Welcome back, Warriors.

Hey there, guys– it was good to see you today.  I know it was a rough first day back; finding the rhythm after a week off is always difficult, and I know today was especially challenging, given the loss in our community.  I do appreciate your kindness, understanding, and willingness to buckle down and work today.  We’ll try our best to get things as close to normal as we can, as soon as we can.  Remember, if you need any assistance or want to talk over the next several days or weeks (or beyond), please feel free to talk to any teacher or staff member, and we’ll do our very best to help in whatever way we can.  Keep an eye out for each other over the next few days, okay?  We all process grief and loss at our own pace.

As to tonight’s homework– remember that you have a reading quiz over the Unit Three material tomorrow during the first thirty minutes of class, and your Unit Three vocabulary is due at the same time.  If you have misplaced your vocabulary list, you can download another copy on the Unit Three resource page.

And if you are interested in reading parts of The Tale of Genji (which we discussed in class today), you can find an abridged version of the first seventeen chapters here.

IMPORTANT: Early Release on 1/22

As you have no doubt learned already, Cobb County schools will dismiss two hours early tomorrow, January 22nd.  I’m sure Twitter is a-buzz.  However, please keep in mind that:

  • You will, as far as we know right now, have ALL of your classes tomorrow, even if they are shortened.  Mr. Horton has just emailed the faculty to let us know that the administration is working on an alternate bell schedule for tomorrow, so you should prepare as you normally would for ALL of your classes.
  • Barring a sudden and unexpected transportation to the planet Hoth, YOU WILL STILL HAVE A READING QUIZ TOMORROW.  Reading quizzes take half an hour; if I have you for thirty minutes, you’re taking a quiz.  Sorry.  (Or should that be #sorrynotsorry?  I get so confused by what The Youth are currently saying.)

If you had planned to stay after school to make up any work, or to attend a club or sporting event, please know that they have all been cancelled, and make your plans accordingly.

Welcome to AP World History!

I hope you all had a great first day back at North Cobb High School.  Remember, if you’ve got any problems with your schedule (missing classes, duplicate classes, incorrect classes) to let your teachers know immediately this week so we can get you settled into whatever courses are correct for you as quickly as possible.

Tonight, I need you to do a few things for me.  First, sit down with your parents or guardians and go over the AP World History Class Handbook which you received today in class.  We went over some of it in class, but you should really take a moment to look through the whole thing– and make sure you show it to your parents, as well.  (If they’d like their own copy, by the way, they can download a .pdf of the handbook here: APWHHandbook.)  Once you’ve read over the handbook, please sign the acknowledgment sheet at the back of the handbook, remove it, and put it in your folder to return to me.

After looking over the handbook, please take a few minutes and complete the student information survey embedded below.  Please provide the most accurate information you can so that I can have a better picture of who you are and how I can best help you be successful in the course.  You will need your handbook with you as you fill out the survey, as there are several questions which ask you to review information from the class handbook and website.

After completing your student information survey, you’ll need to get to work on your first homework assignment of the semester: establishing a baseline understanding of the geographic regions addressed in this class.

While this course is (clearly) not a geography class, it certainly helps to be able to recognize regions and have a basic geographic knowledge of the world.  After all, you certainly don’t want to mess up and write an essay on China when you were meant to write about South Asia.  To that end, tonight you will need to read the short article I handed out in class today– “The Myth of Continents” by Peter Morris.

After reading the article, please examine the associated map of the College Board’s division of the world’s regions, and answer the following questions on a separate sheet of paper.

  1. After considering Morris’ points, how many continents do you think there are?  Why?  Is Europe a continent in your scheme?  Why or why not?

  2. Looking at the two maps of AP World History regions, do you agree with how the College Board has divided the world?  Does it make sense to you? If you were going to make your own map of the world, how would you divide up the world’s regions?  Why?

Please make sure your answers are thoughtful, legible, and complete, and be ready to turn them in first thing on Wednesday.


Some upcoming due dates to help you get off on the right foot:

  • Student information form due tomorrow, Wednesday, January 5th
  • Student/Parent handbook acknowledgement form due by Thursday, January 7th
  • Reading quiz over Guns, Germs, and Steel (chpts. 1-14) on Friday, January 8th
  • Summer reading journal due on Friday, January 8th 
  • Unit One vocabulary due on Monday, January 11th
  • Unit One Test on Thursday, January 14th

Remember, any handouts or readings from class for Unit One will be located on the Unit One Materials page of this website.  That includes copies of the handbook, unit one vocabulary assignments, and the unit one study guide.

