Friday, 27 February 2015

Socials 10-2: Transportation in the Fur Trade

Today we started by reading the text pp. 130-134. That gave us a review of the two companies and some more of their history. Page 134 gave info on the two types of boats. We then went to the HBC site to get even more details regarding the canoe and York boat. LINK

I asked you to copy down as many point-form notes about the boats as you could. I suggested using a t-chart because that would help you see similarities and differences. I asked that you think not just about the facts, but about the "so-whats" that can be connected to those facts. Next we collaborated to share our info: to get to the Google Doc, use this LINK.

History 12-1: Unit One Test Day

The title says it all. On Monday we'll begin our unit on Russia and the revolutions. Take the weekend off and enjoy the sun.

Socials 8-1 and 8-2: "The Crescent and the Cross"

Today we watched a quick episode of the Horrible Histories series on the crusades, and then we started the documentary "The Crescent and the Cross." It is important to be in class to view the film because we are stopping every ten minutes or so to discuss what we learn. I am also creating real-time sketchnotes on the side board to help model that skill. Regardless, if you miss class and wish to view the video, here is the LINK.

There is no homework - enjoy the weekend!
Modelling my sketchnoting in real time while the video was playing

SS8-1 got 34 minutes into the video

Subtle differences between this one from the afternoon class
and the other done this morning.

Jaylen did this sketchnote while the video was playing - tough to do!
Socials 8-2 got 28 minutes into the video

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Socials 10-4

Today I returned the Confederation projects. There are a few of you who are missing that mark - please get it in asap. We began the class by reading the intro narrative to the unit on The West (pp.125-28). We will be learning about the M├ętis and the Plains First Nations in this unit, so it is nice to get "a window" into the lives of these people. Next we finished adding data to our Google doc on the canoe and the York Boat (thanks go to those of you who were able to work maturely on that piece). After we completed our research, we spoke about the command words "compare" and "contrast." We then wrote a summary paragraph to the following prompt: "Compare and contrast the use of the canoe and the York boat in the fur trade." Need at topic sentence idea? How about this: Transportation was a key element of the fur trade.

Please have that paragraph completed (written double-spaced) and ready to hand in at the start of Tuesday's class. On Tuesday we will not have a regular class but attend a presentation in the theatre. Enjoy the weekend.

Socials 8-3: Intro to the Crusades

Today we completed the study guide for pp. 62-64 on the Crusades. This includes a creating a labeled map. Next class we will begin the documentary, The Crescent and the Cross. There is no homework.

History 12-1: Unit wrap-up and test prep.

Today we began with an extended quiz to model the types of questions you can expect on tomorrow's unit test and to help you see where you are strong and where you might need to study. We discussed the answers in detail and I tried to show how there isn't always "one correct answer" to be memorized.

Next, we learned how to use the SPERM-G acronym to help guide us in a pre-write for a long written answer. This helps ensure that we don't compose answers that are too narrow in focus. I also wrote a topic sentence and then showed how we might start a paragraph on the Peace Talks of 1919. Finally, I shared the format of the test including the exact prompt that will appear on tomorrow's test. If you'd like, you can write tonight and then just re-compose from memory tomorrow.

Good luck - study hard tonight and I'll give you the weekend off.
Remember the role of the topic sentence and the clarifying sentence.

Example of SPERG-G in action (all letters might no apply
to a particular prompt).

Taking the SPERM-G sample and composing a rough copy. Not the
signpost words in red.

Tomorrow's unit test format

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

History 12-1: Sketchnoting Day 2 (playing with the Paper app).

Today was a practice session. I wish we had more styli (what an odd word). Tomorrow we'll review for Friday's test and then use the rest of the lesson to finish our sketches. There is no homework.

Socials 10-2: Dragon's Den HBC

Today our groups presented their pitches to the Dragon's Den. I assessed individuals in the groups on a simple three-point scale (weak, able and strong). Next we met in a roundtable meeting in order to expand the discussion. Students who shared were given extra credit for their ideas. There is no homework.

