Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A brief study of the Crescent City: old New Orleans

NewOrleans by trudeau
NewOrleans, a photo by trudeau on Flickr.

- Miss R
- crescent bend
- up river, down river
- Gulf of Mexico
- French Quarter / Vieux Carre ("old quarter")
- Audubon Park
- Metairie
- Lower Ninth Ward
- Lake Pontchartrain
- Industrial Canal & Intracoastal Waterway
- High land, non-flooded
- Tulane, Loyola, Xavier, Dillard, UNO, SUNO.
- Birth of jazz music.
- Katrina flooding, 2005.

Please see this slide show timeline of hurricane Katrina's arrival.

Ride a storm from Africa to Louisiana

On your storm season map:

- Atlantic, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, Mediterranean
- 4 continents
- arrows, in color, showing major currents
- identify the Canary current, equatorial current, Trade winds, Gulf Stream
- With one line show a current connection between Senegal and Louisiana

Named for Huracan, the Carib god of evil, the hurricane is an amazing yet destructive natural phenomenon that occurs about 40 to 50 times worldwide each year, says

Hurricane season takes place in the Atlantic, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and Central Pacific from June 1 to November 30 while in the Eastern Pacific the season is from May 15 to November 30.

Due to the Coriolis effect, the regions between 5° and 20° north and south of the equator are the belts where hurricanes can form (there is not enough rotary motion between 5° north and south.

The term cyclone is used in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea and the term typhoon is used in the Pacific Ocean north of the equator and west of the International Dateline.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Students may have an adventure in the classic Caribbean dishes

DSC03784 by ONYXX86
DSC03784, a photo by ONYXX86 on Flickr.

Am planning a Caribbean meal that could be prepared at home by students and parents and sampled in geography class. Some of the dishes I'm investigating . . .

- Jerk chicken: Jerk is a style of cooking native to Jamaica in which meat is dry-rubbed or wet marinated with a very hot spice mixture called Jamaican jerk spice, says Wikipedia.

Jerk seasoning is traditionally applied to pork and chicken. It principally relies upon two items: allspice (called "pimento" in Jamaica) and Scotch bonnet peppers (among the hottest peppers on the Scoville scale). Other ingredients include cloves, cinnamon, scallions, nutmeg, thyme, garlic, and salt.

Black beans, yellow rice:
What makes Caribbean black beans so good? They're flavored with an enticing combination of refreshing ginger, sweet pineapple and orange juice, aromatic allspice, and savory thyme. Spooning Caribbean black beans atop a bowl of white or brown rice makes a happy, humble vegetarian dish that you'll find yourself returning to again and again.

Tostones, or fried plantains:
Fried plantain is an dish cooked wherever plantains grow, from West Africa through Central Africa to East Africa,and in many parts of Southeast Asia such as Indonesia, where fried snacks are popular, says Wikipedia.
Fried plantain may be served as a snack, a starter or as a side dish to a main course, such as Jollof rice, spicy barbecued meat, tomato stew or beans. It is made in different ways: salted or non salted, cut into "ears" "fingers" or diced.

Fried plantain is also eaten in some countries in South America or Caribbean where African influence is present.. For example, in the Dominican Republic, it is common to cut plantains in slices, then smash them and, finally, fry them.

Caribbean foods: the banana-like vegetable called a plantain

Plantains are a member of the banana family, says

They are a starchy, low in sugar variety that is cooked before serving as it is unsuitable raw. It is used in many savory dishes somewhat like a potato would be used and is very popular in Western Africa and the Caribbean countries. It is usually fried or baked.

Plantains are native to India and are grown most widely in tropical climates.

Plantains are sometimes referred to as the pasta and potatoes of the Caribbean.

Sold in the fresh produce section of the supermarket, they usually resemble green bananas but ripe plantains may be black in color.

Healthy Snack assignment . . .

Healthy Snack by Max Johnson
Healthy Snack, a photo by Max Johnson on Flickr.

On a regular basis students in social studies can win up to 5 points for bringing healthy snacks to class.

Best examples -

Raw vegetables, such as celery, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, green pepper, green beans, cucumbers, mushrooms or zucchini may be served with a lowfat dip.

Fresh fruit in season, cut in slices or halves, such as apples, oranges, bananas, peaches, grapefruit, grapes, melons, pears, plums or strawberries.

Lowfat quick breads and muffins, such as pumpkin, zucchini, banana or bran.

