G12 Fitness Challenge

February 21, 2014

Based on the presentation about exercise, many of you liked the idea of making a fitness plan and being accountable to others to follow it.  Studies show that being accountable to others via “workout buddies” or group situations dramatically increases your chances of sticking to your plan and goals.  (See http://blog.codyapp.com/workout-partner-motivation-exercises/ and http://experiencelife.com/article/strength-in-numbers-the-importance-of-fitness-buddies/ for statistics, etc.)

For an official assignment that will receive a grade, the minimum you need to do for next Monday is print out one A4 page.  The title should be Nickname’s Exercise Plan and Fitness Goals.

State what kind of exercise you want to do and the number of times per week as well as the duration of the exercise.  Then list your goals clearly.  I will give you a model at the end of this explanation that you should follow.

I highly recommend you try using MyFitnessPal to maintain your weight, to lose weight safely, or to make sure you are getting enough calories everyday if you are very active.  It is a free app you can download.  It will add extra calories you might need to eat when you put in your exercise for the day.  (Many people make the mistake of not eating enough or eating too much.)

Possible goals you might make:  (1) do a 5K to raise money for disabled children.  Go to http://camillianfunrun.com/ for more info. (2) do a 7K or 14K race at 6 a.m. in Rama IX Park on March 11th, 2014.  There will be other races before and after that as well with lengths of around 3K to 10K.

Please be realistic with your plans and goals.  If you can, choose a fitness buddy, i.e., someone in class you will be accountable to for your plan and goal.  If you plan on losing weight, do not subtract more than 500 calories per day from what you need to eat based on your height, weight, age, and gender.  If you want to make sure you are eating enough, use MyFitnessPal and add in your exercise and you will know how much you need to eat to maintain your present weight.

It is ultimately up to you if you wish to actually follow this challenge, but at least give it a try and complete this assignment. :-)

         Mr. William’s Exercise Plan and Fitness Goals

Weightlifting: 3 times per week for about 45 minutes each session.

Jogging:  Minimum of 10K per week until the end of the year and one half marathon per month (with the possible exception of April which is too darn hot).

Upcoming Races:  20K at the Thai Sikh Marathon (Feb. 23rd), 10K at the Khao Yai Half Marathon (Mar. 2nd), 10 miles/16K at the Supersports 10 Miles International Run (Mar. 16th), etc.

MyFitnessPal Food Log:  Continue to use MyFitnessPal to track my food calories and exercise every day.  On days when I am not “carb loading” for a race, I want to shave off 100-500 calories per day to aid in my weight loss goal.

GOALS:

1. Continual weight loss  (90 kg by the end of this year, i.e., lose around 2.5 kg)

2. Muscle gain

3. Run my second full marathon at the Bangkok Marathon (Nov. 2014)

Tips on the G12 Issues in Society “Essay Within a Presentation” Project

January 20, 2014

Remember that your Google Presentation / PowerPoint this semester is meant to be an essay within a presentation.

Only use full sentences through your presentation. 

After the due date (see below), you will need to do a plagiarism check according to the instructions on my blog to ensure that the work has been done by you and that you have put things into your own words.  If excessive plagiarism is found, you will be given a 0 until you produce a brand new project.

Each individual sentence should have a bullet at the front of it to make it easier for people to read.

You do not need to do citations due to your detailed research essay outline you did at the end of the first semester.  However, you need to base all of your presentation on that research that you did.

Please be sure to include nice pictures and titles for each slide.

You also need to prepare and photocopy summary handouts like last semester.  All other instructions pertain to what we did in the first semester and that information is on my blog.

The presentation is due on the morning of Monday, January 27th.

WELCOME BACK for the Second Semester

January 15, 2014

Glad you are back!  Hope you enjoyed your holidays.

First G7 Test for 2013-2014 School Year

September 20, 2013

Study Guide for Test #1:  The Wars of the Roman Republic

The test will be on 25/9/2013.

Know what militarism is.

Know all the information on Page 80 Reading Comprehension: War.