Socials 8-1 and 8-2: The Crusades

Today we read pp. 62-64 and then completed some questions and a map. Is is difficult to understand how challenging the crusades were by reading only the text. The documentary we will start next class will help us to better see the challenges of the crusaders and those they encountered.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Socials 8-3: Stand movie (Also viewed by SS 8-1 and 8-2)

Today we had the chance to listen to a presentation from The Take A Stand for Conservation team about the Great Bear Forest located on the northern BC coast and the environmental issues associated with the proposed pipeline and requisite oil tanker traffic that many are concerned about. The introductory slides were beautiful, but Norm Hann, the speaker, made them more impactful. Next, we watched Stand, the movie. It is interesting to note that Mr. Tiechrob's brother was a key player in the filming and post-production of this project. I'm always amazed at the number of talented people who are from, or are still living around the Coast. At the end of the film, we learned about a contest to have people compose their own 30-60 videos about a host of nature-related topics. I hope that you will use today's experience to engage in some conversations about this issue. A conversation around the dinner table tonight might be a good place to start. What will you say when your folks ask, "What did you do in school today?"

Interested in the video contest that the team talked about?
Here is the LINK

Socials 10-4: Transportation

Today we started by reading the text pp. 130-134. That gave us a review of the two companies and some more of their history. Page 134 gave info on the two types of boats. We then went to the HBC site to get even more details regarding the canoe and York boat. LINK

I asked you to copy down as many point-form notes about the boats as you could. I suggested using a t-chart because that would help you see similarities and differences. I asked that you think not just about the facts, but about the "so-whats" that can be connected to those facts. Next we collaborated to share our info: to get to the Google Doc, use this LINK

History 12: Intro to Sketchnoting

Today we learned some basic doodling skills on paper and then had our first chance to play with Paper by 53. Tomorrow we'll create a sketchnote with one or the other. Here are today's notes (and yesterday's quiz). There is no homework.

Monday, 23 February 2015

History 12-1: The League of Nations

Today we began with a quiz to highlight some of the main ideas we've been studying. Next, we had a detailed PPT discussion around the League. I asked that you complete Ex # 8 for homework. This will cause you to read the summary of ideas from Falk and that will help you to fill in any blanks from today's lesson. Today's PPT is available via the SlideShare link to the top right of the blog. Some folks are still missing blog comments, First World War paragraphs and Google Presentation slides; please get that sorted ASAP. Tomorrow we sketchnote!

Socials 10-2: HBC Business Plan - Day 2 of 2

Today we used the whole block to work on the business plans after I returned the Confederation projects. I was pleased with the collaborative work of half of the groups, but the other half were not very productive. We may have to look at teacher-selected groups for some next time around. Remember that on Wednesday you will present your plans in a Dragons' Den scenario and then we will have a discussion to flesh out the pros and cons of the various ideas.

Socials 8-1/8-2: Law in Feudal Times

Today we completed the study guide (pp. 56-63) and then completed the summary table together with the debrief. Both classes worked well today and we got lots done very quickly. There is no homework UNLESS you have not returned your castle project.
Summary table from Question 3.

Friday, 20 February 2015

History 12: Tidying up this week's work

Today we began by formatting the Paper53 app folders on the new iPads - thanks, we'll be using them next week. Next we reviewed Ex 3 (Wilson's 14 Points) and we spoke briefly about the answers for the "Make Germany Pay" video. If you missed that, the link is on yesterday's blog post. We ended by reviewing the Google Presentation you did earlier (with the Unit One vocab terms on it).  Thanks go to those who offered to finish the missing pieces.

There is no homework if you are up to date.
And Next Week???
On Monday we'll look at the League; on Tuesday and Wednesday we'll learn how to sketchnote; on Thursday we'll review; and, on Friday you will write your first unit test.