Non-sugared cereals, snack mixes made with popcorn and whole grain cereal.

Lowfat yogurt with fresh, frozen or canned fruit.

Shakes with lowfat milk or yogurt and fruit.

Unsweetened fruit juices.

Substitute for the snack? A brief essay on healthy eating and non-healthy consumption in the student's life.

Geography Magnet: Hypotheses

Geography Magnet: Hypotheses by trudeau
Geography Magnet: Hypotheses, a photo by trudeau on Flickr.

Mississippi . . .

- Jackson
- Biloxi
- Vicksburg
- the Miss. R. delta, home of the blues
- Pearl R
- Miss R
- Gulf of Mexico
- Alabama
- Tennessee
- Arkansas
- Louisiana

- BB King
- Elvis
- Memphis, TN

On a sphere, the non-intuitive, curved route is shortest; it's called the Great Circle Route.

Great-circle navigation is the practice of navigating a vessel (such as a ship or aircraft) along a track that follows a great circle, says Wikipedia.

A great circle track is the shortest distance between two points on the surface of a planetary body, assuming a perfect spherical model.

The goal of geography class this week is to make papier mache spheres - so that a Great Circle Route may be drawn.

Future Teachers are Mentors and Web Tutors, says Salman Khan, founder of Khan

The Khan Academy is a non-profit[2] educational organization created in 2006 by Bengali-American[3] educator Salman Khan, a graduate of MIT and Harvard Business School, says Wikipedia.

With the stated mission of "providing a high quality education to anyone, anywhere", the website supplies a free online collection of more than 3,300 micro lectures via video tutorials stored on YouTube.

They teach mathematics, history, healthcare and medicine, finance, physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, economics, cosmology, organic chemistry, American civics, art history, macroeconomics, microeconomics, and computer science.[4]

Sunday, August 26, 2012

An early look at this week's Robot quiz

Robot Dog by floris admiraal
Robot Dog, a photo by floris admiraal on Flickr.

The Robot quiz for non-robots

1. The high school-level social studies project is one that requires students to demonstrate competence in using the __ method.
2. Gathering evidence in the social studies project must be accomplished via quoting articles, books and at least one __ .
3. Which Arkansas mountain range is found the state's north? a) Ouachita b) Ozarks.
4. Which Texas city is notable for digging a ship channel to make the city a port? The channel connects the inland city with a bay and thus connects to the Gulf of Mexico.
__ .
5. In the NY Times story on robotics, the famous electronics giant, the Philips Corporation, is mentioned. Philips, inventor of the cassette tape (1962), is a company based in the nation of the __ .
6. "Video cameras guide them through feats well beyond the capability of the most dexterous human." "Dexterous" must mean a) having physical or mental agility b) high achievement in reading comprehension c) carefully trained.
7. The NY Times story suggests that 10 robots ("about a tenth as many as the plant in the Chinese city of Zhuhai") can equal the labor of __ humans. a) 20 b) 50
c) 100 d) 1000.
8. Name of the much-publicized Chinese manufacuring giant that makes iPhones, among many products: a) Foxconn b) Zuhai c) Flextronics.

Find parking early when attending Back to School Night: 6 - 8 pm Tues, Aug 28

P1030263 by trudeau
P1030263, a photo by trudeau on Flickr.

Parking! Finding a place to park your vehicle on Back to School Night at Magnet is not easy. Though the event begins at 6 pm, arriving much earlier is a smart idea.

There's plenty of prep work going on prior to 6 pm so you will not be lonely. And you can access free wifi across the campus.

First-year parents should report to the PAC if you arrive before 6:20. After that time the idea would be to follow your student's locator sheet. There will be numerous guides on campus to help you quickly find the right classroom.

Cassava comes to Shreveport via Osodi International Market, 2030 LineAve

Cassava market by IITA Image Library
Cassava market, a photo by IITA Image Library on Flickr. Duvernay

Dorcas Oyefara was tired of traveling to Texas just to stock her pantry. So she and her husband opened Osodi International Market on Line Avenue in Shreveport.

"No one was selling African foods here before this," said Oyefara, who retired from teaching school and left Nigeria in 2009 to follow her husband, Ben Oyefara, to Monroe. "We used to have to go to Houston or Dallas to buy the things I grew up eating. There was a void to fill. We couldn't find these things really in all of north Louisiana."

Now they are part of a growing community of international grocers in Shreveport-Bossier City.

