Friday, February 29, 2008


Monday, March 3
I. Visit the following blog posts and links:
What tips can you incorporate into your daily life to manage the effects of S.A.D.? (Which suggestions could you realistically incorporate into your life today?)
Extra Credit: (Choose one of two options)
Option #1) See the link below on the research behind exercise and depression:
Go for a 20 minute walk outside. In the comments section, tell me the date and time of your walk and if your mood improved after the walk.
Option #2) See the link below for reasearch on the "Helpers High":
Volunteer for a worthy cause (environmental, children's, animal rights, etc.) In the comments section, tell me what you did and when you did it. Do you think the research is right? Did you feel the "helpers high"?
Here are some links to inspire you:
Postpartum Depression

(What preventative measures can expectant and new mothers and their loved-ones take to deal with P.P.D.?)

Post your responses in the comments section.

II. Go here: and take the "True Colors" Personality Test.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Name tags:
Your name tags will contain the results from the following inventories:
The Multiple Intelligences Indicator (given in class)
"Every Child Has a Thinking Style" Survey (given in class)
For additional personality, thinking and learning style inventories:

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Civil Rights Mini Course-Teaching about Unsung Heroes

This lesson was adapted from a lesson from Rethinking Our Classrooms: Teaching for Equity and Justice, Volume 2.

Part I:
In class each student will receive one index card with a brief description of an "unsung hero" from the Abolitionist Movement through the post Civil Rights Era. Spend a few minutes acquainting yourself with your unsung hero.

Each student will also receive a handout with the following questions:
1. Find one person who stood up against slavery.
2. Find one person who resisted the unequal treatment of women and African Americans.
3. Find one person who used non-violent civil disobedience as a form of resistance.
4. Find one person who was willing to use force if necessary to achieve the goals of their cause.
5. Find one person who thought the best method of bringing about change was to change laws.
6. Find one person who thought the most effective way of bringing about change was to organize people at the grassroots level.
7. Find one female civil rights activist.
8. Find one person who fought to expand voting rights.
9. Find one person who played a pivotal role in the Brown v. Board of Education decision.
10. Find one person who has held important leadership positions in civil rights organizations.

Once you have located all of these people and your handout is completely filled out, return to your desk.

We will conclude with a brief discussion of the activity and all of the individuals we learned about.

Part II:
As a class, we will select 5-6 individuals we will learn more about. These individuals will be the subjects of our culminating activity project.

Unsung Heroes:
Elaine Brown, Constance Baker Motley, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, Maxine Waters, Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt, Ida b. Wells, Melba Patilla Beals, Thurgood Marshall, Howard Zinn, Henry David Thoreau, William Lloyd Garrison, John Lewis, Fannie Lou Hamer, Bernice Reagon, Angela Davis, Frederick Douglass, Kenneth Clark, Sojourner Truth, Archibald Cox, Charles Sherrod
More Unsung Heroes:

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Final Project Civil Rights Mini Course

Create a "Positive-Negative" Timeline focusing on the theme of Civil Rights throughout U.S. History. Visit the links below for further explanation.

Teaching Tolerance Magazine - Lesson Plan (This is an article I wrote for Teaching Tolerance Magazine explaining the timeline project. It is short - one page.)

Webquest: Tolerance and Intolerance in America (If you need more detailed information on the project, you can find it here. You can also find a rubric here.)

Resources for Students (Many of these sites have information you could incorporate into your timeline) and Teachers:

For Teachers - Teaching Tolerance Lessons on the Civil Rights Movement
Eyes on the Prize Official Site (Resources for Teachers and Students)
Behind the Veil: Documenting African American Life in the Jim Crow South
Remembering Jim Crow (An excellent resource for Teachers and Students)
What was Jim Crow?
Civil Rights Landmark Supreme Court Decisions
Lesson Plans (Jim Crow-Brown)
Many worthwhile links to NPR stories on topics relating to Brown v. Board
Huge List of resources for both Teachers and Students
Civil Rights Museum (Exhibits, news, links)
Many resources here
Do you want to see samples of past timelines? You can find them here:

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Role of Government/The Role of Citizens

Teaching the Levees Blog:
Time Magazine Article:
CNN News Story:
Rethinking Schools Article and Lesson Plans:
Rethinking Schools Editorial: Lessons of Katrina
In class we brainstormed a list of governmental expectations we have as citizens in a democracy.
Some examples you came up with include: healthcare, clean environment, safety, education
We also discussed our role as citizens in a democracy. We discussed our duties as citizens as well as those actions we view as important but didn't rise to the level of civic "duties." Keep these lists in mind as you watch the documentary.
Some examples of civic duties we discussed in class include: taking care of those in need, voting, reading and talking about political affairs
As you watch, "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts," record evidence of local, state and federal government both succeeding and failing to meet the expectations you indicated in our brainstorming session. Keep in mind the goals of the Preamble. How well did the government do with regard to achieving the goals listed in the Preamble. Where did the government fall short?
Wikipedia Link (The Preamble)

Refer to the handout, "Types of Citizens."
Do any of the individuals profiled in the documentary meet the criteria of "Personally Responsible," "Participatory," or "Justice Oriented Citizen?" If so, who? What evidence can find to support your claim?

Do any individuals fall outside of these three categories? If so, who are they? What explanations can you site for their behavior?

Assignment: Create a graphic organizer that includes all of the issues addressed in this blog post. Visit the link below for examples of graphic organizers. Your Graphic organizer will actually contain two main components. One will focus on civic responsibility and the other will focus on governmental responsibility.

The "Tree Chart" might work well for the purpose of this assignment. The trunk could be labeled "Role of the Government," branches could be examples we discussed in class (including the goals in the Preamble) and the leaves could be examples of how the government achieved or failed to achieve the goals. You could color-code the leaves to indicate success or failure on the part of citizens and government. Green leaves could represent success and brown leaves could represent failure. A second tree could illustrate the role of the citizen in a democracy.

"Cluster" concept maps would also work well for this assignment.

I also have examples of graphic organizers on my classroom walls. (Flower pots, an American Flag, a pointilism design, etc.)

As you work, post any questions or concerns you have in the comments section. I will try to address your questions and concerns promptly.

Do something:
CNN Impact Your World:
Make it Right "The Pink Project"
Extra Credit: Visit one or both of the links above. Which charitable organization did you learn more about? What do they do? How can you help? Post your response in the comments section.