Friday, December 10, 2010

Is your student doing their homework effectively?

"Doing" the homework is often not enough for student's to comprehend and retain content. They must also study. Many students will also just skim the text in order to get the work done. But this causes problems because they do not get the context of the term or idea. Please encourage your student to look at HOW they are doing their homework. Doing the assignment is often not enough to truly grasp the content.

Try this:

First make sure all distractions are removed from the study area. No ipods, t.v.s, phone, etc. If there is something more interesting than the history text around, the student will want to pay attention to that!! You will be suprised, cleaning their room may suddenly become very interesting when it comes time for homework. When I do my own homework (grading) I need to remove myself from distractions. But, teenagers will usually not do this for themselves. You may need to make it a rule that your student do their homework in a certain area, like the kitchen table.

Here is something that I reccomended to the kids this week. So many of them feel that they should be geting a higher grade because they do their homework. But they still do not get the content. My hypothesis is that they are not actually reading the material. So try this with your student at home.

How to do your history notes:

Step 1: Read over the notetaking guide. Preview the objectives, key terms and ideas that I expect you to know.
Step 2: Read the section once through without taking any notes. Pay attention to all of the headings, pictures, captions, maps, etc. Really read it!! Do not just skim!
Step 3: Re-read the notetaking guide for that section. Then read the section in the book again, this time taking notes. Yes, reread it!! Do not just skim!
Step 4: Review the notes. Then write the summary for the notes, answering the objective in the summary.
Step 5: Have a parent or other adult look at the note taking guide and quiz you on the terms. You should be able to explain them without looking at the notes. Use the notetaking guide as a checklilst. If you can explain it, check it off. If not, then you need to go back and review that item. Keep going until you can explain everything on the sheet. Kind of like the old spelling list practice.

Hope this helps!!!! Remember the more times you have contact with information, the more likely it will stick in your head!!!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Community Service Opportunities

Community Service always looks good on college and scholarship applications. Plus it is just good to help improve the world arround you. Here are some local opportunities from I Love a Clean San Diego.

Trash Trackers Needed! Volunteers 16 years of age and up are needed for a new program at ILACSD that aims to identify problematic types of debris plaguing waterways in San Diego County. Participants will be volunteering for small cleanup studies along a variety of local waterways to track the trash that is contributing to a degraded watershed. Through a partnership with San Diego Coastkeeper, ILACSD plans to coordinate this study to monitor water quality and how trash negatively affects the health of our region. This is a great way to take a more proactive approach to preventing debris, not just cleaning it up. No special experience or requirements are needed to volunteer, just an enthusiasm for the local environment and some flexibility in your schedule. Volunteers will receive a prize pack, including an ILACSD t-shirt and reusable tote bag. Contact Kristina Ros at to get involved. Events will be held once or twice a month in November, December, January, and February, and the first event is scheduled for Wednesday, November 17th at 2PM. Location details are to be determined. A Day Without A Bag… You Can Help Make it Happen! Did you know that the average American uses more than 500 plastic bags each year? Well I Love A Clean San Diego has a volunteer opportunity for you that takes aim at reducing that number of bags, at least here locally. While reusable items are encouraged each and every day, we hope everyone will pay particular attention and remember their reusable bags this year on December 16th. A Day Without A Bag is an educational campaign to save thousands of single use plastic bags in one day, while encouraging reusable use each and every day thereafter. In order to effectively empower individuals and the community at large to favor reusable items over plastics, participating grocers and retailers will be distributing reusable tote bags for shoppers on Thursday December 16th. Volunteers are needed to help distribute these bags to shoppers from 5PM – 7PM in the East County and South Bay regions of San Diego County. Exact retail locations are still being identified, but ILACSD will need volunteers in La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Santee, Lakeside, Chula Vista and Fallbrook. If you would like to volunteer to prevent harmful plastics from entering our environment, contact Kristina Ros at to sign up as a volunteer in these communities. If you are interested in getting involved in another region of San Diego County, please contact our friends at San Diego Coastkeeper and the San Diego Chapter of Surfrider Foundation to sign up for locations in Central San Diego and North County. And don't forget on December 16th to go through the day without a plastic bag. It certainly isn't as easy as it sounds.
5. CREEK TO BAY MAKES TOP 5 Creek to Bay Cleanup Recognized for Effective Awareness I Love A Clean San Diego was honored as a finalist for "Most Effective Awareness Campaign" for its signature event, the annual Creek to Bay Cleanup. Many nonprofits were nominated for the 2nd Annual Stay Classy Awards in this category and I Love A Clean San Diego finished as first runner up. Being a finalist was a great opportunity for people to learn more about the impact of the Creek to Bay Cleanup and discover more about I Love A Clean San Diego's outreach, education and programs! See for yourself the impacts of the Creek to Bay Cleanup next year. Mark your calendars for Saturday April 30, 2011 and log onto the event website in the meantime.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

College info

I know it doesn't seem like it but college is right around the corner for juniors. At this time next year, many of you or your student's will be applying for college. Now is the time to make sure that everything is on order. That all the correct classes have been taken, that all of the requirements have been met, that you know what to do. Please contact your couselor if you are not sure. Or contact me and I will help.

This is also a helpful website.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

4.2 Review

Chapter 4.2 Review

Explain why American industrialists of the late 1800s were called both “robber barons” and “captains of industry”.
Describe Carnegie’s belief of the “gospel of wealth” and the theory of social Darwinism.
Explain the ways industrialists gained a competitive edge over their rivals and the effect big business had on American Society.

Captains of Industry vs Robber Barons- Make a two column chart and list ways that industrialists of the late 1800 fit either definition.

