South End School Homework Now Abrams

Monday, March 5, 2018

SS 5: Students received a handout of a research project:  The Five themes of Geography and My Town/ neighborhood. I will complete the explanation of the project on Tuesday and sign-out the computer lab for at least one guided project work session. Students must turn in a summary of the project including what product they are committing to by Friday March 9.  The project is due on Monday, March 26. Students are to imagine they are making a project for a museum.  Projects must be detailed, attractive, well planned and informative and address each of the 5 themes of geography. Students are allowed a choice of products and can also suggest products with prior teacher approval; some choices are : a tri-fold poster display, a 3-D box display, a powerpoint,prezi with some original photo, art  etc;, a brochure,  a guest speaker and brochure, a video.  All work must be student work.  Tonight:   Students are asked to review pages H10 and H11 Geography skills and write the 5 themes of geography notes at the top of H10 and the 5 themes, and the "red" questions associated with each theme. (Write these on the back of the project assignment sheet)

SS 6: Mesopotamia test Tuesday. 

SS 7:  Review Declaration of Independence notes p. 78,79,80. Know your "quill pen" statements.

SS 8: We analyzed photo's of school classrooms from the 1950's/60's for "separate but equal." We practiced visual literacy and analyzed a photo of the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Assignment: 395,396,397 of Interactive Notetaking Workbook.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

SS 7: We received up to 6 homework points for reciting the "quill pen" parts of the Declaration of Independence.

SS 5: We made mini-posters of who, what, when, where, why and practicing Summarizing and obtaining evidence from the first page of the teacher packet. I checked in homework on the Summarizing sheet.

SS 6: We completed Mesopotamia review; students are asked to take materials home tonight and review for Mesopotamia assessment.

SS 8: We listened to the "I have a dream speech"; Powerpoint presentation on Civil Rights Era.

Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018

SS 8: We completed Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Letter from a Birmingham jail. We viewed/discussed visual primary sources on the Montgomery Bus Boycott, The March on Washington. We discussed the difference between  segregation  and  integration ; Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka Kansas ; Study the days material and master it.

SS 7: We did trial runs reciting the memorization of  two lines of the Declaration of Independence (see I.N. for 'quill pen" written hand out);We watched a Ted Talk (What you don't know about the Declaration of Independence); We de-briefed the video doing an on screen outloud multiple choice test.  We reviewed and augmented p. 78 Key Events of the hand-out packet (The American Revolution); Assignment:   Memorization of two lines (for credit) of the Declaration of Independence; complete p. 78.79, 80 of the American Revolution Packet. (Read a chunk, Read again, highlight and annotate to the bullets in the section 1 Focus Question, then and only then answer all questions, charts; Use txbk to go deep.

SS 6: We reviewed the leaders and Empires of Mesopotamia; Gilgamesh (Read txbk. p. 44 Biography) , Sargon (read-p.47 -Biography) , Hammurabi (read p. 51 Biography), Ashurbanipal (p. 52) and Nebuchadnezzar II (p. 52). We compared the Legend of Sargon to the Old Testament - Moses. We reviewed highlighting and Annotating : Who, What, When, Where, Why and How and practiced this technique on the first paragraph of the hand out, Quick Study, Lesson 3. We reviewed Lesson 3 (Quick Study packet) - Assignment - Complete the 5 Quick Study Questions for Lesson 3. 

SS 5: We watched a brief video on how to summarize and annotated p. 13 using some of the video,  Hand-out (Workbook) Summarize. We drew a 6 fingered hand in our I.N's adding a pinky. Who, What,When, Where, Why and How are the labels for each digit. We read the paragraph. Tonight: Re-read the paragraph and highlight and label Who, What, When, Where , Why and How .  Now complete the 3 multiple choice questions. 

Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018

SS 8: We affirmed our STREAM Academy assignments.

SS 7: We affirmed our STREAM Academy assignments; Memorize the two lines from the Declaration of Independence for class.

SS 6: We affirmed our STREAM Academy assignments: Review newspapers and hand-outs; Topic test coming up Friday.

SS 5: We affirmed our STREAM Academy assignments; Complete the hand-out ( in your packet) Regions; use the textbook to look up. Don't practice incorrect information. 

Monday, Feb. 26, 2018 (post Winter Break)

SS 8: I collected the Core Question p. 15, Breaking the Color Barrier, JS (see Feb. 14). Hand-out : Civil Rights Why We can't Wait, Letter from Birmingham Jail, Dr. Martin Luther King. Teacher read aloud  and discussed sidebar and all paragraphs except last. Teacher will read aloud last paragraph; Review classwork. Denny discussed Religion in U.S. and discussed Cameroon. 

SS 7:   Listened to The Texas Tenors , Rise, God Bless America, Discussed the emotions of this song and  discussed the committee drafting the Declaration. Reviewed the time line on p.78 of previous handout: The American Revolution. Reviewed the major parts of the Declaration.   Memorize for Wed. the preamble and statement of rights excerpts which you wrote using quill pens.  

SS 6: Mesopotamia Test - Wed/Thurs.  Close Read Lesson 2 : Mesopotamia ( Quick Study Guide pages in your I.N.); complete the graphic organizer and questions 1-5; Review/ Use Txbk p. 40-46

SS 5:  Watched brief video and made a list of U.S. specific geographic features; Reviewed Puerto Rico as a territory, it's location and climate. Discussed the word diverse and students made 21 diverse exit tickets for display of specific geographic features of U.S.; Review class notes for 10 minutes. 

Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018

SS -8 : I collected the core question, JS Feb. 19,  p.21 (The Civil Rights Hero You've Never Heard of);  The Article was read and discussed i(p.18-21) in class.  Students were asked to complete reading of: p. 21 A Tale Nearly Lost to History and 1955 Rosa Parks on Tuesday night. Today we complete a history play (hand-out - American History Play pp 12- 15, , JS Nov. 23, 2015 - Breaking the Color Barrier) ; Complete- p. 15 - Your Turn on lined paper; Students not in class tomorrow, are assigned to re-read and annotate the play as we will be discussing it in class tomorrow and turn in the question above on Friday 2/16.

SS 7:  We completed a hand-out on which we used a "quill pen" to write two sections of the Declaration of Independence. These two sections must be memorized by Friday. Hand-outs: Comparing Viewpoints p. 21 only, Revolution or Compromise, Read, Re-read, highlight, annotate answer questions, especially number 3 with brilliance.!  Hand-out Wkbk pages: 78-91 , given already punched, place in I.N. (No assignment ) 

SS 6: We had an Academic Vocabulary Quiz. We completed a review of other Academic Vocabulary related to government and economics. Handout of a Study Guide for Mesopotamia: We completed Lesson 1 review; Lesson 2 review p. 10Mesopotamia: Don't guess: use I.N/TxBk/Newspaper to find the correct answer; Complete tonight.

SS 5: We had an Academic Vocabulary Quiz

Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018 

SS 8- We read the article : A forgotten Civil Rights Hero, JS 18-21; complete reading captions and p.21; Complete core question on lined paper p. 21.

SS 7 - Review Classwork for at least 10 minutes to build on material

SS 6 - Study Mesopotamia vocabulary for test.

SS 5 - Study Highlighted vocabulary for test. 


Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018

SS 5 : We put our vocabulary words into two categories ( economics related words and government related words)

SS 6: Classwork - We wrote 3 facts about city states, 5 facts about religious beliefs/ We read about King Nebuchanazzer, viewed concepts of the Hanging Gardens and wrote 5 facts about the King N; We watched a 3 minute film about how empires were built and lost  in Mesopotamia from the Sumerians to Alexander the Great. Be sure all classwork is complete and actively review it tonight.

SS 7:  double period We created a chart and found 3 reasons with reliable evidence  that women are on the front lines in combat and 3 reasons with reliable evidence that they should not be. We used Junior Scholastic as a reference. Complete the chart for HW. Quiz tomorrow on article. 

SS 8: No class 


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

SS 8 - No class; 

SS 7 - Double period class; We examined 5 events from Women in Combat article, wrote them on lined paper and were given a quiz to put them in chronological order using the visual time line in the article.  We worked to organized the STREAM Project - Bake for Good King Arthur Flour for Thursday,.

SS 6- We did close reading of city states and Religious Beliefs of Mesopotamia.  Review this tonight.

SS 5 - We took a Social Studies Skills test; this is a progress test. 

Monday, January 29, 2018 - Catholic Schools Week 

There are schedule changes this week to accommodate all the great activities surrounding Catholic Schools Week. 

SS 8- No class

SS 6- Double Period :  Students took a Social Studies Skills Test; this is a progress test. 

SS 7- Junior Scholastic, Dec. 11 issue, We examined the article on Women on the Front lines, students are to complete independent reading and highlighting and wrestling with the text of the article.

SS 5 - No class


Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018- Friday, Jan. 26,2018

SS 8  Students turned in Interactive Notebooks for me to check assignments; On Friday we completed a Social Studies Reading Skills Test; We began examining Modern Day Slavery in the Clothing Industry, as Junior Scholastic Dec. 11 issue was handed out;   Article: Know the News:  Modern Day Slavery  page 14-17. 

SS 7: Students completed a Social Studies Skills Test. Junior Scholastic was handed out.

SS 6: We examined the Historic Times Begin Newspaper, p. 1 Mesopotamia

SS 5: We completed Fair Trade Flowers and Corporate Benefits, Flip Book was created but not yet filled out for Bananas and Child Labor. A list of the vocabulary words which will be tested, after our review, was created both in our planners and highlighted in the index card cable tie bundles. Test to be later determined.  These words were previously completed, students were instructed to review the cards and improve them. 

Wednesday, January 24

SS 7 : We examined the hand out of the American Political cartoon by Ben Franklin , cut out and glued in I.N., We will finish this in class tomorrow.;

Using txbk and/or or Gilder (or other reliable history website)  , research and color authentically, (historical accuracy) the handout of the Patriot soldier and the British soldier. Cut out and glue onto the  American Revolution I.N. 

