Politics is a one-term course geared to prepare students for the AP Exam for this discipline on Th., May 10, 2018, at 8:00AM.

Mo, Sep. 25
•Read some of the FRQ created by groups on Friday.
•Watch Crash Course Episode #40 on Political Parties & #41 on Party Systems.

Fr, Sep. 22
•Start class by introducing the Free-Response style question section of the AP U.S. Gov. & Politics Exam - read selected sections on pgs. 63-67, then look at examples of FRQ-style questions on pgs.68-71. Next, break up into random groups of 3 or 4 students, get out the reading on Origins & Functions of Political Parties, and in your group develop a multi-pronged FRQ-style question to present to class.
•Enjoy your weekend and continue w/ the reading as per the Unit 4 handout.

Th, Sep. 21
•Have demographics slide on screen when students enter
•Students get on computers to use Quizlet &/or the McGraw/Hill site.
•Take Unit 3 Quiz - 18 pts.
•Distribute study guides for Unit 4 - Political Parties

We, Sep. 20
•Vocab Quiz tomorrow on Unit 3, Political Culture. Study the key terms on pg. 99 in 5 Steps to a 5. Questions may also include the following vocab from yesterday's reading: demography, census, minority-majority, Simpson-Mazzoli Act of 1986, graying of America.
Study my Quizlet questions for Unit 3 on Political Culture & . . . use the McGraw/Hill site we accessed last week. The code is on the inside of the back cover of your 5 Steps to a 5 guide. There will be 2 or 3 questions from units 1 & 2, also, so review those lists.
•Finish reading & worksheet from yesterday then review the terms in the exercise.
•Return last quiz with a look at Qs #2, 3, 4, & 13

Tu, Sep. 19
•Letters home about books.
•Student questions from the readings.
•Reading from Government in America: from 'The American People' on pg. 178 through Fig. 6.2 on pg.184, with guided note-taking sheet.

Mo, Sep. 18
Business stuff - I won't be available for IA time on Wed this week, but will meet w/ any student upon request after school any other day.
. . . letter home about paying for study guide
. . . sorry, but 'Constitution USA' is no longer available on PBS website.
•Those who missed Friday quiz will take it in the back of the room first thing.
•Start w/ Crash Course episode #35 on Political Ideology:
•Examine the traditional political spectrum from radicals on the left to reactionaries on the right.
•Do Libertarian's Shortest Political Quiz to see where you land on the Libertarian scale: https://www.libertarianism.com/
•Review Qs #2, 3, 4, & 13 from the quiz
•HW: Pass out readings on Conservatives, Moderates, and Liberals

Fr, Sep. 15
•Go through the Rapid Review on pg. 97
•Class Google slides
•Pre-quiz questions
•Take quiz

Th, Sep. 14
•Did someone hack some of the senior pictures??
•Watch Senator Rand Paul complain to a congressional committee that his toilets won't flush (plus more) on 'Constitution USA': from the 39:20 mark to 51:35 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yu7qI9XVRU
•Two issues to ponder - Assisted suicide and abortion. Should they be controlled at the federal or the state level?
•A few slides on the class Google slide show in prep for tomorrow
20 pt (or so) vocab quiz on Unit 2 tomorrow - Federalism tomorrow at the end of the period. We'll do some more studies/lessons on federalism first.

We. Sep. 13
•De-brief editorial from Monday
•Computer work in class . . .
. . . First, register for a McGraw/HIll account - details inside the front cover of your new '5 Steps to a 5' book.
Next, go to the class Quizlet site & practice 'Unit 2 - Federalism' vocab on 1 or 2 or the games/exercises.
Finally, go back to the McGraw/Hill site & practice the MC questions there - some are quite challenging. 3 or 4 of these will appear on the quiz on Friday, so pay attention to explanations provided for each questions on this site.

Tu, Sep. 12
•Distribute new copies of '5 Steps to a 5' & personal copies of the Constitution.
•Watch from around min. 12:00 to min. 28 in 'Constitution USA' -
•Check responses to editorial on shifting regulatory power.

