Thursday, 18 December 2014

Socials 10-4: Dance (and re-test) Day

Today, as promised, we took a day away from the usual grind to go to the gym to dance.  I asked a few students to stay back so they could review the government unit test and then re-write it.  Thanks, everyone, for all of your good work.  Enjoy your break: there is no homework.

Socials 8-3: Sketchnoting about sketchnoting

Today we used this slide to complete a quick review of the sketchnoting strategies we studied in the last two classes and then got right down to creating a sketchnote about sketchnotes.   After working for a few minutes we got up to see what our classmates were doing.  There was lots of good work.  I collected the sketches and will hold them until our next class.  Enjoy your break and thanks for all of your enthusiasm and hard work. There is no homework.

Socials 11: Vocab Terms from the '50s - '80s

Today we started by watching the People's History  episode "The Fight for Medicare." We then read an debriefed an article from the Globe and Mail that compared Obamacare to the Candadian Medicare program.  We learned how to more effectively read using a highlighter and marginal summary notes: the result is deeper reading and more understanding and retention.

After that we worked collaboratively in a Web 2.0 environment to curate information on the post-war vocab terms (other than the ones directly associated with the Cold War). Please use the link to access the Google doc to share your learning. I will leave the document open for a few days so that it can be completed.  Everyone should do at least two definitions.  That is your homework.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Socials 11: Comparing the P.M.s and their policies (focus on the economy of the 70s and 80s)

Early to mid-80s (don't ask where the second "m" in
commodities went)

70s and early-80s
Today we created some notes and had a discussion about the PMs and their policies.  You should have a sense for what was the government's focus during the different post-war decades.  Try to get a flavour for the times - if you can put yourself in each decade and remember what life was like, you will find it easier to relate back.  I tried explain some of the economic factors that bought us to the state of national debt that we now have.  This would be a great topic for a sketchnote (hey, there's an idea).  There is no homework.

That's for you, Kaiden

Socials 10-2: Government Unit Test

Today we wrote the test.  Afterwards, we watched Sunni Brown's TED Talk so I could get you thinking about the "why" we do what we do.  There is no homework.

Socials 8-1/8-2: Practice sketchnote

Today we did a quick review and then we got to work creating a sketchnote to summarize the sketchnoting process that we've learned. I collected the sketches so they wouldn't be lost or wrinkled.  Here is a copy of a sketch by Brad Ovenell-Carter (@Braddo) created as part of a "lesson" on sketchnoting.  We used it to fuel the creative juices...

There is no homework.
My notes on the notes...

Samples of metaphors to represent BIG ideas:
challenging to create, but fun.

No Post on Tuesday: Dec 16

Sorry, I left school at 3 - I wasn't feeling well.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Socials 8-1/8-2: Sketchnoting Part 2

I use the Paper app by Fifty-three
Today we continued with our skills including: text boxes, arrows, three-dimensional shapes, shadows, font/text styles and people that move.  I was pleased with the focus of both classes and the students' willingness to experiment.  I didn't hear a single student say "I can't."
Good work: no homework

Socials 10-2: Party Platforms and Test Prep.

Today we heard from the last two parties.  This went off with mixed success.  Still, I think everyone has a much better idea what a platform is and how political ideology (and the political spectrum) can influence policy.  We ended the class by reviewing the format for Wednesday's government unit test. Go to the other class' post to see the vocab list and to access the link to the parliament PowerPoint slides; The list and the PPT are what I based the test on so please use it.  Here is a pic of the breakdown.

Socials 11: Life in the 1950s

Oops: I added a rogue "s" to "Infrastructure"
Today we started by checking in with the Key Elements check list to recognize the balance between the "autonomy" aspect of the course and the "society and identity" aspect.  Next we checked for prior knowledge about life in Canada in the '50s.  Here is a copy of the notes:

We debriefed Ex #7, or rather, part of it.  Most of the Cold War items we had already discussed.  I did speak to the Auto Pact and told the class that it is a question that is often on the provincial exam in some form or another.  We then watched the People's History segment on the Leduc oil fields and the Kitimat smelter project.  We noted that there was no government interest in consulting the First Nations people or compensating them for the damage or loss to their territory.  This, of course, is a common theme in this era of our history.  Only very recently has the Supreme Court decision concerning the Tsilhqot'in (Chilcotin) people of the Williams Lake area of B.C. guaranteed that in the future the courts will not tolerate this sort of treatment of First Nations' land title. The segment on Kitimat showed how a single industry "company town"can rise up from the bush. There were many of these sorts of communities in Canada, both before and after the war.