Oyefara said she felt unfulfilled when she joined her husband in Monroe, where he has been serving as a physician since 1999. In May, she came to Shreveport, where he also teaches at LSU-Shreveport. And together they opened the market that specializes in African and Caribbean foods.

It's an unassuming place, easy to drive past without a second look. Inside are typical-looking shelves and stocks in a sterile-looking room; but the wares and supplies are foreign even when they seem familiar.

African beans, yams and yam products and African spices are stacked with packaged goods imported directly from Nigeria. The frozen goods — cassava leaves, bitters and goat meats, the Oyefaras usually must pick up in Dallas. Their Jamaican spices, ackees and other Caribbean foods are shipped from Texas and Miami.

And in the cooler are bottles of Fanta of a shape and taste usually unfamiliar to Americans. "When people drink this one, they don't want the other anymore," Ben Oyefara said.

Although the Oyefaras' business is small and still working to grow, they say they've reached out to a growing population of Africans and Caribbean natives in the area. "They come in and they are from everywhere," Ben Oyefara said. "They are from Ghana, Tunisia, from all the Caribbean islands, from Kenya and the Congo. They didn't have access to their native foods. They have our foods now."

more at

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Scientific method and the Social Studies Fair Project; deadline for paper Fri, Oct 26

Shreveport traffic  by trudeau
Shreveport traffic , a photo by trudeau on Flickr.

Not due as a paper until Fri, Oct 26, the social studies fair project is perhaps best handled as a collaborative effort. Up to 4 students may work together.

The goal for my class is to demonstrate competence in the scientific method. The essential steps are -

- Question / problem
- hypothesis
- gathering of evidence
- conclusion
- bibliography.

I am interested in a paper that demonstrates the ability to gather evidence from no fewer than 4 sources. There should be at least 1. a book source. 2. two articles.
3. an interview.

The principle evidence gathering will take place via a review of the literature. Experiments are not required.

To protect students when working in groups, I will expect a section that reports the division of work. Let's say that Larry Moncrief researched and wrote all of the evidence gathering section, and Mary Bishop contributed only the hypothesis and the conclusion and Will Slaughter contributed only 6 photos. I think that I would need to inquire as to whether one student might get a higher score than the other 3 based on time and responsibility.

Project Topics and Disciplines

Anthropology: Ancient civilizations, Native Americans, customs, festivals, types of shelter and food, religion, etc.
Economics: Money, manufacturing, trade, transportation of goods and services, communication, inflation, stock exchange, common market, government budgets, etc.
Geography: Ecology, foreign countries, lands and people, maps, flooding, rivers, lakes, cities, conservation, etc.
History: Story of mankind, historical events, places, biographies, personalities, wars, etc.
Political Science: Government agencies, FBI, crime, U.S. Constitution, courts system, international governments, etc.
Sociology: Families, crime, mental health, propaganda, life styles, dreams, television, media, etc.

In considering a topic these things should be kept in mind:
1. Value- -The topic should she light on some significant aspect of human experience.
2. Originality- - If a project has been the subject of a previous investigation, the proposed new study should either furnish substantial new evidence or provide a significant new interpretation.
3. Practicality- - Sources must be available which one may use conveniently and without fear of censorship. The scope of the subject should be neither too limited nor too broad.
4. Unity- - Every project must have a unifying theme, or be directed to a certain question or thesis, so that there is a point of departure, the development of the subject, and specific conclusions.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The founders' story, featuring Tarshar, Caddo chief, Larkin Edwards, pioneer and translator, and Henry Miller Shreve, engineer and entrepreneur

P1030197 by trudeau
P1030197, a photo by trudeau on Flickr.

The story begins with massive sand bars blocking most of the Red River waterway in the region around Shreveport. Brief notes below:

- Shreve won a contract from the federal govt to clear the "Great Raft," or clogged channels.
- Shreve developed a special device to do the work: a double-hulled steam boat with tower and winch. It could pull massive snags - tree trunks - from the sand and mud.
- Later Shreve also developed the prototype for the classic steam boat for southern rivers - featuring a shallow-draft, flat hull.
- Chief Tarshar could do little against the might of the US Army. His people were dying of disease. The Anglo settlers disrupted the Caddo farming and hunting and gathering lifestyle.
- Larkin Edwards was the rare Anglo fellow who learned the Caddo language and was an active friend of the tribe.
- In 1835 the US govt bought the Caddo land in NW Louisiana. The remuneration was supposed to be $30,000 in goods and some cash. There is much evidence that very little of the promised payment ever reached the Caddo.
- Silver Lake and Bayou Pierre, the slough of which runs close by the Magnet campus, were products of the blockage.

