Have a wonderful break, guys.

And because third period missed out on it, here’s the Unit Six rap created by one of your classmates:

Also, if you didn’t see the Unit Three stop motion video from second period, you should:

And if your group completed any other sort of multi-media presentation which you would like me to hang on to, please send me a link in an email!  I’ll be working on a virtual museum with photographs of all your hard work over the break, and I’d love to include your videos and podcasts and other digital exhibits as well.

One Week to Go!

Thank you so much for your hard work on the Student Learning Objective today, guys.  I’ll let you know how you performed as soon as I get the word from the county on the time-table.  Overall, I was very pleased with how you performed, so congratulations on a job well done.

You have several things to consider this weekend, so here are your priorities for this class, in order of importance:

  1. Finish your narrative for your final research project!  If you need any clarification on instructions or my grading standards, please email me or check the material on the Final Narrative Project tab on this website.  Remember that you MUST have a hard-copy ready to turn in when the bell rings on Monday, and you must also submit an electronic copy to TurnItIn.com.  Your narrative is due at the start of class on Monday, December 14th.
  2. Communicate with your group members on what you might want to do for your Final Exam Review Project.  You’ll need to bring any supplies you think you might need to school on Monday if possible.  Make sure to stay in contact with your group members this weekend.  (If you’ve forgotten who is in your group, please consult this list: Final Project Groups.
  3. Think about what placement you would like for next year: Honors U.S. History?  AP U.S. History?  I’m not inclined to place anyone in on-level U.S. History unless you have a particularly compelling reason.  Think about your course load next year, talk about it with your parents, and be ready to make a decision on Monday.
  4. REGISTER FOR THE AP EXAM!  Have you signed up yet?  Go here and take care of it now!

Have a good weekend, guys.  Work hard, get some rest, and come ready to knock Finals Week out of the park.

Student Learning Objective Exam!

Okay, guys.  I know there are lots of rumors floating around out there about your SLO exams, so let me see what I can do to dispel some myths about SLOs not counting and such.  I considered not posting this, but (a) the information herein is a matter of public record, and (b) if this lessens the rampant, often inaccurate, gossip, it’s probably a good thing.  Especially since we are scheduled to take the SLO tomorrow.

There have been on-going discussions within the county regarding the effectiveness, fairness, and implementation of current Student Learning Objective exams all year long, although you may not have been aware of them.  Many of these exams have been determined to be poorly constructed, and therefore the Cobb County School Board decided yesterday that student performance on SLOs should not negatively affect students’ grades.  I could (and do) wish that the decision had been made earlier, but if wishes were horses….

Now.  What does this policy change mean for you?

  • You will still be taking the SLO for AP World History tomorrow, as planned.
  • You should still STUDY for your SLO tomorrow, as planned.

But wait!  If SLOs can’t negatively affect your overall grade, why should you still care about your SLOs?

  • Because if you perform well on the SLO, the exam WILL count for 10% of your overall grade; that is a county-mandated requirement.  If the score you earn on your SLO would hurt your overall grade, it will NOT count.  Some of you could really benefit from a strong performance on this exam.
  • Because while many SLO exams are problematic, your AP World History SLO is made up primarily of AP and AP-level questions.  Your performance on this SLO should be a good indicator of your current readiness for the AP subject exam coming in May.
  • Because it should be a matter of personal pride that you ALWAYS do your best on assessments, no matter what they are.

What does this mean in terms of your SLO study packet and timelines?

  • I WILL find a way to give you credit for the work you do, although it may not be in the way I initially intended to do it.
  • Currently, I’m leaning towards creating two assignments in the Test/Quizzes category, each weighted a little less than a quiz.  Completion of the study guide and timelines could earn you a 100% on each assignment.  However, I’m still working out the math on that one, so I may alter my assessment there.

There are a lot of other questions swirling around right now, too– I’m thinking a lot today about fairness, transparency, communication,  and– above all else– what is best for you all as my students, and as my fellow adventurers in AP World History.  I don’t have all the answers at the moment; I anticipate spending much of this coming weekend thinking about what I want to do– so if you come up to me tomorrow and ask me what the plan is, I probably won’t have it all worked out yet.

But here’s one thing I know: you guys know this material far better than you think you do.  Remember that it’s just a test.  You’re much, much bigger than it is.  You can totally take it.  So take a deep breath, look over that study guide one more time, get a good night’s sleep, and come in tomorrow ready to win.

Homework: Zaption on 20th Century Peace Movments

We’ve been all about war this unit, and that can’t be healthy.  So please watch the following Zaption and answer the associated questions.  If you have tech difficulties with this Zaption, please try to let me know by about 6:00 PM tonight.

Zaption: Peace Movements in the 20th Century

And  because we were discussing this in third period today, take a gander at the Chinese government’s recent video proposing their new, awesome, Five Year Plan!  (Yes.  Yes, they still have Five Year Plans.  And this video is INSANE.)

