Monday, December 31, 2012

You gotta know your History

I just got done watching Jamie Foxx on Oprah's show Next Chapter.  He was promoting his new film Django.  I haven't seen it, but I heard it was very intense.  I'm going to have to work myself up to see it.  But what they talked about inspired me to write this post!  Jamie Foxx plays a slave a few years before the American Civil War.  To prepare for the film he researched slavery.  Then he began to talk about the importance of knowing your history and where you come from.
American Slavery
Both Oprah and Jamie Foxx spoke about the real heroes of Slavery - the slaves themselves.  The fact they survived that.  And if they could survive that what could they survive?  Oprah said to know she comes from that inspires her.  Every group has a story like that of survival and endurance.  Oprah spoke about the Holocaust.  Steven Spielberg started an organization to interview every living survivor.  He wants to know their story of survival.  Again it can be inspiring. 
Children in a concentration camp
Even if you are not part of that group like African American or Jew, what I love about history is you can learn from it.  We are all part of the human family.  When you hear stories like slavery and the Holocaust - it makes me think I can do anything.  You can really see the strength of the human spirit.  If they can endure that and survive - I can endure anything!
So I encourage you to get to know your history!  My mom's side of the family is Cherokee.  When I read about the Trail of Tears - it makes me so proud I came from that!  What do you come from?
Trail of Tears

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Hope You Have Had a Great Break!

Sorry I have not been on here for the last few days.  My grandparents have been in town, and I have given them 100% of my attention.  I just wanted to let you guys know that I will be posting every day now.  I had a nice Christmas Break!  I hope you have too!

Monday, December 17, 2012

For 6th Hour

Here is what needs to be in your binder:
  • Hall Pass
    • Should be the first thing I see when I open up your binder.  In the front of your first divider.
    • This is important too because I will take your Hall Pass and you will get extra credit for them.
  • Bell Ringers (1st Divider)
    • You need a tab on the first page of this set.  You should have a set before.
    • You should have around 17 Bell Ringers.  That is how many 2nd Hour has.
    • Each bell ringer should have 5 sentences each on its own line.
  • 8000 B.C.E. to 600 C.E. (2nd Divider)
    • Need all the notes we took about Classical Civilizations - China, India, and Rome
    • On the first page need a tab - order doesn't matter
    • Then behind your notes you need Chapter 3, 4, and 5 Outlines
    • Need a tab on the first page of each outline

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Last year after we studied The Trail of Tears in Oklahoma History, a student asked if we could watch the film, "Avatar?"  I was confused by the question?  I had seen "Avatar."  Who hasn't?  So why was a student asking to watch the movie?  We did not have time - so I laughed the question off.  That student was probably sad.  I looked into it, and I guess the way the humans treated the Na'vi (blue people0 in the film is a direct comparison to the way the Native Americans were treated during Indian Removal.  So this year we watched it in class.  Here is a brief synopsis of the film:
The students wrote a comparison between Avatar and the Trail of Tears.  One student said it was a great modern visual of the Trail of Tears.  I loved that sentence because it is so true.  I graded binders while the students watched it.  I would occasionally look up and watch the film.  It is shocking how similiar the two are!  One student wrote they had seen the film before, and thought Wow that was a good film.  This time around she saw the comparison, and wondered if the filmmaker purposely put that into the film?  I'm not sure either, but it makes you wonder!
Jake and his love
Jake preparing for battle
Here are some of the Big Comparisons students said over and over:
  1. Both were asked to relocate
  2. Americans wanted something resourceful on their land
  3. Both were called Savages
  4. The General in the movie and President Jackson were the same
  5. In Avatar there is a happy ending - the Na'vi fight back and win!
The Na'vi's sacred tree


Saturday, November 24, 2012

History Lessons From Your Family

These are my beautiful Grandparents who just celebrated their 62nd Wedding Anniversary.  They came to Tulsa and spent all of Thanksgiving with us.  Last night we had a family celebration for them.  Sometimes I cannot believe it!  62 years of marriage  - I cannot imagine!  What a life they have spent together!  At one point in the evening the whole family was in the living room, and Grandma and Grandpa told us stories about being married in the early 1950s.  I woke up this morning and wanted to make this a post.  You can learn so much about history from your family!
They lived through it, and they will give you a different perspective than the history books!  Plus your family like your grandparents especially want to tell you their stories.  They want to talk with you and share!  They will love you to ask a question which I will promise turn into more questions and a long conversation!
Years from now you will treasure your conversations with your grandparents!  I am 30 years old, and both sets of my grandparents are alive!  I know I am so lucky, and my time with them is precious!  When I am an old woman I will treasure last night so much!  I'm actually beginning to cry!
Last night my Grandfather told us his war stories from the Korean War in the early 1950s.  As he talked I cannot imagine going to war!  I told my grandpa he is so brave!  Of course he became very embarrassed, and just said he did what he had to do.  After telling us a few intense stories, he made us laugh by telling us stories of funny things they would do there to take their mind off the fact they were in War.  Grandma then told us what it was like at home taking care of their one month old baby girl.  Then we went to their childhood.  They both grew up in Oklahoma during the 1930s and Great Depression. So last night I got a very personal description of the Korean War and Great Depression, and learned about my family!  It was a perfect night!
So GO TALK to your family, and learn your family's history!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What is Leadership?

