You’ve got this.

Hey.  I know you’re nervous.  It’s okay.  You’ve got a high-pressure test tomorrow, and it’s probably weighing on you a little.  It’s all right to be anxious about things like this– but it’s also important to know how to handle that anxiety.

So, here: I made you a checklist, because sometimes it helps to have a tangible list of things to do when you’re nervous.  If you’re in class this semester, you already received a copy today.  If you took AP World last semester, you might want to download this, print it out, and read it over.  (And if you’re not one of my students– because I know there are some of you out there who read this who aren’t in my classes– feel free to take this advice and apply it to your own testing circumstance tomorrow.)

AP World History Exam Checklist

And because I think it’s important, and I think you guys probably need to hear this sometimes– especially in our current world of high-stakes testing– I’ll repeat what I said at the end of the checklist.

If there’s anything else you should know for tomorrow’s exam, it’s this: I’m so proud of you guys.  This is a hard class—it’s the history of everyone, everywhere, since the beginnings of humanity!  It couldn’t be anything BUT hard.  But you’ve handled this semester with grace, perseverance, curiosity, enthusiasm, and grit.  You’ve already proven yourselves to me; I don’t need the College Board to tell me whether or not you know this stuff.  This is three hours out of your life, with seventy questions and three essays.  It can’t possibly tell me—or anyone else—about your sense of historical empathy, your ability use historical precedents in your personal decision-making, or your value as a person.

So go in there tomorrow and kick butt on the exam, because I know you can.  But remember when the scores come back in July that you’re not a better person for scoring a five, or a worse person for scoring a two.  (I think you’re awesome regardless.)  The only thing that really matters is what you DO with the information you gain in this or any other class, and you can do so very, very much more than take a test.

So there you go.  Go forth and conquer.

Buena suerte, bon chance, and good luck!

 

Advertisements

Google Hangout Study Session Tonight!

Hey, guys!  I hope you’re all getting some studying done today– but if you need some additional help, I’m going to be setting up a Google Hangout on Air this evening between 7:00 and 8:30 PM.  So here’s how it will work:*

  1. A Google Hangout is basically a video/text chat.  I’ll have it set up so that you can see me (and maybe if I wear a headset, the mic will pick up my voice enough for me to talk a bit), but I’ll set it so that you can’t see each other.  Too many videos can be a mess.  You’ll be able to ask questions via typing, and you can vote up questions you want me to answer first.  It will probably work best for you to do this on a computer if you can (for ease of typing), as I understand that trying to type in a question while running the Hangout app on a tablet or phone can be obnoxious.  (But if that’s your only option, you can always watch along anyway.)  Also, I’m given to understand that only about ten of you at a time will be able to actively participate– so if you’re NOT able to type your question, please feel free to tweet it at me using the hashtag #AskMsGalloway. (I feel ridiculous typing that, btw.)  I’ll have a second window open and make a point of asking those questions in the Hangout, too.
  2. A Google Hangout on Air means that our session will be streaming live on YouTube while the session is ongoing, and it also means that it will be archived there, afterwards.  So if you can’t watch and participate in the session live, you should be able to watch the recorded version whenever you have time.  I’ll be embedding the YouTube stream on this page so that you can watch if you like.
  3. I’m sending out Hangout invitations via email as soon as I finish this post.  HOWEVER!  A Hangout requires a Google account, so if you don’t have a gmail or Magnet account that I know about, I won’t be able to send you one.  If you HAVE a gmail address that I don’t know about and would like to participate in today’s Hangout, please email, tweet, or send me a message via Remind to let me know what it is, and I’ll add you before the Hangout starts. (DON’T leave your email in a comment on this post.  That’s not great Internet security practice.)
  4. Here’s how to join the Hangout: First, you need to install the Google Hangout plugin or install the app.  (It takes like seven seconds.  Go here: https://hangouts.google.com/.  If it says, “Hi, [your name]!,” you’re good.)  Then, go to your gmail or Magnet account.  You’ll see an email notification about the Hangout, and it SHOULD have instructions on how to join.  I think all you need to do is hit accept, but you may need to go in through Google Plus in order to see the event itself.  If you’re super confused about how to do all this, here’s a quick tutorial (you can disregard the stuff on audio and video, though):

Okay, guys!  Hopefully this works, but if not, Twitter’s our backup– you can always contact me @GallowayAPWorld, or use the hashtag #AskMsGalloway.

*in theory. I’ve never done one of these before, so it could be a disaster! We shall see.  I’m fairly techie, so hopefully I can figure out any bugs before we go live.

No Study Saturday. :(

Hey, guys.  I’m so, so, so sorry, but my voice still hasn’t returned.  It’s marginally better than yesterday, but I don’t think that it’s going to make enough of an amazing turnaround tonight to let me be effective in leading a study session.  So unfortunately, I’m going to have to cancel the study session at Swift-Cantrell Park tomorrow.