Complete the War Begins , handout packet in your I.N. p. 73.74.75; 

SS 5: In class we watched a 3 minute video for the purpose of learning why we would want to buy Fair Trade Products. We wrote a list of 6 reasons in our I.N. Tonight we copy that list, one item per inside of the petal. Decorate the petal with Fair Trade Products.  

SS 8:  I reviewed each of the vocabulary card assignments for the class for Reconstruction.    I individually discussed with the student , how the cards must be improved for some students and I also noted the students who did not complete the assignment.  These cards must be improved and  completed by tomorrow. ADD these  words: require and inferior  ( P. 560 and 561)

SS 6 - We viewed a poster of Hammurabi's Code and examined some of the 282 laws; we read and highlighted in our "Historic Times begin " Newspaper, p. 2 Hammurabi's Code.  Asssignment: p.4  Mesopotamia Mapping and Charting only.

Thursday, January 18,2018

SS 6 Vocabulary Cards- (as per normal procedure) Finish all cards from Wednesday's classwork (listed in your planner)

covenant       slavery         descendant     synagogue     barter

SS 8  Complete the "T-shirt " design advocating for the 15th amendment. Remember on this T- shirt you are demonstrating your deep understanding of the historical time, the issues and the importance to groups of the 15 th amendment.  Color media is required. 

Wednesday, January 17

Social Studies 8: Make vocabulary cards and learn for the following: black codes, scalaway, carpetbagger, impeachment, register, segregation, sharecropper.

Copy the Quick notes Study guide and essential question into your I.N. p. 565 txbk

Complete workbk pages: The End of Reconstruction p. 252,253,254

NOTE: Students had 20 minutes of class time today to start this assignment.

SS -6 Complete vocabulary cards, using the normal procedure for the following: irrigation, city-state, artisan, region, ziggurat, polytheism, monotheism, scribe, cuneiform, conquer, empire, dynasty, conquest.  Note: students had 45 minutes of class time to start this assignment. 

Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018

Social Studies 8: We reviewed the 14th amendment. Students started a draft of a "T-shirt" advocating for the 14th amendment. Students were given a hand-out template to be used to complete the final product. Color Media is suggested. Demonstrate understanding of the 14th amendment while encouraging Americans from the Reconstruction Period to ratify it.  Cut out the final copy and put your name on the back.

Social Studies 7: We completed the Play Boston Massacre; we read about the punishments inflicted on customs officials pre-Revolution. Complete the questions on the back of today's hand out (Tar and Feathers- Protest?) and complete 67-68-69 The Colonists Resist Tighter Control, using the routine classroom procedure ( reminder - outlined in Wed. Jan. 10)

Social Studies 6: We completed the Play - The Epic of Gilgamesh. Re-read Act II and Act III; complete the classwork study guide: The Epic of Gilgamesh;   Complete Lesson 1: The Fertile Crescent of the Quick Study Guide Handout.  (p. 8,9,10)

Social Studies 5:  Review class work from today on Corporate Contributions.

Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018

Social Studies 8:  We discussed and wrote the wording of parts of the 14th amendment in our I.N. Review the material from today's class for understanding and come to class with any questions.

Social Studies 7: We performed Scene 1 & Scene 2 of the Boston Massacre. We unpacked Scene II by using the play to write the viewpoints of Mrs. McDeed and Mrs. McCreedy ( in our I.N.). Complete classwork as needed and review Scene 1 & 2 of the play in preparation for tomorrow's class. A packet: The Road to Revolution was distributed.  Complete pages 64,65,66 (Trouble on the Frontier) according to the class procedure:

a. Read the Focus questions carefully, Review the time line. 

b. Read the paragraphs , one at a time, first time all the way through, second time highlight and annotate according to the focus questions and other questions. It is a requirement to demonstrate this skill on all Social Studies assignments. Credit will not be given if not completed. 

c. Then and only then complete the questions, using the paragraphs and if necessary the TXBK for additional depth. DO NOT Guess. 

Social Studies 6: 

We performed two ACTS from the Epic of Gilgamesh in costume. We will finish Act II and the conclusion in class tomorrow. We unpacked each act by completing a Think ( answer the brief section on the question handout The Epic of Gilgamesh) Pair (discussing with a partner), Share with the class.  Be sure to highlight your part in ACT III for tomorrow and practice it at home.  Re-read Act 1.

Social Studies 5: 

We continued with the Inquiry - The Real Cost of Bananas exploring the supporting question regarding Corporate Contributions to Society. We discussed Chiquita, Dole and DelMonte.  We viewed the original Chiquita Banana commercial which assisted us. Test corrections and parent signature were collected for credit.  Review I. N. for ten minutes tonight. 


Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018

SS 8: 

I recorded parent signature for credit.  We began a discussion of the 14th amendment and citizenship using HipHughes History. Workbook pages 246,247,248 ;If you can't find 246 see last Thursday's entry.

SS 7: I collected the Roots of the American People  corrections and parent signature for credit. If you have not done so, return the test for your portfolio.  We did a run through of Act 1 of the Boston Massacre. PRACTICE with your scripts. We need actors and actresses.

SS 6: I collected the Neolithic Revolution test corrections and signature for credit; We did a run through of ACT I of Gilgamesh. PRACTICE with your scripts. We need actors and actresses. 

SS 5: I returned the Economics vocabulary test and reviewed the answers.  Students are asked to write corrections 3 times each as demonstrated in class multiple times and obtain parent signature. Return the test tomorrow for credit (Ms. Abram's One Day Sale!) We discussed the meaning of Corporation and started a page in our I.N. titled Corporate Contributions. (The Real Cost of Bananas). 

Monday, January 8, 2018

SS 8: Students were asked to record several grades for assessments in their planner, review with parents and ask parents to sign planner. This will be checked tomorrow for homework points.

SS 7: Student props for the Boston Massacre Play were reviewed and assessed. If student did not complete a prop one must be completed by tomorrow. Students did not receive credit for the prop if it wasn't completed. SEE FRIDAY Jan. 5  and Thursday Jan 4 below. Students were returned a test, answers given ; tests are to be returned tomorrow with parent signature and corrections completed, as explained in class multiple times, to receive bonus test points. Note: Write corrections 3 times, question with correct answer. 

SS 6: Student props for Gilgamesh Play were reviewed and assessed. If student did not complete a prop one must be completed by tomorrow. Students did not receive credit for the prop if it wasn't completed. See Friday Jan. 5 and Thursday, Jan. 4 instructions below.  Students were returned a test, answers given; tests are to be returned tomorrow with parent signature and corrections completed as explained in class multiple times today. 

SS 5: Reconciliation and Character Awards were given today and ran longer. No Social Studies 5 class today. 

Friday, Jan. 5, 2018

NO SCHOOL Weather Related; See however Thursday assignments. Students were asked to complete these assignments on Friday during the day as the weather was dangerously too cold to go out. 

Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018

Social Studies 5: We explored Supporting Question 1 : Where do bananas come from? by examining data and graphs of the % of world banana supply from various countries. We were given two hand-out's:  a blank map of the Western Hemisphere and a sheet with 4 titles, starting with Importing Bananas.   We examined the data, used the map on p. R- 6 of the textbook to locate the countries with the top banana production and added those countries with the percent to the map.  

Social Studies 6: We were given several important hand-outs:  Gilgamesh character sheet , Gilgamesh Props, Gilgamesh Study Guide and the play script : The Gilgamesh Epic.  All students were assigned roles and props. Ms. Abram will provide Mesopotamian costumes to all students.  Props may not be purchased. Cardboard is the preferred material. Students should read through their assigned role, review the Mesopotamian period on the internet (pictures) and make their props using inspiration from their research. Props must be authentic. Students of course, may not die their hair and must come to school dressed and conforming to handbook rules. 

Social Studies 7: We were given two hand-outs:   The script of : The Bloody Massacre and A film Guide to Revolution, which were punched into the Interactive Notebook. We are examining points of view of the Colonists and the British Government Pre- Revolution. Students were assigned roles in the play and asked to create a prop. No props are to be purchased; cardboard is the preferred material; Students should be authentic in their creations by researching the time period of 1770-1776 visuals.  They should review their parts in front of a mirror. 

Social Studies 8:  Current I.N. must contain Interactive Workbk pages 246 ( need to take it out of Civil War and transfer it to Reconstruction) to p. 258; 291-293, 297-302

Wednesday, Jan 3, 2018

Social Studies 5:

We set up a new Interactive Notebook;  (15 sheets lined paper, pocket and prong folder stored in the classroom, 20 index cards and we created the cover with hand-outs : bananas and made a title of 

What is the Real Cost of Bananas. This is a New York State Inquiry. We discussed and wrote 4 supporting questions which we will be exploring, one each day. 

Social Studies 6:

We set up a new Interactive Notebook: Mesopotamia, with 15 sheets of lined paper, 20 index cards . We placed two World Studies Weekly Newspapers (Week 3 - Historic Times Begin and Week 4 - Phoenicians) in the left pocket. We examined the map on p. 4, Week 3 , tracing the Tigris and Eurphrates Rivers.  We torn out workbk pages 8-16 and punched them into our I.N. 

Social Studies 7:

We completed a review by reading through the hand outs already in the I.N., Slave Ships cross the Atlantic

Social Studies 8: We read a brief article about the failure of Reconstruction, by Eric Foner, contemporary and eminent historian at Columbia University. 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Social Studies 5-6-7-8

Congratulations to the Buffalo Bills and thank you Bengals for the assist! No homework in Social Studies Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. 

All classes: We continued with "Planner bootcamp" . All planners must be in class everyday. If you have "lost" your purchased planner from September, an acceptable approved alternate is possible.   It must conform to the following:  An I.N., or spiral dedicated as a planner, signed by Ms. Abram and set up with a last page chart for classroom bathroom. This one cannot be changed to another notebook. 

In class, we discussed "Just for Today" New Year's Resolutions and prayed St. Francis of Assisi's prayer to start us off the New Year. 