You should know how to label the map of the conquests of Rome using ALL the place names I showed you when taking up the assignment.

Know how to label the Roman Soldier (Legionary) and know at least five things that he carried in his kit.  I will provide you with the words to label the legionary and a picture of the kit that you can label yourself or add things to.

Be familiar with the ideas and concepts asked of you in your Reflection:  War.

Also know the following vocabulary and idioms:

o   Legion, cohort, decimate, and century.  Be sure to know the ancient Rome vs. modern usage.

o    “Rome was not built in a day,” i.e., many things cannot be done instantly and require time and patience.

o   “All roads lead to Rome” was true historically during the Roman Empire, but today it means “There are many ways to reach the same outcome or destination, i.e., there is not just one right way of doing something.”

o   “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”  (Be willing to adapt to the culture where you are visiting or living in.)

Standards We Will Cover: 

 

4. Describe the early wars of Roman expansion (e.g., the Punic Wars), Roman military tactics, and the philosophy of “defensive aggression” to examine the realities and consequences of war.

9. Research daily life in the Roman Empire (education, religion, entertainment, art, architecture, etc.) to draw parallels to our lives today.

 

Essential Question We Will Cover:

What are some of the causes and results of war?

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The videos we watched to help you understand the Punic Wars:

Punic Wars:  Rome and Carthage:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZrjXEomBXM

First Punic War:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZrjXEomBXM

Second Punic War:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxG9B5C4RSM

The Battle of Cannae:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IY-Hcr4bB3U&feature=related

The Battle of Zama: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unKuRvO12Sg&feature=relmfu

Animated Punic War:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jk8xlblMFXI&feature=related

The Siege of Carthage:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trvNo79PsRI&feature=related

First G6 Unit Test of 2013

September 12, 2013

I am planning to have a test on Thursday, September 19th, 2013.  Please begin to study for it.

Essential Question #1 for the Prehistory Unit:  What makes us human?

Standard #3:  Examine the interpretation of the fossil evidence of a selected species of extinct upright apes, beginning with Australopithecus afarensis (“Lucy”) all the way to Cro-Magnons (the early humans of Europe), to compare-contrast them to us in order to discover what makes us uniquely human today. 

  • Know everything on your study guide “Uncovering Clues to Our Past (Part 1)” (Chapter 4, Lesson 1) EXCEPT the exact dates.
  • Instead of exact dates, you only need to know the meaning of all the names and the order of all the hominids that we studied, i.e., from “Lucy” all the way to Homo sapiens.  Therefore, you should just get the information about the meaning/reason for the names and the order of the names on the study guide of Chapter 4, Lessons 1 and 3 as well as all the information about Homo heidelbergensisWe will deal with the rest of the information about Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons on the next test.
  • Make sure you can recognize the pictures of the different fossils finds such as “Lucy,” the first Homo habilis fossils that were found, and “Lampang Man.”  Basically, be ready to recognize and name all the pictures found on your study guides and on the PDFs on my blog.
  • Study all the information on your “Lampang Man” Summary that you took from the PDF about Homo erectus in Thailand / Homo erectus fossils found for the first time in Thailand. 
  • Be ready to answer the essential question we have been asking:  “What makes us human?”  We have been reviewing this again and again.  You can also use the note taking exercises that we have done.
  • Make sure you study for at least TWO HOURS.  The test will be easy if you study hard.  Good luck!

