Final Thoughts & Final Grades

Joke of the Day!

Why can History class be confusing?

Because the teacher keeps asking me about things that happened before I was born!

Hahaha, that’s me! I’m that teacher! We needed a classic history joke to finish us off!

It was so dang lovely to hear from some of you on Wednesday at our last Hangout. Meeting with yall was always my favorite part of the week, quite honestly. And I have received some emails from yall (students and parents alike!) that have made me smile ear-to-ear 😁 Thank you.

Tiny bit of Housekeeping: I submitted final grades on Wednesday! So if you recently sent me late work, I will not be grading it because your grade was already finalized.

On the note of grades, I know that some of you are stressing about summer school or about final grades. While doing your work is important because that is part of how you practice your skills and absorb new info, grades are just one piece of school, and they do NOT reflect who you are as a person. There is so much more to all of you than a random letter and percentage.

Grades do NOT show:

  • How kind you are.
  • How funny you are.
  • How much you learned.
  • How good of a friend you are.
  • How hard you tried in class.
  • How successful you will be in the future.

Grades DO show:

  • How you did on an assignment.

At the beginning of the year I showed you this video. As I watch it now in the middle of a pandemic, it is even MORE relevant.

The video talks about:

  • Time management ⏰
  • Self control 💪
  • Self care 💚
  • Mental/emotional health 💆
  • Getting more sleep 😴
  • Connecting the dots between what is talked about in class and your real life 🎉🎊

We have no clear idea what school will look like next year, but all of these things are going to be EVEN MORE IMPORTANT. So take care of yourself this summer, so you can take on whatever craziness is in store for us next year!

If you are doing summer school, think of this video and remember that you’re not defined by scores and grades. Make summer school an opportunity to polish up your skills and prepare for success next year.

I miss you all already!! I hope your summer is safe and everyone you love stays healthy. You are more than welcome to contact me at my personal email: kate.ulfers@gmail.com

HAPPY SUMMER!!!!!

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Last Class Hangout Today!

Our Video Chat is TODAY, but we will be meeting 30 minutes EARLIER than usual.

  • 1st & 3rd hours: 12-12:30 pm
  • 4th, 5th, & 6th hours: 12:45-1:15 pm

We are using iLearn and the Big Blue Button (BBB) to video conference. In case you have not used ilearn or BBB yet, here is step-by-step instructions.

  1. Go to https://moodle.dearbornschools.org/login/ and log in using your school ID and password
  2. You will see a large box that says “Enrollment Code”. In this box you will put in the code rc8qnu
  3. Click “Enroll”
  4. You will now be enrolled in “Ulfers Ancient World History”. Open this class.
  5. You will see three links:
    – “Hours 1 & 3 BBB Class Hangout”
    – “Hours 4, 5 & 6 BBB Class Hangout”
    – “Ulfers Office Hours (meet one-on-one)”.

6. To join the Class Hangout, scroll to the link that says your hour and underneath it click the blue “b” titled Hangout BBB.

7. After you click it, you will see a button that says “Join Session”. If I am already in the video chat, you will be able to click “Join Session” and join the chat!

I will miss you all so much, so if you can make it today to the chat, it would be wonderful to be able to say goodbye to you!

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A heads up for next year!

Hi team!

We are almost done with the year… yall certainly had a memorable and unique 7th grade experience, that’s for sure.

All of your late work and corrections need to be in by midnight tonight. After that, you will be officially done with 7th grade World History!

I want take a quick moment to be very honest with you.

We have had the weirdest school year I can ever remember (as a student or a teacher). Almost overnight we were ripped apart from each other and thrown into uncertainty, instability and confusion.
Honestly, I have rarely felt so proud of students or PARENTS because we all adapted as best as we could in a really crappy situation (pardon my language).

Unfortunately, there is one sure-thing that we can count on: we are going to have a second wave of Covid. We’re not sure when and we’re not sure how bad. But it will happen. And it is because of this fact that I will not be returning to Smith next year.

As you all know, I am an only-kid from Oregon. My parents still live in Oregon and are nearing the lively age of 70. They are healthy. But if that changes, I cannot be over 2,300 miles away from them, feeling helpless in the middle of the second wave.

This might not make sense to some of you, especially if you have been stuck in the house with your family and everyone is getting on your nerves.

