What We Did Today

Thursday, Sept. 19:  To begin class, we had a “rave” – complete with K-pop music by our own SPFHS alumna, Ailee (aka Amy Lee, SPFHS Class of 2008).  Some students were more into it than others (you know who you are). …

img_6558.jpg

Now this is what I call raving about notes! Thank you!!! 🙂

Instead of reading and outlining pages 4-10 of the textbook, students were given an outline of the content of Section 1-1 and for homework had to rave in writing about the examples of good note-taking they found in the notes. Some examples that we heard today included:

  • Written in outline format!
  • Used headings & subheadings!!
  • Included Bullet point lists!!!
  • Omitted unnecessary words!
  • Summarized only relevant info!!
  • Underlined key terms!!!
  • Defined key terms!
  • Used abbreviations instead of spelling out entire words!!
  • Wrote symbols in place of words!!!
  • Kept good amount of blank space on the page (i.e. pages was not full of text like the September 11 diary page we saw)!
  • Included examples to help us understand concepts!!
  • Written neatly!!!

Students will hopefully keep these examples in mind when writing notes on a reading, a lecture, or our presentations this year.

Students received their graded A-B-C Page rubrics today and looked over the comments on the rubric along with their A-B-C Page. In class, we emphasized following the rubric carefully on all assignments to ensure that you get the best grade possible in all of your classes.

Domus Opus:  Please organize your papers for your classes. If a lot of your papers are stuffed into a folder, now is the time to get organized!

Graded work for this class should be put in the Graded Work section of your social studies binder. Readings — such as the handout on plagiarism, the handout on taking notes, and the reading on historical time — should be placed in your Reference & Reading section. Notes we have taken in class will be in the Notes section. Please organize your papers for ALL of your classes. Too many students are already rifling through their papers to find the handout they need.

 

Wednesday, Sept. 18:   At the beginning of the period, we took a class photo for our Back to School Night presentation. Hopefully, everyone was smiling. 🙂

We next defined the word “rave.” As a verb, it means to “speak or write about someone or something with great enthusiasm or admiration.”   In its noun form, it can be a lively party or gathering involving music and dancing. Tomorrow we will celebrate Ms. Sweeney’s notes — given in lieu of a note-taking assignment — by having a rave.Rave

The outline notes are of Section 1-1 of the textbook (pages 4-10). Students are to read the notes and rave about them by writing directly on the notes, pointing out what makes the notes so great.

In other words, find examples of good note-taking technique used in these notes and praise them with exclamatory comments. In addition, I certainly expect to see some exclamation points, maybe some smiley faces, or other symbols representing their enthusiasm for the note-taking skills shown in the notes. The more, the better!!!

In most classes we completed our review of the Under a Rock slides.  Additional current events of this past summer included:

  • massive demonstrations in Hong Kong to protect Hong Kong’s autonomy and civil liberties from Chinese intervention
  • President Trump’s announcement that he wanted to buy Greenland from Denmark
  • Massive wildfires set in the Amazon Rainforest (often referred to as the Earth’s “lungs” because its vast forests release oxygen and store carbon dioxide) by ranchers and farmers seeking to create more cropland
  • The 400th anniversary of the arrival in America in 1619 of the first enslaved people from West Africa. The beginning of slavery launched a system of oppression that fundamentally shaped the U.S. and its culture.

Students learned that while fewer than 14% of them were able to recognize and name Vice President Pence, 44% of students could name rapper, singer, and songwriter Lil Nas X . And very few could identify the country where we have been at war the longest in our nation’s history — longer than our students have been alive: Afghanistan.

Domus Opus:  1) Read through my notes you received in class today, Section 1-1 Understanding Our Pastand rave about them by writing exclamatory comments directly on the notes — due tomorrow. (See above for details.) Be prepared to rave tomorrow in class!!!

2) Complete the worksheet How to Measure Time in History — also due tomorrow. See Tuesday below for details.

3) Remind home that tomorrow is Back to School Night. We look forward to meeting our parents!