EXTRA INFORMATION:

  • Be prepared to answer these questions on Lampang Man:
  1. What exactly was found?
  2. Where were the fossils found?
  3. When were the fossils found?
  4. Who found the fossils?
  5. What mistake did Thai scholars make when they first found the fossils?
  6. How old were the fossils really?
  7. What does this fossil find mean to us as humans?
  8. Are the fossil finds in Thailand similar to other finds?
  9. What do other scholars think about the fossils found in Thailand?
  • WHAT MAKES US HUMAN?
  1. Art (something that makes us uniquely human)
  2. Walking Upright (We are the last species of upright ape on the planet)
  3. Opposable Thumb (to grasp tools, etc.)
  4. Tool Use (to adapt to the environment, access food, etc.)
  5. Curiosity (to explore new things as scavengers to find food)
  6. Large Brain (thanks to eating meat, i.e., protein)
  7. Inventiveness (to acquire food and adapt to the environment)
  8. Teamwork (to acquire food)
  9. Running (for long periods during the heat of the day unlike other animals)
  10. Hairless Body (to release heat)
  11. Sweat (not pant to release heat)
  12. Brain Interprets the Environment (to unlock nature’s secrets, e.g., animal tracks.  If you can understand the world, you can control it.)
  13. Understand Others (about 1/6 of our calories goes to our brain to help with social interaction)
  14. Hunters (Erectus was probably the first hunter)
  15. Language (Erectus was probably the first to use basic language skills)
  16. Rely on Family and Friends (to survive and be taken care of in old age)
  17. Populate the World (Erectus was the first to leave Africa)
  18. Innovation, i.e., Our Technology Changes (the handaxe of H.erectus did not change for a million years, but perhaps used bamboo in Asia)
  19. Fire (Erectus was the first to use fire)
  20. Cooking also makes us uniquely human

School Open House (24/8/2013)

August 23, 2013

Dear Parents,

Greetings!  My name is William Jones.  I am Canadian.  I have worked as a teacher and as a manager at many different schools in Thailand since 1994.  I have two degrees:  a Bachelor of Arts in English with a Minor in History, and a Bachelor of Education.  I am the Head of Social Studies at Wells.  I have worked at Wells since August 2007.

Please contact me at william@wells-school.com if you ever have any questions or comments.  In the title of your email, please make sure you write the name and NICKNAME of your child as well as your child’s homeroom, e.g., Somchai / TON Grade 6Y.

If you feel you need to speak with me in person about your son or daughter, please request an interview at william@wells-school.com and suggest a day and time.  I will let you know by email if I am free or not.  Unless I reply to your email to confirm a date and time, I cannot guarantee that I will be able to speak to you when you arrive.  Thus, if you try to arrange a meeting through the office staff, I can also not guarantee that I will be free to meet with you unless you contact me personally.

There are two main things that you, as a parent, can do to ensure your child is doing well in my class.  In addition to talking to your child regularly, please check my blog for homework and check PowerSchool for overall academic performance such as grades and missing assignments.  I will now explain in more detail about how the above two recommendations will help you monitor the success of your child or children.

Parents and students should visit my blog regularly at www.ajarnwilliam.wordpress.com to view assigned homework, to read the instructions about how your child can complete an assignment or project, to see study guides for tests or quizzes, to read class news, to see future projects, to see the standards, etc.  Parents, my blog will help you to monitor whether or not their child has homework.  (As a joke, I can honestly say that my blog cannot ever lie to you.)  On the most part, I usually assign homework for every class.

I believe in middle school that both parents and students are jointly responsible in making sure that homework is completed and brought to class on time.  If a student is not doing their homework regularly for whatever reason, I believe that parents must check daily to see that their child is completing their homework.  In my opinion, this means checking my blog to see what homework there is and then asking to see the completed homework as well as making sure it gets put in the school bag for the following day.

In my opinion, PowerSchool should be checked once a week to see if there are missing assignments.  A red “L” means that an assignment was/is late and a yellow “M” means the assignment is missing because your child did not turn it in.  If you see that an assignment is missing, please insist that your child completes it (as I will also insist at school because I log all homework that is not done).  If we work together, your child should be able to achieve greater success.

If you have any questions about why your child got the mark that they did, you can also ask to see your child’s social studies portfolio that they are expected to keep in proper order.  You can also check the contents of the portfolio on my blog in the link above homework to see if your child is missing any assignments in their portfolios.  Some assignments may be online and you can ask your child to show you their online work.

