Mr. Finley's AP/ US History
At this site you will find links to our presentations for the Westward Expansion study. We used an online software called Prezi ~ The Zooming Presentation Editor. Please keep in mind as you preview our work that you are only seeing half the presentation as they were actually used as a visual aid for our presentations in class.
The Digital Art Students at Skowhegan High School in Maine display art work from the ‘real’ world in virtual museums and galleries. Approximately 50 students enrolled in Paul Skowhegan’s (all avatars use the last name of their school) art classes are using some of the latest techniques and software to create works of art that can, theoretically, be shared worldwide.
Take a tour of our students' art work. Coil Sculpter from Iver Lofving's students, Cut Paper Musical Instruments from Joanna Hopkins' students, Graffiti and Cave Art from Paul LeBrun's students, and more.
To read more about this project and view student work, click here.
Honors English I
Ryan Smith and Maura Smith
Project: Interview a Real-Life Hero
This project is a culmination of the study of Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey.
According to the New World Dictionary of the American Language, an odyssey is “any extended wandering or journey.” In the epic, Odysseus’s extended journey includes travel, encounters with the supernatural, battle, heartache, adventure, romance, bravery in the face of adversity, reunion with loved ones, and a host of other epic elements. As part of their text study, students come to understand that the Greek culture placed great value on hospitality, feasting to celebrate events, kindness to all, and storytelling as an art form. Furthermore, students gain appreciation for the Greek epic as an esteemed story from which deeply “human” messages reach the audience; these messages transcend time, place, or one’s station in life.
|Hristina Petkova's Winning Project
||Hristina entered and won a competion offered through Civilizations aExchange and Cooperation Foundation. Read more about this and view the project here.
|9th Grade - NASA Video Conference
||This October, all 9th grade students participated in an interactive videoconference called “The Effects of Microgravity on the Human Body” with educators at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. This exciting activity is a part of the universe unit students are currently studying in physical science. One of the objectives of the unit is to help students build an understanding of the role of gravity in forming and maintaining planets, stars and the solar system.
|ATCO Tyrrell Distance Learning - Applied Science in Palaeontology: Physics
Scott Pillsbury's class participated in an interactive videoconference that helped them see how formulas and experiments taught in high school physics truly apply in the real world.
To learn more about the distance learning programs at the Royal Tyrrell Museum click here.
|Investigation of Organism Biodiversity
Throughout this school year, our biology class has been working with the University of Southern Maine ScienceCorps on a long-term project involving identification of micro and macroorganisms in a tank of pond water in our classroom.
Two graduate “fellows” from USM, Tracy Baumgarten and Kelly Cochran, visited our classroom about once a month to work with the students. They brought with them equipment used in current biological research as well as expertise in their fields as research scientists. Students worked alongside these fellows learning new technologies and applying them in lab situations.
USM invited our students to attend their annual Thinking Matters Symposium on April 30 on the Portland campus. Some of our SAHS students exhibited a poster they had worked on for about three weeks. Four other high schools from northern Maine, and USM graduate and undergraduate students also presented their research. Visitors from the University as well as community members viewed the posters (ranging over many topics; from genetics to building materials) asking questions and learning from our students. An oral presentation of the work done at each high school was also given.
|SAT Vocabulary Projects
||Ms. Lynch and her sophomore classes have been using Keynote to create SAT Prep Vocabulary projects.
|Michael Bevers - MidEast Interview
||Teachers have been finding ways to use our Tandberg (Video conferencing equipment) when making global connections. The links to the left are two of the many conferences our students participated in during the 2009-2010 school year.
|Sierra Leone ~ Magortu Emmanuel
||Ms. Bailey encourages her students to create as they study math concepts. This video is an example of what talented students are able to do when given the time and tools needed.
Storytelling ~ Smith
|One of the most important skills that student speakers can master is telling children's stories. Storytelling is an ancient art that connects people by way of sharing a common language and engaging audiences through live performance. Furthermore, today's students are tomorrow's parents; it is important that students learn to read children's literature and to tell children's stories so that young audiences are engaged and learn from the reader's interpretation of language.