Socials 8-3: Feudal Law

Today we mixed things up a bit and instead of having you do your work first and then discuss the answers, we used a jigsaw format where the class was split and each did a part of the work and then we shared to create a set of answers. We needed two more minutes to complete our final chart, so here it is.
Question 3

There is no homework - enjoy the weekend.

Socials 10: HBC Business Plan Sharing

Today we did a nineteenth century Dragons' Den presentation to share our business models for the new and improved HBC. I thought you came up with some pretty strong ideas and I was pleased with the way many of you engaged in the roundtable discussion that followed. There is no homework; enjoy the weekend.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

History 12-1: Make Germany Pay (video and questions)

To see the Make Germany Pay video, use this LINK.

For future reference, to see the channel that this link came from, use this LINK. (He has all of the videos from this series - an excellent review reference!)

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

History 12-1: Sources, The Big 3 and Wilson's 14 Points

We started today by reviewing those students who are up to date with their work and those who are getting behind. Please visit the Google Presentation to ensure your name is in the text box under your slide so you can get credit for your work.

Next we discussed Ex 5 (A), on how to deal with evidence. You may wish to review that from time to time because it is very useful in discussing "evidence" that is brought to any discussion.

We then had a short PPT presentation on the leaders at Paris. Here are some slides; you can see the rest via my SlideShare account. We ended the class by starting the 14 Points activity (Ex 3 from the Falk workbook), which I'll review with you on Friday. Ms. Beardsworth will be your teacher tomorrow. Thanks for your good participation in today's class.

Socials 10-2: Intro to HBC Business Plan Activity

Today we discussed the differences between the way the HBC and the NW Co did business and then we started a creative/analytical activity where we will design our own business plans. We will have next class to finish and present on Monday.

Socials 8-1 and 8-2: Fun art day

Today we spend most of the class working on our Celtic knotwork activities and they turned out wonderfully. We also debriefed the Religion and Beliefs activity questions and some students got started on the vocal terms for the Law activity. Two great classes: thanks.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

History 12: The Opening of the Paris Talks

We began the block with my returning the WW1 paragraphs and then we debriefed the Demarco questions for Ex. 1. I liked how many of you were adding your own notes to your answers during the discussion. When you study for exams those notes will give you fuel for your paragraphs. We spent the second half of the class in a roundtable sharing the details of our participant counties. I thought you did well in your mini-presentations (I'm sorry I interrupted some of you, but I was conscious of the time and I try to fit in any "big idea" connections when they arise. I'm also sorry we didn't have time to here from the Mandates.

For homework, please ensure you have your vocab term written for the Google Presentation (check out my sample if you forget what to do. Once again, here is the LINK

Also, please read pp. 33-36 in Demarco and complete all of Ex. 4 and 5.

Socials 10-4: HBC business plan

Today we started with a review of the characteristics of the HBC and the NW Co. I also added some new information. For the second half of the block we broke ourselves into groups to begin work on a business plan that will allow our HBC to stay competitive with its competition. We will use the next block to complete this task. There is no homework.

Socials 8-3: Religion/Faith

Today we completed a short study guide on the power of religion in feudal times as well as a celtic knot work design. The class did exceptionally well in the latter activity - many students are quickly frustrated with the complex instructions and the level of detail in this task and others are frustrated by the lack of precision allowed by freehand work, but you all pushed forward without a complaint. You should be pleased with your efforts. There is no homework unless you didn't get the questions completed.

Monday, 16 February 2015

History 12: Paris 1919

Go down to last Thursday's post to find today's entry. Or, here's the LINK

Socials 10-2: Intro to the West

Today we started with a brief overview of the secondary history program to date and then we checked in with our first semester topics in order to transition to the semester's focus on the West. I asked you to share your prior knowledge about the fur trade and then we used some PPT slides to outline a simple timeline of the early 1800s and the differences between the HBC and the NW Co. There is no homework unless you still haven't handed in your sketchnote or mini-essay for last term.