 

Tuesday, Sept. 17:  Students were introduced to the homework due Thursday on historical time, and we completed a timeline on the worksheet. While there is no year “zero” we will to the first year in the AD or CE years as year zero rather than year one.)

We next reviewed our answers to the weblog assignment. We looked at the subtitle of thePast Is Never Dead class blog. In the the words of William Faulkner:  “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”  No matter how we say it, the past continually shapes the present. Past events — even events from centuries ago — often present a lasting influence on our lives. Several students noted the lasting impact of September 11 on our daily lives with respect to the heightened level of security under which we live.

Indeed, difficulties within some communities today can be traced back to the suffering and inequality endured many generations — even many centuries — ago. Earlier this year we marked the 400th anniversary of the arrival in America of the first enslaved people from West Africa. The consequences of slavery have had a profound impact on our nation and its citizens.

We reviewed the rules of netiquette (e.g., use proper grammar, greet politely, don’t leavenetiquette subject line blank, acknowledge response, etc.) as well as the good habits that will help us succeed in school (e.g., read and follow directions; stay focused; be organized; take risks; read; and get enough sleep). Educators today believe that the most important trait a student should nurture is grit (resilience): the ability to persist in the face of adversity.

In any time remaining, we viewed more of the Under a Rock slides. Topics included: the Mueller Investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election and alleged obstruction of justice; the longest-running No. 1 single in the 61-year history of Billboard’s Hot 100 chart: Lil Nas X ‘s “Old Town Road” (see the New York Times video below on the making of “Old Town Road”); the Fortnite World Cup championship; two major mass shootings In Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas within 24 hours of each other; and the passing of acclaimed author Toni Morrison, who has won many awards for her work, including the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Domus Opus:  Use the handout we went over today in class,  Understanding Historical Timeto help you complete the worksheet How to Measure Time in History — due ThursdayYour answers do not have to be in complete sentences.

 

Monday, Sept. 16:  We began class viewing two grade sheets of former students (only the name on each grade sheet was changed).

Students saw that Ima Slacker – who aced her quizzes – earned a C- average at the end of the marking period in this class because she completed about half of her homework and

slacker

If they haven’t yet done so, this is the year students need to get rid of “slacker” tendencies — you take your habits with you to high school. …

handed in projects neither fully completed nor on time. In sum, she demonstrated little to no effort.

On the other hand, another student, Wanda Dowell, applied herself and did a great job of completing her assignments on time. Even though Wanda always struggled on quizzes and tests (achieving only a C average on assessments), her grade point average in this class was an A. Her demonstrated effort paid off.

Most of the period we looked at slides from the Under a Rock current events slideshow. Students noted that one of the leading candidates seeking to win the Democratic Party’s nomination for president is Vice President Joe Biden. We also noted that our own Corey Booker, our senator from New Jersey, is also running.equality vs. equity

We talked briefly about the immigration crisis at the U.S. border with Mexico.  We noted the difference between an immigrant (someone who chooses to resettle to another country) and a refugee (someone who has been forced to flee his or her home country; a refugee fears serious harm if they return).  Much attention has been given in recent years to the rampant violence that has compelled so many Salvadorans, Guatemalans, and Hondurans to head north. But another major driver of migration from Central America and elsewhere is economic duress: poverty and the lack of good jobs.  We noted that an immigrant seeking relief from economic duress would not successfully achieve refugee status in the United States.

Other current events covered included the first visit by a sitting president to North Korea and the U.S. women’s soccer team World Cup title win. Students learned that the women’s champion (US) took home $4 million in prize money compared to $38 million the men’s champion, France, took home last year. The women’s teams split 7.5% of the total prize money that the men enjoyed. The U.S. women’s soccer team has filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the country’s soccer federation over pay equity and working conditions.

In most classes, we noted the difference between equality (the state or quality of being equal — e.g., regarding status, opportunities, and rights) and equity (the state or quality of being fair and impartial).

Domus Opus:  See Thursday below for HW due tomorrow.

Difference-Between-Equity-and-Equality-infographic1

 

Friday, Sept. 13:  We spent most of the period looking at examples of primary and secondary source documents from September 11 and its aftermath.

