• World Cultures and Geography and Social Issues

    Human Geography

    Geography has made us neighbors. History has made us friends. Economics has made us partners, and necessity has made us allies. Those whom God has so joined together, let no man put asunder. John Fitzgerald Kennedy

    My purposes are the geography that marks out my line of travel toward the person I want to be. Alice Koller

    You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.  Brene Brown

    BOUNDARY, n. In political geography, an imaginary line between two nations, separating the imaginary rights of one from the imaginary rights of the other. Ambrose Bierce

    If you can name five Kardashians but can't name five countries in Africa, it's time to turn off the TV and pick up a book. Fuad Alakbarov

    WCG Course Content:

    World Cultures & Geography (WCG) is a one semester district graduation requirement for all students.  During the course, students examine the complex relationships between people and their environment. Students learn how the physical geography influences history and society as well as how the cultural geography of various regions continues to influence current events.  WCG will focus mainly on non-western regions (Asia, Africa & Latin America) in order to complement the tenth grade World History course that, according to California state standards, focuses primarily on western civilization. By using regional and global approaches, students will study the economic, political and social systems of non-western regions. Students will also explore the concept of globalization, and see how the actions of cultures across the globe are increasingly affecting the world's physical and human environment.

    Social Issues Content:

    This course is also a one semester district graduation requirement for all students. Social Issues will provide you with an opportunity to explore and define your role as a responsible member of the community and to acquire a repertoire of strategies to cultivate and maintain physical and emotional wellness. The units cover wellness of the mind and body, healthy relationships and choices, substance use and abuse, sexuality, identity, sexual health and strategies for being an independent learner.   The course also emphasizes appreciation for and understanding of multiple perspectives in an open and democratic society and provides an environment conducive to supportive and thoughtful discussion-based learning about concerns critical to students’ lives.

    Student Responsibilities:

    Being Prepared for Learning

    Materials:           

    • Binder Section for keeping all papers (handouts, assignments, tests)
    • Supplies:  binder paper, pens, highlighters, pencils
    • iPad/laptop/Chromebook (BYOD or loaner from the district)

    Expectations:  I am not reinventing the wheel, so please refer to your student handbook for the basic rules of appropriate behavior.  Here are some highlights I think worth emphasizing:

    • BE PREPARED AND ON TIME.
    • TAKE CARE OF YOUR DESK AREA AND CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELF.
    • CELL PHONES AND PERSONAL LISTENING DEVICES OFF AND AWAY DURING INSTRUCTIONAL TIME.  PLEASE PUT YOUR PHONE IN THE ‘ZONE’ EVERY DAY.
    • USE APPROPRIATE LANGUAGE.
    • REQUEST PERMISSION FOR BATHROOM VISITS AND TRIPS FOR WATER.
    • DO NOT LEAVE CLASS BEFORE THE BELL UNLESS GIVEN PERMISSION TO DO SO.

    If you show respect for me, for your classmates, for your school, and for yourself--you will be successful . . . Period.

    All work must have a proper heading:  your full name, your class and period.  Take responsibility and understand that I expect you to be in charge of your learning.  Do not hesitate to ask for help, advice or assistance. I am here to help you succeed.

    Tardies and Unexcused Absences:  Tardies occur when you are not inside the classroom door when the late bell rings.  Being punctual is important and shows respect for my time and yours. Please refer to the student/parent handbook for the specific explanation of the Tamalpais District’s policy.  

    Make-Up Work:  RESPONSIBILITY FOR MAKE-UP WORK LIES ENTIRELY WITH YOU.  Check my PowerSchool link (the daily agenda and project page) for activities and assignments.  Tutorial is the appropriate time to make up tests and quizzes. It is your responsibility to get a pass for tutorial as soon as possible and make up your work.  

    Cheating and Plagiarism:  All of the definitions and consequences are explicitly explained in the student/parent handbook.  Integrity is a VERY big deal to me, so any cheating or plagiarism will be treated with the severity it rightly deserves.  Some assigned work will be with partners or groups. Most assignments, all tests and quizzes, and any papers will be individual.  If you have any doubt about whether or not your actions would be considered cheating or plagiarism, please ask me before you turn in the assignment.

    Teacher Responsibilities:

    Creating A Learning Environment

    Equity Statement:  Our classroom environment should be mutually respectful and inclusive of all students. The classroom should be an environment without discrimination, where everyone is comfortable to contribute to and benefit from the entire learning experience. Any suggestions to improve class interactions or any concerns should be brought to my attention. Your small group interactions in project teams are a good way to adopt this attitude of inclusion and enhance positive interactions in the larger class. We are a community of learners!

    Project Based Learning:  This class will be taught in conjunction with English for a humanities approach to the content for both subjects.  All curriculum is accessed in projects that investigate current issues.  And, while students investigate in teams, all are individually assessed.  Please see this site for more information on PBL.

    Grading Policy:

    Your grade will be based on the following learning outcomes: WCG content, social issues content, oral communication, written communication, reading nonfiction and collaboration.  

    Each project will begin with a clear explanation of the targeted learning you will accomplish during that project.  All summative assessments will record your mastery of the content. No grades will be averaged. There will be ample opportunities to master the content before your summative assessment occurs.  For more information on standards based grading practices, please visit this site.  PowerSchool is used for delivering electronic feedback and communicating a student's progress towards mastery of the learning outcomes.  eSchool is used to display all progress reports and semester grades.

    All assignments will have a clear due date, and revised work will be accepted up until the last day of the grading period.  For more information about this class and TLC, please visit our website.

    Please come see me at any time if you need help, direction, encouragement or support.

    Email = rnelson@tamdistrict.org

    Desk Phone = 415-453-8770 x. 4040