Socials 8-1 and 8-2: Religion and Celtic knot work

Today we completed the study guide for religion. We noted how powerful the Catholic Church was in Europe. We saw that the threat of excommunication was a powerful one. On the other hand, we also saw the power of faith and the promise of eternal life in Heaven. For the second half of the class we challenged ourselves to create a celtic pattern on a piece of grid paper. It was frustrating at first, but you stuck with it and beat it.  There is no homework.

Friday, 13 February 2015

History 12: Intro to paragraph writing


Today we discussed the role of rubrics and self evaluation and then we reconnected with some of the terms associated with our discussion of the First World War. I gave some tips for writing good topic sentences and then we practiced and shared those as well as some good statement/support(example) sentences. I asked that you use the prompt on the brown slide to compose a paragraph for Monday. Please double-space and edit your rough copy to eliminate unnecessary words, but also to check that you've included some precise language and signpost words to guide the reader. I also asked that you use the rubric to do a self-evaluation when you've finished. One-page, double-spaced is lots; don't turn this into an essay in your zeal to do well.

Socials 10-4: Intro to the West

Today we checked for prior knowledge of the fur trade and then used some PPT slides to outline some of the differences between the HBC and the NW Co. We created a quick timeline of the main events associated with the western fur trade and ranked in order of importance some of the characteristics of the NW Co. The PPT slides can be accessed via the SlideShare link to the top right of the blog.

There is no homework unless you need to use the extension to get in your Confederation sketchnote or essay - those are expected on Monday.

Socials 8-3: Classes in Feudal Society

Today we completed a study guide that identified and then classified different people from feudal society. There is no homework since we debriefed the guide and everyone should have filled in any missing information. Please check to see that yours is all done.

NOTE: an extension was given for the castles projects - please have them in Monday.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

History 12-1: (Monday Feb 16) Terms on a Collaborative Google Presentation and First World War Paragraph

We started the day by discussing "how to read" for understanding and then we each got a piece of Macmillan's Paris 1919. I asked that you please post a comment to the blog to summarize your learning. Everyone should write four-or-so sentences outlining the name of the group you researched and what they wanted from the peace process as they arrived in Paris in 1919. Tomorrow we'll have a roundtable discussion and play diplomats.

I also introduced a Google Presentation (like a Google Doc) to curate our vocabulary terms from this first unit. The answers are in the Falk handbook and they come in chronological order. We each selected one word and I asked that you have them done before Wednesday's class. Here is the LINK.

Finally, I assigned Demarco pp 29-32 (including Ex 2 a-e) as your reading homework. Remember, you need only answer the questions in point form, they are for you, not me.

Socials 8-2: Classes of people in feudal society

Today we started by reading page 50 in the text and then we completed a study guide that identified and then classified different people from feudal society. There is no homework since we debriefed the guide and everyone should have filled in any missing information. Please check to see that yours is all done.

Socials 10-2: Day Two (of 2) for the Confederation Assignment

Today was a work session. Please be ready to hand in your assignment on Monday, Feb. 16. The key is to add details to your work - try to avoid vagueness or merely speaking in generalities. If you are doing a sketchnote, attempt find the balance between visual metaphors and text.

History 12-1: What/So-what and Summary of the First World War

Today we started with a quick review of the 1914 Europe map (I drew it from memory using the signpost states and the class labeled the countries). Next we shared our definitions of the terms from page 2 of Falk and then collaborated to build even better definitions (your classmates are a wonderful source of support in this course - have those debates outside of class). We then practiced creating some so-what statements.  It is important for you to remember that there is often many more than a single so-what for any one vocabulary term (in fact: if you get enough so-whats you might find you have written an essay).

Paragraph prompt and notes
We also read pp. 27-28 in DeMarco and answered Exercise 1, a-e. Remember that the homework is not "for marks," but that full participation in the course (doing work that allows you to participate meaningfully in discussions and group work) can positively influence your grade if you are on the cusp of two letter grades. We took time to debrief those Exercise 1 answers; you will note that the questions are always designed to open a discussion rather than merely highlight a particular point of fact.

