Saturday, August 14, 2010

History & Science


This map, from the Peter Force Map Collection at the Library of Congress, was created by the Philadelphia engraver James Poupard. It was the third in a series featuring a chart of the Gulf Stream. The latter was well known to Spanish ship captains, who relied on it to sail from the Americas to the Iberian Peninsula, but there were no universal charts or maps due to Spanish secrecy. This map originally was sketched by Timothy Folger, a Nantucket fisherman and a cousin of Benjamin Franklin, who conceived the map and actively promoted study of the Gulf Stream. Franklin published the original chart in 1770 and sought to distribute it among mariners, but British sea captains skeptical of colonial ideas largely refused to purchase copies. He suspended his efforts during the American Revolution to avoid giving any advantage to the British, but at the end of the war he collaborated on a second printing in France. In 1786, Poupard’s engraving appeared in the Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, the publication of the country’s first learned society founded by Franklin and others in 1743.

Essential question:

Looking at historical documents what can we learn or deduce about science, history, and human nature?

Activity Directions:

Please observe the map and read the description. Based on your careful study what can you infer about the strategic use of maps? Here are some questions to consider: What is this type of map used for? What is its value? Why the Spanish secrecy? Why do you think the British sea captains were skeptical? There are many more you can ask.

Working with your group – discuss and organize your thoughts into a concept map. 

  1. Create one concept map for the group: Main idea:  HISTORICAL MAPS
  1. Save your concept map normally and also save the concept map as a “jpg” file
  1. Create a Google Docs document and insert the “jpg” concept map image.
  1. Share the Google Docs document among all your group and the teacher
  1. Each student individually adds the shared Google Docs document to their web page under: CLASS WORK.
Personal Reflection Points:

Add a few personal bullet points of what you have learned to be used in your reflection:
  • _________________________________________

  • _________________________________________
Other personal notes:

Friday, August 06, 2010


Well, I'm starting my fifth year as a teacher... this is supposed to be "the" year according to my principal where a teacher decides if this is the right profession for them. 

Remembering Winston Churchill:

Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

It took a while but I am now actually feeling more confident as a teacher - I think I am moving forward - it is perhaps the end of the beginning for me. I look forward to this coming year - surprises and all! 

Thursday, August 05, 2010


Well it is here!  Google Wave has been integrated with Google Apps - so I just turned it on in our domain!  A couple of our super users have been alerted - let see what this portion of our pilot does this year!

Google Apps: A fully interactive/cooperative cloud-enabled applications environment for our school: Word Processing, Presentation Software, Spread Sheets + Graphing, Drawing, Web creation, Forms, Mail, Calendar, and now Wave!  Incredible foresight...