Please see more notes in the sketch.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A new generation of uber machines: an update on jobs and robots

August 18, 2012
Skilled Work, Without the Worker

DRACHTEN, the Netherlands — At the Philips Electronics factory on the coast of China, hundreds of workers use their hands and specialized tools to assemble electric shavers. That is the old way.

At a sister factory here in the Dutch countryside, 128 robot arms do the same work with yoga-like flexibility. Video cameras guide them through feats well beyond the capability of the most dexterous human.

One robot arm endlessly forms three perfect bends in two connector wires and slips them into holes almost too small for the eye to see. The arms work so fast that they must be enclosed in glass cages to prevent the people supervising them from being injured. And they do it all without a coffee break — three shifts a day, 365 days a year.

All told, the factory here has several dozen workers per shift, about a tenth as many as the plant in the Chinese city of Zhuhai.

This is the future. A new wave of robots, far more adept than those now commonly used by automakers and other heavy manufacturers, are replacing workers around the world in both manufacturing and distribution. Factories like the one here in the Netherlands are a striking counterpoint to those used by Apple and other consumer electronics giants, which employ hundreds of thousands of low-skilled workers.

“With these machines, we can make any consumer device in the world,” said Binne Visser, an electrical engineer who manages the Philips assembly line in Drachten.

Many industry executives and technology experts say Philips’s approach is gaining ground on Apple’s. Even as Foxconn, Apple’s iPhone manufacturer, continues to build new plants and hire thousands of additional workers to make smartphones, it plans to install more than a million robots within a few years to supplement its work force in China.

Foxconn has not disclosed how many workers will be displaced or when. But its chairman, Terry Gou, has publicly endorsed a growing use of robots. Speaking of his more than one million employees worldwide, he said in January, according to the official Xinhua news agency: “As human beings are also animals, to manage one million animals gives me a headache.”

The falling costs and growing sophistication of robots have touched off a renewed debate among economists and technologists over how quickly jobs will be lost. This year, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, economists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, made the case for a rapid transformation. “The pace and scale of this encroachment into human skills is relatively recent and has profound economic implications,” they wrote in their book, “Race Against the Machine.”

In their minds, the advent of low-cost automation foretells changes on the scale of the revolution in agricultural technology over the last century, when farming employment in the United States fell from 40 percent of the work force to about 2 percent today. The analogy is not only to the industrialization of agriculture but also to the electrification of manufacturing in the past century, Mr. McAfee argues.

Beyond the technical challenges lies resistance from unionized workers and communities worried about jobs. The ascension of robots may mean fewer jobs are created in this country, even though rising labor and transportation costs in Asia and fears of intellectual property theft are now bringing some work back to the West.

Take the cavernous solar-panel factory run by Flextronics in Milpitas, south of San Francisco. A large banner proudly proclaims “Bringing Jobs & Manufacturing Back to California!” (Right now China makes a large share of the solar panels used in this country and is automating its own industry.)

Yet in the state-of-the-art plant, where the assembly line runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week, there are robots everywhere and few human workers. All of the heavy lifting and almost all of the precise work is done by robots that string together solar cells and seal them under glass. The human workers do things like trimming excess material, threading wires and screwing a handful of fasteners into a simple frame for each panel.

Such advances in manufacturing are also beginning to transform other sectors that employ millions of workers around the world. One is distribution, where robots that zoom at the speed of the world’s fastest sprinters can store, retrieve and pack goods for shipment far more efficiently than people. Robots could soon replace workers at companies like C & S Wholesale Grocers, the nation’s largest grocery distributor, which has already deployed robot technology.

Rapid improvement in vision and touch technologies is putting a wide array of manual jobs within the abilities of robots. For example, Boeing’s wide-body commercial jets are now riveted automatically by giant machines that move rapidly and precisely over the skin of the planes. Even with these machines, the company said it struggles to find enough workers to make its new 787 aircraft. Rather, the machines offer significant increases in precision and are safer for workers.

