Social Studies 4/24

Today in Social Studies we learned a little about the Lawmaking process. First, we went through our homework about how the lawmaking process works. Also, today in class we worked on the study guide and made note cards to help us study for the quiz tomorrow. Today’s homework is to study for the quiz about Article 1. If you want a good grade study for the quiz.

Ali Issa P. 6


April 22, 2014~Compromise!

Today in class, the goal was to explain what compromise is. Compromise is when each side of a disagreement has to give up a little something in order to get part of what they want. We talked about why compromise is important for our government to function. The class also watched a video that explained and gave examples of compromise in “kid-friendly language”. Tonight’s homework is to study for the Article 1 Quiz on Friday, and Unit 10 from Our Federal and State Constitutions book due Thursday.

Happy Earth Day!

~Erin Edwards, 8th Period

Constitution Wrap-up and Retakes

Hi Parents,

First, job well done on the tests.  This is the grade breakdown is as follows (I love stats, even though some are useless):

  • Class Average = 84% (previous avgs: 92% in 07-08, 89% in 06-07, too easy in 05-06! )
  • 5 students with a 99% (just one wrong, though the 5 missed 4 different problems).
  • Of nearly 150 students: 40% scored an A, 25% scored a B, 25% scored a C, and 5% each scored a D or an F.
  • Pre-lunch classes averaged an 86%.  Post-lunch classes an 82%.  (Also – 71% of the D’s and F’s came from a post-lunch class)

ANY student will be allowed a retake.  We will do so on Wednesday, December 3rd.  Please meet in my classroom at 7:00 am.  All scores will be averaged with the 1st (62% + 90% = 76% final grade).  Please let Mr. Little know if you plan to retake the test in class on 12/1 and 12/2.  And yes – all grades are averaged, even if you do worse.

Constitution FAQ’s

Here are a few definitions/questions that I’m getting in the comments that I’ll answer right here:

  • Lame Duck: This is the President or Congress at the end of his term; he loses power as a new President/Congress are coming in.
  • President-Elect: A newly elected, yet still powerless, President.
  • Why is the Constitution a “living document?” Because the Amendment process allows it to change with time, expanding rights and expanding them to new people. The Constitution should change dramatically, but evolve slowly over time as all “living” things do.
  • Specific powers of a President are listed in the Article 2 notes (commander-in-chief, pardon, executive order, veto, etc.). The Prez’s power IS the executive power!
  • Quorum is the minimum number of people that need to be present before a vote is allowed on a bill/action in the Senate or House.
  • The “elastic clause” is in Article 1, giving Congress the ability to stretch it’s power to cover all things “necessary and proper” and for the “general welfare.”
  • Federalism – the division of power between the state (IL state gov) and national (Prez, Congress). It allows states to be unique and different, yet united under one powerful central gov’t.
  • Tapirs – some weird animal Alex Johnson likes :)
  • Whip – a Representative who “gets” the other Reps to vote the way his party leadership wants them to.
  • The Speaker is so powerful because she controls all legislation via rules and committee. Don’t worry, not a test question though.
  • The Line of Succession is in the Art. 2 notes.  It’s simply an order of who takes over for the Prez.
  • Don’t worry about Const. influences. (just state of nature and such)
  • 3 leaders in Congress are Speaker, VP, and Pres. Pro Tempore.
  • Our gov’t needs us to be educated and dedicated citizens to be successful.

Constitution Test & Details

The Constitution Test has been moved to 11/24 & 11/25. If any student will be gone on one of those days, just let me know in advance. Students can take it on Friday, 11/21 at 7:00 am, or at another date when they return.

For the details of the Test, this is how it’s shaping up (total 100 Questions):

  • 20 Questions are from the Foundations of Gov’t/Articles/Principles/Preamble Goals Unit.
  • 20 are from Article 1
  • 20 are from Article 2
  • 5 are from Article 3
  • 5 are from Articles 4-7
  • 10 are over “Checks and Balances”
  • 5 are over “How a Bill Becomes a Law”
  • 5 are over “Citizenship”
  • 10 are over the Bill of Rights

All Questions are multiple choice, fill in the blank, or matching. I distributed a study guide to students on Monday (Study Guide, Final Edition), and I asked them to start making notecards in class, write stories, and/or just answer the questions. The next 8 days are jammed-packed, and here’s a quick breakdown of how it’s going to go:

  • Wednesday – Judicial Branch and Judicial Review
  • Thursday/Friday – How a Bill Becomes a Law
  • Next Monday – Checks and Balances
  • Next Tuesday/Wednesday – Bill of Rights
  • Next Thursday – Citizenship
  • Next Friday – Open Note Quiz/Review Day

As usual, I am available via this blog, through e-mail (, and in my classroom (mornings and study hall). I understand that sometimes I may be out of my room in the AM, but sometimes I’m needed elsewhere or have a copy to run off. Be patient, and come back. If you absolutely positively MUST talk to me, come get a pass to ensure you’re spot in my room. However, I’ll make the extra effort to limit distrations and be in my room the next 8-10 days!

And finally, for those of you “freaking out:” relax! You’ve got 12 days now, so study your old quizzes, make notecards, use the study guide, make songs, watch videos – do whatever you enjoy and helps you learn for next 2 weeks. 30 minutes a night is good. Next weekend, you might want to kick that up a bit, of course. Get with a friend, have a sleepover to study, ask an adult or older sibling for help… do whatever you can to help.

Smile, kiddos! In 2 weeks, you’ll be thinking about Turkey and how happy you are to have done well on the Constitution Test.

Oh – and the Article 3 Notes from Wednesday:

Friday’s Quiz

A few students have expressed concern or confusion over tomorrow’s quiz. Here’s the info:

  • All over Article 2.
  • It’s all in your notes. Everything. Every single question.
  • It’s 15 Questions, all “Fill-in-the-Blank.”
  • Check back here tomorrow. (wink*wink)

Here’s your “preview:”

  1. How many Representatives are in the House of Representatives?
  2. How old must a President/Vice President be?
  3. Name a Department in the President’s cabinet..
  4. And another!
  5. True/False: the President commands the military.
  6. True/False: the President must be born in America to run for President
  7. True/False: the President can declare war.
  8. How many TOTAL Electoral Votes are there?
  9. True/False: A President can lose the popular vote (get fewer votes) and still be elected.
  10. Who “represents all people?”
  11. What is a pardon (or a reprieve)?
  12. How long is a President’s term?
  13. How many terms may a President serve?
  14. Who is next in line if the President and VP die?
  15. What is the power that allows a president to make a declaration, decree or law? (“with great power comes great responsibility!”)