3rd Grade Giveaway

I’ve got a picture book about Rosa Parks to give away to a 3rd grade teacher.  (You must be teaching 3rd grade yourself-you can’t respond for someone else in your building.)  I’ll put the book in the pony to the first person to leave me a comment!

Lead Teacher Meeting Notes

A few reminders from yesterday’s meeting~

  • Send your Hampton Roads Naval Museum schedules to Sarah ASAP
  • The second nine weeks benchmark will cover materials from weeks 10-18
  • Review cards were handed out for grades 6.  Please get these to your teachers right away.  You should have received 30 or 35, teachers may want to make extra copies/color coded copies.

Lost Pyramids and Monacan Voices

Here are a couple of interesting news items from the past few days.

First, archaeologists have discovered a new pyramid in Saqqara, which is an ancient burial site in Egypt.  The pyramid is estimated to be 4,300 years old.  For more info, check out http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/11/11/egypt.pyramid.discovery.ap/index.html.

Second, here is some information from WHRO on the re-broadcast of a special on the Monacan nation of Virginia.  Fourth grade teachers, this may be something you want to consider downloading and saving for future use in the classroom. 


NORFOLK:  With the 400year anniversary of the birth of America just behind us, many people are still unaware of the history of the Virginia tribes and the true stories regarding first contact at Jamestown in 1607.  WHRV 89.5FM will air a one-hour program featuring Monacan Chief Kenneth Branham and tribal members Karenne Wood and Sue Elliott, who sit down with Chickahominy tribal representative Powhatan Owen to share the history and culture of the invisible people; past present and future.

Bear Mountain in Amherst County has been the home of the Monacan people for more than 10,000 years. The earliest written histories of Virginia record that in 1607, the James River Monacan, along with their Mannahoac allies on the Rappahannock River, controlled the area between the Fall Line in Richmond and the Blue Ridge Mountains. The most western of Virginia’s eight tribes, the Monacan Nation – over 1,400 strong.

This a rare opportunity to learn the true history of the founding of this country from the direct descendants of the Virginia Tribes.

WHRO Chief Enterprise Officer John Heimerl served as Executive Producer for Monacan Voices.  “WHRV is pleased to be able to share this under reported perspective of the Jamestown experience with our listeners,” said Heimerl.  “Our region’s Native American stories and voices have been too long unheard, and we’re proud to bring these to our airwaves.”

Subjects covered are: First contact, Racial Integrity Act [also known as the paper Genocide of Virginia Indians]  Federal Recognition, culture and history of the Virginia tribes, healing for Native and Non Native People. Conversation, poetry and storytelling.

The program will be aired on the NAPTV/AIROS livestream http://airos.org/audio/en/monacanvoices.html at the following times:

11/22/08: 10am, 4pm, 10pm ET
11/23/08: 10am, 4pm, 10pm ET
11/24/08: 11am, 5pm, 11pm ET

The audio from Monacan Voices is also available for podcast and free MP3 download at the following sites


6th Grade “Becoming a Nation” CD

I have a CD to give away to a 6th grade teacher!  It’s actually a set of about 5 cd’s entitled “Becoming a Nation.”  The CD’s are all the same, and could be used on the computers in your classroom, or if you have a MCPS or Promethean board you could use it with the entire class.  There are several chapters on the CD, told in story format with illustrations, beginning with the American Revolution and moving through the Constitution.  (The text is under the illustration, with key words highlighted.  Students can click on the highlighted words for their definition.)  There is also a chapter about life in the colonies. 

The CD’s are a few years old (1997 I believe) but they still contain some important information.  I’ll get it out right away to the first person to leave me a comment!

Benchmark Tests

The first nine weeks benchmark tests are coming up next week!  We’ve had several questions concerning the SOL’s that will be covered on the test.  The material you covered during weeks 1-9 will be on the test.  Nothing from weeks 10 or 11.  If you have any questions, please let Sarah or me know.


  iCue is a new website created by NBC News.  It is a free resource for students and teachers.  There are short, easy to digest news reports and mini documentaries on both current and historic events.  The site also includes primary sources, charts, graphs, and cartoons.  The site is designed around AP courses, specifically Ap US History and US Government. 

iCue allows students to set up profiles and store and organize videos.  They can add notes or vocab words to the videos.  There are also games (such as Concentration, a timeline game, and several others) that students may play for points. 

The homepage has a tour of the website, which I encourage you to watch.  While the site is designed primarily for AP students, you may find videos that would be useful for other subjects. 

For those of you that teach AP, the Student Center section of the site breaks down the courses according to the College Board standards.  Students can not access all of the sites components at school (the discussion forums are blocked for example) but it may help them in studying at home.  It looks like a great site and I’ve only gotten started in exploring it.  I hope you do the same.

And the best part?  No advertisements!

NEH Summer Seminars

The National Endowment for the Humanities has posted their list of 2009 Summer Seminars.  They range from 2-6 weeks and participants receive a stipend to assist with travel costs based on the length of their seminar. 

Most seminars take place at universities within the United States.  Several are international seminars.  You can request information for as many seminars as you wish, but you may only apply for 1. 

Applications are due by March 2, 2009.  Visit http://www.neh.gov/projects/si-university.html for more information.