We also saw a segment on the relocation of the Inuit people from the Hudson Bay region of Ontario and Quebec to the high Arctic to satisfy the sovereignty need to have "boots of the ground" in order to claim ownership of land according to international law.  It is interesting to note that the Canadian government still relies on the Inuit for this reason.  Inuit and other Aboriginal Canadians also currently serve as Canadian Rangers, a para-military branch of the Canadian Armed Forces, providing surveillance for, and guidance to the military in northern operations.

For homework I asked that you have pp. 169-171 in your textbook read for next class.

We had a tutorial today at lunch for those wishing to rewrite the Cold War test; that rewrite will be on Wednesday after school.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Socials 11-1: Society of the 1950s

Today I started by checking in to record who has been keeping up with his and her homework.  It is up to you to use the practice I give you to develop the skills and knowledge required for the course. If you are on the edge of passing and require a re-write for every test, remember that for the final you will be responsible for the whole course.  We also visited the blog to make sure you understand how useful a tool it can be.  If you are achieving marginal success with your current study habits I encourage you to start visiting the blog every day to see what I post. The blog also has a link to exam banks that you may use to start practicing for the provincial exam.

Next, we debriefed Ex #5 and #6.  We also watched two segments of the People's History: one on the Baby Boom and the growth of suburbs and the associated prosperity of the 1950s, and the other on the smouldering dissatisfaction in post-war Quebec. We noted the huge infrastructure projects of the 50s under Louis St Laurent and the pro-Canada work (bi-cultural) of Lester Pearson and the multi-cultural work of Pierre Trudeau.

I collected the second Cold War paragraph at the end of class; if you missed it, please hurry and get it in. We will have a tutorial on Monday at lunch for those wishing to re-write the Cold War test.  The test will be Wednesday after school.

Here are some notes from a tutorial I gave at lunch today:

Socials 10-4: Party Platform Wrap-up; Test Prep

Test Outline
We had to postpone our dance visit scheduled for today because the P.E. staff needed a block without outside students during our block; we will go on Thursday instead.

Click the link
Today we completed our party platform presentations.  I must say that as a group you have come a long way.  The quality of the presentations and the quality of the questions and observations just keeps going up.  I thought that you conducted yourselves maturely.  Yes, some students shone in the spotlight, but as a group you were all mature, courteous and respectful to the people speaking.  More important, I think you all gained a much stronger appreciation for the job our representatives do and a stronger understanding of political ideas and where they fit along the political spectrum.

On Tuesday we will have a medium-sized test to wrap up our government unit.  Use the blog and your notes to review.  Don't forget the PowerPoint slides are available on my SlideShare account for your review.  This test will not include a writing section - just
short answers.
You should be able to give a "what/so-what" for each of these terms
Enjoy your weekend: please study!  This will be your first Term Two mark.

Socials 8-3: Dance

First, let me say I enjoyed meeting your parents last night during the parent-teacher interviews.  It is always nice to make a face-to-face connection.  Today you were rewarded for all of your hard work with a dance session in the gym.  I don't usually let a whole class attend but I must be getting soft in my old age.  I was very pleased with your participation today.  There is no homework.  Enjoy the weekend.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Socials 11: Cold War Test: extension writing activity

Today I returned the test paragraphs and gave some general observations on ways to improve for next time.  We are continuing to improve.  We'll have the tutorial on Monday.  The rewrite will be Wednesday after school.

Next, we extended our work to address the issue of Canadian autonomy during the Cold War.  In short, we seemed to spend a lot of energy trying to gain autonomy from Britain before the Second World War and a lot of energy giving it up to the Americans after the war (or did we?).  I asked you to write a paragraph on the topic of autonomy in the post-war era in class. If you were unable to finish in class, please do so for homework.  I also asked that you complete Ex #6 and #7 if you didn't do so yesterday.

Topic sentence?

Pre-write notes

Socials 10-2: CAPP

Today was a CAPP block.  Tomorrow I will reward your good work with a rare day off - we will participate in the PE dance program.