I apologize, but I cannot give out my phone number as that is against school policy.  However, if you check my blog, PowerSchool and look at your child’s portfolio regularly, you should have a very clear idea about how your child is doing in my class.  If you have any questions or concerns, I would prefer you contact me by email at william@wells-school.com because it is a quick and clear way of communicating.  Please do not pass any notes to your child because notes often get undelivered.

I look forward to working with you this year and helping your child to practice skills they will need to succeed in life.

Sincerely,

Mr. William, B.A., B.Ed.

Interested in Running Races in Thailand?

August 23, 2013

For students who expressed interest in running races here in Thailand, check out these websites:  http://www.forrunnersmag.com/events/index.php and http://www.jogandjoy.com/index.php.  You will need to be over 16 to sign up by yourself or, if you are under 16, your parents will need to sign a release form on your behalf.

A nice run that is coming up on September 15 is the TMB/ING ParkRun.  You get to run through three parks if you do the 10.5K.  There is also a 4K option as well.  You can sign up here:  http://www.thaiticketmajor.com/sport/sport-detail.php?sid=1991

There is also a run sponsored by UNICEF and many major hotels here in Thailand.  Run for Children 2013 will be held at Suan Luang Rama IX Park on September 22nd.

Please note that these events are NOT Wells sponsored events and that the school or teachers will not be responsible for you if you attend them or other races.  :-)

You have to get to the event around 5:30 a.m.  Yes, you have to get up really early to get there on your own, but, once you start running and then cross the finish line, you will feel great!

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WELCOME BACK! The 2013-2014 School Year Begins!

August 13, 2013

Dear students (and parents),

I am happy to teach you this year.  I have thought of fun and new ways of improving classes that I have taught for years, and I am very excited about teaching the G12 Issues in Society class.

I believe we will have a great time exploring (depending on your grade) ancient civilizations, the Middle Ages, and issues in society.  Let’s laugh and learn together as well as practice important skills you will need in your future career as a student and worker.

Please check homework after every class.  You can see the link over on the right (“Semester One, 2013:  HOMEWORK”).  Issues in Society students can also check the special link I have made on the right.

Let’s have a great year!

Students Who Are Failing Or Have Low Grades

April 5, 2013

Please understand that the tone of my writing is one of a caring teacher.  I am not angry at anyone, but I just want to be super clear for your benefit.  You know I do what I can to help you, but I feel some of you are not helping yourselves.  

I honestly believe there is no reason to fail my class because I have set up a system whereby students do not need to fail if they work and follow my clear instructions in class and on my blog.

Failed a test or quiz?  (1) You were given time in class to correct it with your teacher and your peers.  (2) Write a proper test reflection / quiz reflection on A4 lined paper where you paraphrase the correct answers in full sentences, using the numbering system on my test or quiz.  If you have done the reflection properly, your failing score is bumped to a 60% pass. (3) On top of that, I have gone over good study habit tips with you again and again in class.

Forgot to hand in homework or you are sometimes forgetful?  (1) I remind you in class and I have logged the fact that you have not done it.  PowerSchool also tells you what assignments you have missed once I record the marks.  (2) Hand in your homework and I will change your zero on PowerSchool to the mark that you earned AND I will not deduct points for lateness.  (3) Create a “sticky note” in windows on your computer where you keep track of all your homework.  Every time you turn on the computer, the sticky note will be there to tell you that you still need to do homework. You could also set a reminder on your mobile device.  (4) Check PowerSchool every week to see if you still owe me anything.  (5) Check my blog where I update the homework daily.

You don’t understand something?  Ask me or your friends!  Check my blog where there are very clear instructions about what to do, where ALL the homework I have given this year is recorded.

You did poorly on an assignment?  In most cases, if you ask me, you can redo it to raise your mark.  This could apply to an assignment in the first and second semester.  Just ask me!

You don’t know what assignments you are missing or you do not know your grade?  Check PowerSchool.  It is all there.  If you have lost your password, go ask the office for it.  You should check PowerSchool at least once a week.