And at Earthbound Farms in California, four newly installed robot arms with customized suction cups swiftly place clamshell containers of organic lettuce into shipping boxes. The robots move far faster than the people they replaced. Each robot replaces two to five workers at Earthbound, according to John Dulchinos, an engineer who is the chief executive at Adept Technology, a robot maker based in Pleasanton, Calif., that developed Earthbound’s system.

Robot manufacturers in the United States say that in many applications, robots are already more cost-effective than humans.

See more at

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Shreve's snag boat: Red River Waterway Visitor Center

A brief comparison of Larkin Edwards and Henry M Shreve. Here's a teacher's sample essay:

The Diplomat and The Engineer: a comparison of Larkin Edwards and Henry Miller Shreve

"Rnnnggg-rnggr," was the sound made by the winches on the work boat designed by Henry Miller Shreve. It was snagboat. Its task was to wrench giant logs from the muck of the Red River as Shreve led the clearing of the Great Raft. A few miles away another pioneer, Larkin Edwards, smoked a peace pipe with Tarshar, chief of the Caddo people.

By learning the language of the Caddo the thoughtful Edwards was able to help the tribe as their interpreter, says In the 1835 negotiations which led to the US take-over of the Caddo lands in the Red River Valley, Edwards was given a gift of one square mile of land. He sold that land to the speculators who founded Shreve Town.

Meanwhile, the clearing of the river channel by Shreve ensured that settlers would fill the North Louisiana river bottom. In the process of clearing the raft, Shreve happened to cut off the river bend in which Edwards had established a store and post office. Edwards' site, the Coates Bluff landing on Stoner Hill, lost its river traffic and business.

But the port of Shreve Town prospered.

A sloshingly flowing quiz for geo class

mississippi-river-tributaries by trudeau
mississippi-river-tributaries, a photo by trudeau on Flickr.

1. The mounds at Poverty Point site are arranged in circular form around a central focal point. We call that a __ arrangement.
2. The architectural sites built by ancient Indigenous peoples have been neglected by historians because they were built from __ .
3. Monroe, Shreveport's latitudinal neighbor, lies upon the __ river. a) Ouachita b) Atachafalaya c) Pearl d) Sabine.
4. The principal trail used by Caddo people connected the state of __ to Louisiana.
5. Every day two great gifts arrive in Louisiana from distant Montana. They are the resources a) coal and electricity b) coal and timber
c) coal and water d) coal and petroleum.
6. Future conflicts between Louisiana and Texas may arise from claims of ownership in regards a key resource, __ .
7. In 3 sentences filled with rivers' names and types of resources, explain the importance of the Mississippi River Valley.

Terrific collage on the indigenous peoples of this region

This Indigenous People project by Brandy Sells represents a high standard. I would like to see all the top students equal the neatness of her work in future assignments.

Merriam-Webster's Notebook Atlas has arrived at Barnes & Noble Shreveport; cost is about $5

Looking forward to the day when all my students will have their Merriam Webster's Atlases in geography class.

At $5 the paperback resource center is a bargain.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Maps of the day: Louisiana, the watery state, and Shreveport-Bossier,cities on the Red

P1010539 by trudeau
P1010539, a photo by trudeau on Flickr.

In Louisiana please be responsible for
- 8 municipalities
- 6 rivers
- 2 local lakes
- neighbor states
- dividing line between the French Catholic cultural region and the Anglo Protestant region.
- seafood (it is the biggest producer of crawfish in the world, supplying approximately 90%), cotton, soybeans, cattle, sugarcane, poultry and eggs, dairy products, and rice.
- petro-chemical products.
- tourism.

Louisiana is classified as an impoverished state, ranking around 45th in the US in average income.
Educational standards are similarly low in ranking. Yet the state ranks high in health issues and rate of incarceration. Please see for sobering statistics on the Bayou States' issues, which include a slipping population.
Population: 4.5 million.

- I-20, I-49, Texas Trail (Hwy 80), Red River Parkways (Fant and Teague), Youree Dr, Line Ave, King's Hwy, Stoner Ave,
- East and West Shreveport
- city population 200,000 +
- metro pop. 470,000

- ethnic breakdown (2010 census)
59.48% White,
37.68% African American,
0.42% Native American,
0.74% Asian,
0.04% Pacific Islander,
0.54% from other races, and
1.09% from two or more races
1.82% Hispanic or Latino of any race
The median income for a household in the Metro area was $32,974, and the median income for a family was $39,203.

- Bossier City: 68,000.

