Sunday, December 14, 2014

Andrew Jackson's Reputation Debunked

In class we have been learning about the presidency of Andrew Jackson. The question we were trying to answer was if he was really the "people's president" or not. To find the answer to this question, we slip into six groups with two groups each focusing on one of the three major events during Andrew Jackson's term. They were the Indian removal, the bank wars, and the spoils system. My group had the bank wars. Each group was provided with a couple documents to base presentations off of in which we explained our event and how it answered the main question. My group made a presentation on an app called Chatterpix which can make pictures look like they are talking while you record your voice. We had Andrew Jackson arguing how he was in favor of the people with Daniel Webster who thought the opposite. Jackson was vetoing the Second National Bank because it was highly in favor of the richer class and many of the stocks were owned by foreign powers. He thought it had too much power over the economy. Daniel Webster argued that he was just trying to turn the classes of people against each other and he didn't have the right to shut down the bank. Andrew Jackson was thinking of the common people, who made up the majority of the population, but making rich people seem like more of an enemy. Another time he really just favored the common people was the spoils system. This was a system in which the presidential candidate would offer jobs in government to those who voted for him. Jackson said he was trying to get more people to participate in government, but it was really taking advantage of their need for jobs and representation in government to help him win. He was only thinking of the common people for his votes. The Indian removal showed Jackson going against his reputation of the people's president. No other president had actually forced the Native Americans out of their rightful land until Jackson. He tried to justify it by saying he didn't want the tribe to die out like the other ones in that area and it was their choice to move to the west. In reality, the tribe had been living in peace with surrounding settlers for a while and could live on where they were. Moving out west would mean unfamiliar surroundings and possibly languages for them to have to adjust to. Andrew Jackson tried just to think of the lower class of people but never fully reached out to all the American people. The common people were still let down and taken advantage of, and he completely failed to recognize the Native Americans as people while he forced them out of their rightful land.

Here are links to the videos my group made (it was too big to be one video):
Video 1:
Video 2:

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Voting Rights Everyone Deserves

In class recently we have been studying the rise of democracy in the United States. We sought to define what exactly democracy is and how well the U.S. in the 1800s stuck to its ideals. Our group first defined democracy to be a system of government in which all the population participates. To find the answer to the second question we analyzed sources about the early 19th century United States. There was a painting showing the voting process and its flaws, charts showing different data, quotes from Benjamin Franklin and Norton Townshend, and a document about the Dorr War. Using the information from these sources, we created an online poster on the website Glogster. We came to the conclusion that the U.S. was not very democratic at the start, but as time went on they got more used to the new kind of system and allowed more people the right to vote.

Monday, December 1, 2014

What We Thought We Left in the Past

The question we have recently thought about in class was why it is essential to regard human value regardless of someone's race and how the Latin American revolutions prove this idea's importance. An issue like race is always relevant in today's society. There will always be people of different race and it's just a natural occurrence we have to deal with. People should not be judged by the color of their skin, yet that seems to be happening a lot even in modern day society. A person's value does not come from their race, it comes from who they are inside. In class, we got into three groups to each learn about a different Latin American Revolution. There was one in Brazil, Gran Columbia, and Mexico and my group was assigned to Gran Columbia. We were given a reading and told to make a timeline for everything that happened in the revolution. Then, each group split up and formed new ones, each with two members from all three previous groups. We shared our timelines with the other people and taught each other about our revolutions and discussed how they were similar and different. The idea of the essential question about the impact of race was a big part of every revolution.
My group's timeline of the revolution of Gran Columbia 
In the second groups we came up with two similarities and two differences between all three Latin American revolutions. They were all against the more powerful European countries that colonized and controlled them. It was always people of the lower class, usually natives of the land, fighting against the higher class. The Brazilian revolution wasn't as violent as the other two and it was against Portugal while the other two were against Spain. The white people of the European countries believed they were more powerful than the natives of the countries because of the differences in colors of their skin. People were organized into many different social classes solely based off of their race. These social classes would determine power and rights which is totally unfair. People were ranked because of what they were born with.
Racism still exists today and sadly probably will for a while. There are people out there who believe they are better than other people because of their appearance. More and more issues have been taking over social media and a very prominent one is of course the whole Ferguson debate. Although this is not the only issue like this that has happened, there have been many other unjustified shootings to happen that were just as bad. There can be many sides to this issue, but no matter what there is definitely racism involved. Our country is basically going back in time to when race was a much bigger issue. It is very important to consider this issue, people will always be judging others from their skin color and it is not right at all. We need to understand that a person is more than what they appear to be.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Reevaluating the Wave of Revolutions