We just started the unit on the Executive Branch in US Government, and we did one of my favorite activities.  The class was divided into groups of 4 and they had to make a body that represented the president on a big piece of butcher paper.  They did not add detail because in the body they wrote in qualities and characteristics we look for in a president.  I thought it was great that two groups drew women.  That will be a good day when this country elects a woman to the highest office in the land.

Here are some of the characteristics and qualities the students said:
  • Experienced
  • Honest
  • Religious
  • Heart
  • Respectful
  • Patriotic
  • Consistent
  • Trustworthy
  • Loyal
  • Brave
  • Intelligent
  • Relatable
  • In Control
  • Loving
  • SWAG
  • Optimistic
  • Hardworking
  • Compassionate
  • Generous
  • Strong Minded
  • Resourceful
  • Charismatic
  • Focused
  • Open Minded
  • Dedicated
  • Decisive
  • Thinks Outside The Box
  • Tactical
  • Good Speaker
  • Not Biased
  • Happy
  • Truthful

All the Presidents that were made
Everyone loved "SWAGG" in the middle!
The woman president one group made.  Love it!!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Iron Jawed Angels

This is my favorite banner during the Woman's Suffrage Movement!  It is powerful, and it is crazy to think that it took such a long time for women to get the right to vote!

With the election today it made me think about the fight different groups through out American History have had to fight to vote!  Women started the fight in 1848 at Senecca Falls Convention.  And it will take 72 years to get the vote!  It took till the 20th Century for women to get the right to vote, and our country was founded in the 20th century!  What is wrong with that picture?  Here is a description of what these brave women went through so ALL WOMEN could get the right to vote:

The women during Women's Suffrage were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed nonetheless for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote.

And by the end of the night, they were barely alive. Forty prison
guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing went on a
rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of 'obstructing
sidewalk traffic.'

(Lucy Burns)
They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her
head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.

Thus unfolded the 'Night of Terror' on Nov. 15, 1917,
when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered
his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because
they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote. 
For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their food-
all of it colorless slop--was infested with worms.

(Alice Paul)
When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike,
they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured
liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for
weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.

HBO's new movie 'Iron Jawed Angels.' It is a graphic depiction of the battle
these women waged so that women could pull the curtain at the polling
booth and have their say.

'What would those women think of the way women use, or don't use, their right
to vote? All of us take it for granted now, not just younger women,
but those of us who did seek to learn.'

It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn't make her crazy.
The doctor admonished the men: 'Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.'

So do your part, and VOTE!  It has taken blood, sweat, and tears to have the right!

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Great Site to Review for the EOI!

Here is a GREAT website that has practice exams for the EOI in the winter.  You have to pass 4 of the 7 to graduate.  If I find out the testing schedule for EOIs I'll post it!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Life Is Beautiful

I have done a post on this movie before, so this is a whole different approach.  Every Homecoming I show a movie because the school goes all out!  I think it is my favorite week because almost every student participates, and you can feel the spirit and love!  But I don't show just any movie.  I show a movie that will expose them to something else, or different cultures.  One year I show a Film Noir, Kiss of Death (1947).  I loved showing that one for many reasons.  One Film Noir is a great genre of film, and I assume most students today have not seen one.  Most likely color films had not been invented yet.  The one I showed was a Black and White film.  When the students heard it was a black and white film they looked nervous.  They didn't know if they would like it?  Which is why I showed the film!  I want the kids to enjoy Homecoming Week, but at the same time do something worthwhile.  At the end of the week so many kids were surprised!  They liked a Black and White Film!

So this year I showed Life is Beautiful, an Italian film.  That is why I chose this film.  I played the film in it's language, and they had to read English Subtitles.  To watch this film dubbed in English is a crime - you will lose some of the magic of the film.  And I was not surprised the kids loved it!  When we finished watching it a student shouted out, "I hate you Ms.Haughey!" All I could say is why?  Then I looked down and saw she was crying.  She said, "You ruined my eye makeup!" 

I also have them complete an assignment to go along with the film.  As long as they watch the film - they can complete the assignment.  So here is some of the things students said about Life is Beautiful.  And the favorite scenes said over and over!

"I thought this was very touching. It makes me see how lucky I am to live in America."

"This Guido guy was very inspirational, and he was a really good guy. I kinda wanna be like him."

