Monday, September 06, 2010

September 8-11

Summer's over; let school begin.

Welcome back to those in grade 11 and 12 and a warm welcome to all of our new grade 8s. I hope you all had as good a summer as I did.

I just returned from a summer of extensive travel in France, Belgium and the UK. If you are interested, you could check up on my adventures by looking at my travel blog: This link takes you to the most recent entry -- just use the archive to work backward. If you are just interested in pictures, go to where I keep my web-albums at .

Contact me by e-mail at:

Things that are static -- not requiring regular change -- can be found at my website: . I'm afraid I do not update this regularly though. Most of the time, all current material will be linked to directly from this blog.

This blogsite will have all the changing material -- lesson plans and links to particular assignments. I will try to ensure that all assignments are posted here. If you see something underlined, it means that you can click on it to go to the item. I will do this for pdf documents, PowerPoints, videos and sometimes music.

Use this blog to see what is coming up each week. I will usually post it by Saturday evening for the following week. If you are away, you can check up on what you are missing. There is no reason for you not to know what is happening. If you do not have an internet connection, you certainly do know someone who does. If you are too ill to work while away, be sure to attach a note from home to any overdue work and I will most likely waive any late deduction. If you cannot read the PowerPoint material on your computer. Download PowerPoint Viewer from Microsoft. It is free.

My tutorial times are officially 2:55-3:15 on Mondays and Fridays. However, I am available most days before school, at noon and after school. Drop by or make an appointment if you need guaranteed time. I also respond to e-mails within a day at worst.

Social Studies 8

We will begin with a Geography unit. Expect a unit test at the end of this, worth around 75 marks. This will be in roughly 3 to 4 weeks. It will be based on map reading and the use of Canadian Oxford World Atlas (7th edition). We will also have a number of quizzes worth from 5-30 marks throughout the unit. You will not always be warned ahead of time about quizzes -- so it is important to keep up.

If you are struggling, be sure to see me outside of class for extra help!

You will need the following material for the Geography unit: a ruler, pens, pencils, and coloured pencils, erasers, whiteout, a portable computer storage device (USB key, with at least 1 GB of space on it -- which you can use in all of your other classes too), and lined paper.

Keep all of your material in order in either a section of a bigger binder, with work from other courses, or a smaller Social Studies binder. The choice is yours. You should also have section dividers to separate units. Keep all work to study from for the final exam at the end of the course. After unit tests, you can take this work out and leave it safe at home if you do not want to keep carrying it around -- just don't lose it.

Social Studies 11

We will begin with the Government unit and start with the old red text to deal with ideologies. You will get the Counterpoints text, which we will use for most of the semester, once we get past ideologies -- which Counterpoints does not deal with well.

Expect your first unit test on Ideologies/Parties/Elections to be on Thursday, September 23. The mark breakdown is most likely to be as follows: 30 multiple choice question (1 mark each); 4 items to label on a diagram (1 mark each); 5 definitions - you write a sentence or two about each term or name (2 marks each); 2 long answer questions from a choice of 4 options (6 marks each). The test should, therefore, be out of about 66 marks.

  • Wednesday, September 9 - Outline and expectations PowerPoints. paper course of course outline. Final Exam table of specifications (link from here to additional exam material). Handout: What is Government? Complete the questions for Thursday.
  • Thursday, September 10 - Hand out textbooks. Complete anything missed from yesterday's introduction. Discuss whether or not government is necessary. Introduction to the three branches of government. Read pp. 2-6 in red Government text. Do #1-4, p. 6.
  • Friday, September 11 - Take up homework. Introduction to ideologies. Origins of the Political Spectrum. Read pp. 7-15 in Government text. Do #1-5, p. 11 and #1-6, pp. 15-16. To identify your own ideology, take the online Political Compass Quiz.
History 12

Our first unit is an introduction to History and the Writing of History.

Be aware, this is a lecture course. Because almost all students who sign up for this course are university or college bound, I have structured the course in this way to help you make the transition to post-secondary studies easier. Class work will be done entirely outside of class time.

Expect to write your first quiz on or about Thursday, September 16. There will likely be 15 multiple choice questions (1 mark each), 10 definitions -- where I give you the definition and you give me the term or name (1 mark each), 5 definitions -- where I give you the term or name and you provide the definition or why the person is important (2 marks each), and one essay (worth 18 marks - with 6 for composition and 2x6 for content). The test will most likely be out of 53 marks.

All Topic #1 work is due by 4:30 p.m. on the day of the test. Essay #1 is due a couple of weeks later. My initial target date is Tuesday, September 28.