Friday, February 20, 2009

How Sad is This Groton?! Approximately 30% of Homeless People in America are Veterans.

Given the regular recruiting that takes place in our school, and given the amount of taxpayers’ dollars that go to war, the reports I have linked here are startling. Many good, patriotic Americans enlist in the United States Armed Forces each year. Most do so to serve their country. According to recent studies, in too many cases, the country is failing to reciprocate that service to many veterans once they retire. I hope Groton families will read and discuss this issue carefully.

Here are a few statistics to add to you conversation...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Explorers on Google Earth has Finally Arrived!

Our 7th graders are experimenting with Google Earth. We took a project that we had been doing for years and modernized it using this program. It took us a while to figure things out, especially how to link it to our blog, but here it is. None of this would have been possible without the expertise of Paul Weich and Chad DeVoe. ...and Cali, thanks for all of the extra time you put into this project. To take the tour, go to this site and enjoy.

Tall Tales From Room #202

Many settlers move west following the Civil War. Some were miners looking for precious metals, some were farmers who lived in houses made of sod, and others were cowboys who drove cattle on the long drive from Texas to the rail centers in “Cow Towns. Many of these cowboys were young men from the east who had gone west to find work. These “Green Horns,” as they were called, were often susceptible to “Tall Tales.” These were exaggerated stories told by wile story tellers, and they provided their audience with many laughs at the expense of the “Green Horns,” who often believed them!

Here are a few Tall Tales generated in room #202.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Barter Day

Our 7th graders are learning about life in colonial America. An economic aspect of that time period was the use of bartering, exchanging goods and services, to get desired goods. Our class reenacted this today. The rules were simple. Students were to bring in things (3-5)they had laying around their rooms at home that they no longer attached any significance to (These had to be their own, not their brothers or sisters stuff.). The class was then given time to survey what their classmates had brought in. Then they were set to the task of bartering with each other to get what they wanted. We concluded class by having students explain the process they went through. We also discussed reasons for the replacement of this barter system with the cash system (Note-We discussed that people still exchange services today (I.E. One person may agree to help a friend put on a new roof in exchange for some automotive work on a car.)). As you can see from the video, it was a lively class.
On another note, the cash system was first introduced to New York State during the construction of the Erie Canal. Workers on the canal were given cash (50 cents a day) or scripts which they then exchanged at stores, hotels and restaurants along the canal. It must have been a "leap of faith" for these early cash receiving entrepreneurs!