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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Class Debates!!!

We are going to have small groups debating issues of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. The groups will debate key issues of the 2 eras, as well as if these issues are having any impact today (2013). You will also, in association with Durning and I, grade the debates, and award winners. This is a chance for everyone to shine (especially those who love to talk way too much)! Here's how to accomplish:

Roles: (For each side) - Groups of 5-7

  • 2 Speakers (Require for each group size)
  • 1-2 Writers/Graders
  • 1-2 Researchers/Graders
  • 1 Notetaker/Debate Prep Person (Required for each group size)
  • The Speakers need to be good talkers; The Researchers need to be able to do research; The Writers need to be good writers; and the Notetaker/Debate Preper needs to be a good listener and suggester of ideas
  1. Break into the above group
  2. Figure out the role of each group member (write down on a piece of paper with the date, period, and turn in to Durning and Mintz (separate daily grade for each group member)
  3. Find the 1st Digital History reading (the Gilded Age) and get the new one (Progressive Era); Highlight and read each
  4. Pick a pro topic AND a con topic (write on a piece of paper with everyone's name, the date, and the period) and give to Durning and Mintz and we will match you with your opposition
  5. Using your textbooks (physical and online), as well as the internet, conduct some research (researchers) and give it to the writers; Writers write up the research into arguments for the Speakers and prep the Speakers; Speakers will be the ones actually debating; The Notetaker will be taking notes during the debate looking to help the Speakers by listening for mistakes from the others side and making sure the Speakers pounce, as well as the person who's responsible for making sure the Speakers are good to go; 1 Writer and 1 Researcher will be grading for each side during the debate; Grades are combined with those from Durning and Mintz (each set worth 50 points for a total possible score of 100)
  6. *At least 3 points need to be debated on each side. While making these up, come see Durning and Mintz to help make sure these are good (look for the most important bits of information - the stuff that will truly prove your side is correct - no tangential information/points)
  7. Project over and fun hopefully had!!!
Grading Rubric: (For up to 50 points - Durning and Mintz will decide the other 50 for a total possible score of a 100 as a Test grade)
(Up To) 20 Points: Argument (The stronger the argument, the stronger the points given)
(Up To) 10 Points: Ability to Argue Back and Forth (More points to the group who proves not only themselves right, but their opposition wrong)
(Up To) 5 Points: Clarity of Points Made (More points for those who have clearly done every step correctly (It'll be obvious - TRUST)
(Up To) 5 Points: Every member Participating (It'll be obvious - TRUST)

Dates and Things to Keep in Mind: The due date will updated shortly (you will have at least a week to accomplish all the set up and the actual debate)
  • You will be given class time but we will also be finishing Ch. 9 and starting Ch. 10; No goofing off; You will be given more than enough time and if you don't accomplish everything, your group's grade is at risk
  • We will also be signing up for our upcoming laptops on Monday - this Thursday, Friday, and ALL of next week will be VERY BUSY - if you are absent: check the blogs for updates AND email Durning or Mintz for the work - you must stay on top of stuff for the next 7 school days - NO EXCUSES/PROCRASTINATION!!!
  • Each highlighted page is due for a grade as well
  • On EVERYONE'S highlighted pages attach a piece of paper that says the places you did research (does not have to be full on biblio - just title and author AND/OR title and web address)
Good Things to Read (For Fun):
#gorockets #1-0 #championshiporbust #bestintheworld 

Class Debates Project, No Test Next Week, Laptop Signup

More on these to follow but here's what you need to know now:

