Monday, November 17, 2008

Essay test on Thursday/Friday

When writing essays for the AP Govt test make sure you identify, explain, and describe succinctly.  I am giving two questions on Thursday.   You need to make sure you are caught up on your reading and filling out the guided notes.  

We the People- Senoritis FMHS

Not bad for preliminary work on "We the People".  Slow DOWN is my number one suggestion.  I thought Marie spoke at very smooth and polished rate.  Don't ramble.  Answer the question.  Kate and Ben's group- make sure you have organized speaking segments.  

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A's on test

There were a few more A's on the test than usual. That is encouraging. The test will be curved so that if you missed 11 you could still get an A. I think Justin Kattnig was the top scorer. I guess this is just good birthday karma. Nice job Justin. Hillary and Katie also did well.

Ok the next unit will not have a major paper, but you will have to write two briefs about Supreme Court cases. I will assign you two cases in class. You will have to write a brief and present a discussion about your case to the class. And yes I will go over what you need to know for the test. This unit will help you with the "We the People" unit. Briefs are the heart of what law students do, so if you are interested in law school, hopefully this be a rather exciting unit. The We the People lady lives in Buena Vista and is trying to judge us by Dec 2. If she cannot make it, then maybe................. dr. Parentice could judge you which means a trip to the state capitol. I hope this works out.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

John Salazar at LaBamba

According to one of our esteemed students, John Salazar is going to be at LaBamba at 5:00 on Wednesday. It sounds like a excellent opportunity to meet our US Rep and ask him about the War in Iraq, redistribution of wealth, or any other policy concern. Maybe we can get him to visit our class someday. Thanks Megan.

Great day in the stock market, why might this help McCain?

Monday, October 27, 2008

When I grow up

When I grow up, I want to be a political consultant like Dick Morris minus his spotty past. But I might miss the ambiance of Room 114. Anyway, it seems that second period is playing Barrack to third periods McCain. Second period is averaging more blogs and showing more enthusiasm. Maybe 3rd period needs to work on Time Management. (this is an inside joke- so don't be offended) The polls are consistently showing Obama with a rather comfortable lead. McCain might try something drastic this week- watch closely! 2nd period discussed the Marxist question on the Florida TV interview. 3rd period might want to become familiar with this concept. I heard on TV tonight that if Obama, Pelosi, and Reid are in charge that the US will turn into a western European Socialist Country. I'm sure someone in 2nd period has an opinion on that. What do you think?

Thursday, October 23, 2008


McCain's latest strategy is to try to pull out an upset victory in Pennsylvania. He is losing by 10 points in some polls. However, Clinton did extremely well in Pennsylvania and McCain might be trying to get those votes. If McCain were to win Pennsylvania, he could afford to lose Virginia, Nevada, and Colorado while maintaining the 2004 other Bush red states. What do you think? Put your reaction in your own blogs.

What aoubt this 501c funding? What do you think about that?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Money, Money, Money

On your blog tonight, discuss the discrepancies between Obama's and McCain Campaign spending. Who has more? What is this 527 business? What about PAC's? Will the rich guy win?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


From overwhelmed, fly by the seat of my pants to striking gold. I just finally got hooked-up (I know this is not the best word choice) with the text book website. It has everything you need-flashcards for vocab, video round tables, study guides, review questions. Wow! I am so happy that I can stop wasting paper. I am rescheduling the quiz- this is not in honor of Marie, Leah, or Ashley, but because I am so excited about this resource. I will try to get everyone in the Lab tomorrow so we can start learning exponentially faster. It is kind of 21st century nerdy fun.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

McCain needs a big night and an economic turn around

I've never seen the economy and Dow drop this dramatically. I think the failing economy is obviously helping Obama. But the economy might effect local elections: school expansion, Fruita rec-center, and new police facility. So tonight is critical for McCain.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Powerpoint Review

The powerpoint review is on Sharepoint. I have a class folder on Sharepoint. This might help you with any gaps.

Good Luck

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Friday Test

The test is on Friday. We ran out of review time for both classes. I wouldn't get to stressed over knowing the difference in cross-over and cross-cutting sanctions. The test has 50 Ap style questions from Chapter one, two, and three. I will review and give you a "practice" completion test tomorrow. It is difficult to get all the content I want to cover in 45 minutes. So study and write down concepts and terms that confuse you.