The Revolutions of 1830 and 1848 are known to be failures by many historians. In class we questioned if this was really true. We split into groups and each focused on one of the revolutions which were the Decembrist Revolt, France in 1830, France in 1848, Frankfurt Assembly in 1848, and Hungary 1848. There were multiple sources for each revolution telling you all about it. From this information, we created surveys on a website called Survey Monkey containing questions on the most important information to test our classmates after they read through the sources. They had to include the country, date, goals, opponent, outcome, and the reasons for success or failure of the revolution. This would help them remember key information about our revolution and see how well our classmates knew the information.
My group had the French Revolution of 1830. These are the                                                                   sources we used:
One of the questions from my group's
survey about the July Ordinances
One of the questions about how much of a success
or failure our group's revolution was?
The main goal of the rebels was to basically bring things back to the way they were in 1790. This included more affordable bread, better wages, and extended voting rights. The revolution began because Charles X took the throne after the death of Louis XVIII. Charles believed strongly in absolutism and limited the right to vote and restricted the press. In the July Ordinances, a group of decrees set forward by Charles X, he enforced his power by restricting the people's rights and voice. The poor people of France protested with violence and barricades and eventually took control of Paris which eventually caused Charles X to abdicate the throne and flee to England. After this, Louis Philippe began his rule over France. He was a much better leader and in his proclamation on August 1. 1830 he said that he would bring back the charter that Charles X got rid of in order to enforce the rights of the people. However, he did favor the higher classes of people so the revolution wasn't completely a success. They did not achieve all they wanted from a ruler but they certainly did improve the quality of their country. Here is a link to our survey monkeys (we had to make two to fit all the questions): 1-   2-
The rule of Louis Philippe later sparked another revolution in 1848. They still wanted extended suffrage for the lower class people and they believed the government to be corrupt. It ended up being about in the middle of a success and a failure. Also in 1848, Hungary had an unexpected revolt. The rebels wanted to end serfdom and create a constitution to protect their rights. The Austrian government agreed to these changes but for a short amount of time until they fought back. This revolution was somewhat a failure. It achieved very little. Another revolution that had a different outcome was the Decembrist Revolt in Russia, 1825. This was the least successful of all the revolutions. It started because Nicholas I took over as Tsar but the people wanted Constantine. Nicholas I allowed little rights to the people of Russia and they didn't have a constitution. In the end, the revolt achieved nothing and people were still left without rights and freedom. Overall, none of the revolutions were complete successes and some definitely achieved more than others, but they weren't all complete failures and shouldn't all be talked about as a collective failure. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Pushing Back France

In class, we recently adressed what people in power should do when their power is threatened. We specifically talked about the Congress of Vienna after the defeat of Napoleon. This was a meeting of representatives from France, Prussia, Austria, Russia, and Great Britain. The purpose of it was to decide how to distribute land and power and what changes to make from Napoleon's many conquests. Prince Metternich from Austria lead the congress. Metternich and the rest of the representatives had to make some big decisions. We got into groups and predicted what we thought their decisions would be for big questions like how to divide up the land based on their ideals and thoughts about Napoleon.
Prince Klemens von Metternich
The Congress of Vienna set up a balance of power between the countries of Russia, Austria, Prussia, Britain, and France. Each country, except France, would gain their share of land from the area France took over and return France back to its original boundaries before its expansion. This ensured more safety if France ever tried to take over again since it would be one country against the allied countries surrounding it. Along with this, the Kingdom of the Netherlands was created on the border of France as another force against them. These allies saw Napoleon as more of the enemy than the country of France so this settlement was not too harsh on France as whole and just restored it to the way it was without much further punishment.
I think that they did make a good decision with the balance of power. They returned France back to the way it was before and it was fair to have equal shares of power among the countries to help prevent any uprisings. This would ensure peace and not upset anyone because of a lack of power. By having the allied countries surronding France, they were stronger and more secure with less of a threat to their power.There was no war between these five major European powers for a while, but there were many revolutions that started up in that time. One revolution even caused Prince Metternich to lose power and flee Vienna. I think that in certain circumstances, the very powerful should have to give up some of their power if that is what would benefit the people of their country since the country's stability is more important than that of one person who could still get by with a bit less power. In order to prevent revolt, one person cannot gain too much power and control a country just by themself, there has to be fairness.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Poetry of "Adam Smith"