Captains of Industry Robber Barons

Monopolies, Cartels, and Trusts
Define Monopoly and explain how cartels and trusts can be used to create a monopolistic situation.

Government Intervention
How effective was the Sherman Antitrust Act? Why/Why not?

More Monopolies
Explain how John Rockefeller used horizontal consolidation to achieve a monopoly.

Explain how Andrew Carnegie used Vertical Consolidation to achieve a monopoly.

Got Plans Update!!

Got Plans is now moved back to Cuyamaca College!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Six Week Grades

New grades have been posted. These are the progress report grades.

Got Plans?

Now is the time to start thinking about college. Junior year is when families should start considering their options. Many families use spring break to visit colleges that they are interested in. This year Got Plans, the distirct college fair has been moved to Valhalla. It is this Wednesday!! Check the district website for more information.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

College Sports Meeting

College Sports Night is this Thursday: October 7th at 6:30pm. Come to the theater to learn about the recruiting process, financial aid for athletes, and how to market yourself for colleges. This informative event is for all grade levels. Don't miss it!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Ch 3.1 Review

These need to be answered in the PIE-IE format. See your notes or the info below for help with that.

Hard Peace or Soft Peace?
Does Presidential Reconstruction strike you as being a Hard (punishing) or Soft (forgiving) peace? Explain your stance.

Presidential Focus
Of all the political, economic, and social issues that were present at the end of the Civil War, on what areas of issues does Presidential Reconstruction focus and what areas are left wanting? Explain.

Radical Republicans?
Describe the Northern Republicans, known as Radical Republicans, opinion of Presidential Reconstruction. How do they respond?

PIE-IE is a way to structure your essays or short answer responses.

P- Point (What is your point? This would be your mini-thesis/topic sentence.)
I- Illustrate (This would be a fact to back up your point. THIS IS NOT A PICTURE!!!!! It is basically a concrete detail.)
E- Explain (How does your fact relate to the point? Explain!! It is basically your commentary)
I- Illustrate (This would be a fact to back up your point. THIS IS NOT A PICTURE!!!!! It is basically a concrete detail.)
E- Explain (How does your fact relate to the point? Explain!! It is basically your commentary)

Friday, October 1, 2010


Hello all. Sorry for the delay in posting grades. I wanted to wait until there were a few more items in the grade book so that the grades were not as scary. Please access the grades from the link on the left. You will need to know your student's period and id number.

Please make sure that your student is not only doing their homework, but studying. These are two different things. They need to review before tests and quizzes. Study groups are a great asset to your student and a good practice to develop before college. Below I have included a link to Cal Poly's website and their study skills library. Hopefully there are some good resources for you and your student to improve their studying abilities.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Welcome to a new year!!

Welcome to American Studies!! I am so glad that we get to spend this year together.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Your final grades are posted. The final exam grade is there as well as your overall grade. Your overall grade is your grade in the class. Those of you that have a 65%, 75% or 85% are eligible for the grade bump from the CST incentive. If you received a Proficient or Advanced then your grade will be changed during the fall semester. This change will be made before November so that your new GPA can be taken into account for college applications.

HAVE A GREAT SUMMER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New grades are posted

Check your grades online. Please see me between classes if you have questions.

Mrs. S

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Rhetorical analysis Self Review

Rhetorical analysis essay review

Find and highlight your thesis in pink or red. Does it address all parts of the prompt? Does it say what the author’s main claim is? Does it make a comment on how the author accomplishes his argument? If not, rewrite it.

Highlight or underline the first rhetorical device you address in a different color. How does the author’s use of that rhetorical device help their argument? If you did not address this, do it now.

Highlight or underline the second rhetorical device you address in a different color. How does the author’s use of that rhetorical device help their argument? If you did not address this, do it now.

Highlight or underline the third rhetorical device you address in a different color. How does the author’s use of that rhetorical device help their argument? If you did not address this, do it now.

After reading my sample essay how do you think your essay compares? How could you have done better? What do you need to do next time to improve? What grade would you have given yourself?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Black Men in Public Spaces Pre-reading

These questions are due tomorrow (Tuesday):

1.Are black men the only ones stereotyped by our society? What other groups are?
2.Have you ever been in a position of suspicion being suspected of wrong-doing just because of your age, race, sex, or ethnicity? Describe the situation, and what you did about it?
3.Is it the young black man's responsibility to let everyone know he is not a threat (wear a cowbell)? If so, how do we let it be known we are not a threat? If not, whose responsibility is it for ending this kind of prejudice?
4.Why would I have you read this essay? (BTW: you should actually ask this about every assignment)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

AVATAR Extra Credit Essay

You have an opportunity to earn extra credit. This is not an automatic extra credit assignment however, it will be based on the grade you receive on the essay.

The prompt: The film, Avatar, has a distinct message about imperialism. What does the film say about imperialism? How do the events in the film refelct what we have learned in history about imperialization policies and actions of the United States?

You essay should use specific examples from the film and from history to back up your claims.

How to turn it in: Essays will only be accepted online at You must see me for the class ID and enrollment password. will not allow me to post it online. You may submit essays up until midnight on February 19, 2010.

All essays will be graded just like a regular essay. Your extra credit will be based on the grade you recieve. D's and F's will not recieve credit. Make sure you proofread and do a good, quality job.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Friday, January 29, 2010

WHy We Fight

Your notes and handout are due Tuesday, February 2. Here is a link to watch the video if you missed it.


Keep track of the claims being made in the film, who made the claim and the evidence used to support the claim.


To check your final semester grade, you will want to look at your term 2 grade. This will show you your final exam grade and your overall grade in the class.