Tessa- a bill of attainder is a illegal in the USA. It is a law that declares a person guilty of a criminal offense without a trial.

Ashley and Megan- going to Denver? Do you want to take the test during lunch? Have fun in Big D

The six leaders of "We The People" delegate, research, correct, research, research, and research- your unit questions (KD, KB, BF, TC, HL, and EM) I can tell that none of you really want to have lunch with me but I have a "Dominos" connection.

Danny- If the tennis career doesn't work you might want to try photography.

Kole- nice writing on the rec-center

Two students voted to take the test on Thursday.

BTW- my specialty is parties (not that kind), elections, the presidency, and economics. I rarely heard of grants, projects, or mandates. So I am sorry- but I will try to cover all the AP material and hopefully it will get more interesting.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


According to my Realclear politics website, it looks like there have been a few significant changes in the past week. First, Obama has a slight lead in Colorado. Expect McCain or Palin in the next month. Second, Florida and Ohio are now back to swing states. I think this can be attributed to the financial crisis. And finally, Hillary and the Clintons are being criticized about their lack of campaigning for Obama.

BTW, if you have an hour, watch both Fox and MSNBC. Are they reporting on the same country?

Justin has a great website that shows a lot of tidbits about both campaigns. Try to start noticing where both candidates are campaigning. Colorado, Michigan, Ohio, Florida

Hillary mentioned the debates. You need to watch them as objectively as possible.

Kaitlyn, Ashley, Tessa, and Megan have all been volunteering. Good job!

Some of you have not blogged in week.

Monday, September 22, 2008


I apologize to my second period class. I intended to show a video about federalism and mandates and it emphasized Federal eras. The main thing is to be familiar with grants- both categorical and block, mandates, advantages of Federalism and disadvantages of Federalism.

Make sure you review the vocab. terms I gave you prior to the beginning of the unit. Most of the words and concepts have been covered. The review slide show will be fast. Make sure you jot down questions during the review.

It is very important to watch the news coverage of the proposed government bailout. This story is directly connected to the Federal Reserve, taxing, Congress, Presidential influence, and just general governments role in business.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Reading Schedule

We are getting caught up. Here is upcoming week-

Tuesday Night- Read P. 70-74 Defining Federalism
Wed Night- Read P. 74-81 The Constitutional Basis of FED- Essay
WEEKEND Read 81-90 Intergovermental Relations Today- Quiz Monday
Monday 90-95Understanding Federalism - Essay or Quiz
Tuesday Constitution Scav. Hunt and PWPt Review
Wed. Constitution Scav. Hunt and PWPT. Review
Thursday- Unit one Final
Friday - "We the People" -Blogging Start Election and Campaign unit

Monday, September 15, 2008

Obama's Speech

I watched Obama and noticed he was trying to attract the rural, western Colorado voter. It looked like the crowd was passionate. He also mentioned the bad day on the stock market. He is doing this for a reason. I also noticed he only had his attacks mainly at McCain and not at Palin. I hope it was a wonderful experience for all of you especially those not as interested in politics.

We had 6 in second hour and 3 in third hour. We will go over the end of Chapter 2 tomorrow with an abbreviated quiz at the end of class. The quiz will cover the Madison Model, FED vs. anti-Fed, amending the constitution both formally and informally. The next two days will cover half of Chapter 3. So get caught up on the reading. We will be ending this unit next week.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

OBAMA Tickets

OBama tickets are available at 844 Grand Ave at noon today. Sorry for the late word- I ran a 8 mile race this morning. You need a ticket. Good Luck

Thursday, September 11, 2008

It is like a pot luck dinner

OK, you know those stupid pot luck dinners that you had to go to when you were a little kid. I was always terrified about eating some mean mom's tuna casserole. But every parent had to contribute and yes my family was the last minute KFC types. The point is that everyone contributed a little. That is the objective of the PPT-vocab review. This is for you!! This is very middle school and it is time consuming for me. All of the vocabs needs to be learned and you should try to contribute. So I know it is homecoming week, so if you are not done- I am going to review these on WED. September 17. These need to be done by September 15. Kudos to TESSA, Hillary, Zane, and Marie. These students are done! Great food kids. Please help feed the knowledge to the FMHS children.

No we are not going to the lab on that WED because I want to get back on track with the Constitution/Federalism unit. The "AP" faction is winning. I spoke with Dr. Patti Clark, the librarian, and we are going to meet for the "We the People" Competition on the next three Fridays (excluding tomorrow). This will prevent "speed bumps" in your learning. Team leaders need to figure out one day during the week that we can have a working lunch.