Receipt for flight lessons

This receipt for $6,800 paid in cash to a flight school for flying lessons is a primary source document. The man who took the flight lessons aroused suspicion of the FBI and was arrested for an immigration violation. His colleagues were the 9/11 terrorists.

A primary source is an original object or document that provides first-hand knowledge – an eyewitness account – of the event (e.g., photographs, letters, diaries, films, and artifacts).

A secondary source is an interpretation and analysis based on primary sources. It is an account of the event created sometime after it happened (e.g., textbooks, web pages, nonfiction texts, and scholarly reports.). Some sources can fall under both categories (e.g., newspapers and newscasts).

We focused, in particular, on a bar graph chart (a secondary source) showing that the U.S. airline industry lost billions of dollars in the years following 9/11.

We also focused on a receipt (a primary source) for flight lessons taken in the U.S. by one of the men who was supposed to be a part of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack (see graphic above). Students learned that a flight academy had contacted a local FBI office about its suspicions about a student at the academy who paid $6,800 in cash for his lessons and who only wanted to learn how to steer and navigate a 747 jet (not how to take-off or land the jet).

The local FBI agent found that the man taking the flight lessons, who was from France, had overstayed his visa and arrested him for an immigration violation. The FBI agent also urged his superiors at FBI Headquarters to investigate if there were other Middle Eastern men who had enrolled at American flight schools and who might be connected to Osama bin Laden.  The investigation unfortunately did not happen in time.

In response to the failures in communication before the September 11 attack between our federal agencies, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was created. This Cabinet-level department is responsible for overseeing the nation’s anti-terrorism, border security, cyber security, immigration and customs, and disaster prevention and management efforts. See Thursday’s entry for more on the responsibilities of the Department of Homeland security.

In any remaining time, we began to review the current events from the Under a Rock slideshow.

Domus Opus:  See Thursday below for HW due Tuesday, Sept. 17.

spongebob cry

Ms. Sweeney had a good cry after seeing how many students lived under a rock this summer. But a number of students, thankfully, did not! 🙂

 

Thursday, Sept. 12:  At the beginning of class, students handed in their first project. I look forward to decorating our classroom and hallway with the A-B-C Pages from World History . 🙂

We completed viewing the Nick News documentary, What Happened? The Story of Homeland Security SealSeptember 11, 2001. We learned that the U.S. invaded Afghanistan shortly after the September 11 attack because U.S. intelligence knew that al Qaeda had terrorist training camps there, Osama bin Laden was believed to be hiding there, and the Afghan gov’t was supporting these camps.

The U.S. invaded Iraq almost a year and a half later because U.S. intelligence claimed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and feared that Iraq would use those weapons against us.  As a result, our government made a pre-emptive strike and invaded Iraq.  No WMDs were ever found in Iraq.

We also learned that the Department of Homeland Security was created after the 9/11 Commission found that the failure of the FBI and CIA to communicate with each other most likely allowed the terrorist attacks to occur. It is believed that, if these agencies acted more aggressively, the 9/11 attack might have been prevented.

As a part of this discussion, we also reviewed the three branches of the U.S. government (the legislative, executive, and judicial branches) and noted that the Department of Homeland Security is a part of the president’s Cabinet and is thus part of the executive branch.

Vocabulary reviewed included Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, WMDs (weapons of mass destruction), and  preemptive strike (a surprise attack that is launched in order to prevent the enemy from attacking you).

If you were absent from class today, please watch the remainder of the documentary (posted yesterday).

We concluded class with some students sharing what they learned from their September 11 interviews.

Domus Opus:  Complete Getting to Know Our Class Blog — due Tuesday, Sept. 17.  Responses should not be in complete sentences. Please use note-taking strategies instead.

Homeland Security Department's Roles

 

Wednesday, Sept. 11:  Today’s class focused on the events of September 11, 2001. Our nation observed the 18th anniversary of September 11, and so we viewed a Nick News documentary, What Happened? The Story of September 11, 2001. The Sept. 11 NYC lightdocumentary provides a chronology of the events of Sept. 11, explains who was behind the attack, and summarizes the U.S. response to the attack, including the reasons behind the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

We noted that there were a total of 19 terrorists who together hijacked four planes. Their targets were the financial center of power of the U.S. and of the world (the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center); the military center of the U.S. (the Pentagon); and the U.S. center of government (the White House or the U.S. Capitol Building).