This project was conceived in the spirit of learning about the art of storytelling, particularly through interpreting children's stories; however, as a 21st century class, we recognize the benefit of using technology as a vehicle through which to deliver stories. Collaborating with Mrs. Wilber (kindergarten), Mrs. Goggin (kindergarten), and Mrs. Susi (grade one)--teachers at North Elementary School--speech classes presented stories that youngsters determined to be their "favorites." GOLDIE, an adaptation of GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS--selected by Mrs. Wilber's class--was filmed and edited using IMovie. THE GINGERBREAD MAN, selected by Mrs. Goggin's students and performed using a reader's theater script provided by Mrs. Susi, was delivered "live" via the Tandberg videoconferencing equipment that MSAD #54 received through a Rural Utilities Service (RUS) distance learning and telemedicine grant.
We hope you enjoy this fusion of presenting an ancient art form and delivering it through a modern means. We welcome questions and feedback.
|The Julius Caesar Podcasts ~ Jeremy Lehan
As a culmination to our study of the
great Shakespearean tragedy, Julius Caesar, students were asked to
memorize a famous speech from the play--an assignment I’ve
traditionally given. On a test, students wrote down the memorized
lines and explained what those lines revealed about the character.
After some inspirational training from the folks at “MLTI,” however,
I decided to add a technological twist. Students would turn their
memorized speeches into a Shakespearean Podcast; this new product
would—I hoped mightily—add to their repertoire of computer
skills as well as deepen their understanding and appreciation of
the Shakespearean language.
I think the results speak for themselves. I’ve included my
own humble effort along with a smattering of the delightful student
As a culmination to the study of their own grammatical errors, members of this junior class created Podcasts—brief audio programs that are often available for free download on iTunes and other websites.
Students were directed to create instructive and practical content. The program had to explain the error to listeners, as well as offer tips to help avoid and/or correct the mistake.
Who knows? The next Grammar Girl or Angry Grammarian (two hosts of professionally produced Podcasts) may hail from central Maine.
I think the results speak for themselves. I’ve included my own humble effort along with a smattering of the delightful student products. Enjoy!
Student Produced Math Instructional Videos
Sarah Salisbury ~ Instructor
Students created three minute instructional
videos on how to solve systems of linear equations for a specific
In my students words… “When kids my own age are doing
the teaching, I’m more likely to listen and learn”
Objective: “To create an educational video that teaches people
how to do one of the three ways to solve systems of equations (substitution,
What did you learn? Many students felt they learned the mathematical
process better in having to create their video. Other responses were:
how to use video equipment, import data, edit movies, create own
music, and create effects on i-movie. One student said, “I
learned how to use a ton of technology even though it was causing
many problems too”
Laura Libby's English Classes
I was inspired to create a poetry
project after visiting the Favorite Poem Project’s website.
http://www.favoritepoem.org/project.html Robert Pinsky, former Poet
Laureate of the United States, founded this project in 1997 with
the intent of encouraging people to read, share, and celebrate the
poems that they loved.
The site features videos of people from all walks of life reading
and talking about poems they love. We showed many of these videos
to our students as we prepared for their readings. In our classes,
students selected poems that meant something to them, spent time
rehearsing their readings and reflecting about why they responded
to these poems, and then we filmed the readings, edited the films
using iMovie, Fireworks, and GarageBand.
This project has given students a chance to practice their speaking
skills, to explain their interest in or history with a poem, and
to learn some new technology skills.
Elizabeth Wathen's English Class 2008
|I got the idea for the poetry reading project after
researching the Poetry Out Loud competition and the Favorite Poem Project.
http://www.favoritepoem.org/project.html I used elements of both to
create this project. We started reading different poems and working
with those, we wrote poems based on styles, and I also showed them
video clips from the Favorite poem project as models. The students
proceeded to choose favorite poems and find information on the Internet
about the poems and the authors. The students then presented to the
class and were videotaped. The last step for them was to use technology:
imovie, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, and Garage Band, in order to finalize
their projects and make them fit for the Internet. Through this project
students were able to utilize fluency and analysis with poetry while
using the available technology to enhance these skills. Another remarkable
thing about this project is that it gave students a way to interact
with the poetry on a personal level because they explained why they
chose their poems and related them to their lives.
||This stream study reflects the State
of Maine Learning Results by demonstrating standard strands in the
categories of Skills and Traits of Scientific Inquiry where students
need to methodically plan, conduct, analyze data from, and communicate
results of in-depth scientific investigations including experiments
guided by a testable hypothesis, and in the strand of Systems where
students apply an understanding of systems to explain and analyze man-made
and natural phenomena in addition the Science, Technology, and Society
strand where students describe the role of science and technology in
creating and solving contemporary issues and challenges.