If you didn’t get a chance today in class, remember to register for the APWH Fall Semester Remind announcement list by texting @apwhempire to 81010.  This will allow you to receive notifications about class assignments and other events.

See you all tomorrow!

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.

Have you registered for your AP exams yet?

It’s that time of year again– time to register for your AP exams!  Here at North Cobb, we do all of our registration for AP exams online, so you won’t be bringing any money or checks to school– everything will be done online.  In order to register, please do the following:

  1. Go to the North Cobb TotalRegistration.Net site.
  2. Create an account using an email address that you will check frequently.  They’re going to send you important stuff regarding your registration, so you DO NOT want it sitting in an account you don’t check, or going into your spam filter.  You might even want your parents to create the account so that all the important payment stuff goes to them.
  3. Select which exams you plan on taking in May.  (Hint: you plan on taking the AP World History exam– because you’re taking this class right now and you’ve been working your butt off and you know this stuff— and whatever AP class(es) you’re registered for next semester.  The deadline for registration is Thursday, January 28th, so you won’t have long to sign up after Winter Break. Go ahead and do it now.
  4. Be sure to indicate which teacher you have for the AP class (if you know– you might not, if you’re taking the class next semester).  This is important, because it lets individual teachers see how their students did on the exam.
  5. Select your payment options.  You will need to pay online with a debit or credit card, or you can set it up so that you can pay in installments via check or credit card.  Each exam will cost $92.00, so you need to start thinking about costs now.

***SUPER IMPORTANT INFORMATION: If you are eligible for free or reduced lunch, you can get a significant discount on your AP exams.  All you need to do is click on the free and reduced option on the payment page on TotalRegistration.Net, pick up a form from me or Ms. Epps in Admin 1, take it home, have your parent or guardian sign it, and then return it to Ms. Epps.  She’ll verify your paperwork, and you’ll be able to get the bulk of your exam costs covered!

If you have any questions about the registration process, or want to talk about how to prepare for the AP World History exam, or anything else– please feel free to come and talk to me as soon as possible.  Remember, with a score of 3 or higher you can qualify for college credit, depending on the course and university you attend.  That means that a $92 investment can save you hundreds of dollars in tuition and books, and– if you qualify for enough coursework hours– may mean you can graduate early (saving EVEN MORE $$$), or that you can add additional majors, certificates, or minors to your undergraduate career and still graduate on time.

For further information on AP exams, please see the College Board’s site on this topic.

Monday: Guest Speaker for First Period!

(If you’re in second or third period, don’t whine.  We’ll be doing something else in class.)

On Monday, October 19th, first period will be meeting in the Media Center to hear a guest speaker.

Our speaker will be Slma Shelbayah, an Assignment Editor/Producer for CNN Newsource.  Here’s her bio:

Slma Shelbayah is an Assignment Editor/Producer for CNN Newsource and Writer for CNN Digital News. Based in Atlanta, she has worked across many platforms, including the CNN International Desk and the CNN.com Homepage Video unit, covering both national and international news stories including the Arab Spring, Malaysia Airlines MH370 Crash, 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday and most recently the disastrous earthquake in Nepal. Shelbayah holds a Master of Applied Linguistics from Georgia State University and is also an adjunct professor of Business and Mass Communication at Brenau University in Gainesville, Georgia. She enjoys storytelling, teaching, traveling, photography, cooking and spending the best of times with her two daughters.

Ms. Shelbayah also has a very cool website and profile located here, where you can see a sample of her work.  If you’re interested in current events, journalism, storytelling, or the study of languages, Ms. Shelbayah should be a particularly interesting speaker to hear.

Remember that, as always, guests at our school deserve your utmost respect and attention.  I’ll remind you on Monday, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to take notes during her presentation so that you have things to ask her when it’s time for our Q&A session.

School Announcement: College Workshop on October 13th!

Passing on some very useful school information:

On Tuesday, October 13th there will be a presentation and discussion for students and parents titled, “I Want to Go to College, Now What?” hosted by the counseling department.  The presentation will be held in the North Cobb High School theater at 7:00 PM.  Learn how to plan your path to college at this informational session presented by college admissions officers!