Assignment Aug 21-22: Map that identifies streets between your house and Magnet

Shreveport-Bossier map (S-B)  by trudeau
Shreveport-Bossier map (S-B) , a photo by trudeau on Flickr.

Print a map that comprises the route between your house and Magnet.

Paste street labels on the map to identify the major streets that you traverse on your daily journey to Caddo Magnet.

Add color.
Snappy title on the top of the page.
Colorful border.
Map source at bottom right.

Louisiana's great indigenous center: the Mississippi valley site called Poverty Point

Poverty Point (French: Pointe de Pauvreté) is a prehistoric earthworks of the Poverty Point culture, says

It is now a historic monument located 15.5 miles from the current Mississippi River,[2] and situated on the edge of Maçon Ridge, near the village of Epps in West Carroll Parish, Louisiana.

Poverty Point comprises several earthworks and mounds built between 1650 and 700 BCE, during the Archaic period in the Americas.

The monumental construction is a group of six concentric, crescent ridge earthworks, divided by five aisles radiating from the center at the river bank. The site also has several mounds both on the outside and inside of the ring earthworks. The name "Poverty Point" came from the plantation which once surrounded the site.

The people who constructed it were hunter-gatherers rather than agriculturalists. They are a rare example of a complex hunter-gatherer society that constructed large scale monuments.

The vast majority of other prehistoric monuments, ranging from Stonehenge in England to the Great Pyramid at Giza in Egypt, were constructed by agricultural societies, in which crop surpluses allowed greater density of population and stratification of society.

Numerous imported items, consisting of projectile points and microliths, have been determined to have originated in the Ouachita and Ozark Mountains and in the Ohio and Tennessee River valleys.[5] Other materials derived from trade are soapstone from the southern Appalachian Mountains of Alabama and Georgia,[5] and copper and galena artifacts, indicating trade with the prehistoric copper-producing tribes in the upper Great Lakes region.[2]

Changes in temperature and precipitation such as increased flooding, caused an ecological imbalance that led to abandonment of Poverty Point.

Mound builder culture of the Indigenous people: the concentric mounds of Poverty Point site

The varying cultures collectively called Mound Builders were prehistoric inhabitants of North America who, during a 5,000-year period, constructed various styles of earthen mounds for religious and ceremonial, burial, and elite residential purposes.

Beginning with the construction of Watson Brake about 3400 BCE in present-day Louisiana, nomadic indigenous peoples started building earthwork mounds in North America nearly 1000 years before the pyramids were constructed in Egypt.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Social studies thinking: looking for the implications

Shreveport Common Link model by trudeau
Shreveport Common Link model, a photo by trudeau on Flickr.

A higher level of thinking: finding the implications in social studies reading and discussion.

The implication is something implied. It is suggested as naturally to be inferred or understood. Ex: to resent an implication of dishonesty.
the act of implying: His implication of immediate changes surprised us.

In most of my classes the overwhelming number of students are those who have grown up in the Shreveport area. There's little "new blood." It implies that the local population is stagnant. My informal survey certainly does not prove anything. But the implication - that we might have a static population - may be worth pursuing.

A quiz on the Mississippi valley and regional history

Mississippi_watershed_map_1 by trudeau
Mississippi_watershed_map_1, a photo by trudeau on Flickr.

1.The word for native people: a) indigent b) indigenous c) indeginous d) indingenous.
2. The most northerly of the states associated with the Caddo. __
3. Which is the most northerly of the Mississippi tributaries? __
5. Which state lies between Minnesota and Missouri on the western edge of the Mississippi? __
Name the significant river associated with the following -
1. Minnesota
2. Montana
3. Pennsylvania
4. Illinois
5. Texas

Assignment: illustrated lesson on the Caddo, the indigenous people of this region, due Fri, Aug 16

Native people:

1. originating or occurring naturally (in a country, region, etc.); native
2. innate (to); inherent (in)
[from Latin indigenus, from indigena indigene, from indi- in + gignere to beget]

The Texas Trail, aka Hwy 80, today's I-20, was originally the Caddo Trail. It was probably a series of broad but shady clearings owing to controlled burning of the underbrush and maintenance of the canopy trees.

Assignment for Fri, Aug 16, 10 pts -

- Research and create a one-page (in your notebook) illustrated map.
- Explanatory title at top.
- Name in upper right corner.
- Color.
- Basic map identifications.
- Neatness of line and lettering.
- Reflects reading about Caddo life: tattoos, hair styles, jewelry, dwelling, typical tree.
- Documentation (source or sources) in lower right corner.
- Creative response encouraged.

