The supreme purpose of history is a better world.~ Herbert Hoover

Click on globe to take to the inmyEdZone Student Portal

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

ch1less1 The American Land

Hello 8th graders,
It's great to have you back into the swing of things. I have high hopes that this will be a productive and enjoyable year. We will spend most of this week understanding how geography has impacted our nation. Below the chapter guide are a few links to some geography games. Make sure to spend some time playing them as they will help with your overall understanding of our nation's geography. I will introduce the activity in class on Wednesday so I will expect that you have completed tonight's homework by tomorrow's class.

Click on the correct geographic region. (note: These regions differ from the ones described in the text)

Click on the correct lake.

Click on the correct river.

Why is this image important for the study of human geography?

Here's another helpful link on US geographical regions.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Welcome back Jr. High!

I would like to take the opportunity to welcome all new and returning families back to St Jerome for the 2012-2013 school year. As with each new school year, so many new adventures and opportunities lie ahead. I wish all the students great joy and success as they embark on a new school year.

"History is the witness that testifies to the passing of time; it illumines reality, vitalizes memory, provides guidance in daily life and brings us tidings of antiquity."

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Summer Reading

Congratulations on finishing the 2011-2012 school year! I’m excited about the opportunity to get to know you.  I hope you have an enjoyable summer and come back in late August re-energized, alert and prepared for the challenges of Jr High. Part of the preparation for Jr High students is summer reading.  Each summer students are encourage to read what they enjoy, whether that be the Classics, mysteries, nonfiction or comedy.  The goal is that students are reading.  I ask that all students return in August with a list of at least two books they have read: including title, author, pages, date started and date finished.  I ask that parents sign off each book as the student finishes (Reading log is provided).  There is also a suggested reading list posted on the school website using the Junior High link ( You may download a reading log template from EdZone.
            In addition to the books each student chooses to read on his/her own, I am requiring that every 6th grader read the novel Hatchet by Gary Paulson.  The book will be used to develop student’s reading, writing, thinking, listening, and speaking skills through a variety of assessments that will include exercises, activities, quizzes/tests.  Furthermore, students will be introduced to the writing process and will be writing assignments, each with the purpose of informing, persuading, or expressing personal opinions.   
The Borders at the Howard Hughes Center and the Barnes and Noble in the Marina have books in stock.  Both stores’ websites have easy ordering capabilities as well.  You may also be able to purchase a used copy of the book through “”
            To be completely prepared for the start of the school year, the students need to arrive at school with informal notes about the main character (Brian Robertson) and complete the plot outline.  The students have been briefed on these requirements and understand how to complete the plot questions.  The students will use their notes on the character to aid them in their writing assignment once they return to school.
            Thank you for your time and support.  The students will enjoy the novel and the analysis we do in class.  The theme of the story is relevant and the novel is a great opportunity to prepare the students for the upcoming year.

Mr. Ortega