You plagiarized an assignment and it lowered your mark?  You had the chance to do a plagiarism check yourself before sending it to me (see the super clear instructions on my blog) and you are constantly warned by me to put things into your own words instead of copying, pasting and then changing the information a bit.

I honestly feel that if you follow instructions and do the work that you should do, there is no reason to fail my class (in 99.9% of cases) because the system is there to support people who put the effort in to improve their marks. 

I care about you and I want to see you pass and I have set up my class in such a way that students who fail have failed simply because they have not followed my backup system, a system that will allow them to raise their marks if they put in a bit of extra work.

However, lately I have been noticing that there are some students who are not doing the work they need to do to improve their grades even though I have been reminding them again and again.  Please, please, please, do what you need to do to pass.

Sincerely and with great concern,

Mr. William

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Ancient China Mini Unit Quiz Competition and Oral Presentation Jigsaw Competition

February 26, 2013

Ancient China Mini Unit Quiz Competition

ROUND ONE

Top Boy in 6B:  Siddhant (10/10)

Top Boy in 6Y:  Jai (9/10)

Top Girl in 6B:  Anandi (10/10)

Top Girls in 6Y:  Tarasha and Devanshi (9/10)

Top Team in 6B:  Siddhant, Anandi, Palak and Sukanya (9/10)

Top Team in 6Y:  Suranjana, Rushita, Annie, Devanshi, and Jira (8.5/10)

Top Class in G6:  6B (7.7/10 vs. 6B’s 7.3/10)

Total for Round One:  6B got 4 points and 6Y got 0 points

ROUND TWO

Top Boys in 6B:  Big and Dechsit (7/10)

Top Boys in 6Y:  Jack, Matthew, Jai and Balram (7/10)

Top Girls in 6B:  Nikara, Anandi, Cake and Pile (6/10)

Top Girl in 6Y:  Amy (8/10)

Top Team in 6B:  Missell, Dechsit and Cake (6.3/10)

Top Team in 6Y:  Balram, Praewah, Nudee and Boss (8/10)

Top Class in G6:  6Y (6.7/10 vs. 6B’s 5.6/10)

Total for Round Two:  6B got 1 points and 6Y got 4 points

ROUND THREE:

Top Boys in 6B:  Tae and Dechsit (4/5)

Top Boy in 6Y:  Jira (5/5)

Top Girl in 6B:  Missell (3.5/5)

Top Girls in 6Y:  Suranjana, Praewah, and Niniko (4/5)

Top Class in G6:  6Y (2.5/5 vs. 6B’s 1.9/5)

Total for Round Three:  6B got 0 points and 6Y got 3 points

ROUND FOUR

Top Boy in 6B:  Tae (12.5/15)

Top Boy in 6Y:  Jira (14/15)

Top Girls in 6B:  Angel and Missell (11/15)

Top Girl in 6Y:  Praewah (14.5/15)

Top Team in 6B:  Missell, Dechsit, and Cake (10.7/15)

Top Team in 6Y:  Suranjana, Rushita, Devanshi, and Jira (12/15)

Top Class in G6:  6Y (11.5/10 vs. 6B’s 9.1/10)

Total for Round Four:  6B got 0 points and 6Y got 4 points

ROUND FIVE

Top Class in G6:  6Y (14.5/10 vs. 6B’s 13.9/10)

Total for Round Five:  6B got 0 points and 6Y got 1 points

ROUND SIX

Top Boy in 6B:  Jin Young (20/20)

Top Boys in 6Y:  Jacob, Boss, and Jira (20/20)

Top Girl in 6B:  Angel (18/20)

Top Girl in 6Y:  Suranjana (20/20)

Top Class in G6:  6Y (17.1/20 vs. 6B’s 13.2/20)

Total for Round Six:  6B got 0 points and 6Y got 1 points

Oral Presentation Jigsaw Competition

6B:  5 wins

6Y:  10 wins

There were 7 ties.

TOTAL POINTS FOR THE TWO COMPETITIONS:

6B:  10

6Y: 23


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