Hi Class,

My name is Dr. Sailer and I will be your teacher this semester for Pre-AP Geography and World History. I am looking forward to a great time together. Each day, when you log in to the Social Studies course in Canvas, you will want to click on Modules and then the current Module that we are in. Here you will find a list of Practice Quizzes and Handouts that correspond to what we are studying that week. I will let you know each day which Practice Quiz is required for that day or week. Below is the Course Syllabus for Pre-AP Geography and World History. Please take a look at it. The syllabus will explain the grading system for you.

Course Syllabus – Pre-AP Geography and World History (SS221, SS222)

Dr. Don Sailer – dpsailer@mpsaz.org, 480-472-8133

Course Overview:

During the first quarter of the course, students will focus on geography and how it connects to history. We will study geography as it relates to human origins, world regions, early religions, and western culture. The second quarter of this course focuses on the renaissance, reformation, and the exploration of the new world and how science and the enlightenment led to new discoveries. A major focus of Pre-AP Geography and World history will be the development of analytical skills with regard to primary and secondary sources; the development of arguments, claims, and supporting evidence; and the ability to reason grounded in contextualization, comparison, causation, and change/continuity over time. The skills learned in this class directly apply to every decision we will ever make! Close observation and analysis of our surroundings is an essential skill for living life well.

The second semester of this course continues with the enlightenment and how it led to new ideas about life, liberty, and property. These ideas challenged the status quo and led to revolutions and the independence of new countries. With the start of the industrial revolution, imperialism gained momentum leading to upheaval and two world wars. The resulting tension between democracy and communism led to the Cold War. Our school year will conclude with a broad study of the contemporary world (post-Cold War) and the issues that still challenge our world. By the end of this semester, students will be able to not only analyze evidence and develop claims, but to articulate their position with evidence-based writing and academic conversation. 

Class Participation Assessments:

The daily agenda is posted in the classroom each day. Class assignments consist of Cornell Notes, Class Discussions, and Handouts. Most assignments will be finished in class. If a student is absent, the student may log in to Canvas to download handouts, read the textbook, and take the Practice Quiz. Students need a pencil or pen for class participation assignments, and a red pencil or pen for grading. Graded assignments will make up 30% of the grade.

Writing Assessments:

Writing assignments consist of analyzing evidence (primary and secondary sources); developing arguments, claims, and thesis sentences; developing an outline with topical sentences; writing introductions; and writing essays with supporting evidence. The development of these skills will make up 20% of the grade. 

Practice Quizzes:

Practice Quizzes will be provided after many lessons with time in class to take the practice quiz. Practice Quizzes may also be completed after class as homework. Two Pre-AP quizzes will also be given in class each quarter. These quizzes along with the Practice Quizzes will make up 10% of the grade.

Unit Quizzes:

Unit quizzes will be given on a regular basis to assess knowledge of vocabulary and content. Retakes on quizzes are available provided the student restudies the material and completes all of the Practice Quizzes. Quizzes will usually be multiple choice, matching, true/false, and fill in the blank. Quizzes will make up 20% of the grade. 

Semester Final:

At the end of each semester, a Semester Final will be given. A time of review will precede the Semester Final. The Semester Final will make up 20% of the grade. If a Mid-Term Exam is given, it will be part of the Semester Final grade.

Office Hours:

Please contact me if you have any concerns. Email often works best. Share with me any questions or concerns you may have and a phone number and time when it is best to reach you. I will respond either by email or phone. You may reach me by phone (480-472-8133) between 7:30 – 7:50 a.m. each day. Please leave a message if I am unable to take your call. I will attempt to return your call by 3:30 p.m. the same day.

Classroom Management:

I am looking forward to a fun and rewarding time with your students. If a student is having a hard time remaining focused and is disrupting other classmates, I will remind the student of the classroom policies and will redirect the student's behavior to conform to classroom expectations and the Red Mountain Way. A student who continues to disrupt the class may receive a Minor Incident Report to document the incident. If inappropriate classroom behavior continues, an Office Discipline Referral will be filed.The purpose of the documentation is to help everyone involved fulfill the expectations of the Red Mountain Way which emphasizes courage, respect, and influence.


Red Mountain High School has implemented the Red Mountain Way to assist everyone in the development of courage, respect, and influence. Please read the Student Handbook for more information on the Red Mountain Way and how it can transform each of us at Red Mountain High School. The Red Mountain Way will be the guiding principles for the classroom and campus setting.


    A = 90-100%
    B = 80-89%
    C = 70-79%
    D = 60-69%
    F = 59% or below

Thank you for the opportunity to work with you and your students to achieve a fun-filled, learning environment and experience.


Dr. Sailer