Monday, July 2, 2018

Summer Break and the Fourth of July

The first week of real Summer, ahhhh, it is nice, isn't it?

The Fourth of July is upon us, with fireworks, hotdogs, apple pie... We are celebrating a day that means a lot to the United States, the beginning of Liberty. This was the date, though it wasn't by any means a done deal on this date, nevertheless, this is the date that a group of people got together and decided to sign the Declaration of Independence.  The states had to  sign off, ratify the declaration, the war had to be fought, and people had to stay steadfast in their pursuit of liberty, but this is the date that was always remembered as Independence Day. 

Lives were lost, families were separated, not only by the war itself, but by the ideals of independence. Many families were loyal to the King of England. Many of his subjects wanted to stay part of the sovereign Empire of Britain, they were called Loyalists, Royalists, or Tories. Even the son of the famous Benjamin Franklin, William Franklin, the Royal Governor of New Jersey, wanted to stay under British Rule (1).

Ben Franklin had to choose between the beautiful England that he had so dearly grown to love and his native country of America. He had been in England when he was young, learning to be  a printer. Then after he had retired at 41 years of age, he was sent to England by the Pennsylvania Assembly, and fell in love with the charms, the scientific knowledge and education, and the sophistication of the gentry. But he was born in Massachusetts, and an American he would always stay.(2)

In 1765, The English Crown imposed a Stamp Tax that sent the colonists into a rage, quite literally. They fought back with rebellion against what they saw as an outright burden imposed against them. 

With acts like the "Tea Party" in Boston harbor, the rally where some colonists went a bit overboard, along with crates of tea imported by the British, they left no doubt  that the colonies were tremendously angry.

Over the next few months, things got a bit out of hand, but you would have to look back to actually see where the colonists were at the brink, and resorted to ever increasingly violent acts of rebellion.

1761 saw the British in financial trouble with their 7 years war raging, so they ordered that their Navigation Tax be enforced aggressively. This did not set well in Boston, especially when taxmen were allowed to search any premises for smuggled goods.  

 The British had imposed the Sugar Tax in 1764, which included taxation on Sugar, wines (though not all), coffee, and calico. Women formed the Daughters of Liberty, and boycotted imported goods, like calico fabric, and took to creating their own fabrics to show their disdain for the taxation. (3)

There were fines and taxes that seemed to the colonists an undue burden, there were people like Samuel Adams and Paul Revere who seemed to keep the agitation stirred up, Revere with his artwork, and Adams with his leadership and voice in his newspaper with words like "Liberty can never exist without equality". 

British soldiers had a dislike for many of the colonial citizens as well. Many of the colonists were a constant source of agitation, and were hurling abuse, both verbal and physical, aimed at the soldiers. This led to higher tensions between the two groups.

In 1768, General Gage had marched new troops into Boston(4), as a show of force, the towns people were outraged, this was, to them, a tightening of control by the Crown.

The presence of the army was more a source of irritation with the inhabitants of Boston since the 1765 Quartering Act forced them to house the soldiers in houses and empty buildings, the troops also had set up tents in the center of town, and the citizens of Boston saw them as occupiers.   

The new soldiers were there to help keep the peace, and it must have seemed to the colonists a heavy hand to have "Redcoats" everywhere. A relative peace they kept, for the most part, incidents of rebellion were at a minimum. 

However, in late February of 1770, protests of imported goods being sold by a few local shop keepers turned nasty and brought about a boy being shot. This infuriated the whole of the city of Boston it seemed. His funeral was a chance for the Sons of Liberty to have a political rally.(5) 

There was much disdain for the British at this point, and it led to more tensions between the British, those loyal to the British, and the colonists who wanted to be free from the rule of England and it's King.

Into March, tempers flared in Boston.  Skirmishes between British soldiers and citizens broke out but nothing serious came about. That is, until March the fifth, when an angry mob met up with British soldiers, and the skirmish got out of hand and one thing led to another and the "Boston Massacre" began. (6)

The rest, they say, is history.

If you would like very good books on the subject, I would highly recommend the book, Patriots: The Men Who Started the American Revolution, by A. J. Landgguth, also, Bill O'Reilly's Legends and Lies: The Patriots, written by David Fischer, and the book Washington's General,  by Terry Golway


1. Wikipedia, Loyalist (American Revolution),
2.  PBS, Explore- Benjamin Franklin, Worldly Ways
3.  Fisher, David, Bill O'Reilly's Legends and  Lies: The Patriots, New York: Henry Holt and Company; May 24, 2016, 
      pgs 27.
4.  --- pg 38-44.
5.  Landgguth, A. J. , Patriots: The Men Who Started The American Revolution, New York: Simon and 
      Schuster; September 17, 2013, pgs 65-69.   ISBN 9781439127124, 
6.  Fisher, David, Bill O'Reilly's Legends and Lies: The Patriots, New York: Henry Holt and Co; May 24, 
     2016 pgs    .

