Your American History Notebook


In order to succeed in American history class, you will need to be very organized with all class materials, notes, handouts, assignments, and activities - in other words, your NOTEBOOK. Your notebook will be your property, so take care of it ... and it must come to class every day - this is essential!

You will organize, maintain, and submit a notebook for each of major American history units. You have three binders - one for the current unit, one for the next unit, and one for National History Day materials. When you submit your notebook for a final grade, you start your new unit in the other notebook. Pretty easy plan!

Each Unit Notebook must contain the following aspects:

All materials that are contained in your notebook must have a title, including the date. This is primarily aimed at class materials, such as starters, notes and diagrams, as well as homework assignments and readings. I will give you examples of these aspects as we proceed in class, and I will always have an updated table of contents online containing the materials that I expect to be in your notebook.

EVALUATION - Your notebooks will be checked periodically. At times, I will spot check your notebooks and give you instant feedback. At the end of every unit, I will grade your notebooks on thoroughness, quality and accuracy of work, organization, and visual appeal. Every assignment should be complete and neat. Also, your artistic or creative touch should be visible throughout the notebook. Use color, pictures, and diagrams in order to reinforce class materials. You will also be evaluating your notebooks.

It is also important to realize that it is your responsibility to obtain class notes, materials, and notebook assignments in the case that you are absent from class. Failure to do so will result in an incomplete notebook and less knowledge and creativity! I know you will have a ton of questions concerning your notebooks, and I will try to answer all of them as we progress in class. Remember that this is a great chance to use your creativity, and change a boring binder into a dynamic work of educational art!

What do students say about the history notebooks?

"The notebooks are easy to do and worth a lot of points, so take time and effort to do them well."

"Always update your table of contents so papers don't get messed up - or in case of a binder check."

"The Unit Notebook is a great tool, keep it organized!"

"You have to spend quality time on your notebook."

"Don't leave your notebook until the last day, otherwise you may be up to the early morning hours finishing assignments."

"Colorize things."

"Keep it in order, because you never know when a notebook check might come up."

"Do not save your notebook until the last minute. Remember, it counts as much as a test."