Archive for November, 2007

Re-Post of Political Spectrum Lecture Slides

November 26, 2007 1 comment

A student requested today that these slides be re-posted. I have agreed, though just FYI to those new to reading blogs: all old posts are archived and you may access them at any time either by clicking “previous entries” at the bottom of the page or using the calendar or archives in the sidebar.


Examples of Student Presentations on the Political Spectrum

November 19, 2007 Leave a comment

The great research project of the first trimester has drawn to a close in 8th grade Social Studies and the students emerged alive, with new or refreshed research skills designed to meet the challenges ahead in 8th grade and then freshman year of high school. I am pleased to report that this year, however it may have seemed to the students at the time, the project went far more smoothly than in previous years. The number of students unable to meet project deadlines or amass enough information relevant to their topics were the fewest ever. Your students worked hard and did a great job!

The presentations came in many formats, powerpoint, live plays, videotaped game shows and poster and chart lectures. I would like to share, from time to time, over the next few weeks, some examples of the visuals created by LJHS students for their political spectrum project.

First installment ” Conservatism”:

Technical Aspects of Visual Presentations

November 13, 2007 Leave a comment

Having had many hundreds, if not over a thousand students go through the Political Spectrum Project in the last few years, I’ve learned that unanticipated technical problems can frustrate students who have put in much time and hard work. Therefore,  the following guidelines will help to ensure the students have a less stressful, time-efficient and enjoyable presentation experience.

The next section only applies to those groups doing a PPT/OO presentation. If your group is doing a poster or some kind of physical visual, then you can ignore this post:

The biggest cause of technical problems for students is their attempting to pull their presentation directly off of the LJHS network via an internet connection to the LCD projector laptop. The reasons for this varies –  most frequently forgetting to save the final edits; saving to the wrong file or drive; a student saves to their personal file and then they are absent and no one in their group knows their password; corrupted files and disruption of the network itself, which happens occasionally.

In order to avoid these unpleasant situations, groups doing power point will have three options:

1.  They can put the presentation on a flash drive and bring that to school.

2. They can email me their presentation at and I will put it on my own flash drive for the students to use that day. Please include your group names, class period and topic in your email.

3. You can burn a disc.

Finally, if you intend to run a video straight from a digital camera, please test the compatibility of your equipment with Lakeview’s TV/DVD set-up beforehand so we can troubleshoot any problems.

Political Spectrum Project Due Date

November 9, 2007 Leave a comment

Students have ( or should have) completed the research phase of the political spectrum project. Today, bibliographies were collected and the students began planning their verbal/visual presentations. Among the possible options are powerpoint, posters and videotaped “newscast” or other dramatization. Students are also free to propose some other option, if they wish.

The dude date for this project is: THURSDAY NOVEMBER 15th.

Research Project Update!!!!!!

November 6, 2007 Leave a comment


Note cards will be checked at the end of class on Wednesday

Thursday and Friday will see the start of group presentation planning and bibliography writing. Students will have the opportunity to use the IMC’s bibliography writer program, if they wish ( the junior version of the program used by high school students at Downer’s South).

Students may access the subscription database World Book Online from home, if they wish ( school policy prohibits me from posting the login name and password on a blog, but the students have already been given this information).

Researching the Political Spectrum

November 2, 2007 Leave a comment

Students are workiong hard in the IMC on a multiphase project on the Political Spectrum designed to help them improve their research skills and their understanding of contemporary politics. While each student has a packet of papers, some critical elements of the project are:

Each student is in a group that is researching one point on the political spectrum; from that category, each student has selected five topics to search. 

Each student will need to find eight sources.

They will need to make thirty notecards, each of which must be done in the approved format (due next Wednesday).

Each student must turn in a typed bibliography ( due next Friday).

Students have exchanged contact information with one another and are required to communicate and make appropriate arrangements in case of absence so that the group presentation may go forward as scheduled.

After the research phase is completed, the students will be given further instructions and help so they can begin working on the aforementioned visual and verbal presentation.