Why study the Mississippi River basin? It is one of the world's most powerful river networks

A slow-moving internet: the Mississippi River and tributaries

1. Name the 5 states that lie adjacent to and west of the Miss. Their initials are MIMAL.

2. Name the 5 states that lie east of the Miss. Initials: WIKTM.

3. The Mississippi R. is the second longest in the US. Even longer is the Missouri. Name 2 states associated with the Missouri.
Choose from Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri.
4. The state in which the Mississippi begins its course: __. Minnesota.

5. The Miss. R. is connected to the Great lakes. T / F It is not connected by the natural course of the Mississippi. A canal called the Illinois Waterway was created to make a man-made connection.

6. The longest tributary on the east is the Ohio R. Name 2 additional states through which it passes. Choose fromPennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois.

7. Name the 5 Great Lakes of the US, giving their names as read from left to right. Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie Ontario.

8. Which tributary has its headwaters in Montana? Missouri R.

9. Which is more northerly, Memphis or St Louis? St Louis.

10. Which tributary begins in Texas? the Red River.

11. What is the significance of the Miss Valley? Recreation, waste disposal, water supply, fishing, grain export, petro-chemical exports and manufacturing exports are among the ways the Mississippi enriches the US.

12. Why is it like a slow-moving internet? Because it is a conduit for information, goods and services and profit.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A routine for a 90-minute class . . .

We shall nearly always open with a brief quiz.
- multiple choice, mostly.
- open notes and text.
- questions based on notes published on the class blog.

Sometimes a very brief essay will also be presented.

Afterwards students will quietly work on sketching, identifications and implications of the Map of the Day.

Students will write 3 multiple-choice questions upon the map material.

Presentation of the lesson of the day is next. To be offered by the teacher or a designated student.

Visual, often video-based instruction, is next: usually it will be a short film or slide series but several times in the year there are longer movies to watch in class.

Next we move to groups - guided by the teacher. A paper construction is to be created and labeled. Scissors, colors, glue and paper: good media for learning.

Next, there should be a brief time for stress relief activities centered around deep breathing and stretching.

Silent reading is next. Teens live in a world today in which there are a wild array of distractions and little time for reading. The skill of note taking is to be enhanced.

Questions designed to enhance the skill of reading comprehension follow the note.

Straightening the classroom before leaving is important to every class.

World Geography / Robert E Trudeau at Caddo Magnet High

World Geography at Caddo Magnet High under Robert E Trudeau

Bienvenue! Geography class at Magnet is a place for establishing best practices for teens in thinking, writing and classroom life.

First, there is the class blog: Updated each day, the blog is designed to help parent, student and teacher have a common ground in class notes, homework, tests and assignments.

The basic and steady homework assignment for all my students is Read the Blog - because quizzes and tests will be based largely on material found there.

Additionally, students are encouraged to cut and paste the academic material from the blog into a document that will be printed and brought to the classroom each class.

Open notes quizzes and tests are the dominant format for evaluation in my class. This style puts the emphasis on information management and reading comprehension.

Almost all days the class begins with a brief quiz based on the material from the prior class or the prior unit.

Brief essays written in class will be a steady feature of this class. As an avid writer, it is my pleasure to emphasize well-organized, grammatically-correct written communication.

Indie Work (independent) is what I call the additional writing that a student can submit to bolster their grade and pursue success in an individualized way. Students and parents appreciate flexibility in a class that is focused upon individual students rather than on a program.

Two requirements:
a) a $5 fee to pay the bus transportation that enables field trips. Soon the school will open a system enabling parents to pay fees electronically. Please do not send money until the program is announced.
b) a paperback atlas, the Merriam-Webster Notebook Atlas ($4.95 at Barnes & Noble, Spt). It will be required for and used in each class session.

Special features in my enriched classes include
- Nature Walks, taken as an academic activity; I use the delightful and safe Coates Bluff Nature Trail adjacent to the campus.
- Class meals; they are special occasions in which students bring cold food to share as part of our academic program.

Communication between parent and teacher is a strong component in ensuring success for the student.

Please do not hesitate to email me at or my faculty address: My phone is 318-272-6045 and I do have a text plan.

By the way, I currently have a 16 year-old son at Magnet, and share your concerns with academics and teen life. I also am parent to 3 grown children and have 2 grandchildren.