The video also does an excellent job of addressing some of the misconceptions of that day. The terrorists were citizens of nations that were and are allies of the U.S. (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates). They all belonged to the terrorist organization al Qaeda, which was led by Osama bin Laden. Tomorrow we will learn about the U.S. response to the attack.

If you missed class today, please be sure to watch the first 12 :20 minutes of the documentary (posted under HW below). We will view the remaining 10 minutes tomorrow.

We also spent a few minutes at the beginning of the period reviewing — for the last time — the requirements for the A-B-C Page from World History.

Domus Opus:  See Tuesday’s HW posted below.

 

Tuesday, Sept. 10:  We spent the first 10 minutes or so of class viewing this school year’s Under a Rock slideshow, looking at photos of current events prominent in the

Patrick under a rock

Patrick sings “It’s the only place I’ll ever stay (under my rock).” … Hopefully that’s not true of our students!

news this past summer. Students were asked to identify the current events they could. For those slides they could not identify, they wrote “Under a Rock.” 🙂

In a few days, we will learn about the significance of these events to our nation and to our world. Ms. Sweeney is taking the students’ Under a Rock responses home tonight to have a good cry. 😦

We spent most of class focusing on plagiarism and how important it is that students not plagiarize. Plagiarism is the stealing of someone else’s ideas or work and claiming it as your own. (Interestingly, the origin of the word “plagiarism’ is the Latin word for “kidnapper,” plagiarius.)

One of the biggest political news stories of the summer of 2016 dealt with plagiarism. The class read excerpts from Melania Trump’s July 2016 speech before the Republican National Convention and Michelle Obama’s speech eight years earlier before the Democratic National Convention and identified text that was plagiarized. They also listened to excerpts of the speech. (See the YouTube video posted below.)

While completing a worksheet, we learned that there are two major types of plagiarism: “Clone” plagiarism (i.e. “the author copies another’s work verbatim, word-for-word”) and “Find-and-replace” plagiarism (i.e. “a few key words or phrases are changed, but the text retains the content or meaning of the copied work”). [Source: turnitin.com]

Melania Trump’s speech — which was written for her by a speechwriter — contained both kinds of plagiarism.

In most classes we also learned that being careless is NOT an excuse for plagiarizing.

We will return to the subject of plagiarism later this week and review several ways to avoid plagiarism. Students should be sure to paraphrase the excerpt from their textbook on their A-B-C topic.

Please note below the new due date for the September 11 interview notes.

Domus Opus: 1)  Remembering September 11, is now due Thurs., Sept. 12. Remember to practice your note-taking skills while recording your interviewee’s responses. See blog summary posted yesterday.

2)  Final A-B-C Page also due Thursday.  It is important that you do a great job on this project. Please follow the A-B-C Page rubric carefully. You saw many examples of what makes a great A-B-C Page. It is worth 50 points, and we will be looking at it all year!

 

Monday, Sept. 9:  Students received a new assignment: they will be interviewing someone in their family — or a family friend — about what they remember about September 11, 2001. The interviewee must have strong recollection of that day.

In preparation for our coming Sept. 11 interview, we reviewed why it is important to learn how to take notes and why it is a skill that takes some practice to improve upon. When we takes notes during a lecture/presentation or notes of a reading, it’s too tedious to right down every word we read. And it’s pretty much impossible to write down every word we hear.

taking notes

When taking notes of your 9/11 interview, make sure U use abbrevs U understand!

But, when taking notes, it’s not necessary to write down every word we read or hear; we should only be recording what is important. Taking notes requires critical thinking: determining what info — whether in the text we are reading or in the presentation we are listening to — is most important.

When taking notes, not only will we be omitting many of the words we read or hear, but we will save time by abbreviating the words that we ARE writing down, either by shortening those words or using symbols in their place.