I know a lot of you have been counting on this study session as a way to get ready for the AP exam on Thursday, but I’ll let you in on a secret: you can totally do this without my help.  You know so much more than you think you do.  So here’s what I suggest:

  1. Get a group together and plan to study for whatever time you had allotted for tomorrow.  You had planned to come to the study session for the whole five hours?   AWESOME.  Meet at a friend’s house or a coffee shop or go to the park and make yourself study for that length of time.  It’s helpful to have other people around when you study, sometimes, because they can make you accountable for the way you spend your time.  If you’re studying alone and spend twenty minutes on Tumblr because you got distracted, you’re not wasting anyone’s time but your own.  But if you do that when there are five other people giving up their time to study with you, it’s a lot easier to make yourself stay on task.
  2. Give yourself breaks at LEAST once an hour.  Take fifteen minutes to stand up, check your phone, talk about what you’re getting your mom or grandma or whoever for Mother’s Day (that’s Sunday, btw, you might want to get on that), stretch, have a snack, or go play basketball for a few minutes.  Whatever.  It’s easier to focus and be productive when you give yourself a set time to goof off, too. Don’t expect to be able to bury your nose in your textbook for five hours straight; you’re going to want to check your phone, or you’ll get off-topic, or you’ll have a sudden and desperate need for Oreos.  That’s okay.  Just plan your breaks, and end them when you say you will.
  3. Have a plan for what you want to accomplish when you study.  Maybe break your study time up into sections: for the first hour, review Units One and Two.  The second, Unit Three, then Unit Four, and so on.  Maybe make one member of your study group responsible for running that part of your review (that doesn’t mean they have to know the answers– just have them be in charge of looking up information, asking questions of the group, and keeping everyone focused on the topic at hand).
  4. DO SOMETHING WITH THE INFORMATION.  Make something when you study.  A timeline, a comparative chart, a mindmap, an outline– whatever.  What you need to do is not just look at the information again, but actively rehearse it.  Make your friends act out charades about industrialization, SING THE CHINA DYNASTY SONG (or write your own about another topic), write a limerick about the unification of Germany— anything that makes you use and think about information in a new way is helpful.

As for me, I’m going to be looking at how to set up a Google hangout (or something similar).  I hope to be able to have some means of letting you guys chat and ask questions online some time tomorrow evening, probably between 7 and 9 PM.  If I can’t get a hangout to work, we can at least do a Twitter chat– and you can tweet questions at me all day tomorrow while you’re studying, if you like.  My school twitter account is @GallowayAPWorld, and if you use the hashtag #AskMsGalloway, I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.  (The only things you should be asking Ms. Galloway, however, are AP World History related questions.  This is not Reddit, and I’m not running an AMA.)

Hopefully I’ll have my voice back next week, guys, so I can help you with any last minute questions or concerns then.  In the meantime, study productively, GET SOME SLEEP, and I’ll see you on Monday.

Update on Study Saturday

So.  Those of you who were at the practice multiple choice exam yesterday know that I lost my voice midway through yesterday– and not just a little bit.  (It was pretty hilarious, actually, if a bit painful and inconvenient.)  Today, if anything, it’s worse.

I went to the doctor yesterday after school, and I have a nice case of laryngitis, which means that my vocal chords are inflamed and irritated and therefore not working normally.  Unfortunately, there’s not much to do get my voice back quickly– I’ve been drinking so much green tea with ginger that I might prompt a third Opium War in China in order to address the trade imbalance I’m creating, and I’ve had enough honey-lemon concoctions to last me a lifetime.  The only thing for it is to simply not talk, and give my vocal chords time to fix themselves.

If you’re clever, you’ve spotted the problem: running a study session through the medium of mime is perhaps not the most effective thing ever.  Usually at these sessions I talk for about four or five hours, answering questions and reviewing content, and I honestly don’t know if I’ll be able to do that by Saturday.  I’m HOPING my vocal chords will suddenly decide to play ball overnight, but that may not happen.  So.

  1. If my voice isn’t cooperating tomorrow morning, I’m going to go ahead and call off the study session at Swift-Cantrell.  I know many of you are coming from all over the county, and I want you to have time to make alternate plans if you need to.
  2. I will post an update as to the status of the study session on this blog, and over Remind, and on Twitter, and hang a sign on my door.  PLEASE make sure you pass the information along to everyone in APWH (especially if they took the class in the fall).
  3. EVEN IF there is no official study session, you still CAN AND SHOULD hold your own!  Meet up with friends at a coffee shop, or hang out at someone’s house– or go ahead to the park!  Work together to complete those timelines on the back of each Unit Guide, make a mind-map for each period of study, draw up compare and contrast charts for major empires or faiths or trade systems.  You can do this.
  4. I’m going to try to set up a Google hangout for you guys if I can’t manage to run the study session, so that you’ll have a venue to ask me questions, and so that I can answer— it’ll have to be a text chat, however, rather than video.  I’ll put information about a hangout up on this blog if that’s the case.

I really, really hope we don’t have to cancel, guys– I’ve never NOT run a study session on the Saturday before the exam, and I don’t want to break tradition now.  But we’ll see.  Keep your fingers crossed, okay?

