|Topsail High School
Welcome to Mr. Pearsall's Info Page
Below is a copy of information for parents and students for AP US History and General US History
The purpose of this course is to provide students with analytical skills and factual
knowledge that will be used to deal with the problems and materials in American History
and to prepare them for the AP Exam. The course will also prepare students for courses
they will soon face in college. Students will also learn to interpret and evaluate primary
documents and secondary materials and form conclusions from these documents.
This course will be taught as a college course , and keeping that in mind, here are a few
things parents and students should consider if they are to succeed in this class:
1. Much of the responsibility will lie with the student to complete assigned
2. Though in high school many students expect grades for all work done, this will
not be the case. Much of the work will be used as building blocks for an ultimate
goal. Remember: in most college history classes there are very few grades given.
This reinforces the need to be prepared as each grade weighs so heavily.
3. Outside reading will be required. The students will be informed of which
books will need to be purchased.
4. If students wish to highlight or mark in their texts, they may purchase them for
$53.00 which is comparable to college texts and covers the cost of reimbursement
for the school.
5. Many students who have performed above average at the high school level
may not perform as well. Students should not be discouraged. Remember that
you are taking a college level course and you are still in high school.
Tests will be composed of multiple choice and essays. Each test will cover three to five
chapters and students will need to prepare for having such a large amount of information
to be tested on at once. Tests will emphasize factual information, multiple cause and
effect situations, observations of change over time and evaluation and interpretations of
major events in history. There will be 6 to 8 exams each semester. Take home essays
will also be assigned. Students are to work independently unless otherwise noted on
essays. They cannot work together on the AP Exam! Grades will be based on the quality
of the work, not the quantity or effort. There is no extra credit work.
Homework will consist mainly of outside reading and occasional outside essays. You as
students are responsible for completing and mastering assignments on time.
Attendance is absolutely essential for success in this class and in passing the AP Exam.
Students returning from an excused absence are responsible for completing missed
assignments promptly! The instructor has the right to refuse work not completed in a
timely manner. Excessive absences will result in removal from the class and placement
in a general American History class. Absence is not an excuse. You are responsible for
work missed and are expected to be prepared for the next days work or exam!
Additional help will be given if the instructor is asked. I look forward to one on one
opportunities. I encourage you to see me if you are experiencing difficulty with the class.
The National AP Exam will be given in May and consists of 80 multiple choice
questions and essays made up of Document Based Questions (DBQ) and a free response
essay. You will receive one quality point for taking and passing the class. You will
receive two if you take the national AP Exam which, depending on your score, will
supplant some history courses in college. You will receive 2 credits upon successful
completion of the course for high school credit. You will still be held accountable for
take the North Carolina End of Course Exam. Review sessions will be held after the AP
Exam since there will be a couple of weeks between taking the AP Exam and the State
A reading list is still being compiled, but the students should not wait to purchase books
in case there is a waiting period from local bookstores. The first book they will need to
purchase is “The Federalist’s Papers”, which is a compilation of arguments to support the
Constitution. The authors were Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison.
They should be able to purchase this for six to seven dollars. They are not expected to
begin reading this as we are going to read only selected arguments.
As stated many times before, this is a college course. If at any point the student, parent
or teacher feels the student is not performing up to potential, they will be moved to
general American History after a conference with the parents. If you need to contact Mr.
Pearsall, his home number is 392-5715. Please do not hesitate to call if you have a
question. Understand that I do coach in the fall and winter, so during those seasons it
may be easier to catch me at school. Good luck!
Please sign below to confirm that parents and students understand and agree with the
above outline of the course. Parents or students may make a copy of the outline. Please
sign and return the syllabus.
I understand and agree with the course outline and will abide by its guidelines. I
understand and agree with the repercussions if I do not perform in a satisfactory manor as
measured by the instructor.
AP American History
Dear Parents or Guardians,
Your child will be taking the course US History under Mr. Pearsall this semester. Here are some
guidelines for the class.
State Exam: We are governed by an End of Course State exam and I must move quickly so
as to cover the immense amount of information. Covering over 200 years of history is difficult
in the time given, yet my classes continue to do it. We cover about two chapters a week. It is
imperative they are in class and look over new information 15 to 20 minutes a night. I would
suggest each student get a three ring binder just for this class . Many notes will be given and
many sheets for review and class\homework will be important to keep for the end of the year
review. The more organized the student is, the easier time they will have in this class.
Typical Day: When the students enter, they will be given 5 to 10 minutes to copy an outline
from the board. This will be the basis of their lecture. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT
PART OF THE CLASS AS ALL EXAMS ARE BASED ON THIS! I would suggest each
student find someone in class to be their “buddy” to provide them with missed notes, work,
etc. Absence is not an excuse for uncompleted work, esp. if the work or exam has
been announced before hand! Students are expected to make up exams within five school
days of returning from the absence. Classwork and homework should be turned in the day
after the absence. After the lecture which lasts no more than 20 to 25 minutes, various
activities will begin: group work, individual work, videos, etc.
Grades: Grades will come from homework, classwork, exams, quizzes and projects.
Homework will be given out several times a week and students can expect an exam a week,
therefore students cannot wait until the night before to learn two chapters of information.
This is imperative. I do have review sessions before each exam and will tutor students as
need. All they have to do is ask and I will make the time for them. The teacher is not
responsible for reminding students to make up work, complete late work or to study. If late
work is not made up in a timely manner, it does not have to be accepted. It is the
responsibility of student and parents to be sure all work is made up. Parents will be called
when work has proven to be unacceptable to the teacher; I maintain high standards. I cannot
help you if you will not help yourself.
We have fun in the class, but learning the material comes first. I hope your child enjoys the class
and takes the information and uses it at another level. Please sign below showing you have read
and understood this letter. This will be counted as a grade for your child. Have a great school
year! Please call if you have any questions (681-0788)
Returning this signed is their first grade of the 9 weeks.
|Last updated 2008/09/28 10:20:55 PDT||Hits 147|