Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Last Post of the Year (for E.C.)

This is your last chance to get some extra credit for discussing social studies with a parent or other adult. Today we wrote about Promises and graded the Middle East map that was actually due a week and a half ago. The students looked at the way characters changed through the course of the movie. Tomorrow will look at updates of the kids. We've got a quiz on Friday over the Israeli Palestinian Conflict. If you didn't turn in the book, now would be the time to do so. The cost to replace the book is $60.48... so if you've got money like that to throw around, it could be better spent on... well... anything... If you want the extra credit, discuss the kids from Promises, and how their thoughts and opinions changed throughout the movie - and why you think they changed so much. On a sheet of scrap paper, write a sentence or two telling me about a time you changed your mind. Then, have the parent you discussed the blog with sign the paper.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Fox and the Hound

If you want to get extra credit for today's blog, watch the video clip and discuss the questions below with an adult.

How does this movie (The Fox and the Hound) relate to Promises - the movie we're watching in class?

Do you think Faraj and Yarko and Daniel will be friends?

Will it be possible for them to remain friends when they grow up, why or why not?

Students, when you discuss this with an adult, you may have to explain who Faraj, and Yarko and Daniel are.  You'll probably also have to tell them what's going on in the film.

When you're finished write a couple sentences answering that last question (Will it be possible for them to remain friends when they grow up, why or why not?). Then, have the adult you discussed the blog with sign the paper.  Make sure your name is on it, and turn it in to the extra credit tray.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Week of Promises

We're continuing Promises.

To get the extra credit today, discuss what happened in the film.

What is the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict about?
Give at least one example of suffering from each side.
Tell why you think B.Z. (the man who made the film) included the volleyball and track scenes.

After you are done discussing today's portion with an adult, write three sentences about what you discussed on a scrap of paper and have the adult sign it.

Finally, I'm not particularly a Lebron fan.  Neither am I an anti-fan.  Of course he's a great player.  The best in the game right now.  Yeah, I'm pulling for the Pacers...  I'm in Indiana now.  I can embrace that.  However, when a colleague showed me this picture, I had to include it in the blog:

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Continuing Promises

I think I mentioned this, but the movie will Promises will probably take the rest of this week. So, students: if you want the extra credit - tell your parents what happened in the movie today. Mention 3 different kids, what they believe, and something they did in the portion we saw. To get the extra credit, write the following on a scrap of paper: That is a long line to trace.

Then, have the adult you discussed Promises with sign the paper.  Make sure your name is on it and turn it in tomorrow.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Promises Promises

We started the movie "Promises" today.  You can watch the trailer below:

The movie follows 7 Israeli/Palestinian kids from 1997-1999 and then again follows up with them in 2005.  It's an interesting take on the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict and (along with Gandhi) is one of the two big movies we watch every year.

This year it seems especially relevant as Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu was in power during the filming, and he's not only back in power - but making quite a few headlines again.  For instance, he was on this weeks cover of Time:

Netanyahu Time Cover

Given the theological/political history of the region and the groups that have been fighting, I find it interesting that people are referring to him as "King Bibi" as well as "The King of Israel."  We don't discuss this in class, but I find it interesting...

Students, if you want extra credit today, discuss the what we saw of Promises with an adult.  Compare the kids in the movie.  Compare where they lived and how they lived.

Finally, write the following phrase on a piece of scrap paper, and turn it in to the extra credit tray:  "I know the sixth amendment."

Friday, May 18, 2012

End of Acuity

Well friends,

The Acuity tests are done.  As we simply tested, and there was no lesson today I won't be posting extra credit.  If you didn't complete the homework (either the map or the blog) get it done.

I'll have extra credit up again Monday after school.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Don't Forget the Homework.

If you're looking to complete the blog homework, use a previous entry.

I'm just writing this to remind you that you need to have 2 assignments completed by tonight:

1.) This weeks blog homework.  (And woo hoo!  You're here.)

2.) The Middle East map is due tomorrow.

3 Cheers for Acuity tomorrow. 

Hip Hip __________! 

Hip Hip ______________! 

HIP HIP __________________!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

AQ Review 4U

I suppose most of you are logging on and checking out what's going on in the classroom because it's mandatory this week.  C'est la vie.  I'll try to keep it short, simple, sweet and moderately funny.  Just kidding it's going to be pretty lame.