Dec. 14, 2017, Thursday

Social Studies 7:

The test tomorrow will be limited to these topics:

1. The Earliest Americans ( see wkbk pages Roots of the American People Sec. 1 Earliest Americans) 

2. The Colonies and Trade (mercantilism)

3. Triangular Trade

4. Middle Passage and Slavery

December 13, 2017

Social Studies 5:All students are required to bring their School Planner to class each day, write down all assignments, and teacher announcements (or a summary of the class) and ask questions to clarify anything they do not understand about an assignment.If for some reason they do not understand an assignment, I am available at lunch to clarify.  They are required to check the planner before they go home, take the planner home and bring it back.

To further encourage this, starting tomorrow and through Dec. 20 (and possibly longer) students who have their Planner in class will receive 2 homework points, students who do not will receive a 0. If  the planner has been lost, students must come to class with a substitute reasonable spiral notebook(full size)  dated by day  and the restroom teacher sign out page recreated in the last page. This was explained in detail in class today. 

We have a new schedule this week and it seems to be going great!

Students will have a vocabulary test on Friday.

Social Studies 6: 

All students are required to bring their School Planner to class each day, write down all assignments in class, as well as teacher announcements, or a summary of the class.  Students are asked to ask questions to clarify anything they do not understand about an assignment while in class. If for some reason they need additional assistance, I am available at lunch to clarify. Students are required to check the planner before they go home, take the planner home and bring it back. 

To further encourage this, starting tomorrow and through at least Dec. 20 students who have their Planner in class will receive 2 homework points, students who do not will receive a 0. If a planner has been lost, students must come to class with reasonable substitute spiral notebook (full size) dated by day and the Restroom sign-out page recreated in the back.  This was explained in detail today in class. 

Assignment:  Finish questions 1-4 on the hand-out Developing cultures. Don't quess. Use your I.N. and/or texbook to do a great answer.  We did number 5 together. Note: this is  how a model answer is done.  Continue to review I.N. Test Friday. 

Social Studies 7:

All students are required to bring their Planner to class each day, write down all assignments in class, as well as any teacher announcements, reminders or summaries of the class. Students are asked to ask questions to clarify anything they do not understand about an assignment while in class. If for some reason they need additional assistance, I am available at lunch to clarify. Students are required to check the planner before they go home, take the planner home and bring it back each day.

To further encourage this, starting tomorrow and through at least Dec. 20 students who have their Planner in class will receive 2 homework points, students who do not will receive a 0. If a planner has been lost, students must come to class with a reasonable substitute spiral notebook (full size) dated by day and the Restroom sign-out page recreated in the back. This was explained in detail today in class. 


Today we set-up a lap-book titled the American Revolution (1775-1783). I also handed out several materials which students will need in the coming weeks. I checked with each student that they got the proper materials.  I gave students paperclips. If a student was called out of class today for Altar Server Training, I assigned a "guardian angel" to collect the proper materials and give them to the student when they returned to my class. Any student who needed additional explanation was asked to come to lunch with me, where I worked with several students who wanted first hand instruction because they missed class. 

The materials and the Lapbook itself  are to be carefully stored in the American Revolution I.N. DO NOT Cut out any sheets below until assigned in class.  As I checked with each student on their materials, replacement materials will not be given out. 

- 2 "Biography sheets" ( 4 rectangle cards per sheet) starting with Name, dates lived

-1 Important People sheet

-2 Timeline sheets

-1 Important Events that led to American Revolution. 

Other materials will be handed out at a later date.

DUE tomorrow: Dec. 14

Authentically decorate the front of the lapbook to show a  visual view of the American Revolution. Remember the British too.  You must choose visual material between the years of 1775 to 1783 and draw or trace it. Authentic color is a good idea too.  You may use your textbook for inspiration (1775-1783)  and/or research on the, Gilder or other reliable website. "Googling" is a search engine, not a website.  Write the source on the lower right in small print.  If you would like to print something to use, be sure it is interesting and authentic, fits on the cover. You may use up to 3 pieces printed. Printing is an option not a requirement. Simple captions for all visuals are a good idea too. 

You must put a title of American Revolution on the front in at least 1 inch letters. 

Social Studies 8

Emancipation Proclamation Quiz tomorrow.

Assignment:   Hand-out Packet: Reconstruction Webquest.   Due Tuesday, Dec. 19, morning. Please start this right away, so that you can come to class with questions if you need clarification. The top sheet, number 4 - Correct to say- 15th amendment. GO DEEP. 

All students are required to bring their planner to class everyday and use it. All students are required to write assignments in their planner as they are given and ask for clarification in class if they need it. Additionally, any student needing further assistance or clarification may have lunch with me. Students are to take planners home every night and bring back everyday. Teacher announcements, reminders etc. are also to be written in the planner and checked. 

To encourage this valuable habit, all students who bring their planner to class starting tomorrow, Dec. 14 through at least Dec. 20 will receive 2 homework points. Students who do not will receive a 0. Students who have "lost" their planner may bring in a reasonable substitute such as a full size spiral notebook, dated and with the last page re-created for restroom /teacher signatures.  





December 5, 2017 Tuesday

SS 8  : Reviewing each night! Civil War Interactive Notebook, Unit Test next week. REVIEW NOW. I have given you assignments to help you review actively.

Set up : I.N.- RECONSTRUCTION - The Second Civil War

15 sheets lined paper

35 punched index cards

SS 7 

1. Review Roots of the American People I.N. each night. Unit Test next Tuesday and Wed. ; Review assignments were done in class last week, there will not be additional  review in class. 

2. Set up new Interactive Notebook- Title - The American Revolution (lower right with your name)

15 sheets of lined paper

25 punched index cards

SS 6

1. Several students have not brought in a classroom portfolio. This portfolio contains student work for the next 3 years. This was due in September and they have been reminded several times.  Anyone without a blue plastic pocket (no prongs) portfolio by Monday, Dec. 11 will receive appropriate consequences .

2. Classwork must be completed.  We cut out and glued a two page foldable on the characteristics of Hunter Gatherer Period and the Agricultural Revolution. See instructions on front. This was modeled and  demonstrated at length in class today. All cutting and glue down must be completed at home tonight. Students were invited to lunch if they needed additional instruction. We will fill the information tomorrow in class.

3. There will be a Unit test next Tuesday or Wednesday. Cramming is popular with students but is an ineffective study skill. Students were given active review assignments last week, each day I was on bereavement leave. Students must be reviewing the material in their I.N. little by little each night.

SS 5 

1. Students were asked to finish their list of vocabulary cards last week in class. They must master the process (see earlier posts on this page) of how to create a vocabulary card, as it has proven very effective adding depth to the understanding of vocabulary words. This process will be used over their Social Studies career. 

2. Students must review vocabulary each night and not attempt to cram before a test. Cramming is a popular student method of study but it is ineffective. The vocabulary cards really help.


Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017

Social Studies 7: TXBK Ref. 68-89, handouts : Outline map of U.S and Instruction sheet.  Use the reference pages to create a historically accurate map of the 13 colonies , using the list on the handout. Include a 3 color key designating Middle, N.E. and Southern colonies and color appropriately. Complete the blanks on the handout. 

Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017

SS 6 :   Complete the Lesson 1,2,3 Review Handouts which were begun in class: Use your textbook for depth, 

Read Lesson 1 handout p.2 twice, highlighting and annotating, 

Complete p. 3 graphic organizer and questions, make an attempt at every question, use your notes and textbook as support.

Complete Lesson 2 and 3 in the same way.

SS 8: Review material on film guide  and add to your graphic organizer (5 column T chart)

SS 7 : Review material on film guide; Study, write questions for clarification.

Tuesday, Oct 31, 2017

No Assignments

Monday, Oct 30, 2017

No assignments , Bills Won

Friday, Oct. 27, 2017

Teacher STREAM Professional Development: No school for students 

Thurdsay, Oct. 26, 2017

No Assignments

Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017

No assignments 

Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017

Social Studies 8: We analyzed the words to The Battle Hymn of the Republic and then sang it. We made a T-chart in the Civil War I.N, titled The advantages of the Union and the Confederacy in 1861, We viewed a data display, and categorized the advantages providing evidence.  We discussed a summary statement of what "story" the data told us. 

Classwork assignment from Monday (complete tonight) Interactive Workbook pages (in your I.N.) The Coming of the Civil War, p. 224, 225, 226. Complete according to procedure. (read previous assignments on this page for details).

SS-6: We made a new I.N. folder, titled Early Hunters and Gathers; We transferred some materials from Geography I.N. to it. Be sure to keep all materials in the prongs in chronological order.  Bring both the Geography and the Hunters and Gathers I.N. to class. We watched an discussed a brief video about the Caves of Lascaux (France) cave drawings from 17,000 years ago. Papers for Geography I.N. were handed back. 

Classwork assignment from Monday, must be completed tonight: Transfer this assignment to Hunters and Gathers I.N.

TXBK: p. 10 Copy timeline into I.N. Hunters and Gatherers on lined paper

            Read twice, study, study all pictures, graphics and captions as well. ( p. 10-16 txbk)

            Copy the Summarize on p. 16 on the same lined paper as the timeline above.

    Answer, on the same lined paper, in complete sentences Review Questions, 1-5 only on p. 16. Make an attempt at all questions, using the txbk reading above as assistance.

SS 7:  Assignment from yesterday's classwork must be completed for HW. TXBK. p. 36-41 Read twice, study, study all pictures, captions, inforgraphics, charts, etc. 

Copy the title and the chart on the top of p.40: The Columbian Exchange on lined paper in your I.N.  (day/date paper)

On page 41, do check your progress, question 1-5 only, making an attempt at all questions, answering in depth using the text for inspiration, evidence. Complete sentences.

SS 5: We made a new Interactive Notebook titled Mexico and received 2 large handouts: Mexico Geography and a powerpoint slide guide, Mexico, pre-punched and ready to put in the prongs.

Classwork assignment from yesterday was collected: (Make a vertical timeline on lined paper in your I.N., use 1 year as the interval, and include at least 10 significant events in your life thus far starting with your birthday, the approximate year you received sacraments, and other significant events for you and your family in the time period represented . 

Finish the classwork assignment from yesterday for homework tonight (Yea! the Bills won) on lined paper day and dated, 

TXBK p.10 Read twice and Study Where we came from and answer the review question on the bottom of the page, in complete sentences .

p. 11 Read twice and study -  One Nation and complete the review question in the same way as above.  