Socials 8-3: Sketchnoting

My sketchnote from the TED Talk (click the link)
Today we started class by watching a TEDTalk with Sunni Brown. Next, I shared the story of my own learning about sketchnotes as I worked to move beyond PowerPoint.  We then began learning techniques ourselves. I think this will be a powerful learning tool for students. Personally, I find it fun. Tomorrow in order to celebrate all of our hard work in the geography unit we will be participating in the PE dance program.  Next Tuesday at lunch there will be a tutorial for any student who wishes to rewrite the geography test. The rewrite will take place on Wednesday or Thursday.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Socials 11: Cold War Unit Test

Yesterday we discussed the UN and played Cold War Jeopardy as well as completing a quiz.  I hope it helped (you sure weren't able to answer many of the Jeopardy questions with much confidence).  Today we wrote the Cold War test.  I'll try to mark it all tonight. I asked that you come to class with Ex #6 and #7 completed.  We're on pace, but we can't slack off if we want to finish in time for a good review before the provincial exam.

Socials 8-1/8-2; Socials 10-2: Dance

Today while I was away from class, our TOC took everyone to the gym to participate in the dance classes.  It is a rare day that I soften and let this sort of thing happen, but you have been working well and I thought everyone deserved a reward.  There is no homework. 

Socials 8, next class we'll continue with our sketchnoting; Socials 10 we'll continue sharing our party's political platforms.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Socials 11: Korean War; UN Peacekeeper Myth

Today we began by examining the Korean War and the role it played in showing that Canada was in fact going to put itself out in support of the UN. We used Ex#3 to consolidate the key points on that war, but also on the Suez Crisis, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Vietnam War.  We have to understand why Canada does participate in some international events, but not others.  We also had a discussion about the peacekeeper myth that exists in the minds of many Canadians about their armed forces.  We do not have separate forces of "peacekeepers" for the UN and other groups of soldiers "to fight."  All members of the army are soldiers, trained to do one job.  One deployment could be to a war zone as members of a counter-terror mission and the next could be to support flood victims at home:
two jobs, one soldier. This was brought clearly home when the brigade in Germany moved to Yugoslavia at the beginning of the 1990s (changing from NATO forces to UN forces in a week).

Today I collected the political cartoon paragraphs.  Please complete Ex #3 and do Ex #5 before tomorrow's class.  We will examine the shift in post-war Canadian society and I want you to have some background reading done first.

Socials 8-1/8-2: Re-introduction to Sketchnoting

Today we revisited sketchnoting.  When Ms. Wagner introduced you to this form of visual thinking, she did not have the opportunity to get too deeply into explaining "why" this style of information gathering is so effective.  We did that today by watching the Sunni Brown TED Talk on doodling and then we learned how our three memories work and finally we saw some examples of my journey with sketchnoting before getting down to learning some new techniques of our own.  We will be having another lesson on this before we have to create.  There is no homework.

I gave everyone his or her mark for the geography unit test today.  A few students may like to re-write the test.  Once all classes have written it (tomorrow) I will schedule both a tutorial and a re-test.

Socials 10-2: CAPP

Today was a CAPP block; we'll complete our platform presentations on Wednesday.  Please remember to bring your posters and get ready to make the presenters accountable for their ideas.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Socials 11-1: The UN and Political Cartoons

Today we debriefed Ex #1 on the UN.  We reinforced the differences between the organization of the League and the United Nations.  Next class we'll review the PPT slides to solidify our understanding of Canada's role in the U.N. (as peacekeeper, humanitarian and developer).

For the second half of the lesson we learned how to analyze political cartoons using the Jeff Marshall method of identifying "what we see," "what it means," and "what are the bigger historical/thematic connections."  We did this in a process called scaffolding.  This is where first "I do," then "we do" together and finally, "you do" by yourselves.  I asked that you come to class on Monday with your cartoon analysis paragraph completed.  I have uploaded the PPT to my SlideShare account so you can review it if necessary.  Enjoy your weekend.

Socials 10-2: Political Platforms: Day 3

Today we spent the first part of the lesson creating our political party posters and nailing down our platforms.  The real fun began when the Pegasus Party (from the centre of the political spectrum) shared its platform and then took questions.  The audience was clearly listening and took the Pegasus members to task on many of their policy statements.  I let the activity go over time because this was clearly the most exciting part of the whole process and people were switched on.  Next class the other two groups will have a chance to defend their ideas.  Thanks all for your input today: there is no homework.

Socials 8-1/8-2: Geography Test Day

Today we wrote our geography unit test.  I was most pleased with your courteous behaviour and clear desire to do well.  Thanks and have a homework-free weekend.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Socials 11-1: The Cold War and the Red Scare

Today we completed Ex#2 on the Cold War and then watched the Peoples' History episode "Red Scare."I asked that you complete Ex#1 on the UN for homework.

Socials 10-4: Political Party Platform Activity

Today we started with my showing you the Canada and USA debt clocks.  I used them as an introduction to a discussion about government fiscal policy especially as it relates to budgets.  See yesterday's Socials 10-2 post for the board notes.  Afterwards we worked in our groups.  Next class I will ask you to share the bones of your platforms with the other groups in the class.