We're gearing up for the final Acuity Test of the year.  So, we reviewed Israel, Apartheid, Korea/Japan/Manchuria/China, economic spillovers, and OPEC.

Students struggled the most with economic spillovers.  It's been a while since we talked about the economy, and I didn't discuss spillovers too much.  So, I had them draw some pictures to grasp the concept:

When you pour a glass of water, you expect to get a glass of water.  Such is the case with the economy.  When a factory gets built, you expect jobs to come with it.  Economic spillover refers to the unintended consequences or side effects of economic practices or developments.

For instance, when I poured my glass of water I intended to get a drink.  The excess that "spilled over" fell to the ground and a beautiful flower grew.  Positive spillover.  However, some of the water landed on a baby and made the baby cry.  Negative spillover.

Yeah, maybe it's not the best analogy, but it's what I came up with.

To get the extra credit (or homework points if you haven't turned it in yet) read and discuss the blog with an adult.  Give some examples of positive and negative economic spillovers.  What major world event happened just before the creation of Israel as a modern nation?

Then, when you're finished reading and discussing, write the following phrase on a scrap piece of paper and have the adult you discussed the blog with sign it:

"I'll remind my friends to bring their colored pencils to class on Thursday."

Don't forget to put your name on the paper as well.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

30s and 40s

It's been difficult to tie this all together.  In a sense, we're still looking at Imperialism and colonization.  Japan takes over Manchuria and China.

We're still looking at a loss of land - the Israelis, the Palestinians, the Chinese.

We watched a two minute clip today:

I can't imagine losing my home, my land, my culture like this.  Like any of this. (Israeli, Palestinian, Chinese...)

We also discussed what happened between WWI and WWII and why we were fighting with the Japanese and then against them.

If you want credit for reading and discussing the blog, discuss the following questions:

Why did Japan invade Manchuria?  Why is the land situation in Israel so complicated?  (Think about today's bellwork.)  And if you remember, why did we fight with the Japanese, and then against them?

Then, write the following on a piece of paper: "Manchuria" and have the adult you read and discussed the blog with sign the paper.

Monday, May 14, 2012

World War What?

We spent the day reviewing for acuity and looking at the cause/effect chain leading up to WWI.

The second part (not the review) was pretty fun.  Also, we got to eat gummy bears.  Yeah, I had one as well.

Officially, I don't teach much of WWI - in fact this is my first year teaching it.  But I'm supposed to teach a little about WWII, and how can you teach WWII when the kids have no background knowledge of WWI?

Here's what they did.  They went around the room getting 3 or 4 people as allies.  I told them they had to branch out a little bit.  I.e. one close friend, someone of the opposite sex, someone they didn't know very well, and a fourth person of their choice.

Then I asked who wanted a gummy bear.  I put the gummy bear on a table in the front of the room and called a student up.  It was theirs.  But then I asked who thought they could take the gummy bear from that student...  I let one student come up on the other side of the table.

The first student could call an ally to aid her.  The second student wasn't prepared to go against two people, so he called an ally as well.  ...Then the original two students had more allies come to their aid and a relatively small conflict over a gummy bear escalated into a classroom-wide catastrophe.

It was supposed to mirror how Serbians assassinated Franz Ferdinand - which gave the Austria-Hungarians the pretext to attack Serbia.  Serbia called for Russia.  A.H. called for Germany.  Germany attacked France who were friends with Russia.  England goes after Germany... etc...

I presented this to get to the fact that Japan declared war on Germany in 1914.  We were on the same side.

...Most of the information can be found on this fantastic First World War website

Students: to get extra credit read the blog with an adult and then discuss it.  What happened to start the First World War?  How did alliances play into that?  Is there anything you don't understand?  Etc...  When you're done reading and discussing, write the name of your two strongest allies.  Then have the adult you discussed the blog with sign the paper.

Brief aside:  I'm not sure the end of the analogy works.  At the end of class everyone got gummy bears...  This did NOT happen at the end of World War One.

Black Forest Gummy Bears

Friday, May 11, 2012

Winston's House

The students read and wrote the ending to a story today.