Monday, Oct. 23, 2017

Classwork not completed will be assigned as homework on Tuesday, Oct. 24. Yea! The Bills won Sunday.

Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017

SS 8: Gave back two  classwork/ homework assignments and noted to the class, once again,  that highlighting and annotating text in all assignments is required and is not an option. This requirement was noted on the large post-it note in class. As previously indicated,   any assignment that is not highlighted and annotated with accuracy will receive 1/2 credit. Students who received 1/2 credit today  are to re-do and  complete the pages (the Erie Canal 23/24 at the bottom) and turn in tomorrow in class if they would like full credit. Students who originally completed the work as it was assigned will receive an extra homework point. 

We used a 4 minute Discovery DVD, The Nation Divided ,  to review the eventful years from 1850-1860 that increased the crisis/conflict  in the U.S., which will eventually lead to a civil war. Students mastery include being able to put these events in sequence. See notes of students. 

Hand outs: America the Story of Us: Civil War Film guide;      Assignment: Interactive Workbook pages  The Crisis Deepens 221, 222, 223 See Note above! This assignment adds to your notes/teaching  on the video in class. 

SS 7: We used two Discovery Videos and discussed the Spanish Conquest in the Americas ; we will begin Colonies take Root tomorrow. Be sure you are reviewing your notes each night and doing something active with them.  No other assignment.

SS 6: We had a vocabulary test and questions on Sequence. No other assignment.

SS 5: We added A.D. images to our timelines; Complete glueing the rest of the A.D. images for homework. Study Timelines, steps to making, and the decades, centuries, milenium, intervals, A.D, BC, BCE, CE and all notes on timelines.  

Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017

SS 8 : We discussed Ken Burns as a Historian who makes documentaries. We reviewed Lincoln's path to the Presidency discussing the electoral college and popular vote. We viewed the year 1862 and discussed Lincoln's generals, Bull Run, Richmond Va., Lincoln's team of rivals. We discussed photography as a technological impact.  We viewed primary source photographs of Civil War soldiers, generals and Presidents of the Confederacy and the Union.   No assignment.

SS 7: We review a Discovery Video on the Aztecs and discussed the great civilization and elements of Aztec culture. We explored what it was that allowed the Spanish conquistadore to defeat them (alliances?); We watched a video: Europe looks outward discussing the English, French, Dutch and Spanish in the Western hemisphere; No additional assignment.

SS 6: We reviewed Social divisions, surplus, the Agricultural Revolution, nomads and diverse as vocabulary and concepts. Vocabulary test tomorrow.

SS 5: We learned how to use a bracket on a time line to represent an era or time period. We placed events and eras from Ancient Civilizations on our time lines, gluing events. We discussed where we would find the life of Jesus  on our time line. Students are to complete gluing the B.C. only images on their timeline. NO A.D images tonight. 

Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017

SS 8: We completed our writing assessment. A new Junior Scholastic was distributed. Students are to read, read again, highlight and annotate the Article - Can your phone testify Against you? pages 6-9. Pay careful attention to the Supreme Court, Fourth Amendment  and Constitution Review on p. 9.

SS 7: We viewed and discussed a Discovery Video, Roots of the American People. We discussed the Renaissance, Reformation and Enlightment impacts leading to the American People. 

SS 6: We reviewed vocabulary cards. Test postponed to Thursday.

SS 5: We began to put pictures/images and place specific events on our time line. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

SS 8 :  Interactive Notebooks were handed back; review the teacher notes and improve and complete where needed. We wrote the formative assessment, using the student created primary source chart, a minimum of 6 paragraphs of a well constructed essay:  How did Harriet Beecher Stowe describe Slavery in Uncle Tom's Cabin.

SS 7:   Interactive Notebooks were handed back; review the teacher notes and improve and complete where needed. We worked in groups to pick our  cultural element for our Indigenous People of America project/totem. A new Junior Scholastic was distributed, Oct. 9 issue, Unnatural Disasters? 

SS 6: We completed vocabulary cards together using the process previously outlined. Students are asked to use the reteaching done in class today by reviewing their own cards from last week and improving them. Remember every card must have:  glossary def. and page number, a minimum of 2 context clue and then M.M.C ( demonstrate learning by making meaning clear) writing an original sentence restating the above without plagiarism.

SS 5: We watched a brief video- Timelines for Kids which reviewed the Steps to making a timeline. We wrote those steps in our I.N. We learned to put decades on our time lines. Students need to study the day's work each night for a least 10 minutes and come to class with questions and/or request assistance. 

Thursday, Oct., 12,2017

Social Studies 6, 7, 8 : Finish classwork; you were given ample time and hand outs to copy all details on the large "post it" in class. 

SS 5: Study the timeline learning we have done so far, take your I.N. home and write down any questions.  I will be working on time lines for anyone who missed a class this week. Take the opportunity tomorrow at 12:15 ( my lunch!) 

Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017

Social Studies 8: Today in class we discussed John Brown: Hero or Terrorist; We discussed Kansas and Nebraska, the Fugitive Slave Law, and completed the analysis of the final illustration for our Source Chart. Students must improve the source chart, study the passages on Harriet Beecher Stowe for an assessment.  

Interactive Workbook pages - Compromises Fail pp. 218,219,220

Social Studies 7: We organized into groups of 3, were assigned a North American Region in Pre-Columbian North America, chose 4 elements of culture to research further.  Tonight pick one Native nation in the region you are assigned, and come prepared to discuss this why the group should pursue more knowledge about the native nation.

SS 6: Master the material in class by reviewing the terms and the number line associated with timelines. STUDY it and write down any questions. Students who were absent on Mon/Tues or who had difficulty in class today are asked to seek me out for lunch/study hall to continue work on timelines.

SS 5: We learned how to choose timeline intervals, A..D and C.E as well as b.c and b.c.e; we placed our birthday on the timeline. Study and master the material from today, including decades, centuries and millenia (millenium) as intervals on a timeline. 

Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017

SS 8:  Complete two hand outs, punch into I.N., Write on the paper or back; Apply Information: Along the Erie Canal (p. 23 at bottom) and Apply Information: The Erie Canal ( p. 24 at bottom); Of course, reading twice, highlighting and annotating is always required. 

SS 7  Complete the hand out, punch into I.N,  Roots of the American People, Biography Marco Polo. Of course, Read twice, (including reading the questions)  highlight and annotate 2nd reading, and answer the questions, completely and fully .

SS 6: Complete the handout, How many syllables, Punch into I.N., Be sure it is name, day, dated. 

Monday, Oct. 9, 2017

No school, Columbus Day observed

Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017

All classes, finish the individual classwork assignments that you were asked to write in your planner. 

ON Friday, I.N's will be collected in 7th and 8th grades; index card packets will be collected in 5th and 6th grade 

Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017

Social Studies 8: Via film clips from America the Story of Us, Division, and a hand out film guide, we viewed the first  segment comparing and contrasting the economies of the the "north" and the "south". We explored the north's profiting from slavery.  No additional assignment, except of course, classwork must be reviewed and film guide section one on the Erie Canal completed. Bring textbooks to class and current I.N. 

Social Studies 7: U.S.  We viewed migration in the world and to North/South America,  via video and began to view the development of culture in the Americas from 15,000 BC to 1400 A.D. (Pre-Columbian) . We viewed maps of migration to California coast (pre-Columbian) and archeological digs.  Bring textbooks to class and current I.N. Master material covered in class.  No other assignment.

Social Studies 6: Eastern Hemisphere  - We viewed geographical features of Eastern hemisphere via video. We use archeology to learn about early cultures.  Complete  5 vocabulary cards,( archeology, archeologist, artifact ,migrate, glacier) using the method taught in class and your pre-history card as a model.  To recap:  1 glossary definition, write page number also, 2 context clues from page number and 1 original sentence (using your own words to demonstrate your understanding). If you do not have a textbook, use the handouts that you tore out of your SS Quick Study for the glossary definitions and to find the context clues.

Social Studies 5:  We used online resources from New World Studies  Weekly to view major geographical features in North America and identified unique features in New York State. We defined geological forces and natural disasters.  We played a NWSE learning review using p. 4 of New World Studies weekly - Direct Context Clues. We are learning how to better guess the meaning of a word in Social Studies Informational Text and used a list of words that say "LOOK HERE" that help us.  Complete question 4 & 5 on p. 4 of New World Studies Weekly, p.4, Direct Context clues. 

Tuesday, Oct 3, 2017

Social Studies 8:   In class we continued analyzing primary sources material ( passages and illustrations) from Harriet Beecher Stowe. The Interactive Workbook pages on 176,177,178 are tonight's assignment. They summarize the South's point of view and "The Plantation South".   Master the material as you go along, Use the textbook for supplemental material to answer any questions. These are your notes. 

Additionally: Using the method demonstrated in class today, analyze illustration 1, by annotating and labeling the handout in your notebook. Identify the individuals and symbols by labeling them on the handout; then using the Source Analysis Guide, Fill in the appropriate information.

Social Studies 7: Complete the handouts Trade Networks of Asia and Africa; p. 8,9,10. Read twice, highlight and annotate to the focus questions/What you will learn.  Use the textbook for supplemental material as needed to add depth to your answers. Including the chart. These are your notes.

Social Studies 6: 

Finish the one vocabulary card from class by writing an original sentence, demonstrating that you understand the word. Use the glossary definition and the context clues that you have already written in class, but you must use only your own words.

Social Studies 5: 

Complete vocabulary cards for 3 words:  census, immigrants and democracy.  Remember the process is: glossary definition, use the page number in the glossary definition, find the word, read around it to give you at least 2  context clues that will add to your knowledge.Write the context clues on the card.  Then write an original sentence, using your own words to demonstrate you understand the term, just  like we have practiced. Remember relax, you had success today, you can do it on your own!!! Remember to wrestle with the word and make your own good effort at it. 

If you were unprepared for class today,  did not finish the cards we have completed so far ( for : culture, ideals and ethnic group) , do use this opportunity to improve your learning and complete all the cards.   Remember also how you learned to add a card by placing a dot of glue in the corner. 