Students received a handout on the various ways one can use abbreviations when taking notes. We emphasized that students should use the abbreviation that works best for them — that is (i.e.) abbreviate the word so that they can recognize the word. But it’s also good to learn new abbreviations, especially if they’re common. For example (e.g.), students abbreviated the word “thousand” as K, thous, or 1,000. And K is actually the easiest, shortest, and most common abbreviation for the word “thousand.” We learned that K is a common abbreviation for kilometer, and it’s an abbreviation for kilo, originally from the Greek word khilioi, which means “thousand” (as in a 5K race — a 5,000 meter race).

In preparation for our interview on Sept. 11, we reviewed ways to help us take better notes.  These strategies include:

  • avoiding complete sentences,
  • recording only key concepts (but including helpful details),
  • omitting unnecessary words (e.g., forms of to be)
  • using bullet points, and
  • using abbreviations (or symbols or numbers) where possible to replace words.

Students should use these note-taking strategies listed above when conducting their September 11 interview. 

Last, toward the end of the period, we reviewed how students can do a great job on their A-B-C illustration even if they feel they lack artistic talent.

For those students who are not artistically inclined, we learned how to use Google Images to find a graphic to trace onto our ABC Page. Students can:

  1. Google the ABC topic (make sure you narrow your search, if necessary);
  2. select Images;
  3. then select Tools;
  4. next select Type;
  5. and then select either Line Drawing or Clip Art.
  6. Last, choose an image that is both relevant to your topic AND one that you can easily duplicate. 

Either try to copy the image as it appears on your screen or print out a large size and trace over it. Remember to use dark bold lines and bold color to enhance it. You want your illustration to POP!!

I will be available after school on Wednesday and on Thursday if you need access to a computer and printer to print out your illustration.

Domus Opus: 1)  Draft 3-5 sentence ABC topic paragraph is due tomorrow.  Final A-B-C Page is due Thursday.  See Friday below for details.

2)  You’ve Got an A. Let’s Keep It That Way. index card is also due tomorrow. See Friday below for details.

3)  Remembering September 11, is due Wed., Sept. 11. You will be practicing your developing note-taking skills to record answers to an interview you will conduct about what happened that historic day. See blog summary posted above.

Notes comparison.png

To save time when conducting your Sept. 11 interview — and to practice your note-taking skills —  be sure to avoid writing sentences and include abbreviations. 🙂

 

Friday, Sept. 6:  In a few classes yesterday, we did not have time to learn why I made it difficult for some students to find their assigned seats.  Students were exposed to different number systems that have been a part of our world’s history: Ancient Greek, Chinese, Mayan, Roman, and theNumbers photo number system we use every day — which no student was able to name!

We learned that the numerals with which we are most familiar (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9) are Arabic numerals (also known as Hindu-Arabic or Indo-Arabic numerals). The Hindu-Arabic number system — which originated in India — was introduced in Europe in the 10th century by Arabic-speakers of North Africa. It soon became the most common system in the world for representing numbers.

Obviously, it was more difficult for most students to find their seats because few received an Arabic number for their assigned seat. See Thursday’s entry below for the lessons this exercise teaches us. 🙂

We reviewed the requirements for two assignments due next week. First, we reviewed the rubric for You’ve Got an A. Let’s Keep It That Way. Ms. Sweeney read her index card letter to the class, and in some classes they critiqued her illustration.

KeplerStudents also picked their topic for our first project: create an A-B-C page on a world history topic we hope to cover in class this year.  We spent most of the period reviewing the requirements for this project (which are listed in detail in the project description/rubric handed out yesterday).

We also had some fun looking at examples of A-B-C pages — the good, the bad & the ugly — from previous years.

It’s important that students read the rubric for this project carefully and follow it closely. For example (e.g.), the page should be oriented portrait (not landscape); the title should meet the specified size requirements; information included on the topic should be from the textbook and must be paraphrased (not plagiarized); and the illustration should “pop” (think big, bold and colorful). It should be hand-drawn, not an image printed from a website.