BTW, Obama is going to be in Grand Junction on Monday. I think, whether you like him or not, we should try to figure out a way to see the event. I talked to the principal and hopefully we can make it work....i.e. go.

Finally, the blogs are intended to be educational and historical. Wouldn't it be cool to show your future grandchild how you viewed the world in 2008! However, if you are having trouble blogging five times a week, I will lessen the requirement to three times per week until Oct. 15.

And good job, Dusenberry on the ACT- I could get that score if it were golf.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I am trying to balance the civic competition, the election, and the class material covered. I am not going to give you a big speech about the importance of the election, but elections are the most important part of American Government. They are the essence of popular sovereignty. The Constitution competition will help your performance with the AP exam. But I will get back to the schedule and try to get the class back on track. So here is a modified syllabus of upcoming classes, tests, and essays.

Thursday September 11- Constitution (Chapter 2 up to page 51)
HW READ 51-55 and write a brief summary of the Madison model of government? How is it reflected in the structure of American Government? What issues or problems does it raise?
Worth 20 points use thesis statement and don't spend more than 20 minutes (AP Guideline)

Friday September 12 Constitution (Federalist vs. Anti-Federalist) Ratification and Amendments -REB speaker 15 minutes

Essay: Formal vs. Informal Amendment essays

Monday, September 15 The impact of the constitution on Policy making and review
HW: Study Chapter 2 for Quiz

Tuesday, September 16 Chapter 2 Quiz
Constitution Scavenger Hunt

Wednesday, September 17 Competition research and blog check- Claire Pelley DEM Speaker

Thursday, September 18 Power Point vocab review - first two chapters.

The next week will cover Federalism which is Chapter 3

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The AP Text

I understand that the AP Govt. book is a little bit confusing. I agree. If you are struggling with a concept or unit- I have old text that seem sufficient. Don't be afraid to ask.

I like the seminar method of teaching. This means that I am going to question you. You need to be prepared - read the assigned readings- and give clear answers. Any suggestions to help you learn the material would be appreciative. Unit assignment and blogging tomorrow. We will be in the 127 lab.


Monday, September 8, 2008

Center for Civic Education Competition

State Hearing Units 2008-2009

Unit One: What are the philosophical and historical foundations of the American Political System?

Unit Two: How did the Framers create the Constitution?

Unit Three: How has the Constitution been changed to further the ideals contained in the Declaration of Independence?

Unit Four: How have the values and principles embodied in the Constitution shaped American institutions and practices?

Unit Five: What rights does the Bill of Rights protect?

Unit Six: What challenges might face American Constitutional Democracy in the twenty-first century?

Look over units to see which interests you most.

There will be three groups in each class. 5-6 people per group.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Good Job to those who participated

I know all of you are extremely busy, so I wanted to say thanks to all the students who either worked for a party or watched the debates. It will definitely benefit your knowledge of the American Political System and your....grade. I hope I didn't leave anyone out but I wanted to thank Hillary, Daniel, Kole, Kate, Kiah (not Kia) Kate, Ellen , Emma, Kote, Katie, and Ka. Tu.. I also am psyched that Tessa went to Denver to see that event. Have a lovely weekend and be ready to go on Monday. Start your blogs and have two pages of your scavenger hunts done.


Friday, September 5, 2008

We the People

Here is a clip from the Center for Civic education competition. This will give you a better idea of what it be like against GJHS. Remember, we can't go to Denver without beating Junction. I will be assigning units this upcoming week.

CNN reports on East High School's testimony on Capitol Hill in the final round of the 21st Annual We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution National Finals. The Denver, Colorado, school took first place in this year's competition.

Watch the CNN story.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

MCCAIN'S speech

Tonight, Jonh McCain is giving the nominating speech at the Republican convention. How do you think he performed?

Palin's Speech


Palin's speech was well received with my 1st and 5th period American Govt. classes. There was significant objections in other classes. Anyway, tonight is McCain's speech. You are highly encouraged to watch the speech and react. Saturday is the Udall vs. Schaffer debate. It will be held at 7:30 at Two Rivers Plaza. The cost is $10 unless you have signed up with either of the parties. You need to either go to the debate or write a paragraph summary of the event.