Every student loved it, and said nothing but great things!  One student said it should have won picture at the Oscars - not just Best Foreign Film.  You have to see acceptance speech!

The life lessons they got out of the film:
  1. Loyalty
  2. Always Have Fun
  3. Never Give Up
  4. Life is What you Make It
  5. Persistence
  6. Show Unconditional Love
  7. Have Courage - Take Risks in Life
  8. Always be Happy
  9. Look at the Positive
  10. Always Listen to Your Parents
  11. Cherish Every Moment
  12. Perseverance
  13. Think Before You Leap
  14. Live For the Moment
  15. Always Look On the Bright Side
  16. Never Take Life for Granted
  17. Stay Humble
  18. Always Stay Happy
  19. Family Comes First
  20. Challenge What Is Wrong
Favorite Scenes:

Dad protects his son by making the concentration camp a game.

Dad makes the ultimate sacrifice - and still makes his son laugh!

They won the game, and got the prize of a tank!

Friday, October 19, 2012


On the first night of Fall Break I went to go see the new movie, Argo.  It was the best movie I have seen all year.  It is about the 6 American who got out of the American Embassy in Tehran, Iran before it was stormed.  The CIA decides to rescue them, and sends in Tony Mendez to save them. You are on the edge of your seat the whole time.  We know they get out safely, but you doubt it as you watch the film.

It was a great historical film, and you really get an idea of what that time period feels like.  I love historical movies that allow you to feel the time period.  Water for Elephants was the same way.  You really get an idea of what the 1930s must have felt like!

The movie is Rated R for language - so get parental permission first, and it is well worth it!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Here Comes The Boom

This weekend I saw this movie!  It was fantastic and inspirational.  My whole family thought it was the feel good movie of the year!  As a teacher it was inspiring to see a teacher give his all to his school, and his students. 

The teacher had lost his way, and was even teacher of the year!  There was a part when he talked about looking forward to the beginning of the school year, and decorating his classroom.  He compared it to college and moving into a dorm room.  I totally related to that.  I love decorating my classroom.  I look forward to it every summer!

This movie also shows the importance of education.  As a society we have to make education a priority!  Go see this movie - it won't disappoint!

My classroom - It took a week to decorate!

Sunday, October 7, 2012


In my World History classes, we just finished studying Ancient Egypt.  The aspect of Ancient Egypt that seems to capture the world is mummies and the pyramids.  All of this involves their idea of the afterlife.  Mummification helped with the process.  They believed that when they died they took all of their belongings with them, and they went as they looked when they died.  Mummification preserved their body, and the pyramids held all of their belongings.  In the tombs of Pharaohs they have found clothes, jewelry, boats, food, pottery, dinner ware, and etc.

So in class we made a mommy and Sargophagus (the case that held the mummy).

The materials needed to make the mummy.  The bowl is a glue water to wrap your mummy.

Wrapping the mummy

Decorating the Sargophagus:

Finished Mummies:

Saturday, October 6, 2012

"Where The Sting Began" - BTW Homecoming 2012

I just love Homecoming at BTW!  It is a fun filled and spirited week!  The BEST part is such a large percentage of the student body participates.  My mom came and ate lunch with me, and she was amazed at the school.  The doors and halls were decorated, and every student she saw was dressed up!  I feel so lucky that I teach at BTW!  This is my favorite week at school!  And we won the football game against the Stillwater Pioneers!  It can't get even better!

2nd Hours decorate their doors.  It is a contest and Mrs. Ramsey's class won, and besides my door this was my 2nd favorite door!

My door that my second hour did.  I'm so proud of them!  It turned out great, and I had so many students come up to me saying we should have won!

The COOLEST Hornet hat I have ever seen!  A student in my 4th Hour sister made it out of paper mache.

I had to try on the hat!  This was outrageous orange and black day.  That is why I'm wearing the tie!

Me on Retro day!  I went for the 80s look.  I was alive for most of the 80s, but I was a little girl so I don't remember most of it.  My mom always says that is a good thing!  She likes to forget the 80s!  I can see why!

Me on Mix Match Day!  I would only dress like this and leave the house for BTW!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Troubled Relationship

President Abraham Lincoln 1861 - 1865

I love the study of the American Civil War.  Shelby Foote, a Civil War historian, says "It is the cross road of our being!"  When I teach American History I love to offer extra credit to have the students write why Foote thinks that.  I cannot imagine having the country torn apart, brother against  brother, friend against friend.  When one thinks about it - it is amazing to think our country survived that.  The Civil War changed everything!  America will never be the same - especially the relationship of the ordinary citizen and the government.  After the government is going to take on a much bigger role in the lives of the citizens.

