Showing posts from March, 2011

"American Progress"

One of my favorite activities is to critique and analyze artwork with my students. Today we studied "American Progress" by John Gast and this provided students a great review of Manifest Destiny and the changes it brought to our nation.

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

Students started today's class listing examples of the causes of the war with Mexico, then determining which of these causes are still in effect today. One example is the then-disputed Texas/Mexico Rio Grande border.
        Student groups spent the rest of the hour analyzing the treaty that ended this war, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Each group recieved a translated excerpt of the document and used it, along with photos of the actual treaty, to determine why the document was written and to make inferences as to what life in the early 1800s would have been like. More information and pictures are available at the National Archives link:

Living History Day:Lewis and Clark

Mrs. Rita Ward came in to my classes today to present artifacts and materials related to the Lewis and Clark Expedition and the Corps of Discovery. Students dressed up as President Jefferson, Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, Sacajawea and her husband Toussaint Charbonneau, and the Shoshone Native Americans and re-enacted key aspects of the journey.

     The classes reviewed their knowledge of this important historical event and learned a lot about the contributions these people made to American History. Mrs. Ward's extensive knowledge and numerous artifacts allowed my students to experience this time period in a meaningful way.  Thank you, Mrs. Ward!
***Pictures from today's classes will be on the school website in a few days***

Project Reflection

The students and I really learned a lot from this project. The final budget presentations allowed students to not only expand their technology capability but also their social studies skills and were able to present their findings the same way a real city council would during a city council meeting. A test on the material would not have had the same impact on students because it’s not a real-world example like the presentation was.
Students found the iPads to be user-friendly, but still take some getting used to. They said the touch screens were what they liked most about them but the screen’s sensitivity was also frustrating at times. Learning how to use the Numbers, Pages and Keynote applications will greatly benefit my students, should our district decide to purchase more iPads in the future. Students are now familiar and comfortable with this form of technology and they will have an easier time applying the computer skills learned with me to their use of the iPads in oth…

Student Ideas to Generate Revenue

My students had some very creative ways to generate revenue for Peaceful Pines.

One idea was to install parking meters in city lots. The students researched this and found that it was relatively inexpensive to purchase and install the meters and the revenue generated would make the purchase worthwhile.

Other students thought that eco-friendly street lighting would benefit the city and solar timers would ensure street lights would be shut off when it became light.

One group came up with the idea of installing wind turbines. Student research showed that these are very expensive to purchase and the idea was abandoned. It should be noted that all three of these ideas share the concept of a "start-up" cost that would later be recouped by the city. This long term thinking strategy is very insightful and proof that creative budgeting should be open-minded and considerate of all possibilities.