|Students For Tomorrow||
Welcome to the new school year! This year will be an adventure; there will be challenges, great experiences and unique opportunities to learn in new ways.
The class is called Ancient World History, but that is not a very accurate description of what we will discuss, study and learn. Everything that has happened helped to create the modern world. We will discuss current topics in the news, U.S. history, and how the ancient world influences us today.
Throughout the course of the school year students will have several unique opportunities to engage in what we are learning through technology. Every student will have access to a computer every day of class. We will Skype with students from Beachwood Middle School, blog, create web pages and use a variety of other free technology to making learning interesting and relevant to your (the students') lives.
I expect and encourage you to speak your mind! Engage in debates, talk about tough issues and THINK. Social Studies is a discussion-driven class. We learn by organizing our thoughts, discussing, collaborating, and drawing conclusions. Social Studies is not black-and-white; there is no single answer to the majority of the ideas we will discuss. Don't be afraid to share what you think or to agree/disagree with your classmates. The best part about having a mind, is being allowed to change it!
Garth Holman, my mentor and close friend, teaches at Beachwood Middle School and I completed my student-teaching in his class. You will hear Mr. Holman's name often and see him almost daily because the two of us collaborate and reflect about what we do as teachers. We will also be allowing our student to work and learn together. You will notice that use the same blog on this website. Feel free to read what he has to say. Garth and I have presented at several educational conferences, talked to major universities concerning technology in education and have hosted several technology workshops for schools in the greater-Cleveland area. We run a website, where we reflect upon how we teach.
Now the exciting stuff, me. I'm not just a teacher, I have a life outside of school. This is my sixth year at CMS and my sixth year teaching. I completed my undergraduate studies at Lake Erie College. After earning my B.A. in Social Science, I transferred to Cleveland State University and earned my M.A. in History. I stayed at CSU to earn my teaching licensure, 7-12 Integrated Social Science. Outside of the world of teaching, I am a husband and father. My wife Christina works for Huntington Bank. I have a step-son, Kyle, who is a sophomore at Willoughby South High School. My daughter, Olivia, just turns 3 in August and has dad wrapped around her finger; being a parent is awesome. It also helps me be more empathetic as a teacher. I understand that families are busy and that many times life is more important than school. If issues arise that interfere with homework/school work, please email me. Something can always be worked out!
Many of your children, my students, know me because I ride a motorcycle (word travels quick in a small school). One of my biggest passions is riding and working on motorcycles. I escape to the garage to decompress after a long week. Every year Kyle and I ride out to Washington D.C. during the Memorial Day weekend to pay our respect to the soldiers of our country. The event is called Rolling Thunder and honors the POW/MIA individuals that have fought for our armed forces.
I also love to take my family camping. My dad was a teacher, so summers meant getting in the car and heading out West. Sitting around the campfire, rock climbing and backpacking are passions that I try to keep going in my busy life. Olivia has already spent several weeks in Canada sleeping in a tent and Kyle is usually responsible for catching our dinners.
This summer my family, my brother and his family and my mom went to Disney World. Below are some pictures of my family and myself enjoying a much deserved vacation.
Hello parents and students. Next week we will begin to finish up the Middle Ages WebQuest. Some students have actually finished already!! We will begin to take a look at the Renaissance and the Reformation. These two time periods will most likely take us through April and into Spring Break. Then the Scientific Revolution and Exploration will move us to the end of the school year.
Below is a video of the keynote presentation Mr. Holman and myself gave last Friday at the NEOtech educational conference in Akron. The video was edited and produced by 6 students. There were close to 400 teachers, administrators and technology directors that
In the classroom today and tomorrow talking about the Crusades. Today we discussed why the Crusades started, used GoogleEarth to look at the places involved, and talked about some of the consequences of the interaction between European Christians and Middle Eastern Muslims. Tomorrow we will look at some more specific information concerning the crusades and Friday we are back in the computer lab. Students should be completing their quizzes as they progress through the WebQuest.
Here's a great Voki created by Kennedy Jones about what her life would be like as a peasant. Great job by Kennedy!!
Wow, another snow day and another long weekend. Monday we will be back in the computer lab working on the Middle Ages WebQuest.
The second set of vocabulary terms will be due at the end of class on Friday. We will also wrap up Japanese Feudalism this week when we are up in the classroom. I hope everybody has a good weekend. Temperatures should be on the rise soon...come on Spring!
This week we are up in the classroom. Remember conferences are Wednesday night. We will finish up the second set of vocabulary words for our Middle Ages unit. This will be done in-class, so no homework this week! We will also look at some of the more fascinating similarities/differences between feudalism in Europe and Japan. We will look at Japanese castles and the Japanese warrior class; the samurai. Next week we will be back in the computer lab, chatting with Mr. Holman and the students from Beachwood and continuing to study European Feudalism.
Up in the classroom today talking about some of the topics that students have been discovering in their WebQuests. Today I discussed the feudal hierarchy and the movement of Land and Loyalty amongst the social classes. Some classes even got a quick overview of the 1/10 rule.
Tomorrow we are in the classroom for some more Skype sessions with Beachwood and a deeper look into the Middle Ages. Friday we are back in the computer lab.
This is Mr. Pennington's 4th year teaching 7th grade world history. He loves technology and wants to help the educational revolution by adapting school to fit the future of his students. He is married with two kids: Kyle who is 13 and attends Willoughby Middle School and Olivia who just turned 1 in August.