Some of you may love the idea of moving and exploring the world away from your family, or traveling thousands of miles away from Michigan and seeing how life is different in different places. I hope you all get a chance to explore. And when you’re done exploring, maybe you’ll understand my choice to go back to my family.

One of my fears of leaving is that I am afraid that you’ll feel I am abandoning you. Or that you’ll think that you did something wrong and I didn’t enjoy teaching you.

That is 100% FALSE. I loved being your teacher. I still tell people stories of the different crazy things we’ve done in class, like the Hunter-Gatherer Scavenger Hunt (I am still missing 3 cards!!) or when we were a Legalist classroom and I scared you all and broke a ruler. Most of my close friends have helped me grade and know your names! (I promise it’s not creepy, they only know first names).

Anyway, this year didn’t end the way I wanted it to, and I am extremely sad at the idea of not seeing you as an 8th grader in the halls next year. But I am also happy because I have seen so many groovy changes in each of you since August, and if you joined our classroom later in the year, I am so glad we spent some amount of time together!

Tomorrow is our last Class Hangout video chat for the year! I would LOVE it if you joined and shared whatever fun or weird time you remember from this year in class. Or at least joined in to say a quick goodbye.

THERE HAS BEEN A CHANGE IN THE TIME!!

  • 1st & 3rd hours: 12-12:30 pm
  • 4th, 5th, & 6th hours: 12:45-1:15 pm

I really hope to see many of you tomorrow!! Thanks for being awesome.

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Monday, June 8th!

Joke of the Day:

How do billboards talk to each other?

Sign Language!

Here is the calendar for this week:

There are NO NEW ASSIGNMENTS this week! Whoohoo!

Teachers are working like crazy to grade all of the late work that is streaming in. FYI, emailing teachers telling us to hurry up will not make your work graded any faster.

In THIS CLASS, I will be accepting late work until TUESDAY (tomorrow) at MIDNIGHT! Get your late work or corrections in by tomorrow, June 9th, at 11:59 pm.

Tomorrow is the cutoff for late work. You have had weeks to do corrections and turn in work. Waiting until the last minute when summer school is looming over your head if not an effective strategy.

Also, don’t cheat. It may be stressful trying to complete several assignments in the next few days. It will get much more stressful when I catch you plagiarizing and email home about it. So do you own HONEST work.

Office Hours:

Tuesday from 2-3:30 I will be available for last minute one-on-one meetings.

Class Hangout:

LAST ONE! This Wednesday!

  • 1st & 3rd hours: 12:30-1pm
  • 4th, 5th, & 6th hours: 1:15-1:45pm

This will be a farewell video chat. More details on that in tomorrow’s post. It’s not required. But I would really really love to touch base with yall one more time.

Happy Monday, get that late work in (and make sure that it is YOUR work)!

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Class Hangout TODAY!

Hello! We will be meeting on BBB today:

  • 1st & 3rd hours: 12:30-1pm
  • 4th, 5th, & 6th hours: 1:15-1:45pm

When you login to our iLearn class, go to your hour’s BBB Hangout. The basic agenda is to check in on the assignment for this week. I want to clear up any confusions you may have!

We are using iLearn and the Big Blue Button (BBB) to video conference. In case you have not used ilearn or BBB yet, here is step-by-step instructions.

  1. Go to https://moodle.dearbornschools.org/login/ and log in using your school ID and password
  2. You will see a large box that says “Enrollment Code”. In this box you will put in the code rc8qnu
  3. Click “Enroll”
  4. You will now be enrolled in “Ulfers Ancient World History”. Open this class.
  5. You will see three links:
    – “Hours 1 & 3 BBB Class Hangout”
    – “Hours 4, 5 & 6 BBB Class Hangout”
    – “Ulfers Office Hours (meet one-on-one)”.

6. To join the Class Hangout, scroll to the link that says your hour and underneath it click the blue “b” titled Hangout BBB.

7. After you click it, you will see a button that says “Join Session”. If I am already in the video chat, you will be able to click “Join Session” and join the chat!

Once again, these Hangouts are not required, but I would love to hear or see from you!

Also, remember, if you want a one-on-one video chat or phone call, I have my Office Hours this week on Friday from 2-3:30 pm, or by appointment.

See yall soon!

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A note on Late Work!

Joke of the Day:

How does the ocean say “hello”?

It waves!

I have gotten quite a few emails about late work and I want to clarify a couple things.