Sports Entertainment and Marketing
|This course allowed students to develop leadership
and academic skills through the process of creating a community brochure
and video. Students were divided into advertising teams in which they
had to come up with an advertising team name and slogan. After coming
up with a team name and slogan, teams created business cards to use
when out in the community meeting and talking with business owners
and community members. Each team decided as to whether they wanted
to do a project on the Run of the River or Skowhegan Downtown Revitalization.
This project involved students in work that was challenging, complex,
and filled with student choice and decision-making, and promoted collaborative
working partnerships between youth and adults. The students really
learned a lot about their community, the importance of encouraging
people to use their downtown. Students could actually see the value
in completing the project, knowing that their work will be used in
|This I Believe-Our Essays
||This I Believe is a national media project engaging people in writing, sharing, and discussing the core values and beliefs that guide their daily lives. NPR airs these three-minute essays on Morning Edition and All Things Considered. The project is based on the popular 1950s radio series of the same name hosted by Edward R. Murrow.
|Health PSA Project
Tobacco Public Service Announcement
Each Group will create a Public Service Announcement (PSA) associated with the harmful effect of tobacco use and abuse. This project is designed to get all members of the group involved in creating the project. Each member will be graded on the specific area that they committed to doing.
A climograph is a useful tool for displaying the average temperature and average precipitation of locations around the world. By combining a line graph showing temperature fluctuations over the course of a year and 12 bars representing the monthly rainfall, a quick understanding of climate is revealed.
Students in my Honors World Studies class were charged with the task of creating individual climographs and analyzing them in light of the 4 factors that shape climate: latitude, wind patterns/ocean currents, elevation, and landforms.
In the process, students gained valuable familiarity with Excel (creating graphs), Fireworks, (editing images), and Dreamweaver (webpage creation). Whether developing new skills or honing previously held ones, this will serve them beyond my class.
|| Chemistry students work with
mentors from Sappi Fine Paper Company to solve hypothetical
"real" world water quality issues. From the hypothetical scenarios,
student teams are required to locate and isolate a given water contaminant.
Students are then required to develop scientifically and economically
feasible solutions to the problem and present findings and solutions
to a team of evaluators made up of mentors, administrators, teachers,
||The curriculum for "Contemporary Mathematics
in Context" builds upon the theme of mathematics as sense-making.
Investigations of real-life contexts leads to discovery of important
mathematics that make sense to students and, in turn, enable them
to make sense out of new situations and problems. Each year the four
strands of mathematics are studied: algebra and functions, geometry
and trigonometry, statistics and probability, and discrete mathematics.
Web pages that summarize the relevant topics are created and used
by students, teachers, and parents who are interested in review,
preview, and learning.
||Mrs. Wathen's portfolio is an example of how
we are working to improve the comfort level of our teachers as they
use technology. Elizabeth is a regular in our Staff Development courses
and is constantly seeking to improve her skill level along with the
skill levels of her students.
||Mrs. Bolvin has put her Biology curriculum
online. The links contain information such as
class expectations, grading rubrics, class projects, chapter/unit
expectations as well as links to obtain more indepth information
on the topics covered in class.
||"What is being attempted here is an exercise
in intellectual summation. From my perspective as instructor, my
greatest concern is that the aggregation of knowledge and skill has,
at some point in their tenure here, a focus. I believe that the portfolio
is an excellent vehicle for that focus. It provides each student
with the ability to select, refine, and enhance the best that they
have done to date. It is a cross-curriculum exercise, for it involves
language arts, music, dance, mathematics, history, and drama."
Pierce, SAHS Honors English Teacher
SAHS Blogs these are now a part of Moodle and do not have public access.
Weblogs or blogs have provided an opportunity
for teachers and students to communicate and collaborate in
a new and exciting way. A blog (short for weblog) is an interactive
web page where individuals can post entries, articles, links, and
pictures and ask others to join in conversations. The Blog provides
a comfortable venue for many students to express their ideas. It
promotes a risk-free environment by creating opportunities for all
students in and out of class to join the discussion. The blog has
allowed teachers to expand the boundaries of learning beyond the
classroom as students engage in conversations with fellow classmates
and students from other schools outside of the regularly scheduled