Before you criticize it as a ripoff, I wrote the story used in the bellwork before the movie UP was created...  We're moving from the Arab Spring into the Israeli Palestinian Conflict, and the story ties in with both.  You can read it (or download it) HERE.  I'm quite pleased with it.  I didn't limit the students on their approach of the story - they could end it however they wanted...  Most students kept the integrity of the story - having our main character choose between staying in the house or leaving.  Many students gave him a happy (albeit unlikely) ending - where he had his cake and ate it too...  And then there was the occasional student ending the story with unicorns, rainbows and pixies...  Yeah... that one was a strange one...  Yet creative.

We graded the maps, and they should be entered in the grade book by the end of the weekend.  I would post them now, but I'm posting this instead.

I walked into Mr. Schlegel's room today and noticed the word "osmosis" on his whiteboard.  I thought I'd branch out a little bit today.  To get the extra credit, discuss the blog with an adult.  Then explain to them why "learning by osmosis" is a bad metaphor.  (See picture below.)  Hint: it has something to do with diffusion.  Another hint?  Not a chance...  Although, if you don't know the answer, you can just write me a note saying you don't know it...  Tell me what your parents thought of the story, and your ending to it.  After you write the note, have the adult you discussed the blog with sign it, and turn it in on Monday.

Mr. Schlegel learning by "osmosis":

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Israeli/Palestinian Conflict Map

Wow.  Another day down.

We're starting to review for the final Acuity test, as we're also introducing the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict.  There's a map due tomorrow.  You can download it HERE.  I realize you probably don't have the book at home, but you can find everything you need online.  (Don't forget the page numbers are for the blue Our World Today textbook, and not the History Alive! textbook.) Specifically National Geographic's World Map might be helpful.

I'm going to try to get organized, so I'm not writing any more.  To get the extra credit, make sure your map is finished, discuss what you did in class today with an adult.  I don't know... mention the map, maybe some of the review questions... whatever.  On a piece of scrap paper, comment on my random picture of a potato and have the adult you discussed the blog with sign the paper.


random picture of a potato.

Yeah, that was random.  Thank you google images and Aggie Horticulture for that fantastic image.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Arab Spring Game

Most of the classes had a blast today.  First hour in particular got really into the storyline/ game we played.

The class was broken into groups.  The students (collective) were a dictator from a country in the Middle East.  Due to the internet, protests from other countries have spread into the country they rule.  For every choice, the students voted on what they would do, then each group voted.  True, that makes it seem a little more like an oligarchy (unelected group ruling a country) rather than a dictatorship, but c'est la vie.

Here's a link to the game.  The link allows you to view without downloading, or download if you so desire...  I created it with Powerpoint, but should soon have a SMART version as well.  (*Edit* 5-11-12 the game has been updated and improved.  Links have been added to take you directly to the slide you need.  Credit: Andrew Cowells - thanks.  *Second Edit*  The game is continually being revised and improved.  I want to include an ending for King Abdullah.  I've got Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya...  Also, a couple options go a little too fast.)
It took me a long time to create a story with multiple plot lines, but I think it turned out alright.  I may expand on it later.  (If you're a social studies teacher looking to teach the Arab Spring, feel free to use this as you see fit.  I licensed it under Creative Commons - allowing you to change it where necessary.  I would suggest introducing the Arab Spring before doing the activity, but hey... it's your classroom.  If you do use it, feel free to comment and let me know how it goes.)

As for my students, if you want the extra credit, read and discuss this blog with an adult.  Tell them what you thought about the game.  What happened?  Why?  Tell them how it ties in with the Arab Spring.  If you're at a computer where you can download it, feel free to show it to them - it's not a necessity though.

After you've read and discussed the blog, write down one thing you brought up in your conversation, and have the adult you discussed it with sign the paper.  (Make sure your name is on it as well.)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Arab Spring - Junior Scholastic

We're continuing on/wrapping up the Arab Spring.  ...We did some map work from Junior Scholastic, and played the online geography games.  If you were absent today, you need to see me in order to complete the assignment.

If students want extra credit today, they should play THE MIDDLE EAST five times, starting at the last level they completed in class today.  (So, if they made it to level 7 - start there... don't just play level 1 again...)

