Week 11 Parent Newsletter – October 23-27, 2006
Mr. Langhorst – 8th Grade American History
South Valley Junior High School

This Week in Class
We are currently finishing up our study on Unit 3 on the creation of the United States Constitution. Topics include the Constitutional Convention, The Federalist Papers, the Anti Federalists and the Federalists. Our test will take place on Friday and students will be turning in their Unit 3 note packets on Friday as well.

Unit 3 Test - Creating A Government
Friday, October 27th - students will be taking a test over the creation of the United States Constitution. A paper copy of the study guide was handed out to students on Tuesday in class. Copies of the notes, study guides and the audio studycast will be available on the classroom web site on Wednesday morning.

Guerrilla Season Book Blog Project
Would you like to join us in a great project and learn more about local Liberty history? This week we are starting a book club like project in reading Guerrilla Season by Pat Hughes. This historical novel tells the story of Clay County in 1863 as the Civil War starts to impact Missouri. The novel also mentions Liberty several times. A Spring grant has allowed us to purchase over 300 copies and each 8th grade SVJH student has a copy. We have 50 additional copies for parents to check out. If you would like to check out a copy and join us please send me an email at
elanghorst@liberty.k12.mo.us or send your student with a note saying that you would like to check out a copy. We are having discussions and comments at a blog online: www.guerrillaseason.blogspot.com At the blog web site you can discuss topics covered in the book, you can listen to the author describe how she researched the novel, find links to discover more about the historical events in the book and ask the author questions. We also have students in California, a teacher in Louisiana and other participants joining us from around the world. Please consider joining us - it's a great chance to read a novel with your student.

Friends Down Under - The Australian Podcast Project
Earlier this fall a teacher in Australia that listens to my Speaking of History podcast e-mailed me and asked if we would be interested in working on a project with his 8th grade aged students in his Australian History class. We called each other several times using a computer application called Skype and set up a project. We are created several podcasts here in Liberty about American history, our school, the life of an American 8th grader, etc. The class in Australia is creating podcasts to explain Australian history, their school, etc. We actually share several themes in history - we both gained our independence from England and both countries have had conflict with settlers taking land occupied by native people. Both groups will be finishing the podcasts in the next two weeks and then exchanging the audio files.

State Representative Tim Flook Visits SVJH
Last Friday State Rep. Tim Flook visited South Valley Jr High and discussed the process of creating a law in state government and the structure of state government in general. Mr. Flook spoke with each of Mr. Langhorst's and Mrs. Garvey's classes. We thank him for taking time out of his schedule to give us real world examples of the topics we are currently studying in our classrooms.

Online Parent Safety Workshop
Thanks to the parents that attended the Online Safety Workshop for Parents by Myles Perry. There were some great questions asked and I hope that all participants left with a little better understanding of the dangers online for our students and how to keep them safe online as they use the Interent. Thanks to Mr. Perry for taking time out of a busy schedule to help our parents.

Extra Credit Opportunity Coming Up on November 5th
There will be another opportunity for students to earn some extra credit by attending the City of Liberty Historical presentation at the Clay County Historical Society Museum on Saturday, November 5th from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM. The museum is located on the historical square in downtown Liberty, just a couple of doors down from By the Book coffee shop and bookstore. The topic will be getting to know your local museum. Parents are welcome to attend the presentation as well.

Site of the Week - Time and Date

How you ever tried to discover what time it is on the other side of the world? What to quickly find out what date it will be in 500 days? Ever wonder how many seconds old you are or how many weeks you've been alive? Then the Time and Date site is for you. This site has a variety of calendars, counters, maps, information on time zones, etc. We used this site this week when we tried to discover what the current time is in Australia for the class we are working with on our podcast project. Check it out at: http://www.timeanddate.com/

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