Monthly Archives: October 2012

MacMillan Questions Posted

I have posted the reading questions for Parts One-Four of Paris, 1919 on the IB Contemporary History and IB History of the Americas course webpages.


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Filed under IB Contemporary History, IB History of the Americas

ETA for Senior IA First Draft Return

I have arrived at an estimated time for returning the IA first drafts after taking all things into consideration, including due date for first nine weeks’ grades, completing my comments on the EE first drafts, planning lessons for the new IB class, presiding over the extra credit book clan, and conducting the junior CAS checks.  I plan to hand them back on Friday, 26 October.  My comments will include critique of content, structure, sources, citation and bibliographic format, and a preliminary predicted grade according to the IA rubric.  I am forbidden by our IBO overlords from editing your grammar, so thorough proof reading and editing is your responsibility, as writing style does indirectly affect your grade.

This will give you over a month to make needed revisions.  Between draft return and the final due date, you will need to schedule a mandatory conference with me during my office hours.  We will also hold a peer review session in class during the second nine weeks.  In the meantime, you need to be reading over your drafts and identifying and fixing areas that need improvement.

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Filed under IB History of the Americas

IA Part F Assignment for the IB Contemporary History Class

In order to make up for lost time, our schedule will not accommodate a work day in the Media Center.  I will therefore give as much instruction online and by email as I can.  Part F comprises the bibliography and word count of the IA.  You will need a total of at least seven sources (ten is better.)  All secondary sources must be peer-reviewed, meaning produced by a university or other academically respected press.  Ordinarily, online sources should be restricted to no more than two items.  In any case, the Internet should not represent more than a quarter of your total bibliography.

In searching for sources, you should start in the reference section of our local university libraries, or at the very least with their online search engines.  One of my favorite methods to begin a research project is to read the most recent general work on the topic, and look at its footnotes and bibliography.  You want a mixture of general works on the broader era or topic you are studying and works that deal more specifically with your research question.  Avoid textbooks and encyclopedias: these are usually very general and error-laden.  Use the OPVL tactic to identify relevant primary sources.  Also, don’t neglect academic journals like The American Historical  Review.  These have shorter articles that represent the cutting edge of recent research.

I have included links to the FSU and FAMU libraries’ websites on my homepage.  I recommend these and not Google as starting points, as Google lists by popularity, not usefulness, and the libraries’ listings will be both more complete and more academic.  I have also included links to primary resources through the state and National Archives.

The bibliography needs to be in accurate, complete Chicago Manual of Style format. I have links to that and the Purdue OWL writing lab on my homepage, as well.  Entries need to be single-spaced, with a space between each entry, and listed alphabetically by author last name.

This bibliography, titled “Part F,” is due Thursday, 11 October.  Happy writing!

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Extra Credit Opportunity

The Rickards High School Thespian Society and Fine Arts Department will be presenting the one act play Bad Auditions by Bad Actors tomorrow and Saturday at seven.  I will be offering two points extra credit for attending.  There will be a sign up sheet for my classes, and admission for my students should be free.

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Filed under AP United States History, IB Contemporary History, IB History of the Americas

CAS Opportunity

Literacy Volunteers of Leon County is in need of volunteers.  It is a great organization, and provides a much needed service.  One of our students who is volunteering with them indicates that they especially need volunteers in the area of family literacy.  They offer the necessary training, and ask for a four to twelve month commitment of about an hour a week.  The volunteering is done at the Leon County Library.  When you email, please include your mailing address as your contact information.  This is an outstanding opportunity to complete a service or even creativity project for CAS.  It is also a good way to do CAS your the local library, since the usual volunteer activities at the library are merely clerical and fail to meet the learning outcomes.

Their website URL is

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Birth Announcement

I am pleased to announce the birth of my third child and second son, Paul David, at 2:25 yesterday morning.  I’m now in the hospital, catching up on schoolwork on my in-laws’ iPad whenever he naps.  Thank you to the students who have written to congratulate us, although I’m worried looking at the time stamp of some of your emails that you’re writing me during class.  Hmm.

I have updated the class web sites with notice of changing due dates.  Junior CAS meetings will obviously not be held this week.  I will postpone those to begin in the next two weeks.

PS-I really hate and despise the iPad, by the way.  All this technology, just to bring me back to the hunt and peck typing method of my younger days.

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Filed under AP United States History, IB Contemporary History, IB History of the Americas