Topics for discussion will be:

  • understanding your GPA
  • designing your high school plan to maximize your options
  • step by step instructions on conducting a college search
  • how college admissions counselors view your application

There will be interactive activities and opportunities for Q&A!

This session is targeted to freshmen and sophomore students and their parents, but all are welcome.

(If you are looking for the homework assignment for October 9th, please look at the entry just below this one. 🙂 )

Unit Three Pacing and Due Dates!

First things first: you have no assigned homework this weekend, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have stuff to do– check your unit three reading assignment.

Yeah.  It’s a lot.  You’d better get started on it NOW.  It’s going to rain all weekend anyway.  Stay in, watch football (root for the Dawgs, obviously), and get some reading done.

We went over the Unit Three due dates in class today, but just in case you missed them:

  • Topic Selection for Final Paper (Monday, October 12th)
  • In-Class DBQ (Friday, October 16th)
  • Unit Three Reading Quiz (Tuesday, October 20th)
  • Unit Three Vocabulary Assignment (Tuesday, October 20th)
  • Sources Scavenger Hunt (October 23rd)
  • Renaissance and Reformation WebQuest Packet (October 28th)
  • Unit Three Test (Wednesday, October 28th)

And while it’s not a due date for our class, please know that the PSAT will be administered on Wednesday, October 14th.  As sophomores, you’ll all be taking the test.  We’ll be in an altered schedule, so I won’t see any class other than third period that day.

Homework: The Question of Mongol Awesomeness

Don’t forget, you have an in-class essay tomorrow.  You will NOT be allowed to use any notes or textbooks on this essay.  However, it would not be a bad idea to re-read the Southernization article and really think about the role of the Mongols during your homework tonight.

Deep breath, guys.  It’s just an essay.  You’re bigger than it is.  You can totally take it.

Quick announcement regarding applications for GHP in Social Studies– I need everyone’s completed application by TOMORROW at the end of the day.  

Also, tomorrow’s picture day.  Brush your hair, smile pretty, and get yourself in the yearbook.

Now!  Regarding your homework for tonight.

Today in class you should have read and analyzed documents regarding the political, economic, social, cultural, and religious history of the Mongols from a variety of sources.  If you would like to read those documents again or download a copy for your personal reference, you can find them here: Mongol Documents.  You also watched the Crash Course video on the Mongols as well (which I will embed below, thusly:)

Using these resources, please post a thoughtful, reasoned comment to this entry addressing the following prompt:

All things being equal, were the Mongols a beneficial or harmful force for Eurasia during the post-Classical period?  Why do you think so?  Consider the role the Mongols played in trade, cultural diffusion, warfare, and disease in your responses.

Be sure to use SPECIFIC EVIDENCE from the documents, your textbooks, and the video to support your argument.

Normal commenting rules apply– one thoughtful comment will earn you a maximum of 95%, while one comment PLUS a thoughtful response to another student’s comment will earn you a maximum of 100%.

Happy Mongol-ing!

Announcements and Essay Practice

Breaking news for first period!  Mr. Revard has just announced that, as the largest provider of cans/non-perishables in the main building, we WILL be getting a Chic-fil-A breakfast on Friday morning!  Excellent work, guys.

Shanah Tovah to those of you celebrating, and to everyone else, happy Monday!  You’ve got four more school days to make it through before Fall Break.  Hang in there, guys– you can do this.

You don’t have any formal homework this evening, but don’t forget that your Unit Three reading should be complete by Friday (when you have a reading quiz), and your Unit Three vocabulary assignment is due at the same time.  (If you’ve lost your original handout, please check the Unit Three Materials page and download another copy.)  So while you don’t need to do any extra work this evening, you DO need to make sure that you’re keeping up with your reading and vocabulary.

Just a few school announcements:

  • If you’ve expressed interest in applying for the Governor’s Honors Program in Social Studies, you will need to turn your COMPLETED application in to me (Ms. Galloway) by 3:40 on Wednesday afternoon (9/16).  We will be contacting students regarding their interview times over the next few days.  We can only nominate five students as a department, so make sure your application is stellar.
  • Don’t forget: Picture Day is during first period on Wednesday (9/16).  Yes, that’s the same day as your in-class essay.  It’ll be fine.  You’re still going to write.  You’ll just look fancy doing it.

