Week 6 Parent Newsletter – September 18-22, 2006
Mr. Langhorst – 8th Grade American History
South Valley Junior High School

This Week in Class – The American Revolution
We are starting our work on Unit 2 this week and will be focusing on the American Revolutionary War. Students were given their Unit 2 note packets on Monday we will be working with sections 1 and 2 in class during the current week. Just a reminder that one of the advantages of having the note packets is that students can work ahead if they have time. We will also be introducing our project for Unit 2 – students will be creating a comic book or journal that describes a particular part of the war or the entire event. We have done this project for the past 5 years and it has produced some incredibly creative results. I will be sharing some examples with students and sharing a rubric with them for the project. The project will be due at the end of our unit when we take the test in several weeks.

Constitution Day Video
Every school in America is mandated by law to do something to celebrate or mention Constitution Day on September 17th – the day the Constitution was adopted. Since this fell on a Sunday this year, we celebrated on Monday by showing a short (90 seconds) video that I created with the help of students and staff at South Valley Jr High. We also meet this requirement by studying the Constitution later in the year with two units of our curriculum. You can view the video online at:

States Test on Thursday
On of the Missouri Grade Level Expectations for 8th graders in social studies is that they can identify the location of the 50 states. We took a states test earlier in the year and we will be taking our second one this Thursday – September 21. Once a student earns a 100% score on two states tests in a row they have "tested out" and we can say they know the location of the 50 states. The next time we take the states test, in a couple of weeks, they will not need to take it. You can help your student review for the states test using the online states game link located at the bottom of the classroom web site.

Microsoft Innovative Teachers Forum
I will be out of the classroom on Thursday and Friday this week attending an event sponsored by Microsoft at their corporate headquarters in Redmond, Washington. I and fellow 8th South Valley Jr High social studies teacher Erin Garvey, have been selected as one of 25 learning teams to attend the 2006 Microsoft Innovative Teachers Forum. We will be meeting with learning groups from 17 different states to discuss how we use technology in the classroom to help teach our curriculum. It should be an exciting opportunity to meet with other educators on the use of technology. We will include a report in the next parent newsletter upon our return. You can read more about the Microsoft Innovative Teachers Forum at:

E-Mail Grade Reports
Monday I sent out grade reports via e-mail to both students and parents. The grade sheet includes all assignments through September 18th. Some students were absent the day of the test and are taking their test this week. Those test grades will be added as they are taken. If you have any questions about the current grade please feel free to e-mail me and I will do the best to respond quickly.

Site of the Week – This Day in History from the History Channel
Ever wonder what historical events happened on the day you were born? This site from the History Channel tells you the historical events that happened on any day of the year. It is even divided up into categories. You can also check out video clips of famous events that took place that week in history. I found out that Charles Lindbergh died on my birthday in 1974, the 19th amendment giving women the right to vote is ratified and the Second Battle of Bull Run took place during the Civil War. You can even e-mail it to someone and print it. Check it out at:
If you have any questions please feel free to send me an e-mail for give me a call. I will be out of town from Wednesday night until late Friday for the event in Washington so e-mails may get returned a little later than usual this week. Don’t forget to enjoy the Fall Liberty Festival this weekend. Check the list of activities taking place – they usually have some historical events and reenactments happening. Talk to you later.

Mr. Langhorst

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