Homework: The Holocaust

This weekend, please review the following material on the Holocaust (or Shoah) as a continuation of our study of World War II:

World War II and Society

After reviewing the material above, please listen to the following radio broadcast by journalist Edward R. Murrow on the liberation of Buchenwald in April of 1945.  You will find that the sound quality is far from perfect– there are lots of hisses and pops and the whine of interference, as this is the actual recording from 1945.  If you would like to, you can follow this transcript of the broadcast while you listen– but please do listen.  Sometimes the tone of voice is just as important as the words themselves:

Liberation of Buchenwald, 15 April 1945, reported by Edward R. Murrow (CBS News)

In a thoughtful comment, please respond to the following prompts:

  1. Describe the events in Germany beginning in 1933 which led to the Final Solution.  What was their purpose?  How did these actions normalize discrimination?

  2. What were the conditions like in Buchenwald when Murrow and the American troops arrive?  What sort of men did Murrow encounter in the camp?  What do you think shocked Murrow the most about the experience?  What shocked you the most about his description?

  3. At the end of the broadcast, Murrow tells his audience that “if [he] has offended [them] by this rather mild account of Buchenwald, [he’s] not in the least bit sorry.”  What is Murrow’s tone when he delivers this line?  (That is, how does he sound?)

  4. Murrow, as a journalist, believed that it was his job to make an argument– NOT to be a mere reporter of facts.  What argument is he trying to make through this report?  What does he want his listeners to feel, learn, and believe as a result of his work?  Do you think that he achieved his goal?  Why or why not?

Remember, normal commenting rules apply: one thoughtful comment which addresses all of the discussion points thoroughly will receive up to 95%,  while you must comment and leave a response on someone else’s comment in order to earn full credit.

Try to get some rest this weekend, guys– we’ve got the final push coming up over the next two weeks.  Remember you have your Unit Six test on Thursday (12/10), and your Student Learning Objective exam on Friday (12/11), so let’s get ready to power through.



Classwork: Major Actions of World War II

Using your textbooks, the following notes, and the video below, work within your groups to create a poster which identifies and describes– through words or relevant images, symbols, maps, or designs– the following aspects of the Second World War:

  • One event you and your group members identify as the starting point of World War II– justify your choice
  • The three most important events from the European (and North African) theater of the war
  • The three most important events from the Pacific theater of the war
  • One event you and your group members identify as the end of World War II — justify your choice
  • One major social consequence of the conflict
  • One major economic consequence of the conflict
  • One major political consequence of the conflict
  • One way in which you think World War II is DIFFERENT from World War I
  • One way in which you thing World War II is SIMILAR from World War I

Make sure your poster is accurate, neat, and colorful!

Notes on the conflict: World War II

Good luck!

Homework: Discussing Fascism

All right, guys– you know the drill.  Today, you need to read Benito Mussolini’s excerpt from The Political and Social Doctrine of Fascism.  At the end of the excerpt, you’ll see the following questions:

  1. How did Mussolini view democracy, socialism, and pacifism?
  2. Why would Mussolini’s passionate embrace of heroism and violence appeal to so many Italians (and others) in the 1920s?

Respond to the questions in a comment below– and remember that normal commenting rules apply.  One good comment that fully addresses the questions will receive a 95%, while a comment AND a response can earn up a 100%.

See you tomorrow!

Homework: Great Depression Zaption!

Don’t forget you’ve got a reading quiz tomorrow (your very last one!) and your unit vocabulary is also due.  And while I know you’re slammed with work, I also need you to watch the following Zaption on the Great Depression, and respond to the embedded questions.  Remember to sign in and provide your name.  If you run into difficulties, let me know:

The Great Depression: Zaption!

Just a head’s up about tomorrow, guys– first period will only be meeting for an hour, and all of the other classes will be longer than normal, since Math is starting their EOCs.

Bonus Film Reviews: Third Time’s the Charm

Are your essay grades less than desirable?  Do you need to do some grade repair?

Then you need to complete the Real to Reel: AP World History on Film assignment by December 16th!

As we discussed in class, remember that this assignment is NOT a simple bonus assignment– your work needs to be thoughtful, reasoned, and polished, and address all of the requirements described in the assignment sheet above.  Poor quality work will be graded as such.  This is, however, an optional assignment– you are not required to complete this review, and if you choose not to submit one, you will simply be given an exemption.

In order to help you make your selections for this assignment, I humbly present the original trailers to all of the films listed below:

Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India, dir. Ashutosh Gowariker (2001)

Paths of Glory, dir. Stanley Kubrick (1957)

A Very Long Engagement [Un long dimanche de fiançailles], dir. Jean-Pierre Jeunet (2004)

***NOTE: This film is rated R for violence and sexuality.  If your parent or guardian would object to you viewing this film, please move along to another option.

Modern Times, dir. Charles Chaplin (1936)

***NOTE: This is a silent film.  I know.  You’ll live.

Casablanca, dir. Michael Curtiz (1942)

The Last King of Scotland, dir. Kevin Macdonald (2006)

***NOTE: This film is rated R for language, violence, and sexuality.  If your parent or guardian would object to you viewing this film, please move along to another option.

Happy viewing!