General Stuff

George Washington

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When we think of George Washington, we think of a very successful military man and leader. He was not always successful. In some cases he was just lucky. After being appointed to lead the Grand American Army by the Second Continental Congress, Washington headed for Boston. It was there that the first shots had been fired. It was there that the British troops were gathering. The British generals were often heard saying that it would take very little effort on their part to put an end to the foolishness of the colonists. How could a man like George Washington think he could take a bunch of untrained, raggedy farmers and tradesmen and make them into an army good enough to defeat the British?

Though he was born into a wealthy family in 1732, young George did not look forward to being a rich man. His mother was his father’s second wife, and George was the third son. His oldest half brother Lawrence would inherit everything. Even George’s formal schooling was not considered important. When he became President, he had the worst education of any President since. When he was sixteen, he was taught to be a surveyor. Surveying is a method of measuring land in order to establish boundaries and property lines, as well as measuring the height of mountains.

3 You might think that George would envy his oldest brother, but he didn’t. He admired him and wanted to be like him. Lawrence was Adjutant General of Virginia, and his younger brother became a soldier because of his example. When Lawrence died in 1752, George was grief stricken.

4 In 1754 Washington fought the first skirmishes in what would become the French and Indian war. He was not a very good commander at the time, but he wanted to learn. After three years he left the military and retired. He leased the family plantation, Mount Vernon, from his brother’s widow and became a planter, or farmer, just as his family had always done. He finally found something he really loved doing. Sixteen years later, he inherited the estate himself and owned it outright.

5 George tried to get elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses but was soundly defeated. Rather than being discouraged over the loss, he worked to become a better man. The next time, he was elected and over the next sixteen years won the respect of everyone. He married Martha Dandridge Custis, a rich widow, in 1759. They were very happy together. Unfortunately he, like the other planters, soon became frustrated with the restrictions put upon them from England.

6 During the second Continental Congress in 1775, he was appointed Commander in Chief of the Continental Army. It was to be the start of six long years of war when he longed to be home. His army was often without food or clothing, as they were at Valley Forge, but they overcame many hardships and won the Revolutionary war.

7 Washington took the oath of office to be President in the city of New York in 1789. As the first President, he knew that everything he did set a precedent and would affect future office holders. He chose people from every state and walk of life to be in his government. He wanted everyone to be represented. He was willing to overlook the faults of some great men, because their virtues were needed to help him run the country.

8 When his second term ended, Washington was glad to step down. He longed to be away from the stress of government and be back at Mount Vernon. His retirement there lasted only three years. He died of a throat infection on December 14, 1799.

George Washington did not chop down the cherry tree but he did wear false teeth carved from the tusk of a hippopotamus. He was not a great man because he had no faults, he was a great man because he strove to overcome them. As part of that struggle he helped forge a nation, and he became known as the Father of his country.

Write 4 sentences about George Washington. Tell what you learned about him from the reading and the movie.

Here is the link to Brainpop movie on Washinton Watch Movie ( you will need to be logged in)

After you right you can visit these links and have some President’s day fun!

Virtual tour of Mount Vernon

Fun Facts about the President

Mount Rushmore Jigsaw puzzle

Washington Crossing the Delaware Puzzle

Online Chapter Book about George Washington

George Washington Word Search

Dollar-bill puzzle


Safe Posting

  1. Students using blogs are expected to treat blogspaces as classroom spaces. Speech that is inappropriate for class is not appropriate for our blog.We encourage you to engage in creative thinking,debate and conversation with each other bloggers, we also expect that you will conduct yourself in a manner reflective of a representative of this school.
  2. Never EVER EVER give out or record personal information on our blog. Our blog exists as a public space on the Internet. Don’t share anything that you don’t want the world to know. For your safety, be careful what you say, too. Don’t give out your phone number or home address. This is particularly important to remember if you have a personal online journal or blog elsewhere.
  3. Again, your blog is a public space. And if you put it on the Internet, odds are really good that it will stay on the Internet. Always. That means ten years from now when you are looking for a job, it might be possible for an employer to discover some really hateful and immature things you said when you were younger and more prone to foolish things. Be sure that anything you write you are proud of. It can come back to haunt you if you don’t.
  4. Never link to something you haven’t read. While it isn’t your job to police the Internet, when you link to something, you should make sure it is something that you really want to be associated with. If a link contains material that might be creepy or make some people uncomfortable, you should probably try a different source.
  5. Keep it clean and keep it civil. Comments on others posts should always be respectful. That does not mean you can not be critical of something that someone wrote. It does mean that you should always show respect. You do not have to agree with something that I said, or some one else said, but you should not be mean or hateful about it.

Five years later.

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It has been 5 years since 9/11/01. Most of you were only 5 years old when this event took place. I was a little older. I can tell you that for me it changed the world. In the next few days I will post some links to sites that show films, pictures and give oral histories of that terrible day. We will start at National Geographic .

If you would like to tell what you remember or leave a comment on September 11th 2001 you can do so at the end of the post. I will post a writing assignment later in the week after we do some research. I thought we could also post a list of bookmarks that we found to be good resources to delicious . Make our first social bookmark together. For now just tell me what you remember and what you think about that tragic day, and how it changed our world.


Welcome to room 311. 9.5.06

mtwash21 Hello. So if I were you I would be wondering why am I looking at a picture of a mountain in technology class? Well I am not going to tell you, yet. Except to tell you I have only gone mountain climbing three times in my life. All three times were very hard and completely amazing (one time I nearly died). Though I only did it three times mountain climbing changed the way I saw the world and myself forever. This year in this room (311) we will go many places, do many things and learn. Hopefully, by the end of the year your experience in room 311 will have changed you in some way. I certainly hope it changes me as well. This year we will enter the world of information. We will be consumers of information. We will learn how to research the right way on the Internet, watch films, listen to pod-casts, etc.. We will be producers of information. We will write and publish our own blog (for those of you who do not know, what you are reading is a blog). We will publish our own web-pages using wikis. We will use cameras and computers to create digital stories (slide-shows,movies, pod-casts) to share what we have learned. We will create web-quests and social bookmarks (a social bookmark is just what it says, it is a bookmark or list of websites about a particular subject .) What makes it social is any one with access to a computer can do a search on that topic using Google and come up with our particular list. It is social because we share it. I realize this may seem overwhelming. It is a daunting task to write and publish our own blog, create our own films, podcasts (what the heck is a podcast?) and social bookmarking. That brings us back to the mountain. Climbing a mountain is an overwhelming task. It is hard to do, exhausting, and can be dangerous. You have to pay attention constantly and learn many new skills in order to reach the top safely. That is how I see this year. Like climbing a mountain, in room 311 we will need to pay attention, work hard and open our minds to learning new ideas and skills. As for me, in addition to each student coming to class ready to learn, I need to know who you are. What interests you? What do you love? What do you hate? What is important in your life? What do you want to learn about? This will help me map out our path to the top of the information mountain. O.K. let’s go!