  • Instead of the Ch. 9 Test being next week, it will now be Tuesday Nov. 12, 2013
  • We will now be doing class debates (subjects to come shortly) - we will start setting this up, as well as completing Ch. 9 tomorrow and Friday
  • On Monday (Nov. 4, 2013) we will be signing up for the laptops: (read this next part carefully because there will be consequences for this not getting done) All you need to know is your GradeSpeed login!!! You will write this down for us on Friday (so that we can make this happen on the quick - the pages will then be destroyed for confidentiality purposes). You all will be the 1st in the school to do this and we will once again be pioneering the way for everyone else (as always). Be prepared for this!!!
  • Grades for the Ch. 8 Test, and the rest of the projects will be up shortly - make sure your GradeSpeed looks good (the 6-weeks is nearing the end)
  • Check my blog more - it helps!!!
  • Have a good one!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Ch. 8 Study Guide (Test: Tuesday Oct. 29, 2013)

For the following 2 items, please be able to write about what they are, why they were important back then, and why they are important today or worth remembering today: (I'll give you a index card on Monday for these 2) - click the links for more info (do not just use MY WORDS!!!)
1. Graft, Kickbacks, and Politicians: Graft and kickbacks were notable forms of political corruption during the Gilded Age. Politicians took bribes, stole $, intimidated voters, and generally worked against the will of the people. When politicians become corrupt, not only is our country hurt, but it causes many people to distrust the government, and in turn, they don't vote. This was important during the Gilded Age because the will of the people was often not heard and lead to massive distrust to this day (2013).
2. The Gilded AgeMark Twain called the late 19th century the "Gilded Age." By this, he meant that the period was glittering on the surface but corrupt underneath. While many people earned immense fortunes, more were employed, women saw many gains, the US became industrial and started its ascent to being a super power, many workers worked in poor conditions, for little pay and long hours, women suffered at the hands of abusive men, children were forced into the labor force, wealth disparity hit new highs (the rich got richer and the poor became super poor), and race relations were poor at best. This is important to understand today (2013) because many are saying that we are reliving the Gilded Age of the late 1800s with wealth disparity being even worse, women still being under paid, children's childhoods being ripped away, bad pay, less/lax business regulations, and the government being in a state of uncompromising gridlock.
Pg. #s for DBQ's: 217, the one from the board
Other Things to Study for the Test: William McKinley, William Jennings Bryan, Immigrants likely to be influenced by Political Machines, Cooperatives (CO-OPs), Graduated Income Tax, Gold Standard, National Grange, Gilded Age, Patronage (Spoils System), Pendleton Civil Service Act, Interstate Commerce Act, William Marcy Tweed, One (1) Term POTUS', , Why Immigrants were Important to Political Machines (Graphic Org), Farmer's Organizations (Graphic Org), and...

Of Note for the Week of Oct. 28-Nov. 1, 2013:
  • Wednesday is a half day
  • We will be working on Ch. 9 this week
  • We will be discussing future technology/websites coming to us
  • We will be using the online textbook
  • We will hopefully have a lot of fun

Sunday, October 20, 2013


You will need your textbook from time to time very soon. I'm giving you time now to find it and have it handy. You will not need it much for class but it has some things that will help you on upcoming exams. FIND YOUR TEXTBOOK ASAP!!! More on this in class. Also don't forget to get a highlighter, it's needed the rest of the semester!!! And please make sure that you're good to go not only in my class, but all of your classes!!! We are going to be doing a ton of stuff to get you ready for the stuff we do each week (notes and exams), stuff in the near future (Finals, STAAR, and SATs), and for your further down the line futures (Gov/Econ next year and any future education you might get). Be prepared, I mean it!!! We are tightening a lot up for the remainder of the year. Once again, be prepared!!!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Ch. 7 Study Guide (Test Oct. 22, 2013)