Sunday, June 24, 2018


Session III slipped by very quickly. Our group was very sparse since the Independent School District let out classes before June this year. Many of our class needed to be home with children, so we were left with only 10 very dedicated students. 

We worked in Word 2016, PowerPoint 2016. Excel 2016 and created Blogs! That's a lot of work! 
The time seemed to slip by without us using this blog so I didn't update. I will, however, update over the Summer, so those of you who are bored, wanting to keep up the skills you have worked on so hard, will have a chance to use the documents, and have a short lesson for each. 

I have updated the document page, for the most part. I have work to do, but the Summer has just begun! The documents have been updated, as well as a description of what to do with the document. 

This coming week, I will update the :Good Reads" page (Remember to go to the links on this page, there are articles to read that I think you will like). 

There is a NEW page, check it out! The new page is called "LINKS". I have added links that you can use over Summer to keep up with your studies.

 If you are a class member, you will be able to access the actual accounts.  

If you are not a class member, I will note which of the links you do not have to sign in to, or that you can create a free account ... 

I hope you all have a restful Summer Holiday! Take care when you travel, wear sunscreen, and drink lot of water! 💙💖💙

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Here we are in Session III

We have a new group of students, working hard in Session III.

I have been remiss in posting to this blog, we are working on basic skills but the returning students have created blogs, posted, and are working on their MOS certification test.

New students are proficient enough to be able to create a blog as well, and are trying out the skills needed to write a blog that is interesting as well as informative. They are uploading pictures from their phones, linking to videos, and trying out their skills at changing the look of the blog itself.

We will link to each blog next week. Each student will have at least two entries covering what they have been reading in Our new class code is VM4R6J.
Articles include:

Political Parties
Asian Art
Coming to America: Ellis Island and New York City
Worldwide Loss of Bees a Growing Concern
The Mermaid of Kona, Hawaii
Garbage in the Ocean
Inside and Outside Carlsbad Caverns

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Week 9 April 3-5, 2018

Week 9 
We have been working on a newsletter of sorts all week. It has been full of formatting and making sure what we write is our own with a few quotes from different sources.

 Newspapers, magazines, the internet are all great places to find news articles, but writing about something that you have studied and writing it in your own words is a rewarding experience. 

This will help you with your grammar skills, spelling, vocabulary, and your typing skills!

Here is the format that you will use for your rough draft of the article. 

Newspaper Article

Word 2016
Open Blank Document
Go to: Layout Tab> Click on Margins: set to Narrow
Go to: Layout Tab> Click on  Columns: set to Three
Go to: Home Tab> Click on Font: Set to Times New Roman
                                                                Set Font Size to 12 for Title
Click on Bold and Underline
Write your  Title for the article
Go to Home Tab> Click on Font Size: Set to 9 and unclick Bold and Underline for the body of your article.

Write three paragraphs about a topic that is something you would read in the news, it is your choice of topic.
List of ideas for the article:
·         Weather
·         Current Event
·         Upcoming Event (like a concert, Reunion, or a rally)
·         News article
·         Health article
·         Beauty article
·         School Event
·         Legal articles (like gun control issues, violence issues, DACA, or laws that are pending)
·         Truth in Media

Whatever you choose to write about, please make sure that you include these things:
·         What the article is about
·         Why are you writing about it
·         What do you want me to know about it.

You can use pictures, make sure that it is in the public domain and is royalty free.  You can use one of your own pictures or have a friend give you a photo. You can also create a picture of your own in Paint3D. You can easily insert the drawing or collage of pictures into your article.

We have a model of what we would like the newspaper to look like, and we have looked at the different templates that we could use to achieve this look. 
One is the Newsletter Design template
The second is Newsletter (Apothecary design)

Both can be found if you do a search for Newsletter Templates in the search of the Word 2016 templates.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Welcome back!

The Week 8 vocabulary words are listed on the Vocabulary page. Again this week, you may have some of them defined already. If you do, remember you can copy and past to this weeks list.

We are going over these terms in class, and you will need to define them. There is one word "Clipboard" that you will define and explain how to do the three words associated with it, (cut, copy, paste)

After working on your vocabulary, please go to the address that I sent you on Remind. You type in that address on your computer or use your phone to go straight to the address. Complete!