In the 19th century, there were three main political ideologies that each had different ideas of how to run countries. A big question we addressed in class was how they influenced socials and political action. Our teacher first had us try to define the three ideologies, liberalism, conservatism, and nationalism, in our own words without talking about them at all. Some of us had a basic idea of them. We all then split into groups to each learn about one of the three and becomes "experts" on them. There were two groups per ideology and we would each create a project to explain it to the rest of the class. To make this more fun, we were having a competition with the other groups with the same topic for a more creative presentation. Whoever won got candy so naturally all of us wanted to beat the other group. I thought this was an effective way to have us learn about liberalism, conservatism, and nationalism because it makes it interesting and the unique projects will stick in our minds and help us remember the information. 
Here's our video:
          My group made a presentation about liberalism. We used an app that makes pictures talk and we used a picture of Adam Smith because he was considered to be one of the forefathers of liberalism with his idea of the "invisible hand". Liberals believed that everybody had natural rights and the government should protect their individual liberty. They thought that there was need for reform and change instead of tradition. They wanted to end aristocracy and bring more rights and power to the middle class with a meritocracy. This is how Adam smith's theory is related to liberalism. His system would allow the people of lower ranking to work their way into the economy and their freedom of choice could help them work their way up to achieve higher ranking. However liberals still did not include poor people and didn't give them the right to vote. Liberals also did not want the church to have as much power. For a creative aspect of our project, we had Adam Smith saying a couple haikus talking about liberalism. In the end, our group won and got our candy reward. 
          The other two ideologies were conservatism and nationalism. Conservatism was basically the opposite of liberalism in that they believed in keeping traditionally ways and giving all the power to the church and nobles. They did not like revolutions because they just caused violence and were threats to the power of the nobles. Conservatives wanted to have an aristocracy. This would bring a country's government back to old ways of running it with traditional monarchy. People of the lower classes wouldn't have much of a say in anything and there would be a system of hierarchy formed because of these differences in power again. Governments like this can cause uprisings and revolts. Nationalism was the idea that people should unite based on common characteristics like languages, beliefs, or traditions to take down a foreign monarch or leader of some sort. This would create a lot of alliances between alike countries or groups and make a strong force to go against powerful rulers. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Not-So-Little Ruler's Big Impact