We ended with the conclusion of the First World War review PowerPoint slides. Remember you can access the whole set of slide via the SlideShare link at the top-right of the homepage. Tomorrow we will have a brief paragraph writing lesson and then I'll ask you to write on the prompt shown on the brown slide. There is no homework.

Socials 8-1: Intro to feudal faith

Today we did a quick debrief of the "classes" in feudal society and then we talked specifically about the pros and cons of being a serf. We noted that the serfs lacked some basic freedoms that we Canadians hold dear. For example, the serfs didn't enjoy the freedom to leave the manor whenever they wished. However, we spoke about how even our freedoms have some limitations: in Canada we balance individual rights with those of society. This led us to discuss religious freedoms and allowed us to segue (transition) to the course study guide on religion.

We ended class laying out a grid paper to allow us to draw a Celtic pattern - we'll finish that next class. The questions should be completed for homework.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

History 12-1: Intro to the course and a review of the First World War

Welcome to my favourite course to teach. We began by reviewing the course outline and the role of this classroom blog. Next, we learned how to use the signpost countries to organize the geography of Europe. You will need to learn three maps: pre 1919; 1919-1945, and, 1945 to 1990. The events of the different eras of the last century will help signal the reasons for the changing frontiers. Next, we checked in with what we remembered about the First World War and I tried to speak to some of the different players that were involved with the war; we mentioned Germany, Serbia, Austria Hungary, Turkey, Greece, and Russia. I'll be able to run though the information on those slides when I return on Thursday.

There is no reading today, but by the end of tomorrow's class you will have two books and be in a better position to start the course in ernest.

Socials 10-2: Day One (of Two) for end-of-unit activity

The rough times for each episode of the
People's History we used (the link is in the
last post)
We have concluded the pre-Confederation history unit and as a way to show our learning about the paths taken by the fathers of Confederation (and others) I have assigned one of two end-of-unit activities:
A) a sketchnote or, B) an essay

Please check with me before you start so I can confirm that your theme or topic is appropriate for this task. The finished project is due on Monday, Feb 16.

Socials 8-3: Last day to work on the castle design projects

Today we had the whole block to finish our projects. If you we unable to do so, you must finish at home. The projects are due on Friday. Remember there are five components:

1. Satellite view showing rough location - zoomed out
2. Satellite view showing exact location - zoomed in
3. Bird's eye view of castle plan (including labels identifying the parts)
4. Street view of one side of the castle (the front gate view is usually popular)
5. An illustration (with words to explain) showing a "special defensive" element (ex. a maze at the front gate).

Socials 8-1: Castles - defence vs. offence and people in society

We started the day by categorizing elements of a castle in terms of offensive and defensive elements. I then asked that you chose three of each and put them to memory. Thus, you don't need to know them all, put should be able to give some examples of each.

Next, we read about nine different "occupations" in High Middle Ages society (example, nun or crusader). By the end of class we were able to finish and we will share our answers at the start of the next class.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

February 6 PD Presentation

Here are some links to the resources I discussed:


1. Here's a LINK to my first classroom blog at Pender Harbour.

2. Here's a LINK to my second classroom blog at Roberts Creek.

Google Apps (Google Drive)

Here is a LINK to our test doc.

1. Use this LINK for a short YouTube video reviewing the creation of a Google doc that will allow students to collaborate synchronously (at the same time) to create a document that can be curated for later use (by anyone, anytime, anywhere).

2. Here is a LINK to an example of a large Google doc my Socials 11 class recently created.


1. Use this LINK for an example of an RSA Animate video.

2. Use this LINK to discover Sparkol's Video Scribe app.

3. Use this LINK to access Sunni Brown's TED Talk on the power of doodling.

4. Use this LINK for access to Brad Ovenell-Carter's primer on sketchnoting

5. Use this LINK to access an examples of ThingLink files.


1. I love PowerPoint as a means to curate the presentations I create and to give students access to them for later use. Here is a LINK.