Mr. Couture's Classroom Page

 American History

Mr. Gregory Couture  Rm. 240


Available hours:  Blocks 2, 5, and after school by appointment


Welcome to American History 11R!  Every country evolves over time and ours is no exeption.  Through the use of fun projects and group discussions we will examine and analyze significant events and people that helped shape our country since its inception.  Every student will be expected to participate because every student has a different perspective...even if you don't think so.  We will learn from each other more than through just me alone so we will have to work together.

Meet Mr. Couture

I was raised in Waterford, NY a little north of Albany and went to high school there.  I've earned an Associate's degree from Hudson Valley Community College and then transferred to Syracuse University.  There I acquired my Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism with a minor in history.  Most recently I attended LeMoyne College to earn my Master's in Teaching.

I've spent the last seven years as a stay-at-home dad raising my two sons Alex & Brody.  Now that they are both in school I'm free to teach full time.

Other than my family there are three things I love most:  sports, movies, and history.

Being an alum I'm a massive SU sports fan.  I enjoy most sports but baseball is my favorite with the Minnesota Twins being my favorite team.  My other favorite teams include the Oakland Raiders, Boston Celtics, and Los Angeles Kings.

I'm also a bit of a movie aficionado having previous worked for Blockbuster Video and Regal Cinemas.  The movies I'm most looking forward to seeing right now are The Other Guys, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, The Social Network, and Let Me In.

Finally there's history.  I'm always learning more about history.  Most of my schooling and recent reading has focused mainly on US history but I do have a biography of Napoleon, a history of Britain, and a book about the Aztec civilization on my to do list.


Educational Philosophy

It is my belief that students learn more effectively when the entire class is involved in discussion.  During the course of the semester we will consistently engage in individual reflection, small, and large group discussions to achieve a deeper understanding of what has occurred throughout our countrys' history.  I also believe that every student has the ability to improve their reading and writing skills and there will be a focus on the further development of these crucial life skills.



Course Description:  Our class will focus on the political, intellectual, economic, and social history of the United States from the pre-Revolution days through the Afghanistan/Iraq Wars.

Textbook:  We will use American Odyssey as our primary text for our class.

Required Materials:  1" 3-ring binder, notebook paper, markers, colored pencils, black/blue pens, 3x5 note cards, box of tissues, and a flash drive.

 Attendance and Make-up Work Policies:  We will follow Golden High School attendance policies.  The following expectations apply:  REGULAR class attendance is expected and required.  TIMELY class attendance is expected and required. 

***Unexcused absences and tardies WILL seriously impact your grade in my class.*** 

In the event of an absence it is YOUR responsibility to connect with me regarding make-up work.  You will be given 2 school days for each day missed to complete make-up work.  Please be aware that I reserve the right to alter the format of an assignment, test, or quiz with regard to make-up work. 

Please be aware that our class will have a large amount of in-class work and participation.  Missed classes will severely impact your grade and ability to stay on top of the class.  Simply put, if you are not in class, it is not possible for you to participate.

 Late work:  Although I am not a fan of late work (illness and emergencies excepted), I will accept late work under the following conditions:  Anything turned in after the beginning of the class period in which it is due is considered to be late.  I am happy to accept work via email the day it is due if you are not to be in class for some valid reason.  Work turned in after the class period in which it is due will receive a deduction of 10% for each weekday (NOT class day) it is late.  Work turned in on the 5thweekday after its due date will receive a maximum of 50%.  No late work will be accepted after the test or assessment of that particular unit is given.  At that time, any outstanding work will be automatically assigned a 0.

Evaluation/Grading Procedures:  Grades are figured on a categorical basis and letter grades assigned using the following scale:

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

The following 5 categories will comprise your overall grade:

In-class work, homework, & quizzes (20% of grade)    Homework assignments and quizzes will be given regularly to supplement classroom instruction and should be kept in your binder for study reference, etc.  In addition, the study of history provides plenty of opportunities for discussion and debate; you should be prepared to discuss your ideas and opinions in groups and individually!

 Tests (20% of grade)  We will have between 10-12 unit tests (study guides provided) to measure your achievement and mastery of the course content.

Multi-genre Project (25% of grade)  This is an extended project that will allow you to become an "expert" in a particular topic of your choice and allow for some creativity and imagination in class.  You will present your project to the class as part of your final grade for this assignment.

Book Reports (25% of grade)  Reading and writing are essential for any social studies course.  There will be two book reports due during the course of the school year, one group and one individual.  You will present your projects to the class as part of your final grade for this assignment.

Citizenship (10% of grade)  This grade is based on attendance, behavior in class, and overall attitude and effort.


Some BIG rules and policies:

iPods: iPods may NOT be used during lectures, tests, and/or quizzes.  I will determine on an individual, case-by-case basis whether or not you may use them during other times (individual work, etc.)

Bathroom:  Only one person may use the restroom at a time, and students will not be allowed to use the restroom during either the first half-hour of class or the last half-hour of class.  My general rule of thumb for bathroom requests:  unless you TRULY need to use the restroom, there isn't a reason for you to ask.  When using the restroom, you should NOT be out of the room for more than 3 minutes as the restroom is right across the hall from our classroom.

Food/drinks/hats:  GHS all-school policies apply.  Students may not wear hats in the classroom or building, no food in the classrooms or halls and only a bottle of water with a twist cap is allowed in the classroom.  No exceptions.

Work hard and play nice!  If we ALL agree to work hard and take our studies seriously, there won't be a need for many other big rules.  Agreed??? 


Recommended Links

US Constitution and Declaration of Independence

White House


House of Representatives