Socials 8-3: Test Prep.

Today we reviewed the geography unit test.  Yesterday I posted a full review package: just click on any of the three Socials 8 classes and it will appear.  Your test will be next class - keep practicing.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Socials 11: Intro to Post-war Canada

Today I started by returning your tests.  The results were good and many of you were able to improve your standing.  We reviewed the answers to the test: the re-test will be Friday at 3:05.  I was pleased how many of you were able to incorporate the things we've been fixing on your paragraphs into your test writing.  We also went through the Key Elements document from the curriculum guide so you could appreciate just how much of the course we have addressed (we are on schedule but we have another test or two before the winter break so we can't rest yet).

We also watched the intro vignette from the People's History to get a sense of the Canada that grew out of the war.  I ended with a PPT discussion to outline Canada's involvement in NATO and to describe the nature of the bi-polar world created by the Cold War.  For homework, please finish reading pp130-140 in your textbook.
View the PPT via the SlideShare link

Poland shifted west and an "iron curtain descended" across Europe
Have a sense of some of the political pressures of the time

Socials 10-2: Day Two of Party Meetings

Today we had our second full day of party meetings so we could create our platforms (policies).  It was interesting how differently the groups worked today.  Each had a different focus.  Also, some missing students changed the dynamic of two of the groups.  Hmmmm.... interesting.  We also looked at the Canadian and US debt clocks.  One thing that government must do is balance the benefits that can be bought with tax payers' money against the pain of growing debt.  I introduced the idea of "deficit budgets," "balanced budgets," and "surplus budgets" and told how each affected the debt.

You will have one more day to plan and at the end of next class, each group will share a five-minute synopsis of their plans with the class.

Socials 8 Geography Test Prep

This is a special post to give sample questions of what will be on your test.
All of the questions are just like the ones we practiced and the map sheets are also exactly like the ones we used to practice = NO SURPRISES.  Good luck!
Name the lines on a globe: Ex. a) parallels

Give the name, degrees and direction of the key lines: Ex. a) North Pole 90 N

Name the hemisphere Ex. a) Northern Hemisphere

Identify the seasons: Ex. a) Summer

Tell what gives seasons:Ex a) tilt b) revolution around sun.
Identify the tilt of Earth's axis

Complete the statements according to our classroom definitions

Examine climate graphs and tell where they are from: Ex. #1 Northern Hemisphere (hot season is  May-August

Read a ratio scale: Ex, "one to fifty thousand"
You will be given two maps of the same area and two scales; match the scale to its map 

(tell which is the large scale and which is the small scale).

Given a table of data, create a climograph

Given two routes on a map, find the two distances

Given three points on a world map, find the geographic coordinates 
(latitude and longitude - including the direction N/S/E/W)

Monday, 1 December 2014

Socials 11: Second World War test prep

Today I returned your Home Front paragraphs.  Your writing is getting better.  We also discussed the significance of peer and self assessment.  I issued rubrics so you could practice and then I issued my assessments of your work.  I then spoke about your primary source pieces.  We'll be doing more of that in the future.  We ended by reviewing some of the key ideas on the what/so-what vocab list from the Falk book (and had a giggle listening to Nicole correct my pronunciation of Luftwaffe).

The test will be a bit shorter than usual:

Part A: 4 What/so-whats
Part B: 23 Multiple Choice Questions
Part C: Long Paragraph (it will be a SPERM-G prompt and not just a narrow focus on a single battle of front).

Good luck - please study!

Socials 10-2: Election Activity Day 2: Creating party policy

Today we met in our groups to start discussions about out political parties.  I was pleased at how dedicated your discussions were.  The ideas I heard were serious and well-considered.  With very little guidance your leaders and ministers were able to stay focused and keep the talk structured.  What I was most pleased about was the wide ranging participation.  I have tried activities like this before and sometimes become frustrated when only half the class took the process seriously.  Your reward: another block to continue your good work.  I'm working to find an easy way for you to formulate your platforms so they can be shared.

Socials 8-1/8-2: Measuring distance along a route

Today we started by reviewing the answers to the climate graphing questions.  I did some and student volunteers did the others.  Next we did a quick quiz on the key lines of latitude and we closed by learning the limitations of using a string to measure the distance of a curving and twisting route on a map.  We learned how to use a strip of paper as a measuring stick.  Next class we'll finish up and prep for our test.

Measuring Practice