HHS 9 - Fall Open House

World Geo PreAP

Welcome to Open House!

Because we only get 10 minutes, this Smore is designed to supplement the 1000 mph speech I give. There will be links to some useful stuff as well as an overview of skills and techniques we'll be emphasizing this semester.

What are we doing here?

In world geography, we study the "Why of where" and attempt to decipher why things are located in the places they are located. Why does one region have a high standard of living while others don't? How do similar decisions in different places create different outcomes?

As a PreAP class- it is also our job to be prepared for Advanced Placement classes. This means an emphasis on reading, writing, and study skills beyond the needs of regular classroom. This semester we will supplement the school textbook with excerpts from college textbooks as well as longer format articles. Students will work on using evidence to support analytical writing and become familiar with the essay formats that they will see in World History AP next year. Finally, we will try to work on organizational and study strategies that will be universally applicable to all courses.

What can I do as a parent?

First, encourage your student to prepare for class. The hardest part for many 9th graders in PreAP is that they find themselves independently responsible for reading and preparing for class for the first time in a social studies setting. This requires them to digest the learning objectives and ultimately make smart decisions on how to use their time.

  • Unit Guides are provided at the beginning of each unit of study. It will let them know when we plan to test, as well as what terms/concepts and learning objectives are part of the unit.
  • Knows and Need-to-Knows will be created by your students at the beginning of each unit. They need to come back to this document as the unit progresses and keep it updated as their understanding changes. This is a great source for you to use as well- I would encourage you to have them share the document with you if you have a Google account as well. This is a great place for them to start when considering how to study.
  • Most nights your student will not have formal "homework" or worksheet assignments to complete. They will be assigned pages to read, or a topic that we'll be discussing or applying in class the next day. As your students read, they need to outline, take notes, or create flashcards to help them study.

We read an article entitled "The Best Ways to Study" after the first unit test. We discussed what researchers said were the most effective ways to learn information. Please discuss with your student what they learned- here are the top 4 methods researchers discussed.

  • Self quizzing. By yourself or with a friend, quiz yourself over the information you read, the terms and concepts from the Unit Guide, or items from your Knows/Need-to-Knows.
  • Distributed practice. Spread the studying out over time instead of cramming. Students get the Unit Guide on day one- the sooner they get through the terms or the reading, the sooner they can start reviewing. Waiting until the last minute to do any of it puts them in double jeopardy.
  • How do I know, and Why is that? Two effective techniques involved questioning concepts. First, ask questions like "Why is this true?" or "Why does it work that way?" Second, you can ask self-explaining questions like "What new information does this provide" or "How does this relate to what I know?"

Part of growing as a learner is, of course, learning how to learn. We will spend time throughout the semester working on that so that students leave more prepared for whatever gets thrown at them, not just AP.

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