For the following 3 items, please be able to write about what they are, why they were important back then, and why they are important today or worth remembering today: (I'll give you a index card on Monday for these 3) - click the links for more info (do not just use MY WORDS!!!)
1. John Dewey and Education Reform: Dewey was a strong proponent of progressive educational reform. He believed that education should be based on the principle of learning through doing, education should focus mainly on students' interactions with the present, and that the past matters as well. This is important to understand today in a climate of (bad) education reform that focuses on increased standardized testing, decreased education spending, increased class sizes, more students living in poverty, the growing digital divide, and less focus on learning by doing (with more learning to the tests).
2. Yellow Journalism: Type of journalism that relies on sensationalism and lurid exaggeration to attract readers AND/OR lies and/or propaganda which are passed of as legitimate journalism, though they favor 1 political party or viewpoint. This was important to understand in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as the media had a huge influence on the public, and yellow journalism caused much misinformation. This is important to understand today because of the rise of social media we see more and more forms of yellow journalism (or at least journalism that isn't always fact checked).
3. Skyscrapers and Growing Populations: Skyscrapers are important because when a cities' population gets too big and there are too many buildings with too little space, cities begin to build upward instead of out. NYC, Austin, and Chicago are good examples of this. This was important to understand in the late 19th century, early 20th century, and now in 2013 as America's growing populations/cities needed to find places to put people comfortably. Disease, poverty, and other big issues come up with more and more living close together and in big cities.

Other Things to Know: Walter Camp (father of football), Abner Doubleday (disputed inventor of baseball - English origin), James Naismith (invented basketball), Scott Joplin (King of Ragtime), Vaudeville, Women's changing roles/professionalism (graphic org), Graphic Org: Positive Effects, Negative Effects, and Innovations of the Industrial Revolution, Graphic Org: Institutions that Help Immigrants, Graphic Org: New forms of Entertainment in the late 1800s, Steerage, Chinese Immigration/Exclusion, Grover Cleveland, Nativism

Of Note for the Week of October 21-25, 2013:
  • It's Spirit Week next week!
  • Make sure that you have a highlighter next week!!!
  • Be ready to work next week because besides the test, we will finish ch. 8 and start moving on ch. 9
  • Check your gradespeed, progress reports will be coming up shortly
  • Have a great weekend!
P.S. Please support Victoria Turcios for Homecoming Queen! She deserves it! We will be voting in class on Monday.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Week of Oct. 14-18, 2013

1. Don't forget to be working on the project (directions are in the post below)! The pictures (please make a collage if possible) and the mini-report are due at the beginning of each period on Tuesday Oct. 15, 2013.
2. We will be working on Ch. 8 this week. If you have any missing work (check your GradeSpeed or ask your teacher), get it done ASAP!!!
3. Wednesday is a late start day if you are not taking the PSAT.
4. The Ch. 7 Test will be on Tuesday Oct. 22, 2013 (a study guide will be up next week).

Awesome overview of the Gilded Age (please read).

6 Ways You Can Study "Less" With Better Results!

USA Today college/education news (lots of good stories all the time).

Current Events/School Issues: Please enjoy!
Great article on understanding the gov shutdown and debt limit.
A very interesting article on the writing portion of the SAT (sad but good to know).
When LA students got iPads (and everything went wrong). - 2 articles
An important article about student data and school laptops (sad but good to know).
Helping great kids get to where they need to be, even if there's issues.
Cultural synesthesia and how it affects you.
H-town's Top 100 restaurants (2013).

The school year is really moving quick now!!! Please let your teacher(s) know if you're having any issues!!! Have a good one!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

A Moment in Time Picture Project

What this is? This project is about recreating a famous moment in time from something that you have learned about in the first 7 chapters of material. The catch is that you will have to fully recreate the picture using only the members in your group. If you need a flag, someone needs to be the flag (by positioning themselves correctly). Same with any non-human thing in the photo.
How to accomplish?

