Modern U.S. History Overview

Matt Henchen


How to view student assignments – Visit My Blog

Each week, I will post to my blog the following information:

  • What we are currently learning about with links to resources, readings, and handouts
  • What we will be studying next week with resources for pre-teaching
  • A list of required tasks/assignments for each week
  • Special updates and/or other announcements

***All new posts will automatically be sent out via email each week.


What is the purpose of the course? – The purpose of this Modern U.S. History course is to help students develop the knowledge and skills required to become active and engaged citizens capable of making positive change in their communities.


Grades – Grades will be updated on Powerschool every two weeks.  Your student’s grade will be based on their overall performance in the class assessed in relation to the following competency-based standards.


The 5 Competent C’s


  • Critical Literacy: Can the student synthesize information from different perspectives and form a strong educated opinion based on fact, reason, and logic?
  • Creative Problem Solving: Can students use their educated opinion and come up with an effective plan for creating positive and productive change in their community?
  • Collaboration: Can students work together with others to achieve a common goal?
  • Care: Can students demonstrate they care for themselves, others, humanity and the planet?
  • **Citizenship: Can students use all of the skills above to actually make positive change. (This is the ultimate goal – the desired proficiency)



Assessment – How to maximize the learning of every student?

Your student’s grade will be based on the quality of their work (50%) and on their growth over time (50%).  I will meet with each individual student every few weeks to discuss where they would like to improve on each competency, to discuss to the extent they met their stated goals, and to negotiate a grade for growth.  I would also like to plan a phone call or in-person conference with the parent’s or guardian’s of each student during the mid-term exam week.

Each student will also have their own digital portfolio where they will showcase their work in order to demonstrate their competency in the 5 Competent C’s of the course.  Students will be given their own WordPress blog, which they will be able to customize in any way they see fit.

Finally, I will be giving ongoing feedback on your student’s achievement of the 5 Competent C’s on a Google Document that will be shared with you and the student.

Where to go for what?

Powerschool – see your student’s official ‘grade’

Shared Google Document – see your student’s progression on each of the competencies, see teacher and student comments and be able to add your own.

Student Blog – See your student’s work

Class Blog – See what we are doing and view student assignments.

The Essential Questions of the Course


  • If nations were people, what sort of person has the U.S. been?  What sort of person should we be?


  • How far have we come at ensuring that every American has ample opportunity to achieve the American Dream?  How much further do we have to go?