But today I want to discuss the relationship of President Lincoln and General George B. McClellan.  Lincoln is going to have many Generals during the war till he settles on General  Grant.  McClellan is going to be so interesting.  McClellan on the surface and on paper looked perfect.  He was a graduate of West Point, brought discipline to the military, and was loved by all.  He had the love and respect of the the men!  That is hard to do - so in the beginning McClellan made Lincoln very happy!

General George McClellan

But there was a problem.  McClellan lacked the moral courage to send men into battle. As he was loved, he loved the men back.  McClellan loved them a lot!  So the idea to send the men to fight was too much.  Often what this created was inaction.  This frustrated Lincoln to no end!  Lincoln was quoted  to sum up his feelings nicely:
"If General McClellan isn't going to use his army, I'd like to borrow it for a time." (Commenting on General McClellan's lack of aggression, 1862)

Lincoln came out himself to check McClellan out on the battlefield!

To be a fly on the wall of that TENT!  I would love to know how that conversation went down.  Was it calm and patient, or angry and frustrated?  I cannot imagine Lincoln getting angry, but it will be after this moment Lincoln gives McClellan one more shot.  He might have run out of patience?

In the end McClellan was fired, and actually ran against Lincoln in the Presidential Race of 1864.  But as we all know Lincoln wins a second term!

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Ancient Mesopotamian Writing - Cuneiform

In World History we are studying the first civilizations - Ancient River Valley Civilizations.  The frrst known civilization is Mesopotamia.  Which is in Iraq, and they get the distinct honor to say they are the cradle of civilization.  For class they need to know characteristics of the civilizations, and their accomplishments.  One of the biggest accomplishments of Mesopotamia is they invented writing!

Can you imagine that?  Sometimes that is hard for me to wrap my brain around!  Writing!  That is incredible, and when you think about the impact and role writing has on our lives today.  I can't imagine life without writing!  I'm writing right now. 

When they invented writing - here are two big things that happened.  One we now have history because human are now recording their existence.  A common definition of pre history is before recorded time.  So with writing history begins!  And all of these civilizations developed writing.  It's just historians and archaeologists believe Mesopotamia did it first!  Most people know Ancient Egypt's writing - heiroglyphics.

You will notice they would also add art to their writing, and they developed paper.  In Mesopotamia they only had clay, and then would dry the clay in the sun to make a tablet - when they were done.

The second thing writing did was it created an elite class.  In Mesopotamia it would take years to learn to write in Cuneiform.  Not everyone would have the time to dedicate their lives to learn.  Once it was learned they would begin to record.  The most common thing recorded was how much grain someone had, or animals.  They also had contracts in Mesopotamia for marriages, divorce, slaves, and etc.  That is actually where laws came from.  Those who learned to write were called scribes.

Mesopotamian Scribes

So for the students to get a feel for writing in Mesopotamia I developed an activity.  I brought some play-dough, skewers, and sheets of Cuneiform.  Every student got some play-dough and got to practice writing cuneiform.  I didn't have clay so play-dough was the next best thing.  The activity turned out so well!  The students really got it, and had fun!  One thing that everyone talked about was how hard it was, and time consuming it was.  Here is some pictures of that day.  Hopefully they have a new appericiation for our writing!

Working on it

Finished Product

Finished product

Friday, September 7, 2012

What is beautiful about America?

I asked this question the other day to my students, and was so surprised by their answers!  I thought they would say all the beautiful scenic places in America like:

California Beaches - It looks like Paradise!

The Mountains in Colorado!


Or even big cities like New York City!

No they did not say anything like those.  Here is what they said:
  • The Opportunity In America!
  • Our Freedoms and Liberties!
  • Our Democracy!
I was so impressed with these answers!  They appericiate our country and the freedoms we have!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

BTW Pep Rally

On Friday August 31, 2012 Channel 6 News chose BTW to be their Spirit Stick School, and they came to film us that morning.  A testament to our students the Pep Rally was at 7 am, and there were over 100 kids!  It was awesome - the spirit off our students is just amazing!  I'm so happy Tulsa got a small taste of what a BTW Pep Rally is really like!

Center of the court - I love this hornet!

Go to sports and we are week one of Spirit Week

Sunday, August 26, 2012

BTW'S 1st Pep Rally

Thursday was our 1st pep rally, and it was amazing!  I just have to tell you that I love BTW so much!  When the Pep Rally started I wanted to cry.  I really had to hold back tears!  That might be silly, but in that moment I was very present to the power of the school.  I love BTW!

Walking to the Pep Rally.  It was in our new fantastic Field House!

The main floor with the band, cheer, pom, flags, and perfection.  They kept us on our feet!

Our Amazing Cheer!

Oyr Amazing Perfection!

Cheering for the Spirit Stick!!!

I was sitting down and saw this image.  I loved it!  I think it captures th moment so well because this is what we are "HORNETS!"

Everyone was Dancing and Singing to this song at the pep rally!