Archive for September, 2009

8th Grade Worldview Project

September 30, 2009 Leave a comment

Students are working on a worldview project this week in Social Studies that will culminate in a poster or 3-D object that illustrates and explains the 8th grade LJHS worldview.

The project is due Monday, October 5th and is worth 100 points.



September 21, 2009 Leave a comment

We are having our first Quiz on Tuesday.

The Quiz will resemble the two practice versions the students did last week and corrected in class.

Students should study by reviewing their practice sheets and the lecture notes in their Social Studies notebook.

Thank You & Homework & Lecture Slides

September 16, 2009 Leave a comment

Gracias! to: IT Coordinator Mrs. Kucera for fixing my PC’s problems that were preventing log-ins.


For Thursday:

Students need to bring in their Concept Review and their Sort the Meme assignments.


Revolutions in Worldviews


September 15, 2009 Leave a comment

As part our study of worldviews, students are comparing the ideas of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.


September 14, 2009 Leave a comment

Were given as homework last week in case anyone lost their copy:


September 14, 2009 Leave a comment

Students are continuing to learn about the paradigms and past worldviews that help make up their own Worldview.

Students had a short reading on a summary of Aristotle’s ideas and began watching a biography of Sir Isaac Newton using the graphic organizer below to take notes.


September 14, 2009 Leave a comment

Below is a synopsis of how units are constructed and delivered in 8th grade Social Studies:

I divide each Social Studies unit into content and conceptual mastery, analysis and creative interpretation because public education, has three core objectives:

1. To impart a body of knowledge and academic skills deemed valuable by society.

2. To teach the students to think analytically, critically and independently.

3. To render the students capable of discovering original insights and pursuing the discovery of new knowledge or invention.

The first goal has been delved into depth by educational researchers and gurus like E.D. Hirsh of “Cultural Literacy” fame, Chester Finn, William Bennett, Diane Ravitch and others, and is reflected in such legislation as NCLB, which has put tremendous pressure on school districts to focus on test scores in a few basic subjects and expanding the amount of content in the curriculum by increasing the time spent on rote memorization exercises and skill-based drills. Breadth but not depth.

The second goal is reflected in what used to be termed ” liberal education” or “Great Books” programs, “enrichment” or the upper tiers of Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Schools do this less effectively across the nation but there is still a fair emphasis on eliciting critical thinking in public education, most of all in Honors and AP classes, gifted and talented classes and special programs like and Paideia and International Baccalaureate. Colleges and universities, of course, are also intended to focus on liberal education but the degree to which this is true in practice has declined since the 1960’s.

The final objective, made possible by the teaching of creative thinking and synthesis to students, public education does not do well at all at present, here or in any industrialized nation, where measurable declines in the creativity and problem-solving abilities of k-12 students appear across the board. Some people even consider creative thinking to be inimical to mastering content or logical analysis; this is untrue. One cannot think creatively or engage in analysis without content knowledge and content is itself meaningless unless the student can effectively put it to use in the real world. Content knowledge, critical thinking and creativity are like the three legs of a stool – our students need them all.

Ken Robinson, noted educational expert, giving a lively talk on creativity and public education ( 20 minute video clip):

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