Frequently Asked Questions

in Ms. Sirotiak's History Class

So you want more information on how to succeed in Ms. Sirotiak's class? Have questions or concerns? Look no further! Here are some common questions (and their answers) I get every school year from new students.

Q1. Will there be a lot of note taking this year?

A1. Yes, but very little. Each student will be required to add a few sections a year to a shared Google Doc where classmates will collaborate on one large document. The purpose of the no note taking is because it wastes time and I am not a fan of wasting time; yours or mine. I like to spend more time on engaging and creative lessons and projects. It is your responsibility to listen to our conversations.


Q2. Will we have a lot of homework?

A2. No, but the homework you do have is expected to be turned in with quality. You will have approximately 2-3 HW assignments each week and range from easy to challenging. I allow each student to get comfortable with the structure of my class. This means, students have until the end of the 1st marking period to submit late HW assignments. Students have until the Unit Assessment to turn in any late HW.


Q3. Can we hand work in past the due date?

A3. Again, just like HW, the same applies to assignments. Each students has until the end of the 1st marking period to submit any late assignments and papers. Students have until the Unit Assessment to turn in any later work. Once the first marking period is over, -10 pts is deducted each day a major assignments, paper, or project is late.


Q4. We didn't do it that way last year, so why this year?

A4. Because last year was last year and this year is now. Teachers do things differently. As you grow as a student, the work will be more challenging, expectations will be higher, and the education process will be different. Never compare last year to the current. Freshmen, Middle School is different. US II students, I will probably best different than the teacher you had for US I.


Q5. Can we use pencils?

A5. As silly as this may seem, no. Only pens are allowed in social studies. I have plenty for you to borrow if you need one. Once you get your Chromebooks or iPads, THEY ARE REQUIRED EVERY DAY IN CLASS. THEY WILL BE USED... Promise.


Q6. Do I need to buy a smart phone, iPad, or other device to be successful in your class?

A6. No, you only need determination, innovation, and motivation, to be successful in my class, and that's free! The technology is provided if you do not have it. Hackensack High School will provide a Chromebook to each Freshman and an iPad to each Sophomore. THEY ARE EXPECTED TO BE WITH YOU FOR EACH CLASS and they are required TO BE CHARGED!


Q7. I know there is an assignment/project due tomorrow, but I ran out of printing paper last night. What can I do?

A7. Contact me via email d.sirotiak@hackensackschools.org and come in early to print it out before school starts. This means between 7:50-8:10am.


Q8. What types of technology will we be using this year?

A8. There are many forms of Web 2.0 tools and technology we will be using this year, but not until all technology contracts are signed. You and your families will receive paperwork in September. Once the contracts are signed, you will be using different forms of social media, video conferencing, wikis, podcasts, blogs, Google Drive, and more.


Q9. What should I do if I miss class?

A9. If you missed class, make sure to log onto Edmodo and the class website.


Q10. My parents are very busy and cannot attend school events, such as report card night and open house. What can they do to involve themselves even with their busy schedule?

A10. Have them register for Portfoliyo to receive important information via text messaging. Make sure you inform them of important webinars I host throughout the year. Give them all paperwork the school requests the teachers handout to the students. They can also follow the class Twitter account @SirotiaksClass if they are on Twitter or by texting "follow sirotiaksclass" (no quotation marks) to receive tweets via text message if they are not on Twitter.


Q11. I need extra help. Do you offer tutoring?

A11. Yes. Students may attend Period 10 tutoring Mondays-Thursdays, unless there is a meeting after school that I am required to attend.


Q12. How are we required to site information?

A12. Students are required to use the MLA format. Guides will be provided at the beginning of the school year. NOTE: A URL or Search Engine is not acceptable forms of citation. (Even if you did it last year) ex. www.google.com :(


Q13. What do I do if I believe someone has got into my online accounts?

A13. Change all passwords immediately and make sure to inform me right away.


Q14. What do I do if my partner is absent and they have all the work for today's presentation?

A14. No excuse. All work/presentations/essays/podcasts/etc should be saved to your Edmodo library and most projects will be created using Google Drive. There is no need for a thumb drive/flash drive anymore. There is no excuse that it was someone else's responsibility to hold onto the essay. Make sure you, and everyone else in the group, always has a final copy saved to their Edmodo backpack or in Google Drive.


Q15. I don't like who I am working with, can I change groups?

A15. No. It is important that you understand that sometimes you will work with people who you disagree with, but there is still a job to do. If there is a serious issue I should be aware of, please make sure to inform me prior to the start of the project. There will be times you can select your own groups. BE CAUTIOUS! Sometimes working with your best friend is NOT a good idea.


Q16. What should I do if I have to miss your class because of choir, band, etc?

A16. Make sure to inform me before you go. More than likely you will be allowed to go unless there is an important test or presentation. If you do miss class, you are responsible to make up all classwork missed. Please visit Edmodo and the class website to see what occurred in class that day.


Q17. Can I type out the entire writing process?

A17. Yes. As we prepare for the PARCC, an online state assessment, you can complete the entire writing process online. I will teach students how to use Google Drive once everyone receives their Chromebook or iPad.