Mo, Sep. 11
•10 to 15 mins. for your questions on any items that might be on the quiz.
•Take the quiz
•Introduction to Federalism - First segment of Peter Sagal's 'Constitution USA' -
. . . we watched about the first 12 1/2 mins. of this. There's a worksheet that goes with it.

Fr, Sep. 8
Complete slides/lecture on vocab items - Commerce & Slave Trade Compromise
•Watch episode 5 of Crash Course on U.S. Government (linked to my website) on Constitutional Compromises
•Computer work - 1st, open your 4J Google site, open 'Shared w/ me' and accept the invitation to the class slide show. Next, open the Quizlet link and practice the vocab with a couple of different of the Quizlet features
Vocab quiz on Monday, Sep. 11 - 18 to 20 pts. - Multiple Choice questions . . . practice on Quizlet . . . also practice the MC questions at the end of the reading packet as some will be the basis for quiz questions on Monday.

Th, Sep. 7
•Any news stories of note?
•Keys to success in this class.
•Google Doc slide show (accessible to students through 4J Google Docs) on the following terms: government, representative democracy, direct democracy,traditional democratic theory, pluralist theory, elite theory, bureaucratic theory, hyperpluralism, Declaration of Independence, social contract, natural rights, Articles of Confederation, Connecticut (Great Compromise), Three-fifths Compromise
•Homework: handout that compares the coverage of 1) Bicameral Congress & 2) Separation of Powers & Checks & Balances in the reading handout vs. the Crash Course videos on each.

We, Sep. 6 - Welcome back!
•Seats, names, nicknames
•DACA - Watch these 2 news stories from Tu.:
NYT video 'What 'Dreamers' Have to Lose' from yesterday
These 2 videos contrast the processes of govt. that lead to public policy with the emotional impact of public policy (like DACA, or the rescinding of DACA). We'll primarily focus on the processes public policy, but allow a bit of discussion on the impacts at times, too.
•Distribute syllabus & explain the books we'll use
•Distribute the first reading packet (a substitute since our books haven't arrived yet).
Homework: Read pgs. 75-85 & do the practice MC questions on pgs. 86-88 before class on Friday.

We, Nov. 9
We spent the whole period discussing the election and student responses to the results.

Tu, Nov. 8
We'll do a fill-in-the-blank exercise on Policy Making, then watch more Crash Course on Policy.

Mo, Nov 7
Start with viewing an episode from 'Democracy in America with Renee Poussaint' on the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency in response to severe environmental problems in the 1960s and early '70s. Students who are absent can view this online. Watch from the 9:05 min. mark to the 16:40 min. mark at https://www.learner.org/courses/democracyinamerica/dia_8/dia_8_video.html

Next we go to a slide-show presentation on Policy Making.

Finally, we watch the Crash Course episode on Monetary & Fiscal Policy at: https://nerdfighteria.info/video/329/_tULRch1PRQ

Fr, Nov. 4
Review - Your questions, then we take a 37-pt M.C. test on Unit 4.
Reading to complete by Monday: pgs. 205 to 212 in the Herzog & Wood guide, taking notes on vocab listed in the schedule below.

Th, Nov. 3
•Brief debrief of DeFazio's visit.
•Prep for test tomorrow -

We, Nov. 2
We visit with longtime OR Congressman Peter DeFazio.

Tu, Nov. 1
We'll prepare for our visit with Congressman DeFazio by doing some research on him through his congressional website at: http://defazio.house.gov/

Mo., Oct. 31
First, we'll watch a Crash Course video on the Bureaucracy:
There are 2 other episodes about the Bureaucracy that I suggest you watch on your own at:
https://nerdfighteria.info/video/329/tIvUo3bP4Eo . . . and . . .
•For the remainder of the class, students will work individually or in groups to complete a fill-in-the-blank exercise on the Bureaucracy.

Fr, Oct. 28
•We'll watch pt. 2 of presidential powers from Crash Course: https://nerdfighteria.info/video/329/fnHb-zyWh14
The rest of the class will be a lesson on resources to use to become an informed voter.

Th, Oct. 27
We'll try the videos again that were scheduled for yesterday & pray that Vladimir Putin doesn't sabotage our access to the internet again.