While we did not have time to go over this in class, students who are NOT artistically inclined can use Google to find a graphic to trace onto their A-B-C page. Students can Google their topic (be sure to narrow your search, if necessary); select Images; then select Tools; next select Type; and last select either Line Drawing or Clip Art. Be sure to select an image that is relevant to your topic and one that you can easily duplicate. I will be available after school on Tuesday and Wednesday (until 3:30 PM) if a student needs access to a computer and printer to print out an illustration.

Last, we reviewed classroom procedures in the event of a fire drill or a lockdown drill and in the event a student needs to be excused from class.

Domus Opus:  

1)  Read the Course Description & Class Procedures  and complete the sign-off form — due Monday, Sept. 9.

2)  Use your textbook to begin research on your A-B-C topic. Your draft 3-5 sentence paragraph is due Tuesday, Sept. 10. ONLY YOUR DRAFT 3-5 SENTENCE PARAGRAPH IS DUE ON TUESDAY. THE FINAL A-B-C PAGE IS DUE ON THURSDAY, SEPT. 12. If you were absent from class and did not receive a topic, please send me an email to find out what topics are still available.

3)   You’ve Got an A. Let’s Keep It That Way. index card is due Tuesday, Sept. 10.  Students in Period 8 will complete this version of the assignment.  Be sure to follow the rubric carefully.

4)  Complete the Getting to Know You survey by Sunday, Sept. 8.  The survey is posted on Google Classroom.

 

Thursday, Sept. 5:  It was great meeting my new students.  Period 1 also met our classroom aide, Miss B, and Period 9 met our aide, Mrs. Long. Period 8 will also be in the capable hands of our co-teacher, Ms. DiMaggio.  🙂

I look forward to a wonderful year just like last year!

At the beginning of class, students were exposed to different number systems that have been a part of our world’s history: Ancient Greek, Chinese, Mayan, Roman, and the number system we use every day. (Do you know the name of that number system?)

It was difficult for most students to find their seats because few received a number they recognized for their assigned seat. There are several lessons behind this exercise using unfamiliar number systems:

  • It’s easier to accomplish something when we have background knowledge.
  • Context clues can be helpful.
  • It’s good to locate available resources that can help you.
  • Life can be easier when there’s some order to it.
  • Making inferences from observations can be helpful.
  • It’s good to ask for help if you’re struggling.
  • It’s good to offer help if you see someone struggling.
  • It’s good to be resilient when struggling with a task. 🙂

Students received several handouts in our class to bring home.  From the school administration, they received:

  • a new class schedule
  • the school 2019-2020 calendar
  • the school 2019-2020 bell calendar
  • the Park 2019-2020 Parent/Student Handbook

In our social studies class, students also received:

  • Our Course Description & Class Procedures
  • the project description/rubric for An A-B-C Page from World History
  • You’ve Got an A. Let’s Keep It That Way assignment

The class learned that I go by Ms. Sweeney in school and in the community and that I can receive emails to both my hsweeney and hschallenberg accounts.

Gesture of Knowledge

This Buddha is making the gesture of knowledge. I hope you gain a lot of knowledge in our class this year!

Last, students received a letter of the alphabet for their A-B-C Page due next Thursday, Sept. 12. We did not have time to review in any detail the HW that is due next week. We will review the requirements for those assignments tomorrow, including the A-B-C Page mini-project, so students should not begin to work on these assignments until then.

Please see the homework posted below.

Domus Opus (Homework):

1)  You and a parent should read and sign the Course Description & Class Procedures (which you received today in class).  Please detach and hand in the completed confirmation form no later than Monday, Sept. 9.

2)  Take your textbook home today. Please keep your textbook at home next to your bed and — before you go to sleep — enjoy perusing all of the interesting topics it contains. Use it to exercise your mind — and your biceps! 🙂

3)  You received a letter of the alphabet today in class. Tomorrow you will pick from a list of available topics that begin with your letter so that you can begin work on your A-B-C Page from History.  And next Thursday you will hand in a bold, beautiful, and informative A-B-C Page on that selected topic. If you want to explore the topics that begin with your letter, check out the official list of topics here, and use the index in your textbook to learn more about them. If you do not have time tonight, no worries, a topic will be assigned to you in class.