On a brighter note, however– I just got word that we’ll be doing one more Twitter review chat on May 11th from 8:00 to 9:00 PM– the night before the exam.  Use the hashtag #APWorldCobb and you can ask last-minute questions and get help from several AP World teachers (including me) from around Cobb.  AND– this is the exciting part– Raoul Meyer will also be online to help us answer questions.  Who is Raoul Meyer, you ask?  Why, he’s one of the writers for Crash Course– John Green’s high school history teacher!

 

Homework: Ibn Battuta in Mali

First things first: remember that if you have not signed up for your AP exams, tonight is your last chance before the deadline.  Please go to the North Cobb TotalRegistration portal in order to sign up now! 

Everybody good?  Good.

As to your homework tonight, please thoroughly read and annotate Ibn Battuta’s account of his travels in Mali– if you’ve lost your copy, you’ll find a digital version on the Unit Three materials page.

Ignore the questions at the bottom of page 64 (I’ve marked through them on your copy)– instead, I want you to focus on the discussion points below.  One point of caution, however: as you respond to these point, you are to avoid using the words ‘bias‘ or ‘biased.’  Those words don’t exist in AP World History.  Find another, more precise way of explaining what you mean.

1. What does Ibn Battuta find admirable about the people of Mali?

2. Many of Ibn Battuta’s concerns regarding Mali involve the freedoms and behaviors of women.  What do Ibn Battuta’s responses suggest about his cultural and social background?  Is Battuta’s reaction surprising, given his personal background?

3. Is Ibn Battuta’s account useful as a source when studying Mali?  What are the problems inherent in using texts written by people who are from outside of the culture about which they are writing?  What are the problems in relying ONLY on sources drawn from within a culture?

Normal commenting rules apply: one good comment that answer the question will receive a maximum of 95%, and a comment to a colleague’s post will result in a maximum of 100%.

We’ll be working heavily on analyzing primary sources over the next several weeks, so you can expect us to spend a good chunk  of time working on reading texts for content, evidence, and perspective.

 

Relevant Unit Three Dates and Reminders

Off we go, into the post-classical period!  Over the next month, we’ll be talking about the rise of Islam and the caliphates, the development of sub-Saharan kingdoms and empires, aristocratic culture in Heian Japan, the persistence of Rome in the Byzantine empire, the birth of Russia, the growth of American empires like the Aztec and Inca, the conquest of– wait for it!— the Mongols over much of Eurasia, feudalism in Western Europe, and the spread of the Black Death.

Thus, as you might imagine, there’s a fair bit of reading for this unit.  You should get started on it tonight.  (Remember, the Unit Three Reading Guide is always available for download on the Unit Three resource page if you’ve lost yours.)

Here are the dates you need to keep in mind for this unit:

  • In-Class Comparative Essay (Friday, February 12th
  • Unit Three Vocabulary Assignment (Tuesday, February 23rd)
  • Unit Three Reading Quiz (Tuesday, February 23rd)
  • Film Review Due (Thursday, February 25th)
  • In-Class DBQ Essay (Monday, February 29th)
  • Unit Three Test (Tuesday, March 1st)

Also, don’t forget that you need to register for your AP exams by February 4th; please use the North Cobb TotalRegistration portal in order to sign up online!

Homework: Zaption and Classical Greece Mindmap

First things first:

Are you registered to take your AP exams for this year?  If you’re not, you’re running out of time to sign up– regular registration will close on January 28th, and then you will have to pay a fifteen dollar late fee to register.  Don’t get hit with a late fee on top of the price of the regular exams– they aren’t cheap, and you should try to get the best deal you can.  ALL registration will close on February 4th, as the school has to send in its order for exams that week.

You can register for ALL of your AP exams by going to the North Cobb High School TotalRegistration portal.  Remember, we don’t take any money for exams at school– all of your payments must be handled through TotalRegistration.

And remember: If you are eligible for federal free or reduced lunch status, PLEASE make sure you pick up the AP exam waiver form from me in class or go to Admin 1 and request one– the waiver can mean that you only have to pay $15 for your exams, instead of the $104 they can cost with the processing fee, so please, please, please take advantage of the resources if they apply to you.  That’s what they’re around for!

As to tonight’s homework:

Hopefully you completed most of your Mindmap of Ancient Greece today in class, but if you didn’t, please make sure you have it completed before the start of class tomorrow.  Remember that your mindmap SHOULD involve color, illustration, or creative organization of some kind.  The more you work with and manipulate the information we address in this course, the more likely you are to be able to successfully recall the material in the future.

(Ask Ms. Shelnutt or Mr. Hargis and your friends in AP Psych if you don’t believe me!)

Your primary homework tonight is to complete the Zaption video on Alexander the Great (?) and Hellenism.  You’ll find the video linked below– I can’t embed Zaptions without a heck of a lot of tedious coding– but if you can’t use the video for some reason, please download the transcript of the video and associated question and complete the assignment on paper: Alexander, Legacies, and Greatness Zaption.

Zaption Video: Alexander, Legacies, and Greatness

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.