Monday, October 2, 2017

NO Assignment Bills win over ATLANTA!!!

Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017 

No assignment : Skating Party

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

SS 8:  We are continuing the inquiry, Can Words Lead to War?, Today we examined the background of Harriet Beecher Stowe and the circumstances that led her to write "Uncle Tom's Cabin." Two hand outs were given - p.12 Source Analysis Chart and p. 14 Source B: Harriet Beecher Stowe, novel about antebellum slavery in the United States, excerpts 1852. I read the passage to students and also reminded students of the maturity of the subject matter. 

Assignment: Based on Source B, ( and other sources this week) we are examining the supporting question 1: How did Harriet Beecher Stowe describe slavery? To collect information to answer that question later in the week, tonight re-read Source B annotating it for items in the hand out chart.  

Passage 1

Plot (the start in Source B, summarize)

What are the main ideas?

What details support those ideas?

Tone/What emotions...

Intention/what was STOWE trying to accomplish in her writing?

Reactions/ How do you think people reacted ...

 You will continue to fill in this chart as we examine different sources. Today, use source B. If you run out of room, and I said I knew you would, continue any answers on the back of the paper, being clear about what section.

SS 6:  In your Newspaper, p. 4, read and annotate the section Latitude and Longitude and complete the questions.

SS 7:  Three pages of handouts were given in class today, Interactive Notetaking and Study Guide. Complete pages 5,6,7, using the way I modeled how to do these assignments.

Understand the focus questions, Study the Key Event Timeline. You also should add some events to the timeline as you read, extending it as necessary (REMEMBER Last year how we got really good at time lines?)

Read a paragraph once; read it and highlight /annotate it for the focus question information. Less is more. Complete all reading in this way.

Answer all questions  and complete the chart.  USE YOUR textbook if you require information. Go deep.

SS 5:  Need textbook, index cards,  Complete the vocabulary card assignment you started in class with the words: culture, ideals, ethnic group, census, immigrants, democracy, republic, constitution, citizen, private property, economy, free enterprise, profit, supply, demand. 

Use the glossary which is in the back of your book to find these definitions. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

SS 5 : We finished our first assessment of Social Studies Information Text skills. A hand-out titled HELP was distributed. This was punched into our Today's News I.N.  Assignment: Read twice, highlight and annotate the tips in the article (both sides) as to how they might apply to you and how they might help your success in school.

SS 6: Completed Social Studies information skills test (2 days). Read twice, reading for the purpose of tips for you. Highlight and annotate accordingly.  Be sure you have your paper pronged folders for the year handed in, your pouch is ready, your portfolio is handed in, and New World Weekly Newspaper payment is in.

SS 7: We caught up with the following: 

Completed Social Studies Information Skills test. (absentees from Monday); 

Finished Reading for tips on the Help hand-out both sides.  Read twice, reading for the purpose of tips for you. Highlight and annotate accordingly. Be sure you have your paper pronged pocketed folders handed in for the year, your pouch is ready, your portfolio is handed in, and Junior Scholastic payment is in. 

I collected 3-4 paragraph essay on the core question, Junior Scholastic, Sept. 4, p. 12-13, Skills: Citing Textual evidence, Knowing the News, 

I will collect tomorrow:   Interactive Study Guide hand-outs, pages, 2,3,4 and 15 (chart- top 3 boxes only).

SS 8 : We started a NYS Inquiry titled:   Can Words Lead to War?, which is centered around a book by Harriet Beecher Stowe, and other primary sources.  Material deals with the compelling question in the context of U.S. History approximately 1840-1860.  Be sure cover hand out is completed and glued; 

Interactive Study Guide pages: (background and content for this time period) The North Transformed, pages 173,174,175. These are your notes, so be sure to read each section twice, highlight and annotate to focus questions , answer completely and use the textbook if necessary. 

I handed back evaluations of 170-172, read my notes and re do any questions that were not accurate.

Monday, September 25, 2017

There is no formal homework assignment today, due to the Bills win over Denver! However, several things were written in student planners for SS 7.

SS 7: See the assignment below. As I indicated to you on Friday, since many of you did not check this page and did not do the assignment, it is due Wednesday, without excuse.

Several people were absent in SS 7 today.  Expect to make up the Social Studies Information Text test in your Study Hall with me. Please make arrangements to pick up the hand-out today titled : Help

STREAM ARCADE ACADEMY:  Clean out  and look for:   games pieces, interesting recyclable material, duct tape, ping pong balls, marbles, puffs, rubber balls, paper towel tubes, wrapping paper tubes, PVC pieces, etc.etc., plastic wrap, aluminum foil

 Things that someone who is designing an Arcade game might use.

Need at least 10 never used, clean large (not sheet)  pizza boxes . I already asked Bella, so try another Pizzeria.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

SS 5 Master the Material in your I.N. on Latitude and Longitude. Complete page 8 in your packet.

SS 6 Complete p. 8 Map Master Skills, Latitude and Longitude

SS 7 Junior Scholastic, page 12-13  Fighting Fake News Read twice, highlight less is more and Annotate, Do the core question, 3 paragraphs minimum.

SS 8 Junior Scholastic p. 14-15,16-17Danger Zones, Read twice the remainder of the article , Annotate with at least 3 dangers or problems for U.S foreign policy; Do not do the core question

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Parents:  I hope to see you tonight at the Back to School Night Program. The general meeting for grades 1-8  will start promptly at 6:00 P.M. so please come a few minutes earlier. The meeting will be in the school cafeteria.After the general meeting by you will go to Grade 1-5 classrooms. Grade 6-8 classroom teachers will be presenting in the Cafeteria.  You will also have an opportunity to sign up for 5 week Parent Conferences. 


SS 8 - We completed a lesson on compromise, in preparation to learning about the compromises that were made in the U.S 1820-1860 regarding States Rights and the institution of Slavery. We completed a second class today, dissecting the issue of Fake News and how to find reliable sources. Students are to complete reading, highlighting and annotating the last two sections of the Article on p. 12-13 of Junior Scholastic and answering the core question at the bottom of p. 13 on lined paper. Use the article for evidence, minimum 3 paragraphs.

SS 7: p. 4 handout, place in the current I.N., Section 1 Notetaking guide: How did early civilizations develop in the Americas?   and p. 15 handout, Notetaking Study Guide : How did different cultures and traditions develop around the world?  Only the first three boxes in the chart.

SS 6:  We are learning about the 5 themes of Geography, and specifically Location. We have learned about Latitude and Longitude and what the grid looks like on a globe. STUDENTS must master this information tonight, using the handout p. 2 Location. We continue to practice highlighting using a less is more concept and annotating text.

SS 5: We are learning about the 5 themes of Geography, and specifically Location. We have learned about Latitude and Longitude and what the grid looks like on a glove.  STUDENTS must master this information tonight., using the handout p.2 Location. We continue to practice highlighting using a less is more approach and annotating. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Today was "registration" for grades 5-8 for STREAM Academy. From 1:30 to 2:15, students were shown a course list and asked to pick their top 3 choices. STREAM Academy courses are one part of the STREAM Education Initiative. These courses are non graded, non homework, hands on and fun. Thank the school's teachers, for each and every one is teaching/organizing a course. Session 1 will run every Monday, 1:30 to 2:15. On early dismissal Mondays the courses will run earlier. Students are asked to turn in their choices by tomorrow (if they haven't already done so) to their homeroom teacher. They will be notified later in the week of which course they will take. ATTENDANCE counts. In these courses, students participate in teams and collaborate to get fun tasks completed. If a student is absent, it negatively impacts the production of the entire team. 

Social Studies 8 : No class today

Social Studies 7: Class handout from Friday ; two pages ( 6 paragraphs and questions); These are your Interactive Notetaking Guide and align with the lesson given in class last Friday and today on the Roots of the American People.  Today I handed out an additional chart to be filled and apparently two different charts were distributed. This was brought to my attention at 2:15. Ignore the chart until we can talk about it in class tomorrow.

SS 6 - Bring 20 index cards to class.

SS 5 - Bring 20 index cards to class.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Social Studies 8: We discussed the time period from 1820-1860 and the different path development of the "North" and the "South". We discussed two major differences/issues during that period as  slavery/abolition and States rights/nullification.   We categorized the North as more "industrialized/urbanized" and the South as more agrarian/plantation like. We discussed the differences between the economies and labor forces. 

The Interactive Note-taking book was returned to students. We modeled a guided reading of pages 170,171,172, especially annotating the Key Event Time Line and the essential question.

Students are assigned:  complete p. 170,171 and 172 (The Industrial Revolution)  and to punch the following pages into their I.N. Titled the Civil War. 170-183 and 212-244.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


Social Studies 8:If you did not finish your assignment from yesterday, finish it. Junior Scholastic subscription payment is due:  $9.25, cash or check to OLV, in an envelope to Ms.Abram, with student name and grade. 

In class we put together a packet of 20 vocabulary cards, (cable tie) and reviewed major elements of the Constitution (unit from last year) close reading and discussing the article on p. 4-5 of Junior Scholastic (JS, Sept. 4, 2017) 

Make vocabulary cards ( glossary def., 2 context clues and demonstrating original sentence) for all the words on p. 4. You have already practiced most of this assignment in class. 

Be sure you have been assigned a textbook, cover it (preferably brown paper bag) and write your name in it with the school year 2017-2018 ( inside cover) . Do not carry your textbook to class unless it is requested. As always bring to class your current I.N., your Today's News folder and your properly outfitted pouch to class everyday. Starting tomorrow, homework assignments will count towards Breakfast of Champions for the first trimester. 

Social Studies 7:  We discussed developing nations,diplomatic, industrialized nations, exports, imports in class using Junior Scholastic , Sept. 4, p. 4-5 Constitution 101. We will be doing a more indepth unit on the Constitution and Government of the United States a little later in the year. We discussed the purpose of a primary election ( held yesterday) and Hurricane Harvey and Irma relief efforts.  Junior Scholastic subscription payment is due now.  $9.25 cash or check ( made out to OLV School) in a sealed envelope, to Ms. Abram with grade , student name, Junior Scholastic. 


