Thursday, June 15, 2017
On May 2, 2017, our Global Studies class was privileged to visit and tour the United Nations. In our world history classes, we learned how the United Nations was created after World War II.
To get some further information on the functions of the United Nations, a good start would be to check out their website: United Nations
Of course, there's so much to learn at and about the United Nations, and the tour was only an hour long. For each tweet on the Storify, there's literally thousands of pages of information that can elaborate that topic. Your challenge is to investigate some of it! Link to Storify: UN Tweets
1. Pick a tweet (mention the time stamp in your response so we know which one you are referring to.)
2. Using the website above and other research, investigate more about that tweet. Whether it was a painting, the Declaration of Human Rights, the Security Council, etc., there's much more to know than what was mentioned!
3. Share some of what you discovered in a well developed paragraph with specific details. Make sure to read previous posts, please do not repeat information that is already shared.
4. Remember that the UN was created as a result of World War 2. Find a way to connect what you learned with the effects of the war.
5. Vague or brief posts will not receive full credit.
6. Make sure to save your comment before submitting, in case there is a technical issue as it posts.
7. Pick something you find interesting, and enjoy the process. I encourage you to respectfully respond to your classmates comments!
I look forward to reading what you share!
Thursday, May 25, 2017
As we approach another Memorial Day weekend, I often worry that these significant days are not covered enough in schools. I hope students realize that they are not just "days off of school," weekends for sales and parties, but days that deserve reflection and even action.
You may have noticed the pictures in the room of classmates that I have lost serving our country. Some of you may have heard me tell stories about them, and I have listened to many of your stories as well. You may have noticed from time to time I wear a bracelet that my grandmother gave me in high school, before I went to a week of JROTC training during the summer.
These bracelets were sold in the '90s to raise money for the New Jersey Vietnam Memorial and Museum, located off the Garden State Parkway. if any of you have been there, I'd love to read about it in the comments or hear about it in class. These "KIA" bracelets have the name of New Jersey service men and women who lost their lives serving in Vietnam. For many years I knew nothing about LCPL Firth's name and the date of his death. But since it was recently the 50th anniversary of his passing, and since Google has come around since I was in High School, I was able to find out more about him.
The first thing I discovered was a young face to the name I wore all these years. I learned the town where he grew up in, the names of his parents and siblings. I learned where he died in Vietnam. I learned that he earned several decorations, including the Purple Heart medal. I also learned that he was only 21 years old. It seems that with every discovery, every event in the news, every day that passes, this bracelet has much more meaning.
For this blog post, I invite you to research about another service man or woman from New Jersey who lost their life serving our country. It can be from recent or from early American history. Each one will be significant. Please do not just copy and paste a biography you find on-line, but take time to read it, reflect on it, and share what learning about it means to you.
Monday, April 3, 2017
Well now it is March, and the CrS-10 successful launched, and the Dragon docked with the ISS. By now the astronauts are conducting some of the experiments that were on board, and Space X launched again, this time their first reused falcon 9!
When I go on these NASA adventures, I usually find one concrete way to relate it to our classes. However, this time I realized that there are just too many ways to limit it to one (or two, or three.) Social studies covers economics, and it was fascinating to learn about all the private partnerships at KSC (it's more than Space X.) We learned how it connects to the Scientific Revolution, about how we are studying how to grow plants on Mars (Columbian Exchange, anyone?) We learned about different roles that women have played over the years, and about the historic significance of launch pad 39-A. We learned about how the science experiments aboard the ISS will effect humanity here on Earth, and even how it connects to New Jersey. Overall, I'm happy we learned so much and happy for this opportunity!
If you were unable to follow along while I was there, take a few minutes to catch up on some of the experience here.
1. Pre-launch press briefing. Here you can learn about many of the experiments that were carried on the Dragon to the ISS. I ask two questions here, I won't tell you at which points to try to get you to actually watch as much of this as possible. (It's worth watching, these experiments are fascinating!)
2. Press-briefing with NASA and SpaceX. Yes, I was here to! (Check out my pics of the Tesla on my twitter feed from this!) Hear about the relationship between public and private spheres, and reflect a bit on just why this launch is so historic.
3. Pre-launch NASA coverage. This is where you can watch my "famous" interview. There's other parts worth watching as well of course.
4. Watch the launch and the landing. It really is amazing!!
5. Read my interview from the Daily Record. This was more about why we cover aerospace science in class in general, as opposed to a specific connection to this mission. It still should get you in the right mindset before commenting.
