Happening in History

Muslim Americans Share Their Perspectives

Hilary Schmitt's senior history elective class Issues in Islam, hosted two speakers this week: Ameena Jandali of the Islamic Networks Group and Moina Shaiq, a Pakistani American woman from Fremont. Both shared their stories as Muslim Americans, the history of their faith, as well as the particular experience of women in Islam. Students visited Mosques in either San Francisco, Mill Valley, or Oakland and blogged about their experiences and their interviews with Muslims in the local Bay Area. 

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Julie Kuo headshot

After completing a three-year process, Julie Kuo has become a National Board Certified Teacher. Here is a description of what that means, according to their website:

"Developed and revised by practicing educators based on research and practitioner expertise, the National Board Five Core Propositions and Standards describe what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do to have a positive impact on student learning. National Board Certification identifies teachers who meet those standards through a performance-based, peer-reviewed series of assessment components."

Congratulations, Julie.

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by Economics Teacher Dan Dunn

The 40 seniors taking Economics are hard at work creating “businesses.” Each team of four students has identified a product and created a business plan including a financial model. All teams have secured funding from a theoretical venture capitalist. Students are currently in the process of manufacturing, many using the Branson Garage’s equipment, including laser cutters and/or 3D printing. They will also be developing marketing strategies, including advertising campaigns. Be on the lookout for more specifics regarding the products available for sale. The students voted that all profits be donated to Santa Rosa Fire Relief and Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief.

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NY Times Journalist Scott Anderson Attends History Class via Skype!

On Friday, November 10, Hilary Schmitt's senior history elective, History of the Modern Middle East, were incredibly fortunate to be able to talk with New York Times journalist Scott Anderson via Skype. Scott wrote the "Fractured Lands" piece in the New York Times Magazine on "How the Arab World Fell Apart." The piece is being used as a textbook in the class.

Hilary says, "It was truly amazing-- Scott Anderson was such a terrific guest in our classroom--sharing his life story, his experiences as a war reporter, and the story of the "Fractured Lands" piece and the six individuals whom he featured. Our students were moved. They asked terrific questions and found the experience to be a very meaningful way to culminate the conversations we have had in the course."

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Ashton Richards Speaks at Inspiring Teachers Conference

Ashton Richards was an invited presenter at a conference call "Inspiring Teachers: A Celebration of Excellence in Education," held at his alma mater, St. Andrew's School in Delaware on November 10 and 11. His workshop was entitled, "Dissent in American History and Why It Matters." The synopsis said, "From Puritan Anne Hutchinson to the NFL's Colin Kaepernick, dissent in American society is as American as apple pie. Dissenters have shaped and molded American life and have become integral parts of our history."

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Where in the World?

As final research projects for Honors Modern World History. Sophomores are asked to choose a current event and research the historical antecedents of that event.

Here is the interactive map with location pins tied to abstracts of all the projects sophomores completed.   

The project allows students to explore their interests and showcase all they have learned in two years of World History. Topics are varied, from the issue of Kosovo’s independence to the rise of Boko Haram, from domestic violence in India to Brexit.

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Malik Ali

History Teacher Malik Ali was been selected to participate in the prestigious James Madison Fellowship Program. Malik explains the background of the program and his involvement:

"The James Madison Foundation is an organization committed to creating a larger national community of Constitutional scholars, particularly at the high school level. To this end, they offer a fellowship that honors one person per state (with some additional Fellows in the territories), and the idea is to recognize and hone scholars and teachers of the Constitution."

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When studying the Russian Revolution, History Teacher Elizabeth Siarny had her students write the revolution as if it were a play—developing a cast of characters and a script. The team of Modern World History teachers decided to use portions of scripts from past years and have students classes act out the play.

Students broke into two groups, each performing one act. After the performances, classes debriefed the actors from each act about the storyline, plot, and character development. 

“Students get a more detailed understanding of the trajectory of the revolution itself and get to see individual characters and their motivations come alive,” said Elizabeth.