Make vocabulary cards (glossary def., 2 context clues, one demonstrating sentence) for all the vocabulary words on p. 4-5 of the current Junior Scholastic.  Check to see that you have been assigned a textbook, be sure it is covered (brown paper bag preferred). You do not need to carry your textbook to class each day. I will request it from time to time. Starting tomorrow, homework assignments will count towards Breakfast of Champions for the first trimester. 


Social Studies 6:  We practiced "less is more" highlighting, using the hand out "The five themes of geography". Students must work on organization skills such that hand outs are punched into I.N.'s immediately.  Be sure you have been assigned a textbook and that it is covered (preferably with a brown paper bag) and that you have written your name and school year, 2017-2018 in the inside cover.Do not bring the textbook to class each day. I will ask for it from time to time, but it need not be carried to class each day. 


I checked all I.N.'s for the completed Eastern Hemisphere map, the Five Themes of Geography handout. If you did not complete this ( and many of you did not) finish this tonight. Starting tomorrow, homework assignments will count toward Breakfast of Champions.

Payment for World History Studies Weekly is due, $6.55 cash or check ( made out to OLV school) to Ms. Abram in a sealed envelope, marked with World History, Student name and grade. 


Social Studies 5:  We modeled (were editors and gave stars and wishes)  the writing assignment that was yesterday's homework.  Students were asked to make a poster writing 3-4 inches high, quoting their writing from yesterday. They picked one original  sentence of their writing (not Dr. Suess)  that they liked the best, that reflected a theme of Oh the Places you'll Go.  They were also asked to add a picture that expressed their chosen sentence.   Starting tomorrow, homework assignments will count towards Breakfast of Champions. Payment for New World Studies Weekly is due. $7.55 cash or check (made out to OLV school) in a sealed envelope to Ms. Abram, with Student name, Grade, New World Studies Weekly written on front of envelope. 




Tuesday, September 12, 2017

For all Social Studies students (Grades 5,6,7,8)  and their parents/guardians.

The key to success this first full week of school is mastering organization and being ready for class. There is no greater time waster than being unprepared with the basic materials for class. Organization is to practiced every day. It takes a few minutes but pays great dividends.  The following terms and organization hints are to be mastered now.


I.N. - Interactive notebook; This is a paper notebook with pockets and prongs and is brought to class each day. It represents the current topic/unit or a special topic/project.   All handouts given in class must be 3 hole punched into this folder each day and put in chronological /date order. NO loose papers are to be kept in the pockets except for the class newspaper or magazine.  Students must keep this I.N. organized each day.  I have kept the 11 remaining folders organized in the classroom for the students and they will be distributed as we change units or do a special project. If students have not turned in 11 folders (keeping one to use now) this must be completed as soon as possible, as not doing so is impacting the class, teacher and the student. Parents please look at the I.N.'s and student work.  Homework assignments are also completed in the I.N. I collect the I.N.'s and rate the homework or assignment.  I write notes to students and parents. I ask parents to sign certain papers.  I.N's always contain 15 sheets of blank lined paper to start and must be ready in the I.N. each time a new topic is begun. If this successful procedure is followed, students do not leave papers home, in their locker or lose the paper.  


Portfolio:  This is a blue plastic folder with pockets (no prongs). The folder is kept in the classroom for 3-4 years and is only purchased once. Only 5th and 6th graders were asked to purchase this folder. The folder contains student tests, writing samples, rubric grades for projects and other assessments.  Portfolios may be viewed by parent and teacher. If interested, please contact me.

Today's New = Tomorrow's History: A blue plastic folder with pockets that is kept by the student and brought to class each day. This is contains Junior Scholastic (7/8 grades), current events assignments, discussion questions related to current events or topics of student interest.


Pouch - This is a zippered pouch, sturdy, not overpacked. It comes to classes everyday and are the basic tools for success.  It contains the basic materials needed for all subjects. 2 pens, 2 sharpened pencils, eraser, scissors, school glue (not glue sticks), small pack of color media (8 crayons, 8 pencils, not sharpies), highlighter, hand-held hole punch, 7 index cards ( if the teacher needs more on a particular day, she will tell the students to have them for the next day) 


Textbooks:  Are not carried to class and are mainly used for vocabulary assignments. Various workbooks that were ordered have not come in.  I am providing handouts , which must be day ( Monday, Tues, etc) and dated, and put in I.N. chronologically. These materials are study materials and should be reviewed for 10 minutes each night. 




Social Studies 8:

Improve the annotating, if needed of the Words to know on p. 4, Junior Scholastic (Sept. 4, 2017). We gave examples in class.

On your own complete reading and understanding (look in the article on p. 4-5 for context clues) of media literacy, NATO, sanction , undocumented. Look in the article for context clues and  use these to highlight and annotate these for the vocabulary words.  

Organization: Last Friday, you were to organize your first I.N. with 15 sheets of lined paper and punch 20 index cards.  I will provide cable ties (thank you parents!) in class to secure them. There was no homework assignment on Friday. 



Social Studies 7:  

Be sure you have your current I.N. set up with 15 sheets of lined paper; 20 punched index cards; Bring this folder and Today's News which contains the Junior Scholastic you were given in class today. 


Social Studies 6:

Be sure you have your current I.N. set up ( 15 sheets of lined paper)  with the handouts punched, day/dated  from today: Eastern Hemisphere Map and 5 themes of Geography.  Finish classwork- color the continents of the Eastern Hemisphere, color the title the 5 themes of Geography.  Cirlce the 5 words in the first sentence which represent "less is more" for highlighting as demonstrated in class today. 


Social Studies 5: Be sure you have your current I.N. set up with 15 sheets of lined paper, hand-out punched, day/dated : Western hemisphere, 5 themes of geography.

On the index card we set up in class, on the lined side, thinking about the themes in Oh the Places You'll Go and that we reviewed in class today, Pick one of the themes that grabbed you (resonated with you) describe the theme, write about a personal experience where that theme related and then write how learning about the theme might help support you this year.  example: in a slump, the waiting place , the famous place, "you have brains in your head and feet in your shoes, you can steer your yourself in any direction you chose.  Write in a well developed paragraph using the lined side and if needed the blank side. 




Along with the mission of OLV School, the following quotes are illustrative of a view of teaching and education, with emphasis on the importance of Social Studies Education as a skill.


I seek to:

  • “Instill in every individual “student an” understanding of America’s past and it value in today’s world and the future”
  • To equip students individually in developing their own “knowledge and understanding” Social Studies to form a basis of life-long learning and “individual inquiry and engaged citizenship” and to develop the skills they need to “succeed in college, careers and the global marketplace.(Reference: The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
  • “Self-efficacy means having the belief in your abilities to complete a task, reach goals and manage a situation…is about having a realistic sense of one’s accomplishments (neither overblown not undersold)…it’s about learning that when at first you don’t succeed you can indeed try try again and you’re likely to make progress perhaps even to a point of mastery…self-efficacy is built by doing the work and seeing the success that came from effort.” ~How to Raise and Adult, Julie Lythcott-Haimsinv


As the above philosophy indicates, doing the “work” is an important success indicator. Student “work and citizenship” are assessed in a variety of ways, both formal and informal, each ten weeks. These assessments include project based learning, media based learning, voluntary class participation and individual participation, teacher/student activities, skills tests and traditional quiz and test grades inform the “grading” policy. It is important for students to maintain exemplary attendance records. See OLV handbook for assignments non-school calendar vacations.

Lifework assignments are given 2-3 times a week, and represent acquisition of knowledge and practice of skills. Assignments are generally not given on weekends or holidays (or when the Buffalo Bills win a weekend game). These lifework assignments are reviewed, recorded and represent an equivalent written “unit” test. It is difficult to “make up a class(s)” when absent, as students are exposed to a specific objectives, activities and formal and informal assessments. All students are required to keep a detailed “planner” with details about their assignments as well as well-organized topical notebooks, with date/dates pages. Students are asked to make it their first priority when returning to school from a brief absence, either from single class or the full day’s absence to see out a student partner to review the planner, notebook for days missed. It is recommended students beyond simply doing the assignment. Students are asked to make a real effort as to what learning they missed and to work with the teacher to find an alternative way of “making up the material”. Parents are asked to contact the homeroom teacher or subject area teacher, via email, for significant periods of absence to work out mutually convenient and effective ways to “make up the materials”. Unless mutually agreed upon in advance, lifework assignments, test make-ups, material make-ups must be completed within 2 days of the absence. For longer periods of absence, unless arrangements have been in advance with the teacher, no credit for assignments will be given beyond one-week of the absence(s).


  Back to Teacher Pages List

More than anything else, Abram Elam misses the way his name sounded over the loudspeaker at Notre Dame football games. When he would run onto the field or make a tackle, the announcer, tucked high away in the press box, would bellow out A-bram E-lam like it was money, like it was really worth something. And for a few moments afterward, the echo of the boy's name would continue to rise above the stadium, like a flag slowly being hoisted toward the sky.

"You know," Abram says now, nestled safe inside his coach's office, "I could sit and listen to that sound all day and never get sick of it." The boy sighs, crosses one beefy arm over another, and settles back into his chair.

Two years ago, Abram Elam was a reserve safety on the Notre Dame football team. At six foot one and 210 pounds, he was an astonishing specimen, built with a body that needed to move. His torso looked as if it were carved by a sculptor's hand; his calves bulged so that when he walked, it seemed as if he was hauling a pair of overinflated balloons with him. He was a highly touted sophomore then, expected to do great things for the Irish.

But doom, like an anxious bride, was about to unveil itself.

The night started out ordinary enough. After spring football practice let out, Abram and a few teammates headed to downtown South Bend for a late-night bar run. By 1 a.m., the State was hopping. Easter break was just around the corner, and it seemed everyone was out that Wednesday. Inside the club, Abram ran into Justin Smith, a former Notre Dame safety who had been a sort of mentor to him. But they soon lost each other in the crowd, and Abram spent the rest of the evening mingling with friends.

At closing time, he and his roommate, football player Lorenzo Crawford, decided to stop by Justin's house. When the two arrived, they found Justin in the basement, watching a movie with Lindsay Charles, a Notre Dame junior and a former football manager. Lindsay had a "reputation" around campus, Abram would later say, though he refused to elaborate.