While you're at it, here is a press release from Morris County:
6. Tweets. Next, to see lots of the individual facts and details of the trip, check out my tweets on Storify:
7. Radio Interview. A whole half-hour show devoted just to this topic!
8. What can students do! A quick video I took when a scientist told me ways that students get involved with the plants grown aboard the ISS. You can do this too!
Now, it's time for your feedback! I am asking you to find two things that you learned from this adventure.
#1- What did you learn that relates somehow to your academy. (Trust me, there are examples of information here that relate to all academies.)
#2- What did you learn that you found fascinating, interesting, or significant?
Requirements- Your response should be a detailed paragraph. The feedback you share should be unique. Once a classmate shares a fact, you have to share something else. Trust me, there's plenty of information here for everyone!
Friday, March 3, 2017
Since implementing the contract grading system, I've heard from many students that they wish this system existed in some of their other classes. I can share all the information I want with other teachers about it, but it would be best if they also heard the reasons from you.
I actually got the idea of contract grading a few years ago from our awesome Media Specialist. After she told me about it, I did tons of research as a good teacher should.
Here are some of the articles/studies /opinions that I read before implementing contract grading.
Contract Grading To Improve Teaching and Learning
A Simple Alternative to Grading
An agreement Between Students and Their Teachers
Avoiding Resistance to Contract Grading (blog)
Something to keep in mind is that I rarely do the same thing twice because there can always be ways to improve things. Therefore, our contract from this marking may look different than the one for 4th marking period, just like it looks different than the ones I gave for 3rd marking period last year. Additionally, there are ways to do it that could be vastly different than ours. For example, think of how a contract might look different for an algebra or a physical education class.
There were two major factors that I appreciate about the contract system:
1. We can focus on learning and the standards, not grades.
2. This process should make class less stressful. You know you will get a certain grade once you master something, not whether you master it for the first time or not.
There are still some things that I would like to improve about the system. Here are my major concerns:
1. I want to ensure the difference between A and B contracts are about Quality, not Quantity.
2. I worry that many teachers avoid it because of the "logistics" of the system.
I'd love feedback. What do you like about contract grading? What don't you like? What would you improve if you could? Make sure your comments show you read some of the provided articles. Do you agree with what they claim are benefits of this system? Do you have some ideas from them that you would like to see implemented? Please provide insight that is unique, with specific examples. This is time for you to give us feedback and potentially influence your future classes!
If you want to look at our current contract to refresh your memory, check out the image below:
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Hi Students! I am with hopes that you read the information provided on the last blog post and you have a basic foundation on the upcoming CRS-10 Launch. In just the past week, there has been so much new information regarding this launch so I wanted to share it with you.
A few days ago the Falcon9 rocket was launched onto LaunchPad 39A. After the roll out it conducted a static test firing. It is tested while still strapped down to the launch pad. This is the first time there were flames burning on that historic site for several years!
Here is an article about the static test: Static Test article
Now reading about the test is cool, but watching it is much cooler! Check out the video below:
As if I wasn't already excited about the launch, I learned that SpaceX will once again land their rocket! (Not the entire rocket, just one stage of it!) (You may want to zoom in on the image below.) SpaceX has successfully recovered 5 rockets thus far, so this launch could make for number six!
If that image alone doesn't show you what an amazing feat it is to land a rocket, check out the video of the first landing by National Geographic:
Besides the amazing aspects of the launch, it's important to understand the mission of the launch. We learned that it is delivering cargo to the ISS. However, that is not all! Watch the NASA video to learn about SAGEIII:
Besides the video, you can learn more about SAGEIII from the NASA website here: SAGEIII
Finally, some of you may remember that this launch was supposed to happen already. Here is an article that explains why the date changed: Date Change article
This blog post provided you with a variety of different information related to CRS-10. You learned about the date change, the launch and landing, and the SAGEIII mission. With all those different components, it's easy to understand how thousands of individuals are involved in any one mission and how countless things can be learned from this mission.
When I attend the SMAP Launch in January of 2015, we met (now former) Director of NASA, Charlie Bolden. (Feel free to see that blog post with the related video and information.) One of the most important things I took away from meeting him was how he explained that NASA missions are not just to learn more about outer space, but to learn more about planet Earth. Think of all the things we will learn about Earth, about human progress, and ways to make things better for us on this planet just from this mission. Go through the sources on this post to think of something we can learn from this mission that will effect life on Earth, not just about how it will help people on the ISS. I hope every student can identify something different, and will refer to the sources as they do so. Also, feel free to ask more questions along with your observation. I'm hoping we can answer as many questions as possible while there!
Monday, February 6, 2017
The Launch of SpaceX CRS-10
What is it?
NASA awarded a contract to SpaceX for 12 missions, and this is one of them. This mission was supposed to happen this past November. However, there was an explosion on the launch pad on September 1st, and this mission was pushed back as a result.
This mission will launch from Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39A. This is a historic launch pad that was created for the Apollo missions, and then modified for the shuttle program. Nothing has launched there since the last flight of the Space Shuttle program on July 8, 2011.
Although this is a SpaceX launch, NASA determines the basics of this launch (what the payload is, the date and time of the launch, etc.) This launch will cary over 4,000 pounds of cargo. The rocket will be a Falcon 9 and the spacecraft it carries will be a Dragon C12.
To learn more about SpaceX's Falcon9 rocket, view their website here: Falcon9
To learn more about SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft, view their website here: Dragon
Since this mission is bringing cargo to the ISS, it is important to know about the International Space Station. Go on NASA's website here, and note things such as who is on it, what countries are participating on it, how long it has been in orbit, etc. It is also really fun to note when it is passing overhead!
Mr. Quaglio also shared with me an awesome video that is a tour of the ISS. I highly suggest watching it! Please click on the video above and find out just where this cargo is going and why it is important that it gets there.
Now here is something that might be the most amazing of all...
Students from our school have made things that will be launched on this mission! Yes, you read that right. (Maybe this is something that you can do your senior year!) Please read about this mission's connection to our school here: Students Build Parts For NASA
If you were in class or read the blog about our classes asking questions about the John Webb Space Telescope, you remember that we connected that mission to the scientific revolution. In previous missions (you can read older blogs), we connected them to what we study about exploration and even imperialism.
Check out this article, SpaceX could be launching a rocket here every 2-3 weeks! (Seriously, you should read it). Read Me. Now.
Okay, we resume to the original blog post.
My question to you is, how does CRS-10 relate to what we learn about in World History? Can you connect it to anything we learned about yet? (Think: Renaissance, Reformation, Exploration, Enlightenment, Revolution, etc.) If you want to read on on what we will learn about, we will also cover the Industrial Revolution, Imperialism ,the World at War, and the Cold War. If you are having trouble thinking of connections, think of what this mission encompasses (delivering cargo, an international crew on the ISS, SpaceX being a private business, etc.) If you still can't think of a connection, consider what you are covering in your other classes. Can this connect to what you are learning about in Spanish? Biology? Mathematics? Physical Education? Perhaps it even relates to what you are learning about in your academy (for example, culinary and health care students, do you think there are medical supplies or food products included on this cargo?)
I'm so excited about this mission and the ways that you can be involved with it! It's going to be a fascinating week!
Thursday, December 1, 2016
This blog post has a very special guest author. He’s smart, he’s funny, and he wrote this intro. Jason Kalver.
Hello, everyone reading this. I am Jason Kalver. I live in Morris Township and am a freshman in Vet. I have a story to tell you.
On the second day of school, when I got on the Morristown bus to go home, the bus driver said, “girls in the front, boys in the back”. I was perturbed. Why hasn't someone done something about this rule? It was then that I realized that I was someone. I resolved to change this rule. Asking several other kids, I found that other buses did not have this rule. Bus drivers rotated, though, so information from the drivers was spread out. While looking through busing laws to find where this idea was from, Mr. Quaglio asked if it was constitutional. It was. I checked the U.S. and New Jersey Constitutions. He told me to contact Mr. Menadier. I sent Menadier an email saying “I'm on the Morristown bus, on which there is a rule that girls sit in front and boys sit in back. The bus driver claims it is a rule from the county, however a perusal of Morris County law finds no such rule. Could you investigate?” We went to the bus driver, who said there was no such rule.
Some days later, I asked the bus driver the source, and was shown a rule list from the Denville Board of Education saying, in all caps, “GIRLS IN FRONT, BOYS IN BACK”. I contacted a New Jersey senator to propose a bill prohibiting gender segregation on public school buses. I got no responses.
In mid-October, Mr. Menadier told the bus driver that the rule had been revoked, due to my having broached the subject and brought the rule into focus. We could finally sit wherever we wanted(except in the driver’s seat).
Jason's letter to the NJ Senator led to a phone call from the Senator to the school- long story short, his actions led to change. Think of some local issue that you could address with the goal of leading to change. Explain what that issue is and what you can do. Please read the other comments to make sure that your points are original. If your action leads to change, you can be the next guest blogger (it fufils all the social media components for that marking period.) Get moving!