I have also added the vocabulary for Week 9. The week 9 vocabulary is a bit different. I want you to try to memorize the words, and know what the meaning is,  we will review them in class. You do NOT have to write them all out unless that helps you memorize. 

Again, we will go over the Week 9 list in class. Please try your best to memorize.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Happy Spring! March 20-22, 2018

Welcome Spring!

This week we are working on Excel!

The vocabulary words will be posted on the Vocabulary page... you may recognize some of them from previous vocabulary lessons...

Please copy and paste your definitions...making sure they are correct for use with computer and for Excel use.  You do not have to type in twice, but I do want you to have the definitions together this week.

The first lesson in Excel will be to open the program, making sure it is a blank spreadsheet.

This is going to be a  real, working budget. Tuesday, you will start the spreadsheet, having a heading, columns and rows denoting date, bills, and your actual budget.

DO NOT put any information, such as your full name, social security or any credit card numbers on this sheet... DO NOT!

I guard your flash drives, the same as I guard my own, but there is always the possibility of them being lost. NEVER put any critical, identifying information on your flash drive.

You will save your worksheet to the flash drive and turn in at the end of the period. Wednesday, you will have a list of bills that you owe, a list of money you have to use, and an idea of how much you need to save each month. You will add these to the Excel sheet

Wednesday, you will complete the spreadsheet, save it to your flash drive. Turn in.

Remember the tabs are essential in creating the worksheet. Using the Formula Tab, the 'Auto Sum' button is your  best friend!  We will add all of Column D and have the total at the end of the column, then total all of Column H at the end of the column.  Using Auto Sum, choose Sum from the dropdown box. This will automatically show the list of your column, click enter, it will automatically add the amounts. Do this for each of the columns of numbers.

in Column H, Row 10, you will use the formula =H?-D? and enter... in place of the ? you will add the row number.  This will give you the amount of your income minus your monthly bills. In this way, you will see if you have anything left over or if you are "in the red".

Remember we discussed using averaging for bills that vary from month to month. Showing this on the budget is a good idea, also showing the amounts that are static, ie. mortgage, homeowners insurance, car payments, car insurance, etc are a good idea.
You can choose cells that you want to add together, separate from the others and show them by using the formula  sum=(D?,D?) and enter, this will allow those two or three amounts to be added separate from the other rows to show how much you must have to be able to meet payments.

Thursday, we will have a short Quizziz over the vocabulary words that pertain to Excel.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

March 6-8, 2018

Welcome to Week 5 of Basic Computer Literacy or the pre-MOS class.

This week we have a lot to get done!

First, start out by logging in to using your user account and password that you have been given. This will facilitate keeping track of your WPM/Time/Accuracy. No more having to write down your times on paper!

Next,  is to open your PowerPoint2016 document, The one that is YOUR CHOICE.

You will add FOUR (4) new slides!

Slide 5: Add new picture, add caption underneath that describes the picture.  Add Transition to this slide.

Slide 6: Add new picture, add caption, add shapes behind the picture, Add transition.

Slide 7: Add a new picture, add caption, add THREE (3)  shapes behind picture, add ,music or some type of audio to this slide, it can be music or sound or a recording of a description of the picture.  Add animation to all three shapes. Add Transitions.

Slide 8: Closing- Write a paragraph about what you learned about the subject in your presentation, and what you learned making the presentation. Write something about how you could us PowerPoint to teach someone else about the subject of your presentation. Add three (3) shapes behind the text, use animation on all three shapes, add transition to this page.

Wednesday:  Open Your Choice PowerPoint2016 Document. 

Go to Transitions Tab> go to 'Advance Slide'

  • choose Setting:
    • After:
    • Set Timer for 8-10 seconds for pictures, 12 seconds for paragraphs, and 15 seconds for instructions.
    • Click on "On Mouse Click" box to deselect this option. 

Go to Slide Show Tab> Go to Set Up Slide Show.

  • choose Settings:
    • Browse at a Kiosk
    • Loop Continuously until 'Esc'
    • Use Timings if Present
    • Click OK.
    • Click on Tab "From Beginning"

Once everyone has set up the slide shows, move from computer to computer ***read below***, looking at each presentation.

**** When one presentation is finished, click ESC button. This will stop the slide show. 

GO TO Review Tab

  • Choose New Comment- A dialogue box will appear to the right side of slide. 
  • Type YOUR Name, DATE, and a COMMENT about the slide show.
  • Click Enter
  • Click on Slide Show Tab
  • Click on "From Beginning"
Go to next computer and watch that presentation, do the same as before...
You should have commented on every presentation

Next, on Wednesday, we will open the file on Vocabulary that you have been working on, adding Week 5 Vocabulary Words.