Map showing Napoleon's empire at its height in 1812
       Napoleon Bonaparte was a prominent military leader and genius in the 18th and 19th centuries.
He worked his way up the rankings and eventually came to rule in France and invaded many other countries including Italy, Spain, and Belgium. While many admired his great skill, he was also a man to be feared due to his strength in military and intelligence. He gained more and more power and in 1804 he even crowned himself emperor. This shows that he became somewhat tyrranical and selfish, wanting all the power of the world to himself. Despite these flaws, Napoleon did help many aspects of France and other European countries under his rule.
          One big impact Napoleon had was the introduction of a meritocracy o France. This is a system in which people are rewarded based on their skills instead of their social classes. This would mean that people in government positions would be qualified and have to work harder to earn more instead of it basically being decided for them. He was also able to establish the Bank of France and balance the budget in France which really helped the poor economy at the time. He created a Napoleonic code for all countries under his rule to follow after. It included going by the system of meritcocracy and also allowed the freedom of religion. One of the officers in Napoleon's army was one of the many people that admired him greatly. His names was Michel Ney and he believed that Napoleon's rule was very beneficial because he gave people a lot of rights and he was the first to do this. He brought on a new age of liberty and better living for citizens without a leader suppressing their rights. He definitely did bring people more rights like the rights to own property and to have an education which was important in the advancement of a country. He also got rid of serfdom and nobility so the very poor people were able to achieve more without being stuck in their social class thus making their lives a lot better. However, much of his impact wasn't necessarily good for the countries he controlled. There were a lot of people that were against Napoleon and wanted to end what they saw as a tyrannical rule. Once he gained more power he did get more controlling and created sort of a monarchy. According to Walter Geer in his book Napoleon the First: An Intimate Biography, he started to feel as if failure was not an option for him and his power could just keep growing. He started to look past the moral values that ruled his countries based upon and thought the only way he could keep is power was to continue to have success and domination. A writer named Madame de Stael was strongly against Napoleon's rule. She believed that he looked past the most important values to rule by and just used force and his own intelligence to control people. To her, he did not have the heart of a leader and just tried to manipulate his citizens and take away their liberties. Napoleon's style of ruling made it impossible for there not to be a lot of different opinions on him even if they seemed to contradict each other. His actions could create a lot of controversy but overall he had a very big impact on most of Europe economically, socially, and politically. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Climbing up the Chocolate Ladder

          In class we have been learning about Karl Marx's theory of capitalism, socialism, and communism. As an introduction to these different systems, we had an interactive experiment during class in which we used Hershey kisses as money. Everybody started out with 2 except for two people who each had a big handful. To simulate competition within the economy and trying to become wealthier we started playing rock, paper, scissors against each other. If you lost, you would have to give a chocolate to the winner and if you lost all of you chocolate you had to sit down. In the end, most people lost all their chocolate and there were a couple people with a pile of them. This represented Marx's idea of capitalism. It is when there is freedom of competition among different social classes and it resulted in very unequal social classes. Then, the teacher collected all the chocolates and redistributed them evenly. This was to show socialism with the teacher as the government controlling industry and distribution and making sure everyone was equal. Communism had a similar goal to this, which is to have no classes within the people and give everyone an equal pay, however a big difference was that communism would have no government involved. I thought this activity was a fun way to help us understand Marx's theory but it was frustrating at times like when I lost all my chocolate but in the end I got them back. 
          Karl Marx believed he could help the poor with his theories of government systems. He thought that it would start out with capitalism. To have more equality and fairness, the people would eventually move to socialism with no social classes but still a government controlling industry. In order to completely rid society of social classes and bring total economic equality, the majority of people would move to a system where there are still no social classes but also no government. Marx thought this would help the poor gain money without having to work hard and no poor class would exist anymore. Industrial England had very extreme levels of richness and poorness and it was almost impossible to increase your social status if you were poor. Marx's theory would get rid of that problem and there would be no need for competition. A man named Adam Smith later created an alternative system often called the "invisible hand". It is essentially capitalism but this is a different idea of how a country would reach it. The government would basically hand over the economy and freedom to buy and sell to the people and let them control it themselves, getting rid of the government's helping hand. Smith believed that eventually the economy would work itself out since people would want high quality goods for low prices and businesses with them would succeed and others would lower prices to meet the competition. Adam Smith was deeply concerned with how to help the poor class and he thought that with this system, they would eventually be able to afford the high quality products and get back into the market and out of poverty.
          Both of these theories have their flaws. With Marx's system, it eventually forces everybody to be equal to each other and even though this could benefit the poor, this would hurt the more wealthy people that worked hard to earn their money and have to give a lot of it up. Also, this might make people want to work the easiest job possible because they know they'll still be getting the same amount of money and there will be nobody for the important and difficult jobs. While there are countries that have adopted this system like North Korea and Russia, they still have government power and don't totally follow after the ideas of communism. The government controls their rights and interferes apt. With Smith's system, the economy would most likely take a really long time to work out and during that time a lot of people would suffer from the bad state of the economy. I don't think either of these systems would be the best option for a country's government but the invisible hand is definitely better. 

