Happy Birthday, Ben Franklin!

Ben Franklin was born on this day in 1706.

He began his incredible journey as a newspaper apprentice.  He quickly learned that he did not want to set the print for others to write, he wanted to write himself.  Which he did much to the anger of his brother, the newspaper’s editor.

Because he did not get along with his brother, Franklin became a newspaper printer, shop owner, and bookstore owner in Philadelphia.

While running the Pennsylvania Gazette, Franklin not only printed the paper, he also wrote articles under an assumed name and created political cartoons.  He also published Poor Richard’s Almanack. Almanacs, printed only once a year, include weather reports, recipes, famous phrases, and predictions.

Ben Franklin was so much more than a writer. He helped pave, clean and light Philadelphia’s streets. He started the nation’s first subscription library. He helped launch the American Philosophical Society and the Pennsylvania Hospital, both are still in existence today.

He also organized Philadelphia’s first fire-fighting company and the Philadelphia Contribution for Insurance Against Loss by Fire for those who lost their homes to fire.

When he retired from the printing business, he started concentrating on science, experiments, and inventions. He invented the  Franklin stove, swim fins, the glass armonica, which is a musical instrument, and bifocals.
What is a glass armonica?  Click on the video to find out!

Ben Franklin was probably best known as a politician.  He was elected to the Second Continental Congress and helped write the Declaration of Independence. Franklin signed the Declaration and became the United States ambassador to France. Later he became President of the Executive Council of Pennsylvania, he served as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention and signed the Constitution. Before he died he wrote an anti-slavery paper urging Americans to rid themselves of slavery.

Franklin died on April 17, 1790, at the age of 84.

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Canals 1820-1860

 

American Panorama: Canals
While the heyday of the canals lasted only a few decades, they transformed the American economy by connecting the areas west of the Appalachian Mountains to eastern population centers and Atlantic ports. Concentrated largely north of the Mason-Dixon line, they shaped American regionalism too by linking the northeast and northwest together into a region that increasingly came to see itself as the “North.”

 

Click the map to check it out!

Happy Birthday School House Rock!

School House Rock holds a special place in my heart, probably because I grew up with the cartoons in between my regular cartoon schedule as a kid growing up in the 1970s and 1980s.  Nothing screams Saturday morning to me more than eating cereal and watching School House Rock.

The coolest part of it all.  If you know School House Rock, it’s probably because one or more of your teachers watched it too and decided to play it in class.

Check out my two favorite School House Rock cartoons.

Every time I show this one to my class, almost the entire class is singing along by the end of the song.

Want to read more?  Click here.

What Did You Do For New Year’s Eve?

Me?  I went to the Oregon vs. Colorado basketball game at Matt Court. Matt Court is the basketball court at the University of Oregon.  Even though my family has had season basketball tickets for over 40 years, and I have attended basketball games at the old basketball arena Mac Court, this was the first time I had been to Matt Court.  In case you were wondering…  Oregon won!

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Go Ducks!

What did you do on New Year’s Eve, comment below!

How Do You Spend Christmas?

During the American Revolution, General George Washington crossed the Delaware with 2,400 troops in the middle of the night.  He wanted to surprise a force celebrating Christmas in Trenton, New Jersey.  At night, on an icy and freezing river, Washington and his troops crossed the river to the surprise of the unprepared soldiers.  General Washington captured 1,000 Hessian troops.  Washington, unfortunately, was unable to keep Trenton but news of the battle raised the hopes of American colonists.

 

Want to learn more about the re-enactors?  Go to their website by clicking here.

What Grade Do You Deserve?

A Student

  • DOES ALL work assigned perfectly
  • Studies before a test
  • Pays attention in class
  • Asks questions
  • Does not cheat or plagiarize on ANY assignment
  • Is organized
  • Uses class time wisely
  • Writes neatly and completes thoughts in full sentences
  • Reads and follows directions
  • Has a positive attitude and LIKES school
  • Does not use absences as an excuse not to work

B Student

  • Does MOST work assigned perfectly
  • Turns in EVERY assignment
  • Pays attention in class
  • Asks questions
  • Studies before a test
  • Does not cheat or plagiarize on ANY assignment
  • Is organized
  • Uses class time wisely
  • Writes neatly and completes thoughts in full sentences
  • Reads and follows directions
  • Has a good attitude and LIKES school
  • Does not use absences as an excuse not to work

C Student

  • Pays attention in class
  • Turns in MOST assignments
  • Asks questions
  • Studies before a test
  • Is organized
  • Uses class time wisely
  • Writes neatly and completes thoughts in full sentences
  • Does not use absences as an excuse not to work

D Student

  • Pays attention in class
  • Asks questions
  • Uses class time wisely