Print out the scores, or take a picture of them if you want the credit.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Arab Spring

Greetings everybody. We're finishing up our discussion on the Arab Spring in the next couple of days. Students looked at the positive and negative outcomes involved with the Arab Spring today. We watched a couple clips... While there appear to be a few minor inaccuracies in the first video, the problems don't conflict with the lesson. You can watch it if you want:


 We watched this one as well... It's also short.


To get the extra credit today, students should read the blog with an adult, then discuss the Arab Spring. What caused it? What potential good can come from it? What are the negatives? Then, write the following quote on a scrap piece of paper: "Our chains are already forged." Then, have the adult you read and discussed the blog with sign the paper.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Paul Revere and The Hunger Games

The bellwork question today: In The Hunger Games, what was the significance of Katniss being "the girl on fire?"  Why use fire?  What does it symbolize?  What does it mean?  What does this have to do with social studies?

(For the first time ever, I'm allowing kids to make up their bellwork if they turn it in the very next day.  They can get it by clicking on the word BELLWORK.)

My students had some time to write down their thoughts, but most of them came up with what I'm calling "internal symbolism..."  They saw that Katniss was the girl on fire because fire came from coal, and thus represented District 12.  This is true.  This is what Katniss - the girl on fire symbolized to the characters in the story.

But we're not in the story.  We know Katniss and Panem and President Snow and District 12 don't exist.  And as a literary theme/motif we should know that fire symbolizes more.  The students were still having a hard time grasping what I was getting at, so I recited Paul Revere's Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and looked at the use of fire in the poem.

We discussed Smokey, but didn't watch any clips like this:

Once I felt like most people were starting to get what I was talking about, we moved into a discussion about the Arab Spring using this article from Junior Scholastic.  (I'm not sure about it's posting online...  it's a little difficult to follow.)

The Arab Spring - a series of Revolutions that continue to spread through the Middle East (spread like FIRE Mr. Habecker?  Yes, spread like fire...) were started by a Tunisian fruit vendor who set himself on fire.  (Set himself on fire with FIRE Mr. Habecker?...  Uhhh....  yeaaaah....)

At any rate, we'll probably be studying The Arab Spring for a little while...  The rest of next week?

Students, if you want extra credit, discuss this blog with a parent, or adult.   Then, write two thoughts about the Arab Spring, or fire "works" in "Paul Revere's Ride" and The Hunger Games.   Have the adult you discussed the blog with sign the paper and put it in the extra credit tray on Monday.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

LA today, SS tomorrow

LA today, SS tomorrow.

The kids created quizzes today, gave them to a friend, and then graded them.  We also reviewed latitude and longitude.  To get the extra credit today, read yesterday's post again and do what it says.  : )

Here's the newest xkcd:

XKCD comic - kid comes back and tells teacher they've never used algebra - teacher thinks, you really don't NEED too much in life, now do you?
I think the same thing (the lower caption) about social studies all the time.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

ISTEP Review

We took today as another ISTEP review day. It's been a long year... there's a lot to review. One class still had to grade the China maps, so 4th hour grades will be updated by 2:30 PM. I'm not going to post anything else today. If you want the extra credit, have someone quiz you over the review guide. It doesn't have to be a parent or adult this time. They can pawn that job off on one of your brothers or sisters, the neighbor kid down the street, cousin, or... well... anybody... I only ask that you study with someone literate. Your two-month-old sister probably won't be much help. If she is, consider a MENSA application... When you're done, write down two questions using the review guide I gave you. If you forgot it at school, you can print one out here... or you can just download it and use the computer to study. (Actually, I think you can view the document without downloading it.) 

Have the person you studied with sign the two questions, and make sure your name is on it before you turn it in.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Review Guide

We watched a short video introducing Apartheid today.  You can watch it below:

Students wrote a summary of the video, and we talked briefly about Apartheid.

Then I passed out the review guide and went over it.

Students, if you want extra credit today, study the review guide with an adult for 10 minutes.  Then, write the following on a scrap piece of paper: "Nelson Mandela, Apartheid, South Africa."  Have the adult you studied with sign the paper.

If you forgot your review guide at school, follow THIS LINK TO GET A NEW ONE.