4)  Congratulations! Did you know you already have an A+ in social studies?!  This assignment is designed to help you keep your A average in our class throughout the year.  🙂  You’ve Got an A. Let’s Keep It That Way. is due Tues., Sept. 10.  Students in Period 8 will complete this version of the assignment.  Tomorrow in class you will receive an index card on which to complete the assignment.

5)  The Google Form Getting to Know You — a quick survey — should be turned in by the end of the day on Sunday, Sept. 8.  It is posted on Google Classroom.

Children crossing bridge Indonesia

These children in Indonesia, determined to get to school, are crossing a bridge damaged in a recent monsoon.

 

The following intro was posted at the end of August 2019: 

And … 8th grade begins!  I look forward to meeting my new students on Thursday, Sept. 5, and to a wonderful year ahead! And I know Ms. DiMaggio is also looking forward to meeting our Period 8 students. 🙂

In case you’re wondering about my name — What gives? Is it Schallenberg? Is it Sweeney? — I go by “Ms. Sweeney” in school and in the community.  I retained my family name (my maiden name) for professional purposes when I married Mr. Sweeney, and that name (“Schallenberg”) is what appears on all official school correspondence (including your schedule), as well as any emails you may receive from me. I receive emails, however, at BOTH my hsweeney@spfk12.org and my hschallenberg@spfk12.org addresses.

BUT if you want to share a Google Doc with me, you MUST use my hschallenberg address.

In short, call me Ms. Sweeney and share Google Docs with hschallenberg.

I know you can’t wait to get your World History textbook — you’ll be receiving it on the first or second day of school.  You will also be receiving a number of documents to read and completetextbook cover. If you’re curious — and I hope you are — keep on reading. 🙂

As Back to School Night occurs two weeks after the start of school, your first mini-project, an A-B-C Page from World History,  will most likely be assigned on Friday.

Your A-B-C page will be displayed either in our classroom or in the hallway in time for Back to School Night, so it is important that you hand in a bold, colorful, and informative A-B-C page that we will enjoy looking during the entire school year!

Nota Bene (that’s Latin for “note well” or “please take note”): You CANNOT begin work on this mini-project until you have been assigned a topic in class.  We will look at examples of A-B-C pages from previous years so that you understand the expectations for this mini-project.

Here’s the HW that I plan to assign on the first or second day of school. You will be receiving hard copies of most of these documents, so there’s no need to print them out, but you’re welcome to review them in advance, if you’d like. 

1)  Congratulations! Did you know you already have an A+ in social studies?! Youryouve-got-an-a-sample-1.jpg first assignment is designed to help you keep your A average in our class throughout the year.  🙂  You’ve Got an A. Let’s Keep It That Way. is due Tues., Sept. 10.  Students in Period 8 will complete this version of the assignment.

2)  The Google Form Getting to Know You — a quick survey — should be completed by the end of the day on Sunday, Sept. 8.  It will be posted in Google Classroom.

3)  You and a parent should read and sign the Course Description & Class Procedures I recommend you read it through before the start of the school year as you know you’ll have many other class rules and procedures to read and sign off on. Please detach and hand in the completed confirmation form no later than Monday, Sept. 9.

4)  Take your textbook home by the weekend. Please keep your textbook at home. (No need to purchase a cover — you can use a paper bag.)

5)  Remembering September 11is due on Wednesday, Sept. 11. You will be using your developing note-taking skills (i.e. no sentences and use abbreviations) to record responses to a brief interview you will conduct about what happened that historic day.

6)  Open up your textbook to learn more about the topic you received in class and begin working on your A-B-C Page from History.  If all goes according to schedule, the final A-B-C page will be due either September 12 or 13.

7)  An assignment that will be completed later in the second week: read and record your abbreviations for the words listed on the handout Using Abbreviations for Effective Note-taking.  (This assignment should take you 3-5 mins. to complete.)

8)  Please confirm with your parent that she or he knows that Back to School Night is Thursday, Sept. 19, at 7 PM. That day is one of favorite nights of the school year! I love meeting the parents of my students and sharing what we do in class!) 🙂

Summer's end cartoon