Additionally, I know some of you were interested in doing some additional practice work on comparative essays in advance of your in-class essay on Wednesday.  To that end, here are a couple of additional essay prompts you could use to work on your own dehydrated essays if you feel like yours wasn’t particularly strong today:

Analyze the similarities and differences in the political and economic systems of TWO of the following Chinese dynasties in the Post-Classical period:

  • Tang Dynasty
  • Song Dynasty
  • Yuan Dynasty


Compare and contrast the role of syncretism and cultural borrowing in the practice of TWO of the following belief systems in Asia during the Post-Classical period:

  • Buddhism
  • Islam
  • Confucianism

Remember to make sure that your direct comparisons are clear, and don’t forget to explain WHY and HOW things happen.

The Spread of Islam: Online Discussion Questions (Also Unit Three Due Dates)

All right, lovely people!  Here we go, off into the medieval period.  You should have received a copy of the unit three reading guide and vocabulary assignment today in class– if you’ve misplaced yours, please make sure to download a copy from the Unit Three materials page.

Significant due dates for this unit are as follow:

  • African Trade Systems Simulation (Wednesday, September 9th)
  • In-Class Comparative Essay (Wednesday, September 16th)
  • Unit Three Reading Quiz (Friday, September 18th)
  • Unit Three Vocabulary Assignment (Friday, September 18th)
  • Unit Three Test (Thursday, October 1st)

This unit is going to feel a little fragmented, since we’ve got Labor Day coming up this Monday and Fall Break (Sept. 21 – 25) during this unit as well.  The best advice I can give you is to stay on top of your reading and to make sure that you review your notes during your break so that it’s not a total shock when you get back to class.

One more piece of business– remember, those of you interested in applying for the Governor’s Honors Program this summer, there’s an informational meeting in the ID lab in the Freshman Academy at 7:45 AM and 3:30 PM tomorrow, September 3rd.  If you can’t make it to the meeting, please check in with Ms. Biddy in room 2106.

As to tonight’s homework– you should have received a copy of The Spread of Islam in class today.  Please read the article carefully, and then respond in comments to the following discussion points.  Remember, the usual commenting policy applies– one good comment which addresses the prompts fully can receive a maximum grade of 95%, while one good comment PLUS a response to a classmate’s comment is eligible for a full 100% of credit on the assignment.  Please provide specific examples from the text when possible to support your position.

You may additionally find the following video a helpful visual:

Your discussion prompts are as follow:

Based on your readings and our discussions in class today, what factors led to the rapid expansion of Islam between the 7th and 15th centuries?  What made Islam attractive to people in sub-Saharan Africa? In India?  Central Asia? Southeast Asia?

How did Islam change as it moved into new regions?  Do you think these transformations– and those which took place during the diffusion of Buddhism and Christianity– are beneficial to religions, or harmful?  Justify your answer with evidence from your readings.

Additionally– and I know that I don’t need to remind you wonderful people– as we are discussing religion, please remember to keep your conversation academic and respectful, and remember that I am moderating all comments.  And comments I find inappropriate will be prevented from posting.

Have a good evening, and I’ll see you tomorrow!

Information on Governor’s Honors Program (GHP)

If you’re looking for the homework assignment for tonight (8/24), please scroll down one entry.

The Governor’s Honors Program is a competitive academic program held every year at Valdosta State University for students who show passion and excellence in various academic, artistic, and technical fields.  For a further description of the program, students should check the North Cobb website for a basic overview of FAQs and application procedures.

Students can apply to GHP in the following areas of study:


  • Agricultural Science
  • Communicative Arts
  • Languages (French, German, Latin, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish)
  • Mathematics
  • Sciences
  • Social Studies

Fine Arts

  • Dance
  • Music (Brass– euphonium/baritone, French horn, trombone, trumpet, tuba; Jazz– electric bass, guitar, percussion, piano, saxophone, trombone, and trumpet; Percussion;Piano; Strings– cello, upright bass, viola, violin; Voice– alto, baritone/bass, soprano, tenor; Woodwind– bassoon, clarinet, flute, oboe, and saxophone)
  • Theater
  • Visual Arts


  • Engineering and Design
  • Technology

There will be an informational meeting in the ID lab in the Freshmen Academy (room 2101) on September 3rd at 7:45 AM or 3:30 PM.  Interested students should try to attend the meeting– otherwise, students should speak with Ms. Biddy in room 2106 in order to pick up the relevant information.

If you have further questions regarding the application process or regarding the program of GHP itself, please feel free to ask me– I went myself (back in the dark ages), and I love helping students get to experience the same awesome program.