  • Step 1: Think about the favorite thing that you've learned about in the 1st 7 chapters
  • Step 2: Find a group (no maximum, but at least 2 people are needed)
  • Step 3: Find a picture (from Google Images or Wikipedia) and make sure you have enough group members
  • Step 4: Find a good place to take the pic (can be done in school - there will be some class time given - or out of school) and then recreate your pic
  • Step 5: Email (; BOTH the original photo AND the remade pic along with the following mini-report in the email: Group members names; Title of your pic, why your group picked this photo to recreate (in 2-3 sentences - explain), and whether this was an enjoyable project or not (in 2-3 sentences - explain) - 7 total sentences (don't be lazy)

Are any props/costumes needed? No, but feel free to step up your game (it will only help your grade), but is not required.
Rubric: This will be a TEST level grade and will be comprised of the following areas - for 100 total points (points will be deducted for not following the directions and for not truly recreating the pic):

  • 25 Points: Did your group accurately recreate the original photo?
  • 25 Points: Did your group follow ALL directions?
  • 25 Points: Did you email me both pics?
  • 25 Points: Did you do the mini report in the email, answering ALL questions?

Due Date: Tuesday October 15, 2013).
*Note: Just make this happen. The point is to see what you and your group can do, not what I can direct you to do. Feel free to ask any questions, but keep that in mind.
P.S. The whole point of this project is for you to do something fun and put a smile on my face! :) This should be the easiest project you ever do, so do great work!!!
P.P.S. We will be doing this 1 more time next 6-weeks and then 3 times next semester.
P.P.P.S. The best pics will be featured on the blog, IG, and shown in the school.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Ch. 6 Test Study Guide

For the following 5 items, please be able to write about their importance: (I'll give you a index card on Monday for these 5) - There are 40 total questions;
**UPDATE: This will be a scantron test, so you will need a pencil, but there's writing and you will also need a pen!!!
1. Vertical Integration and Andrew Carnegie (He bought railroad companies and iron mines. If he owned the rails and the mines, all the stuff he needed to produce and ship his steel, he could reduce his costs and produce cheaper steel)
2. Horizontal Integration and John Rockefeller (Rockefeller often bought other oil companies to eliminate competition, thereby making his company, Standard Oil, the most profitable company because he could charge any price with little to no competition. This is a process known as HORIZONTAL INTEGRATION)
3. Philanthropy (Rockefeller, Carnegie, and other extremely wealthy people started giving massive amounts of their fortunes to fund libraries, colleges, art, and other things to make the US better - but their extreme wealth came at the misfortune of their workers - a potential cause of why they gave back so much)
4. Skilled vs. Unskilled Workers (Skilled labor refers to labor that requires workers who have specialized training or a learned skill-set to perform the work; Unskilled labor does not require workers to have special training or skills - the largest sector of employment is unskilled - and those jobs come ad go - as more and more jobs require education/training)
5. Rags-to-Riches Themes and Businessmen (Novels (by Horatio Alger) about impoverished boys and their rise from humble backgrounds to lives of middle-class security and comfort through hard work, determination, courage, and honesty. This was known as a "rags-to-riches" narrative, which had a formative effect on America during the Gilded Age because most businessmen saw themselves as coming from low beginnings, worked hard, and then became the richest and most powerful people on Earth - even if their beginnings weren't so humble)

Other Things to Know: Can you trust a trust?, George Westinghouse and Pullman and how they helped trains, Alexander Graham Bell, The Gospel of Wealth (Carnegie), Bessemer Process and Steel, Communism, Free Enterprise, Capitalism, Monopoly, Trusts, Corporations, Bad working conditions, Thomas Edison, Telegraph, Carnegie, Rockefeller, 2nd Industrial Revolution, Positive effects of Oil (graphic org), Growth of steel (graphic org), Worker safety decreasing, Transcontinental Railroad, Urban poverty increasing, Patents, Copyrights, Sherman Antitrust Act, AFL and Samuel Gompers, Terence V. Powderly, Horatio Alger, Great Upheaval, Haymarket Riot

Of Note for the week of October 7-11: Ch. 6 Test is on Tuesday, Finish up Ch. 7, and then start and work on Ch. 8. Report Cards come out Friday October 11 (make sure your grades are good to go, my gradebook is now closed - most people did quite well (woohoo). Please ask if any help, tutorials, or anything else is needed. Let's have another great week!