We, Oct. 26
•We'll start with Crash Course on the roles of the President: https://nerdfighteria.info/video/329/5l02sK5LovI & https://nerdfighteria.info/video/329/fnHb-zyWh14

Discussion: Do the high expectations that Americans have for the presidency ensure disillusionment with the incumbents?

Next, we'll watch a Democracy in America segment titled "Tools of Power" that highlights President Lyndon Baines Johnson (1963-1969) wielding his power to press civil rights legislation in the mid-60s.
It's at: https://www.learner.org/courses/democracyinamerica/dia_7/dia_7_video.html

Tu, Oct. 25:
•Return tests - check one or two of the tougher questions.
•Quick review of legislature -
1. Why is a vote of 'cloture' sought in the Senate? A: A cloture vote (60% or more of Senators available most vote for cloture) will end a filibuster & allow debate continue on a bill.
2. How does the position of majority leader of the House of Representatives compare to that of the majority leader of the Senate? A: In the Senate, the majority leader is the most powerful position. In the House, the Speaker is more powerful than the majority leader.
3. What major advantage does the majority party have in terms of committees in either house of Congress? A: The majority party in the House or in the Senate controls the chair of all committees and will have a majority of all committees.
4.Who is the District 4 House representative from Oregon? Peter Defazio, our guest next Weds.

•The Executive branch . . .
1. Where do we find the powers of the president spelled out in the Constitution? A: Article 2
2. In what way did the Founders avoid military tyranny when they described the powers of the president? A: Made an elected civilian president the Commander-in-chief of the military.
3. Why did Congress pass the War Powers Act of 1973? A: To prevent (sort of) more undeclared wars like the ones in Korea and Vietnam.
4. What restraints on the president are found in the War Powers Act? A: The president must report to Congress w/in 48 hours of deploying troops; (s)he must withdraw troops w/in 60 days if Congress doesn't approve of the deployment
5. Why is a Congressional override of a presidential veto rare? A: It takes 2/3 of both houses to pass an override.

Mo, Oct. 24:
•Crash Course on Congressional Committees - https://nerdfighteria.info/video/329/evLR90Dx79M
•Cut to Micro-Brew caucus afterward: http://www.outsideonline.com/1929656/meet-leaders-congress%E2%80%99s-craft-brew-caucus
•Crash Course on Checks & Balances: https://nerdfighteria.info/video/329/0bf3CwYCxXw
•Crash Course on Congressional Elections: https://nerdfighteria.info/video/329/qxiD9AEX4Hc
•Crash Course on Congressional Leadership: https://nerdfighteria.info/video/329/L8urcMLGFyU
•Crash Course on Congressional Decisions: https://nerdfighteria.info/video/329/ZT9ipQdYL-s


•Your Herzog/Wood guide book has 4 practice exams in the back. Do one or two in the weeks before AP testing.

•Practice/review FRQs on the AP Central site at:


•Study with friends from class . . . form a study group.

•Check out quizlet for AP U.S. Gov . . . it's loaded with fun exercises:


New find!! - Bubba Brain has games to play to help you review terms for all units - http://www.bubbabrain.com/

•Use the Practice Test Database that appears at the bottom right corner of the SEHS Library page. Our librarians, Julie or Karen, will show you how to open an account.

•And, use the Crash Course series on U.S. Gov at: https://nerdfighteria.info/cat/329

•Stop by for answers to your questions. I'd love to chat with you.

Final Exam Format & Prep

Tu., Nov. 29: 2 full FRQs in class + part of another one. Responses will be a graded part of your final exam score. I suggest reviewing some of the other questions and responses on the AP Central site from recent years, back to 2010 or so. Some of what I'll have for you on Tues. will come from these past questions, although I'll have at least 1 question, or parts of 1 question, from other sources.

Th, Dec. 1: 45 mins. to do 60 Multiple Choice questions covering all 6 units. I'll weight both sides of the test - FRQs & MCs - so that they are approximately equal in determining your final exam grade.

You might want to go through at least one of the 4 sample exams in the back of our Herzog/Wood guide. Although I haven't used those as sources of questions on the MC part, it will be a helpful review to see which ones you know instantly and which ones you need to bone up on. I'll have a complete answer key for all those MC questions for you on Monday. Circle the answers you think are best, then you can check yourself against the key before Thursday.