Freshman, Fresh faces, fresh words…

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Snowpocalypse 2k11 tried its best to stop 2nd semester from beginning but I am happy to report that we are back in full effect! Say hello to the spring block class, some new art work, and 6th period’s American Dream wordles. (the word collages you see above can be created at wordle.net) In honor of MLK Jr. we decided to focus on one of the best things he left with us that will carry on forever, his words. Each student chose a quote by MLK that connected with them and posted it around the poster you see above, as well as posted a blog on their schoology (pretty much facebook for school, and amazing) what the words meant to them, and our world today. We also got into several great discussions about whether or not Dr. King’s dream has been realized, some of the most intriguing responses were but are not limited to: 


                                          “Not everyone wants to see it, but change is happening”


“Maybe, we are living for him, we could be the dream realized” 

                                                          “I think we need to get up and yell come on people, let’s do something, let’s get this dream moving!” “or, something like that…”


“Yes we can. Yes, we did. Yes, we will keep on doing it.”


I can’t even really begin to comment on the above statements and how beautiful and raw they each are, because if that is not getting IT then I don’t know what getting IT is! And, if you don’t get that those words, coming from the youth of today, are the IT then I can’t imagine what you think the IT is! (this is what my students would call a Ms. Sanders rant) (“Ms. Sanders you are rantin!”)


In other news, block is in between creating Renaissance and Reformation i-movies and building their own Utopian communities. Utopia in greek means “no place” and was used by Thomas More in 1516 to describe his imaginary world/society thus giving the word its more commonly known meaning of a “perfect, ideal place”.  After students have  created their Utopian communities they will argue whether or not a utopian society can exist in real life. They have come up with some pretty amazing things so far, I’ll let you know what the end results are soon. 


11th grade is currently trudging through Imperialism in the US…you know…that one time in the early 1900s when America tried to take over the world in pursuit of monetary gain and military control. Oh wait, that sounds familiar…eh hem…Anways, students have been defining what exactly words like expansionism, nationalism, militarism, etc. mean and how these ideas effected American society both then, and wait for it, wait for it, now! Tomorrow we will be learning about the buffalo soldiers (African American soldiers who were just as, if not more crucial to the battle at San Jaun hill as ole Teddy Roosevelt’s rough riders during the Spanish American war, not to mention their role in the Civil War and Indian Wars) via Bob Marley. We be jammin, and learnin’ and quickly moving onto WWI, ohhh the trenches. 


Utopian Communities, WWI trench reenactments, and black history month celebrations coming soon…until then have a great rest of January  and all that jazz…



“If you know your history
Then you would know where you’re coming from
Then you wouldn’t have to ask me
Who the ‘eck do I think I am!”

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In a world of talkers be a thinker and a doer…

New years resolution in review per Ms. Sanders, room 104, and ohhh if only the world. I was both enlightened and awe struck at how this statement entered my life earlier this week. While watching a youtube video of a close friend’s 4 year old niece and her father my new years resolution became clear in an unlikely happening. The father asked his daughter “Now, what does Dad expect of you?” and she replies “In a world of talkers be a thinker and a doer.” She was firm and secure and appeared to both believe and understand what she was saying. I was to say the least impressed and inspired. I couldn’t help but allow my mind to divert to application of this statement to my own life because if you know me in the slightest talking is one of my most loud and obvious attributes. Words in general ARE MY THING I obsess over language, quotes, lyrics, underlying meanings, conversations upon conversations, and could talk about whatever subject I am currently enthralled in until forced to stop. In accordance with my love for speech, those who know me best would most likely define my nature as over analytical to the tenth degree.(since I am a history teacher I have no idea what the tenth degree is but it sounds big) But hey, I am a history teacher, we are supposed to be talkers right!?!(this is sarcastic, if you believe in lecturing as a way to teach effectively this is probably not the blog for you) This awesome but deadly combination of an over analytical, talking champ, history teacher can easily equate to something that is exactly what I so often speak against…the creation of a person that talks a big game, but does little to act on it. The whole idea of change is wrapped in the actual action of creating change. Change does not come from speech it comes from thought and then movement on that thought. So for the new year this idea of being a thinker and doer in a world of talkers will be in full application in my own life as well as my classroom, thanks in large part to a four year old in a helmet cam and a Dad who is getting it right the first time. The seemingly impossible cannot become possible until action is taken. The first step is important, however it is those steps, strides, leaps that are taken after the first step that are really creating something powerful and lasting. Upon return to class tomorrow room 104 will get down to it on how we can as a classroom, school, city, and society be forever in the pursuit of acting on our speech and thoughts. So as I enter into my second semester of teaching and my students embark on imperialism, the french revolution, the renaissance and world wars we will be on a journey to discover those that did not just speak but acted on what they believed in and fought for. One of the most beautiful things in history is seeing someone’s ACTIONS create lasting CHANGE. We, as a society, must help in creating a world of citizens who can not only speak and think with passion, but ACT on those words and thoughts.I may have to get the statement action/doer/all things moving tattooed on my forehead to not forget the passion in which these words hit me with today but my hope is that my belief in these words will passover to my students who then become thinkers and doers, not just talkers. My only true hope for 2011 is that all of us,will not just speak on change, but act on it and only then may we be creating a world in which positive change can actually occur and be maintained…a world in which I will be proud to be a part of and happy to send my students into. So here is to 2011, and the hope that my students leave my room ready to act, not just ready to talk and that I’ll also be able to do the same, or at least take that so important second step.

Belated Happy Holidays from all of us in 104!
 

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The thinker/doer/hillarious/adorable/inspiring child…

This is the New Year! “Say everything you’ve always wanted, be not afraid of who you really are! Because in the end we have each other, and that’s at least one thing worth living for!”

BE OBSESSED WITH THESE WORDS.