AP World History Scores

July 7th, 2011

I am so proud and impressed with the work done by our largely 10th Grade AP World History students. Test scores were made available to teachers of the course this week and while there is always room for improvement, I couldn’t be happier with our first year scores. Seventy-two students took the class with our average being 3.389. Incredibly, fifty percent of our students scored a 4 or 5 on the test with 75% of our students scoring 3 or higher. Basically,l 75% of the students were doing what collegeboard considers to be college level work. Great job to all of our students and I hope their summers are off to a wonderful start.

AP World History Review Day 1

April 5th, 2011
Review Day 1 Students At Work

Review Day 1 Students At Work

Mr. Kantz, Mr. Reynolds, and myself decided a few months ago that we needed to approach AP World History review with a different strategy than any of us have used in the past with our individual classes.  We needed to address each component of the exam.  We needed to review content from both years of study.  We also needed to make it accessible to as many students as possible.  Thus, our Tuesday/Thursday Am/Pm sessions were born.

Today(4/5/11) was our first review day of the month.  I was unsure what to expect.  How many students would voluntarily show up at 7:00 am to examine a dbq for a test that is still over one month away.  By 7:05 I had 18 students in my room, barely awake but hard at work on a Buddhist China dbq.  I am so proud of the students who joined me this morning regardless of whose class they are in.  A little orange juice and Entemann’s was all it took to get the ball rolling and launch our month of review.  I look forward to seeing this core group on Tuesday mornings over the next few weeks and hopefully to seeing our numbers grow even larger.

Learning about Buddhism

March 23rd, 2011

Did you know that Buddhism is the fourth largest religion in the world behind Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism (Buddhanet.net)? It is one of the least discussed religions by the media and yet we have a number of followers of Buddhism within the Manheim Twp community and at MTHS. A few years ago I started inviting a MT junior into my classes to discuss his experiences as a Buddhist monk in both Laos and Philadelphia, PA.  He helps bring the religion to life to the students so that they do not view it as simply an old religion practiced in East Asia.  Eddie has been a tremendous friend to the Social Studies department and has presented to well over twenty social studies classes over the past few years.  Today’s lesson is an excellent example of students teaching students.

An MT student shares his experiences with Buddhism

An MT student shares his experiences with Buddhism

What next???? An AP World History Review Source

March 23rd, 2011

It has been months since my last post, largely because I am not sure what direction to go in with this BLOG. After 20 blog posts I sit at 8.61MB used of 10MB. In laymen’s terms, I am almost out of space. In theory I could go back and delete prior posts and I may do that. However, I like having them to reflect back upon what we have done in the classroom. As such I have been trying to make posts when they are essential. The approaching AP World History exam on Thursday May 12th is definitely a good reason. Here is an excellent resource for review. Not an overly creative name but “AP World History Notes for Review” possesses outstanding lists organized around AP World History themes. They can serve as quick hitters for reviewing eras, regions, empires, and more throughout time. As I find more resources I will be posting more and more of them on moodle for our students.

AP Cemetery

December 7th, 2010

I apologize for getting to this post so late but it was a busy time as we hit the end of the first marking period. I strongly believe that students need to have a few activities a year that are both educational and extremely fun/silly, regardless of whether the class is college prep, AP….One of this year’s activities was the AP Cemetery. Each student choose an Ancient History figure and had to create a tombstone or t-shirt for that figure. Their shirt had to include quotes by or about the figure, pictures, and accomplishments. Students then had to walk around the room and determine the name of each figure.

I firmly believe in challenging our students. I also recognize that they need an opportunity to be silly and have fun every one in awhile. Please know that while I will always seek to stretch our students intellectually, there is plenty of time for fun and to provide an opportunity for students to express their creative sides.

Religious Liberty: The American Experiment

October 15th, 2010

Yesterday I had the privilege of attending a free seminar sponsored by the Bill of Rights Institute focusing on Religious Liberty: The American Experiment. It was dual taught by a Bill of Rights educator and Dr. David Forte of Cleveland State University. They addressed the social, historical, and constitutional contexts of our concept of freedom of religion and how the interpretation of that has changed through various historical eras. The content of the seminar was aided by the location. It was held in the Arch Street Meeting House in the historic district of Philadelphia. It was constructed in 1803 and is one of the oldest continuously operated houses of worship in Philadelphia. What I learned will be shared within our department and used within Civics classes this year and US History classes next year.

Happy Constitution Day

September 17th, 2010

On September 17, 1787 the US Constitution was officially signed by delegates at the Constitutional Convention. Of course, this did not make it our government. It took two more years of ratification within specially designated state assemblies to complete the process. Four years ago, Congress passed legislation requiring that all social studies teachers teach about the Constitution on this day. I respect the Constitution. I value it, along with the Declaration of Independence as the core documents for establishing our way of government and life. To a greater degree, each of these documents have defined us from our earliest moments as a unified people. I will be teaching about the Constitutional Convention and the ratification process today and celebrating its passage. Interestingly, one of my former students chose to express her respect via…..Baking!! I look forward to enjoying her interpretation. Happy Constitution Day

Welcome Back Students and Parents

August 25th, 2010

I liked to wish a big welcome to all my returning AP World students, new AP World students, and the 9th Grade Honors Ancient History students that are entering the High School this Monday. The entire district just completed a two day District organized conference on assessments, projects, evaluation, grading, rubrics, and providing feedback to students. We came away with a lot of great ideas for implementation in the classroom, I cannot wait to try many of them.
In addition to new instructional practices we have an entirely new high school schedule to adapt to. I will be counting on my Honors Ancient History students to keep me organized for the first few weeks as I adjust. I have had the same daily school schedule for thirteen years, it will be quite an adjustment.
AP World History students: I look forward to continuing our study of world history as well as well as starting to translate our learning into preparation for the AP World Exam in May. Those I worked with got off to a phenomenal start last year that I am sure will carry over into this year. I am confident that Mr. Kantz’s and Mr. Reynold’s students will excel as well.
You can look forward to seeing class pictures, project highlights, department events, and Honors/AP updates throughout the year. Let’s have a great 2010-2011.

Being an American Day 3

March 23rd, 2010

Our focus today was on Congress. Yesterday’s emphasis was on the Presidency.

Today we spent time at the Library of Congress, simply beautiful. I am not sure if words can describe the beauty of the building. The small image below is less than a 1/10 of what there was to see. It was almost too much to take in in one sitting. Next, we had the privilege of attending a luncheon reception at the House Offices. Our Congressman Joseph Pitts, along with 14 other congressmen took time outside of their busy day to meet, greet, and say a few words. From there our group went to Capitol Hill for a gallery observation of the House. While we only witnessed a handful of representatives discussing road recognition, it was still an honor to sit in the gallery.

The Awards reception will occur shortly and it has been a wonderful 2 1/2 days in Washington DC. I cannot speak highly enough about what the Bill of Rights Institute is doing to promote citizenship, civic education, historical study, as well as to promote scholarly excellence.

Update: Michale earned 2nd place in Mid Atlantic Region placing him in the top 18 essays of over 50,000 that written for the essay contest.

Being An American Day 2

March 22nd, 2010

The National Mall.
The National Archives and our nations founding documents.
The Mt Vernon Inn, Washington Plantation, and Educational Center.
A great day to be a history teacher. We also got to participate in a very moving reading of Washington’s “Prayer for the Nation” and placing of a wreath within he and Martha’s tomb. Very powerful day as well.