He settled himself on the floor, a few paces from where Justin and Lindsay sat cuddling in an easy chair. Lorenzo splayed out on a couch, near fellow football player Donald Dykes and another girl. When Lindsay and Justin starting kissing, Abram placed his hand on Lindsay's crotch, and his fingers kneaded into the inseam of her jeans. He says he removed them when she didn't respond. Lindsay said in court that she pushed Abram's hand away. But both agree nothing was said.

A few minutes later, Justin and Lindsay retreated to a bedroom. Abram, thinking Lindsay was "feeling for me," went upstairs too. There, he came up behind Lindsay, put his hand on her hips, and began to run his fingertips along her backside. "Don't you have a girlfriend?" she demanded. Abram says he left the room, and Justin would later confirm this. They also say Lindsay was a willing participant in what was about to happen. But Lindsay tells a much different story.

She would later testify that Abram refused to leave, saying, "Oh, no, baby, I just want to make you have an orgasm, I just want to make you feel good," all the while forcing his fingers inside her. She again pushed him away.

With Abram and Lorenzo watching from the doorway, Justin began to penetrate Lindsay on the bed. She says that Lorenzo tore off his clothes and forced her to perform oral sex. Then Abram stripped down to his shorts and began touching Lindsay's breasts. Lindsay says she struggled the whole time, once more invoking the name of Abram's girlfriend. This time, Abram left the bedroom. On his way downstairs, he passed Donald, who was on his way up to Justin's room.

An hour or so later, Abram arrived back at his dorm, thinking nothing of the incident. When he saw Lindsay in class the next day, they didn't speak a word.

Five days later, she reported that she'd been raped by four football players.

Abram grew up in Riviera Beach, Florida, a compact eight-mile stretch on the southern Atlantic coast. Just five miles from Palm Beach -- one of the ritziest communities in the country -- Riviera Beach is composed of short, squalid one-floor houses pushed together like partners in an unhappy marriage. The residents are mostly poor and mostly black, and the town has a crime rate three times the national average.

But Riviera Beach is also a close-knit town, where it's not unusual for three branches of a single family to live on one street. Even those not related are often referred to as "aunties" and "uncles." And when tragedy befalls one person, everyone else reaches out. Abram knew that touch well. His young life was a succession of tragedies.

When Abram was six, his half-brother Donald was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting near the park where Abram often played. Donald, a star football player who used to fire spirals to Abram in their backyard, was just 17 years old. The two teenagers who killed him got 40 years each.

Abram's only memories of the funeral are the tears shed by his father. He looked up at the man and thought, "Don't worry. I won't let you down. I will carry on the family name."

But the hardships continued for the boy, whom friends took to calling "Father Abe."

Two years later, in March 1989, Abram's older brother, Donald C. Elam Jr., was charged with the murder of a 23-year-old drug dealer, allegedly over a wayward deal. At 14, he was the youngest person in Palm Beach County ever to be accused of murder. The police had eyewitnesses; there was talk of the death penalty.

But Abram's family insisted the boy was framed. And after being held for nearly a year, Donald was found not guilty after only three hours of jury deliberation. Abram sat in the courtroom alongside his mother, boiling over an imperfect justice system.

The stress, meanwhile, had started eating away at his parents; when Abram was in seventh grade, they divorced.

By high school, Abram figured he had finally outmaneuvered his trail of tragedies. He settled comfortably into a routine of school, practice, and work. Then one afternoon, as he sat down to do homework, a friend ran to his house yelling, "Your sister's just been shot!"

When Abram arrived at the scene -- the same park where his half-brother had been gunned down -- he saw ambulances and flashing lights. He ripped through police tape to find his 12-year-old sister lying motionless in a puddle of her own blood. He curled to the ground, cradled her limp body, then sat with her in the ambulance. She was pronounced dead at the hospital. Christina, it turned out, had been arguing with a schoolmate for days. The other girl's 20-year-old brother, getting wind of the argument, decided to settle it with a shotgun.

When Abram was not mourning the deaths of family members, he was busy creating new life. By the time he was 20, "Father Abe" had three kids of his own: a boy and a girl with his childhood sweetheart, and another boy with a woman a few years his senior.

Throughout his adolescence, Abram dealt with tragedy on the football field, pounding his pain into the ground with his rubber-soled cleats. He was a remarkable player, with the focus of a person twice his age.

"The first time I saw him, I thought, now there's an athlete," says Abe's former coach, Bob Schwenger. "It wasn't just his agility or coordination. It was the fact that he could look at a kid and know what he was going to do, without being taught."

Adds coach Everett Mitchell: "He was like a doctor going in to operate. He was all professional."

They are talking about pee-wee football.

By the time Abram reached middle school, his skills sparked a bidding war between two Palm Beach high schools. Suncoast High, the local public school, had wanted him since elementary school. But Abram opted for Cardinal Newman, a private Catholic school. His father, a Baptist preacher, and his mother, a missionary, approved of its religious influence. Riviera Beach was less approving. Resentful residents talked about how the rich white school "stole" all their talent, and Abram was harassed by neighborhood friends for attending private school.

Forgiveness eventually came with his many accolades. As a senior, Abram was named Palm Beach County Player of the Year, the Sun Sentinel newspaper's Offensive Player of the Year, and first-team all-state. On the football field, the boy could switch from quarterback to defensive back with the ease of a car changing lanes. "You never saw a more selfless player with the ball," says Newman coach Sam Budnyk.

By his senior year, Abram had a 3.0 grade point average and was recruited by such football powerhouses as Georgia Tech, Miami, Florida, and Notre Dame. "Other than who you marry, this is the biggest decision you'll ever make in your life," Coach Budnyk cautioned.

The boy took this advice seriously. He was leaning toward the University of Miami, where he would be able to play both basketball and football. But his parents were pushing hard for the Fighting Irish. "How could you let go of a chance to play Notre Dame football?" Abram remembers his father saying.

Mother and son took out the Bible and turned to Genesis. "Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father's house, to the land which I will show you; and I will make you a great nation."

"Thus said the Lord." The two smiled. The decision was made.

In South Bend, Indiana, religion comes in the dual forms of Catholicism and football. When you drive onto campus, the first sights are the bowl-shaped football stadium and the golden-domed administration building, adorned with a branch-like cross. The juxtaposition is jarring.

Here, stuck between the confines of church, school, and gridiron, Abram struggled. Life in South Bend moved faster than in Riviera Beach, and his grades suffered. Football, too, was not what he had expected. On the second day of practice, he told his coach he no longer had any desire to play quarterback. He couldn't handle it. "It's so difficult," he says. "You have to know everything everyone's doing. It's a lot of information to keep in your head."

He phoned home often. "You would not believe the pace of college ball," he would tell friends. Abram was redshirted his freshman year, went home for the summer, and worked hard to improve his stamina. He came back renewed and ready to start. His sophomore year, he found a girlfriend who ran track. By then he had a few good friends, and he began to find his footing on the field. He appeared in 11 games as a safety, recording 28 tackles and two interceptions. That spring, he also found Lindsay Charles.

An enthusiastic 18-year-old with an infectious laugh, Lindsay was thrilled upon her arrival at the Notre Dame campus. It had been her first-choice college; when her family learned she'd been admitted, they gave her an "I Love Notre Dame" license plate, along with clothing and a keychain.

Lindsay thrived during her first two years. By the time she was 20, she had many more friends than she had in her tiny Maine high school, and she joined the sports management club. She was named a manager of Notre Dame's football team, despite never having seen a football game prior to college. At practices, she worked mostly with the defensive backs, setting up cones and packing bags for them. She was friendly with a few of the players, and was required to memorize all their names. But most of her good friends came from outside the team.

By midway through her junior year, the whole sports management thing was wearing thin. The 50-hour-plus work weeks were killing her social life, and her studies suffered too. She finally quit, though she continued to stress over the decision. On March 27, 2002, she instant-messaged her best friend: We need a girls night out, she typed.

Lindsay met three friends at St. Mary's, an all-girls college in South Bend, and they drove to the State, a converted theater downtown that was popular among students. At the club, Lindsay separated from her friends and sidled over to former safety Justin Smith, an engineering major. They spent the last hour on the dance floor, and at the end of the night, Justin asked her to return to his house with him. Lindsay, thinking she was going to a party, agreed.

When they got there, the house was empty. By the end of the night, she would have sex with four football players, according to her testimony. They called it consensual. She called it rape.

Lindsay admits that, after the incident, she willingly spent the rest of the night in Justin Smith's bed. The next morning, he drove her back to her dorm room. Five days later, at the urging of her parents, Lindsay reported the incident at a hospital. Her parents alerted Notre Dame.

School officials held a hearing to decide the players' fate. Lindsay submitted a seven-page report of the incident to the school's assault committee. All four players were expelled.

But Abram, the first to stand trial, was confident the jury would exonerate him. He denied forcing himself on Lindsay and insisted everything was consensual. Jurors apparently didn't find him convincing: After six days in the courtroom, he was found guilty of sexual battery and given an 18-month sentence (which was later suspended), two years of probation, and 200 hours of community service. He was acquitted on the more serious charges of conspiracy to commit rape and criminal deviant conduct.

Donald Dykes was later found not guilty of rape, and criminal charges against the other two men were dropped. (Last week, Lindsay Charles filed a civil suit against Notre Dame and the four players. She declined comment for this story.)

"We both know what went on that night, and it wasn't rape," Abram says today, though he did not appeal the verdict.

Abram weathered most of his probation back in Riviera Beach, where it seemed all anyone talked about was the golden boy turned sex felon. He tried to ignore the buzz: He got a job as a dental assistant, signed up for classes at Palm Beach Community College, and worked out every day. He threw footballs with his oldest son, and refused to speak to reporters.

When his cousin would call and ask him to hang out, Abram would say, "No man, I have to study."

At workouts with an area rec football team, the other players would try to lift his spirits.

"It will all work out, man," they'd say.

"I know it will," he'd reply, then change the subject.