A video explaining Smith's "invisible hand" theory:

Sunday, October 5, 2014

American Mills' One Big Family

Picture of children with severe injuries from the mills in England
After industrialization in England and America, both were faced with some different conditions in their factories. In England,  many workers could develop physical deformities from a number of causes. Child workers were especially vulnerable due to the fact that their bones were still developing and were more flexible. They put a lot of pressure on them all day from standing for so long which could cause them to bend and it could also make them develop flat feet over time. The hard work could cause problems later in life like arthritis and misaligned spinal cords. Factory accidents were common and usually happened in the morning when the workers were tired. Almost half of the kids that worked ended up with injuries from something like getting stuck in a machine or even just falling. The loss of limbs was not rare among the children. The quality of the factory food also contributed to the poor healths of the workers. The only food they got was three meals a day and was always potatoes and oat cakes with milk and water. Often pieces of cotton were found in the food and lead to illness. If the workers did not do their job right, they were beaten by their overseers. They were punished for any mistake, even if it wasn't your own and you were just around to see it. There was not an abundant supply of cheap labor in America like in England, but this caused them to try to avoid the bad parts of the factories in England that could make them to lose workers. This was the reason that there were no serious attempts to change the conditions in England for a while, since they could just keep hiring new workers if others protested. America started what was known as the Lowell experiment. They used a 'paternal system' for their mills which had the corporation as the father figure and the boardinghouse keepers as the mother figures for young girls going to work at the mills. For most families, having their daughters going to work at the mills was seen as a great opportunity and they were treated well while also kept to a strict moral code. They made sure to protect the girls and the system used showed that they valued the workers more as human beings rather than cheap labor. Although conditions were not the best they could be, it seemed as though America's factories were in much better shape than those of England.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Learning from Across the Ocean

          Before we had our chat with Jamie, we watched another video of him explaining how early textiles in mills worked. He used a lot of terms that we were unfamiliar with such as roving and slubbing. We looked up the definitions of all the words we heard to make sure we knew what he was talking about in the chat and we could use some of them when talking to him. We also went on the website of the museum he works at, MOSI, to gather some background information. Using everything we already knew about the mills we planned some questions we might ask Jamie during the chat.
          We learned a lot during our chat with Jamie. He went to a couple different parts of the exhibit
Picture of the machines packed tightly in the mills
to show us about the mills. He first showed us the hand loom which was used during the cottage industry. Families would spin their own cotton to make cloth using the loom and it took a lot of effort. The children would prepare the cotton by straightening it with wire brushes. Then the mother put it on the loom for the father to weave it. It could usually take weeks to make a single piece of cloth. Soon the water frame was created and it was crucial in the transition from the cottage industry to the factory system. It spun multiple threads at a time and was used in mills to make multiple peices of cloth much faster than the hand loom. A lot of people got jobs at the mills, including children, to support their families with money and to fuel the high demand of cotton. However, with the cramped conditions in the mills, there were definitely downsides to this. Without proper ventilation there was a lot of cotton dust in the air that workers would breathe in everyday and it would eventually build up in their lungs. Illness could spread very easily with workers all touching the same machinery that others did. It was very loud in the mills with all the looms going and would cause workers' hearing to deteriorate overtime. There were also many accidents that happened all the time in the factories due to all different kinds of things like getting caught in a machine or being in the way of a large moving piece. Some were just as simple as slipping and falling. The mill owners didn't care very much about the conditions of their workers and fatalities because they really just cared about their profits. They even used orphans as workers so they wouldn't have to pay them. All they had to do was feed them and give them a place to sleep. Eventually in the early 1900s, they had children going to school for a couple hours each day to get educations.
          I liked doing a chat with an outside expert who knows so much about what we are learning about. It definitely helped to see the machinery that was used and to be able to ask him any questions we weren't sure of to help get a better understanding. It wasn't too hard to take notes while he was talking I was able to pick out the most important information he shared. I got a couple pictures of what he showed us that are somewhat clear. Sometimes the quality of the video wasn't great and it was hard to make out what he was saying becuase it was repeatedly freezing for a couple seconds but that didn't take away from the overall experience and issues like that didn't last long. I would like to do something like this later in the school year with other topics we learn about.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Our Own Mini Museum

Being a museum curator can sometimes be a difficult job. There's a lot you have to take into consideration when creating an exhibit many people are going to be seeing and judging with their own personal opinions of what makes a good looking exhibit. It is important that you display key information quickly in a short few sentences.   In class, we split into small groups and created our own little exhibits on different topics from the Industrial Revolution. Our group's was about steam powered transportation and controversy over it. It was titled "Steam Powered Transportation: Now We're Getting Somewhere". Earlier we had written what we thought was a good process a museum curator should go through when creating a presentation. We made sure to follow after those steps as best as we could. We received six sources for our topic and the first thing we did was analyze each one and pull out important information the reader should know in order to understand the topic better. We created descriptions for each source describing its purpose and providing information connecting back to the main topic. After we figured out approximate sizes of each piece being displayed (they all needed to fit on a big piece of paper we were provided with) we needed to figure out the order of them and how to display them. The exhibit starts with a diagram showing how the steam engine works to make the viewer familiar with it since it was mentioned through the rest of the exhibit. After that, there was a map of metal and coal production which were important for industrialization and creating steam engines. Then, there was a timeline of many locomotives that were built that flowed through the middle and side of the paper. After the timeline was a painting of a steam powered train and a debate about the effectiveness of steam engines. Finally, there was a letter about the greatness of the steam engine with important quotes taken out and enlarged. We constructed our exhibit before displaying it for the whole school to see and learn from.
Our presentation
"Steam Powered Transportation: Now We're Getting Somewhere"
There were four other groups that had different topics. The first was titled "Spinning into Slavery". It was about slavery in the U.S. and its involvement in mills. After the start of the Industrial Revolution, slavery increased by a lot because workers for cotton and textile mills were in high demand and helpless people were used to make mony off of manufactured goods. The second one was called "Spinning a City". This one was about the advancements of textile mills. The textile loom had been created to be able to weave clothes faster. Textile mills were powered by steam engines and helped produce a larger amount of clothing for people while making it easier for workers. The third one was called "Pollution of the Revolution". Big industries and more machinery being created meant there was more waste and fuel that needed to go somewhere and the Industrial Revolution brought on a lot of pollution making rivers gross and flooding town streets with polluted water creating an environment that was not fit for living in. Finally, the fourth one was "Condemning the Innocent: Child Labor in the Industrial Revolution". As you can tell from the title, this one was about the use of child labor in industries. Most workers in cotton mills started when they were under 10 years old. Children needed work to support their families and turned to the mills as a convenient place for a job despite the poor work conditions and health risks they faced.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Steam that Powers a Nation

In class we have started to learn about the Industrial Revolution. An important question we have been focusing on is "What was 'revolutionary' about industrialization?". There were a lot of different aspects that can help answer this question. Answers to the question can be split up into smaller categories which are people, technology, resources, and transportation. The industrial revolution was very important in advancing all of these different parts of life and has shaped the way we live now. A lot of things we have in our lives today were a result of industrialization back in the 18th and 19th centuries. I will be talking about how people and transportation were very revolutionary at the time.

A model of the seed drill invented by Jethro Tull
The Industrial Revolution brought on improvements and changes in people's lives. With agricultural advances, more food was available for everybody which increased life expectancy and overall population. This also meant there were less infant deaths because mothers were healthier. With better technology, there wasn't as much need for child labor so more children were able to attend school and get educations. Farming was changed a lot with industrialization. There was better quality and quantity of the products. People started building structures called dikes which sheltered the farming land from the sea. Farmers used a more efficient way of planting seeds by using a seed drill and planting them in rows instead of scattering them randomly which wasted land. People rotated crops, mixed different kinds of soil, and used manure as fertilizer to renew the soil and improve the crop yield. Another major change was the enclosing of farming land  that was formerly shared by peasant farmers. With this and newly developed technology, farmers were able to farm more land and produce more crops with less workers. This meant that peasants were not needed as workers and were kicked off the land and had to live in the cities. There they helped to fuel growing industries during the revolution.

Steam Powered Locomotive
Before the Industrial Revolution transporting goods and people was more difficult and took much longer. A very important invention in the revolution was the steam engine. It worked by boiling water and creating steam that out pressure on a piston that would move some object, usually a wheel. The way peopled powered the steam engines was with coal to heat the water. The steam engine powered a lot of large vehicles such as boats and locomotives. It made transportation much easier and more efficient. Before the steam engine, trains were powered by water wheels and went very slow. Thanks to this very useful invention, train tracks no longer needed to be next to bodies of water. Vehicles could now travel faster so cities were able to get resources transported to them in less time. Also, with the steam engine powering boats too, they no longer depended entirely on weather conditions and could travel at consistent rates.

Monday, September 8, 2014

There's Always Something New to Learn

In class recently, we did a couple of activities on our electronic devices. The purpose of what we did was to show us how to use online sources to find reliable information. We learned how to search for information so that we can find the right answers we need.

Our first activity we did was called a Google a Day. It gives you random questions that you have to look up the answers to. It helps you learn how to search for specific information and find the correct answers in a certain amount of time so you earn points. The faster you answer a question correctly the more points you get. What was fun about this game was learning random facts you never knew before and working together with my group to find the answers. It was also frustrating when we looked on multiple sources and each one had a different answer and we couldn't figure out which one was right. I learned that organisms are organized in groups called clades. Here is the link to a Google a Day

Accuracy, Authenticity, and Reliability are all important to have when using a source for research. Accuracy is how correct or precise information is. A source needs to have the right information so you can trust it and you are able to use it. Authenticity is how genuine the source is and if it is legitimate. A source that is authentic is focused on the type of information it has and is trustworthy. Reliability is how much you can trust information. Reliable sources are usually created by people who have received professional education of the subject the source covers and can be trusted to provide correct information. In class, we went on a website about the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus. This was not a reliable source that could be used in class because the author only shows this information because it is an interest of his. He was not professionally educated in it but he created a website so he could share what he is interested in with the world. A source that should be used for research in school is made by someone that focuses on that specific topic. Here is the link to the website for the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus:

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Student's Take on School

Hello and welcome to the blog of Cassie Wolfe, high school student. The purpose of this blog is to serve as an online portfolio showing all of my work in honors history 10 throughout the year.

There are many characteristics that can make a teacher great and stand out from the rest. I’d say one of the most important things a teacher can be is understanding of their students. If you are a student and may be having troubles at home or with your physical or emotional state it is great when you have a teacher that will make your time at school easier. The last thing you would want is more stress and work on top of the troubles you usually cannot control. Teachers need to understand that every student is different and we all have our own personal lives we need to deal with. Another important trait for a teacher is to be welcoming to all their students and allow them to ask any questions or get extra help at any time. It is much harder to learn if you are scared to ask anything or are unable to get any help. In the past all my favorite teachers have been fun and welcoming and made the classroom a better experience for all the students in it. They made it seem okay to ask any question whenever you wanted or to set up the way you learned so it is better for you specifically. We are each individuals that should be able to learn in a way that suits our needs.

A popular author and youtuber, John Green, has recently made a YouTube video that was an open letter for students returning back to school. In the video he said that students should be grateful for the education they receive and that it is our duty to repay society when we are older and to do something that benefits it. I definitely do agree that our school system is something to be appreciated because we are lucky to have this privilege. However, I don’t believe that it is our duty to do great things with the education we receive. We can do whatever we want with our lives we shouldn't have to contribute to society just because we live in it. I know people pay to keep my school running and give me this education but there’s still a lot of problems with how our schools are run that nobody seems to be fixing. Society needs a lot of fixing and there is a good chance I will grow up and do things to try to change it for the better but I do not absolutely have to contribute to it. Some hopes I have for this year are to work harder and procrastinate less with important work. I often lack the motivation to complete assignments from school and I’d like to change that this year. I can stay more organized and think of how I’m going to feel once I finish something and get it out of the way.I also play field hockey and this year I hope to try my hardest and improve my stick skills and stamina. During conditioning I will do my best until the end so I can improve my strength and stability. One last hope I have is to make sure I stay in touch with all my friends and not to lose any of them.