  1. I will not grade late work until current assignments have been graded and posted. If you wanted your scores quickly, then the assignment should have been turned in when I was grading that assignment.
  2. If you have made corrections to past assignments… good! I will re-grade them when I am done with current work.
  3. I will not be putting as many comments and feedback on late work. I’ll try my best, but in the last 4 days I have received over FIFTY late assignments. I will not have the time or energy to put detailed comments on all of this work. If you want personalized feedback on an assignment, you can email me.

This is our last week of online school! Next week we will be tidying everything up, but there will not be new assignments. Almost there!!

Also, it was so lovely to see some of you yesterday at the locker pick-up! Seeing your faces made my week 😁😌

Have a safe and productive day, team!

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Monday, JUNE 1st!

Hi Team!

Quick reminder: Locker clean out is happening TODAY! See the note below from Ms. Jebril.

Here is the Weekly Calendar for this week:

THIS IS OUR LAST WEEK FOR NEW ASSIGNMENTS!! After this week, you will not be assigned new work because the last week of school is devoted to making up late work. So make sure to Finish Strong!

Office Hours this week:

I will be available for one-on-one chats (phone or video):

  • Tuesday: 3:30-4:30
  • Friday: 2-3:30

Class Hangout this week:

We are meeting up for a video Hangout on BBB the same time as usual this week: WEDNESDAY!!

  • 1st & 3rd hours: 12:30-1pm
  • 4th, 5th, & 6th hours: 1:15-1:45pm

When you login to our iLearn class, go to your hour’s BBB Hangout. Do not go to another hour’s BBB. I know who is in which period, so if you intentionally go into the wrong Hangout, I will ask you to leave and come back when your class is meeting.

You can find instructions on how to log into iLearn in last week’s post!

This Week’s (last) Assignment:

Last week we wrapped up Ancient Rome, and this week we are zooming across a large ocean away from Greece and Rome and landing in Mesoamerica. Mesoamerica includes parts of North and South America where three large and powerful empires ruled for thousands of years: the Incas, Mayas and Aztecs. Hopefully you have heard of them… or at least one of them!

These three empires usually get lumped together in school because they are taught in the same unit. However, please understand that they are three very unique groups. They are located in different places, spoke different languages, had different rituals and had very different cultures.

This week’s assignment is a brief overview of each civilization. You’ll read a few paragraphs, and answer a couple of questions on each empire. Since we don’t have time to dive deep into this unit, this assignment is just meant to give you a little bit of familiarity with names and locations.

As always, this is due on Friday at midnight on Google Classroom.

Joke of the Day:

No, I didn’t forget! 😀

What kind of music do mummies love?

Wrap music!

Stay safe and yall have a productive week…. finish strong!

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FRIDAY, May 29th!

Joke of the Day:

Why did the teacher put on sunglasses?

Because her students were so bright! 😎

Hi team!

I wanted to remind you all that I have Office Hours from 2-3:30 today. If you want to touch base via phone or video chat, let me know and I’ll arrange it. I know a lot of you are trying to get caught up by turning in late work. If you are stuck on an assignment, reach out to me and we can work through it together.

Also, remember that your assignment, the Wrap-Up Rome Poster, is due tonight by midnight!

On a more serious note: If you have been watching the news or on social media this week, you’ll know that there is a huge amount of pain and conflict happening throughout our country right now. The murders of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd have triggered intense and painful conversations and conflicts, and once again a deep divide between Americans is easy to see.

I wish we could be together in class so we could process everything that has been happening together as a team. Since that isn’t an option, I ask that you take some time to inform yourself about what is happening right now. Part of me wants to shelter you all from the chaos. But a larger part of me knows that to ignore these current events is a privilege that some of you do not have.

Basically, as you all move on to 8th grade and beyond, there are things that I wish you didn’t have to experience. I was speaking to a parent the other day and we agreed that we wish us adults could fix all the world’s pain before you have to go out and live it.

I’m comforted, though, because I know a secret. I know that all yall are capable of more understanding, compassion, empathy and kindness than most adults give you credit for. So as we progress to the end of the school year and get ready for an unpredictable summer, keep practicing that compassion and kindness. We’re going to need it 💙💛

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Class Hangout TODAY!

We will be meeting on BBB today:

  • 1st & 3rd hours: 12:30-1pm
  • 4th, 5th, & 6th hours: 1:15-1:45pm

When you login to our iLearn class, go to your hour’s BBB Hangout. Do not go to another hour’s BBB. I know who is in which period, so if you intentionally go into the wrong Hangout, I will ask you to leave and come back when your class is meeting.

The basic agenda is to check in on the assignment for this week. I want to clear up any confusions you may have!

We are using iLearn and the Big Blue Button (BBB) to video conference. In case you have not used ilearn or BBB yet, here is step-by-step instructions.

  1. Go to https://moodle.dearbornschools.org/login/ and log in using your school ID and password
  2. You will see a large box that says “Enrollment Code”. In this box you will put in the code rc8qnu
  3. Click “Enroll”
  4. You will now be enrolled in “Ulfers Ancient World History”. Open this class.
  5. You will see three links:
    – “Hours 1 & 3 BBB Class Hangout”
    – “Hours 4, 5 & 6 BBB Class Hangout”
    – “Ulfers Office Hours (meet one-on-one)”.

6. To join the Class Hangout, scroll to the link that says your hour and underneath it click the blue “b” titled Hangout BBB.

7. After you click it, you will see a button that says “Join Session”. If I am already in the video chat, you will be able to click “Join Session” and join the chat!

Once again, these Hangouts are not required, but I would love to hear or see from you!

Also, remember, if you want a one-on-one video chat or phone call, I have my Office Hours this week Thursday and Friday from 2-3:30 pm, or by appointment.

See yall soon!

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Tuesday, May 26th!

Eid Mubarak and happy Memorial Day!! Hope you all had a relaxing, long weekend, and soaked up a little sun!

Joke of the Day:

What is a snake’s favorite class in school?

Hisssss-tory!

Here is the Weekly Calendar!

Housekeeping: Class Hangout and Office Hours

Our Class Hangout on BBB is the same time is was last week!

We are meeting this WEDNESDAY!!

  • 1st & 3rd hours: 12:30-1pm
  • 4th, 5th, & 6th hours: 1:15-1:45pm

When you login to our iLearn class, go to your hour’s BBB Hangout. Do not go to another hour’s BBB. I know who is in which period, so if you intentionally go into the wrong Hangout, I will ask you to leave and come back when your class is meeting.

You can find instructions on how to log into iLearn in last week’s post!

Office Hours This Week:

If you want a one-on-one video chat or phone call, I have my Office Hours this week Thursday and Friday from 2-3:30 pm, or by appointment.

Housekeeping: WEB!

Tomorrow, Wednesday, is the deadline to get in your WEB Leader applications!

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1VUSfrGr5eTwlnkOhHcP1bLeRhDipiy-GTAHTSj9ICC8/
(You must be logged into your school email when you click the link!)

WEB is for 8th graders who can to guide and help incoming 6th graders transition into Smith. You don’t have to be an A student, be in a lot of clubs, or be outgoing to be a WEB leader. You need to be kind and willing to get out of your comfort zone in order to help people feel comfortable.

Email me if you have a specific question about WEB!

Housekeeping: Moving on to 8th Grade

This week a letter is going out to y’alls parents and families who are in danger of having to attend Summer School. Each teacher is sending a letter for their class. If you receive the letter(s), there is still time to make up work in order to earn credit for the class.

However, it is not your teachers’ jobs to remind and nag you to turn in missing work, or make corrections on assignments. That was your responsibility from the beginning.

My recommendation: Instead of sending an email to teachers asking for extra credit and “what can I do about my grade”, do what you should have done originally.

  • Turn in Missing work
  • Make corrections on assignments and resubmit them
  • Complete all assignments over the next few weeks

It’s that simple. Don’t bother us asking “what do I do” when you know exactly what we expect. You’re smart. Figure it out.

This Week’s Assignment

Legacy: Something that is left for future people and generations… a gift for the future to use!

We are wrapping up Rome this week by making a poster of the different Roman legacies. On Google Classroom you will find a blank poster that you will need to fill out. On the poster you will need to include:

  • THREE Roman legacies
  • THREE descriptions of the effect on modern day
  • THREE pictures
  • ONE summary relating to your personal life 

Show me that you understand how Ancient Rome affects life today.

You will use this video to guide you through the different legacies.

This assignment will be due this FRIDAY by midnight. Because it is a Wrap Up of a unit, it will be worth more points!

Have a great sunny week!

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