Abram went to church; he ran suicide sprints up and down the sand on Riviera Beach until he thought he would die.

To parents and friends he could only keep apologizing. "I'm sorry," he would say, "I don't approve of the conduct that was performed that night. It was a situation I regret. I ask God for forgiveness of it."

His mother, hearing his words, rocked back and forth. Her hair grew frazzled, and the loose threads of curls that framed her face began to fray. She was worn, the wrinkles in her forehead so fine they looked like they were etched with a felt-tipped pen.

This is all a conspiracy of the devil, she thought. The devil wants to destroy those whom God has blessed. He wants to distract Abram from his destiny.

Pierre Wilson and Abram Elam spent their childhoods at each other's homes, playing video games, shooting hoops, recounting stories of pee-wee football games. The year Abram went off to Notre Dame, Pierre transferred to Kent State.

One day during his probation, Pierre suggested that Abram give Kent football coach Dean Pees a call. If anyone would listen to Abram's story fairly, Pierre thought, it would be Pees.

Dean Pees looks a lot like a sophomore English professor. He has a pale, soft face, wire-rimmed glasses, and graying hair. He wears polo shirts tucked into khakis. His reputation is as pure as Ivory soap. At 54, Pees says he has not received so much as a traffic ticket in over 15 years.

He is a strict disciplinarian, known more for his morality than for winning football games: By the end of last season, his Kent teams had amassed a woeful 17-51 record, but his players' graduation rate hovered around 88 percent -- among the best in the nation. More than 40-yard dash times or vertical leaps, Pees probes the character of prospective players. Two years ago, he benched the team captain for missing class. He refused to admit a highly touted recruit when he learned that the boy had lied to him. "I can work with character; I can't work with arrogance," he says.

Coach was in his office last December when Abram called. He listened sympathetically, but said there was nothing he could do to help him. Sorry.

But over the next few days, Pees started getting unexpected phone calls and letters: One from the mayor of Riviera Beach, another from a Riviera Beach council member, another from Abram's minister. All of them were endorsing the boy, and they earned Pees's attention.

But he had another reason to listen -- one that gnawed at him even more: When Pees was a freshman at Bowling Green, he had spent too much time hitting the bars and not enough time hitting the books; he flunked out of college. If not for the BG dean who took Pees under his wing, he'd probably be working at a factory in Dunkirk, his rural hometown in western Ohio.

"I made a poor choice then, and I thank God there was someone there who was willing to set me straight again," Pees says. "That's why I believe in second chances."

The following week, Pees arrived at Abram's doorstep and was shocked by the paucity of the boy's existence. The small, one-floor ranch had the features of an old woman: The windows sagged, the hardwood floors were soft, and the white exterior was tinged gray. But he saw, inside the house, a family filled with hope.

Pees sat silently on the couch as Abram told his story. He took in the boy's words, but he was studying the face of Abram's mother, the sadness etched there. "Has anyone ever given this woman a second chance?" he thought.

And Pees looked into Abram's eyes. "I saw a boy who made a mistake and was truly sorry," he says.

Pees talked on the phone with Abram's probation officer, former coaches, and city councilmen. From Coach Budnyk, he was assured that the Notre Dame incident was "totally out of character." From the school secretary, he learned that Abram was "a sweet kid. Never in any trouble." From his junior high coach, he was told that "if Abram needed a character witness, I'd be the first one there."

When Pees left, he told the family he'd submit Abram's application to Kent State's admissions council. If they decided to let him in, he'd let Abram play football.

That night, Pees called his family to the kitchen table, where he shared Abram Elam's tale with his wife, five daughters, and son. If we admit the boy, Pees said, it is not just Abram's life on the line; it is also mine. My reputation, my neck. Is it worth the risk? If you were in my place, what would you do? he asked his daughters.

Admit him, every one of them said.

Kent's admissions council made the same determination.

But there was a catch: There would be no scholarship, and the boy could not afford Kent. He was still paying off legal bills from the trial, so Riviera Beach banded together, raising $20,000 to send him off to college. Residents are not forthcoming about where they got the money, saying only that it came from a wealthy businessman and other caring people.

"You need to understand," says Councilman Don Wilson, "Abram was a well-respected young man in the community. He had a name here, and he still does. I don't know who raised the money or even who organized it, and I suspect it's like that for a reason."

Adds William Wilkins, the city manager: "The effort came from a group of individuals who were supportive of the school's decision to give Abe a second chance. We hope that if we support these athletes now, they'll eventually come back here and be contributing members of our community."

Pees and Laing Kennedy, Kent State's athletic director, worried that the money would look suspect to the NCAA -- as though the town were trying to bribe the university. So they gave the boy an athletic scholarship. It rewarded a worthy talent, and it gave them insurance: If he screwed up, the money could be rescinded.

When Abram's mother heard the news, she wept. "It's the best Christmas present I've ever gotten," she says.

The $20,000 was given to the KSU women's center.

When Abram arrived on the Kent State campus in January, he felt like a coma victim who had just awakened from sleep, eternally grateful for everything -- every moment, every step. Anyone who'd listen kept hearing how blessed he felt.

"I've worked hard to bring myself back. I can't take anything for granted now," Abram says, fingering the head of the heavy silver cross that hangs from his neck. "I know that nothing is promised to you. I need to try and turn this all into a positive." The boy, now 22, is dressed in baggy jeans and a loose-collared shirt, but timidity is the outfit he wears best.

"I was concerned that people would judge me from what they heard, without getting the chance to know me," he says quietly. "I knew, though, if they took the time to get to know me, they'd be pleased with the person I am."

(Whether his own children will get to know him is another matter. Despite the miles between Ohio and Florida, and the dueling demands of class and football, Abram claims he's active in the raising of his three children, who live with their respective mothers in Riviera Beach. When he's asked the sex of his youngest child, however, he pauses before answering, as if he can't remember.)

Abram's first few weeks on campus passed quietly. There had been a few articles about him in the local papers, but they'd been mostly tucked away in the sports section. Dana Curcio, editor of The Daily Kent Stater, the campus newspaper, says she "received more letters protesting the fact that a Starbucks opened at Kent than I did about this."

Then came the January 21 letter to the editor written by Shirley Leeman, Lindsay Charles's aunt:

"He [Elam] helped ruin a girl's life, and he should not be rewarded by being given a football scholarship. The reason it is an issue is that he is a football player, and you are telling the women of Kent State that it is more important to win football games than it is to protect them."

In an editorial, the paper's student board sided with the university. "Many people have stood up and put their reputations on the line for Elam. They do so assumably because they care about him and would rather see him rehabilitated than further ostracized from society," it read. "Ultimately, our society must learn to forgive even the toughest to forgive. No positive change will come from holding Elam in cultural contempt."

University staff remained quiet on the issue. Privately, some questioned whether the $20,000 raised by Riviera Beach was intended as "bribe money" all along. (The KSU women's center refused to be quoted for this story.)

Kathy Redmond is more than willing to speak. Head of the National Coalition Against Violent Athletes in Colorado, she counseled Lindsay Charles after the incident. Redmond is livid that Kent State would give a convicted sex offender a scholarship. The school is setting itself up for a massive lawsuit, she warns, and she'd love to be the one who files it.

Her threats are not without merit: Title IX, the law designed to ban sexual discrimination in schools, prohibits institutions from creating or maintaining "hostile environments" for women. Redmond says Kent State's placement of Abram in a co-ed residence hall might be construed as a violation of the title IX clause.

"They're taking a huge risk, bringing this boy to campus," Redmond says.

(Abram has since been moved off campus at the behest of the president, according to Pees. Numerous calls to Kent State President Carol Cartwright were not returned.)

But Coach Pees remained resolutely by the boy.

"Look," he says, "it doesn't matter what Abram says -- the court found him guilty of sexual battery. I'm not here to be a judge or a jury. The kid made a mistake, a horrible mistake, but nowhere in the court decision does it say that the kid can't get a college education. Nowhere does it say that he can't be on scholarship. And nowhere does it say that he has to be punished more than the court already did."

At 6:30 on a Tuesday morning, the Kent football team is beginning morning practice, sheltered from the February snow by the confines of the university fieldhouse.

Pees stands at midfield, a whistle dangling from his neck. His players are lined up by position, waiting anxiously like horses at the starting gate. When the whistle blows, they are off, thighs straining, calves bulking. In the second row, along with the other defensive backs, is Abram Elam.

The boy is dressed in a gray T-shirt with the words "stack 'em up" lettered on the back. A ring of sweat has formed around his neck. When the sprint is over, he kneels down, heaving.

Shannon Davis, Abram's roommate and a starting defensive back, places a light hand on his back. That, says assistant coach Scott Booker, is emblematic of how the team reacts to Abram's past: with slight acknowledgment. "The team is aware of Abram's situation," the coach says, "but all they see at practice is Abe working hard every day. They admire him for that."

If Abram should slip up, it will no longer be Pees's problem. He left Kent in February to become the linebackers coach for the New England Patriots. Abram is in the hands of Pees's successor, Doug Martin, who inherits a team that went an encouraging 5-7 last year, as well as an all-conference quarterback, Josh Cribbs, who was charged with marijuana trafficking in January.

"Being head coach is a lonely job," Martin says. "You become solely responsible for a hundred new children."

At an early morning practice a day before spring break, Martin gathers his players like ducklings. He clears his throat.

"Listen," he says. "Spring break is a dangerous time. Stay out of stupid situations. I do not want to hear about any of you getting drunk and making a fool out of yourselves. That's not what this team is about. This team is about trust and commitment and family."

As the players begin to disperse, Martin calls out again. "Remember -- it's easy to get into a bad situation. It is not so easy to get out of it."

Throughout the speech, Abram keeps his head planted firmly downward.

When it's over, he walks off the field with Shannon Davis. Abram is not slated to start this season, and with only one year of eligibility remaining, his future is uncertain. But he remains hopeful, thinking perhaps, of four fat syllables that may one day unfurl themselves, like a flag, above Kent State's Dix Stadium.

A-bram E-lam, the announcer will scream.

He always did like the sound of that.

0 thoughts on “South End School Homework Now Abrams”


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *