Frequently Asked Questions about Mr. Ojeda's Class


Below, you will find answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) regarding my class. If you have any other questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. By working together and communicating openly, I am confident that we can provide all students with positive opportunities to learn and grow.
 

- Mr. Ojeda

 

 

How can parents contact me?
In addition to sending notes in your childࡧenda, there are two main ways to contact me:
E-mail: My e-mail address is OJEDAMI@edu.elizabeth.k12.nj.us.
Voicemail and Homework Hotline: If you wish to check your child͊homework assignments for the week, you may call the Board of Education Homework Hotline at (908) 436-6130. My extension is #21914. By calling this extension, you may also leave me a voicemail message.

What is social studies? How does this class benefit my child?
Social studies is a broad term that encompasses several academic areas, including civics, history, economics, and geography. Study in these academic areas has innumerable benefits, including:

  • Students become better thinkers and communicators by analyzing and evaluating important events and ideas.

  • Students develop an awareness of other cultures.

  • Students build connections with the past, especially their parts in the long story of human civilization.

  • Students develop the skills and knowledge necessary to participate in a democratic society.

When students inquire as to why they should learn about history, geography and the like, I respond by asking them about important events in their own lives and the lives of their families. We discuss the extent to which those experiences have shaped who they are and what they know about the world. Eventually, the dialogue brings students to an essential truth: If we wish to understand who we are and where we堧oing, it helps to know where we are and how we got here.

How do you decide what is taught?
The New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards outline what students should know and be able to do. These standards are benchmarked, indicating which skills and content should be mastered at specific grade levels. All instruction in my classroom is aligned with these standards. This ensures that students develop a strong background in the social studies and are well-prepared for future learning opportunities.

How does social studies fit into my child௶erall learning experience?
In the sixth grade, social studies instruction (i.e. world geography) is infused with the language arts into one humanities course.  Over the course of the year, all students participate in a number of different activities, including:

  • Historical simulations

  • Review games

  • Cooperative learning activities

  • Debates and other public speaking activities

  • Small group and whole group discussions

  • Creative and expository writing

  • Cross-curricular units (i.e. units of study where students explore how the social studies interact with mathematics, science, and other academic areas)

  • Viewing of historical films and documentaries

  • Study of primary sources (i.e. firsthand accounts of events and ideas) and secondary sources (i.e. secondhand accounts and reference documents)

What types of homework tasks will my child be assigned?
Over the course of the year, homework assignments will vary significantly. An outline of our current unit of study, including homework assignments, can also be found in the section of this site devoted to my class. These assignments may include background reading, interactive notes (see my Interactive Notes PowerPoint Slideshow), test preparation, and completion of class-related work. Nevertheless, the following procedures remain consistent:

  • All students are instructed to note homework assignments in their agendas.

  • All homework assignments will be posted on the schoolਯmework hotline and announced in class.

It is important to keep in mind, especially when working on group projects or learning centers (see my Parent's Guide to Learning Centers PowerPoint Slideshow), that students within the same homeroom may have different homework assignments (e.g. Michael has to finish a writing assignment for homework while Maria completes her class timeline). In this case, it is especially important that students keep track of their assignments in their agendas.
 

What happens if my child is absent?
If a student is absent and misses an assignment, I ask that he/she complete the assignment for homework and submit it prior to the end of that unit of study. If the assignment requires specific guidance or instruction that your child missed, I will make arrangements to meet with him/her during class or recess. If a student misses a test, he/she should be prepared to take the test during our next meeting.

What supplies will my child need for social studies class?
For fourth and fifth grade social studies, students are asked to have the following supplies:

 

  • One notebook

  • Loose leaf

  • One pocket folder

  • Erasers, pencils

What are exit cards?
An exit card is a commonly used method of assessing what students have learned from a specific lesson. Hereਯw they work:

  • Students participate in a lesson or other learning activity.

  • Each student is given a blank index card.

  • Students respond to an open-ended question that relates to the lesson objective (e.g. What were the primary causes of the American Revolution?)

  • The cards are graded using an exit card rubric.

  • While other students are working on another activity, those students who earned below a 3 on their exit cards meet with me during class to review the material.

What are questions of the day?
At the beginning of each class, students are given a slip of paper on which to answer a question of rolex replica watches the day: a question that will get students thinking about the content of the day's lesson. The slip is collected and graded daily; students receive a weekly classwork grade for these assignments.

 

Will my child be taking many tests and quizzes?
The majority of students粡des in social studies are based on class activities. However, I also use a mix of quizzes, tests, and performance-based assessments (e.g. oral presentations, participation in class discussions) to replica watches uk measure what students have mastered and what must be revisited. After students receive graded quizzes and tests, they are asked to make any necessary corrections and have the test signed by a parent/guardian. The test or quiz should then be returned at our next meeting.
In addition, I also administer some tests digitally using http://www.unitedstreaming.com, one of our school௮line programs. In the case of digital tests, students will note the grade in their agendas and have them signed. If you would like to see a grade report from your childऩgital test, please note your request in his/her agenda and I will send it out as soon as possible.

What are my students presently studying?
A description of our class activities, as well as most materials that I create for students, may be found in the section of this site devoted to my class. Certain class materials may not be posted on this site due to copyright concerns.

How can I help my child prepare for tests and learn more about the social studies?
I advise students to prepare for tests and quizzes by reviewing their notes and readings for the unit. In addition, they should look closely at the ⪥ctive-Questionsﮠtheir prescriptions. These are the guiding questions that we are trying to rolex replica uk answer over the course of the unit (e.g. What were the main effects of the Age of Exploration on the people of the Americas?). If they can answer these questions effectively and have reviewed their class materials, they should do fine.
In addition to this, parents are able to help their children learn about the social studies in countless ways, including:

  • Take your child with you when you vote.

  • Watch the news with your child.

  • Discuss your views on political issues.

  • Tell your child about your familyడst.

  • Watch historical films.

  • Visit a museum or library (The Main Branch of the Elizabeth Public Library has an entire reference room specifically dedicated to the history of New Jersey and Elizabeth).

What is your classroom discipline policy?
My classroom discipline policy is aligned with those used by my colleagues teaching math, language arts, and science.  We encourage students to be responsible, diligent, and compassionate and reflect on our Pledge of Ethics.  For a copy of the current policy, click here.

What is Renzulli Learning Systems (RLS)?
RLS is a schoolwide system used to help students plan and develop independent projects during their daily elective periods.  During these periods, students work on projects based on their own interests and curiosities.  For additional information, you may wish to visit Renzulli Learning Online.

What does IG/HR mean?
Oftentimes, you may see IG or HR on your childడpers. IG stands for instructional group (e.g. 4R, 5B, etc.); HR stands for homeroom (e.g. 200, 201). Starting with school year 2007-2008, all students' homerooms and instructional groups will be linked. All students in a given homeroom will be in the same IG for all regular classes.  Students will continue to be scheduled independently for their elective periods.

What are interactive notes (I-Notes)?
For an explanation and examples of I-Notes, click here (may require Microsoft PowerPoint to be viewed properly; you may download a free PowerPoint Viewer by clicking here).

Last Updated on June 20, 2010

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