Thursday, January 23, 2014

"Letter To The Editor" Project

"You have to respect every person, no matter how miserable or ridiculous he or she may be.  You should remember that in every person lives the same spirit which lives in us"

                                           - After Arthur Schopenhauer (A Calendar Of Wisdom by Leo Tolstoy)

Today you will be introduced to "Letters To The Editor".  This project will help you to understand the meaning of the 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

noun: opinion; plural noun: opinions
a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.
"I'm writing to voice my opinion on an issue of great importance"
synonyms:belief, judgment, thought(s), (way of) thinking, mind, (point of) view, viewpoint, outlook, attitude, stance, position, perspective, persuasion, standpoint;

Think about an important issue in your world today.  Choose an article that has an opinion about your issue.  You will use the following tools to complete your letters:

STEP 1 Read "Write an Opinion Piece or a Letter to the Editor for Your Local Newspaper"

You must also read the following article from the New York Times about how to get your letter published:  NYTIMES ARTICLE (Click Here)

STEP 2Review the following websites to understand how the media may influence the reporting of subjects and events. 


STEP 3:  Find An Article on an issue that is important to you online.

STEP 4:  Use the following tools to help you outline the article and write the letter.


STEP 5:  Create a NEW Document in your GOOGLE DRIVE.  Name the Document "(Your Last Name) LTE"  Re-Type  or Copy the letter you created in the format we have been using in MS Word.  Include the link to your article in your EMAIL to me.  Turn in your work by clicking SEND AS ATTACHMENT under the FILE Heading of Google Drive.  In the body of your email, include a one paragraph written explanation about why you chose the article and why this topic is important to you and the link to your article.

Your final email should include the link to the article, your Letter to the Editor, and your explanation.  I hope this project gets you thinking about something important and helps you to focus your opinions.


- Mr S

Grading RUBRIC

Deliverables (Items That Must Be Turned In): 

1.  Email with link to article must be addressed to
     Subject:  Letter To The Editor Article
     Email Main Body:  (Paste the link to your article)

2.  Complete the Newspaper Article Summary Questions Worksheet about your article. 
     (Handwritten with your name on it)

3.  Final Emails should include the following items: 

     Persuasion Map (PDF) & Letter Creator (PDF) are for an additional 30 points of extra credit

     GOOGLE DRIVE "Letter to the Editor"

     Body of Email:  2-3 Paragraph Explanation of why you chose this article/topic and paste the link   to article again for reference purposes.  LETTER must be in the class format (See Example Above), include proper formatting, date, address, topic, and greeting.  The letter must be no less than 11 font and no more than 12 font.  The letter must include introduction paragraph, at least two supporting paragraphs, a conclusion paragraph and finish appropriately.  The letter must also contain proper grammar, spelling, capitalization and punctuation.

Please list a REFERENCE at the bottom of your article similar to this:

Reference:  "Title of Article", by (Author), Name of Publication/Website, Date Published
                    (Copy and Paste Weblink Here)

You will be graded using the following rubric:

10 pts - Accurate Email with link to article.
90 pts - MS Word "Letter To The Editor"
                10 pts - Google Drive Document, Emailed as Attachement
                10 pts - Proper heading and addressing.
                40 pts - Grammar, Punctuation, Spelling, and Capitalization
                30 pts - Timely, Appropriate Theme, and Complete Content

Additional Points (Extra Credit For This Assignment)
15 pts - Persuasion Map (PDF)
15 pts - Letter Creator (PDF)

This assignment is designed to help you develop critical thinking skills, and to help you learn how to voice your opinion about a current topic in a responsible way.  Please take you time to complete this assignment correctly.  See the example below for an idea of how to submit this project.

- Mr. S


Each picture is a step from the original directions.  I have chosen the following article to work with for my example Philly.Com Opinion Article (Click Here)

Article:  "Don't Set School Rules Based On Fear" by Bengston/Maranto ( Editorial)

STEP 1:  Read the articles about what makes a good "Letter To The Editor"

STEP 2:  Choose an opinion-based article on a topic you are interested in.

STEP 3:  Create a Summary of your article (SEE BELOW):

STEP 4:  Use your Summary to create a PERSUASION MAP (SEE BELOW):

Use your PERSUASION MAP to create a Letter to the Editor in the LETTER CREATOR

Retype your Letter to the Editor using our classroom format (discussed previously) in MS WORD

Email the letter to me at in both MS Word (.docx) and Adobe (.pdf) format.  

Friday, January 17, 2014

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Finally, we are at one of the most important lesson topics of the year.  Your resume and cover letter will be a living document.  That means that it will evolve and change over the course of your life depending on your experience, education, interests and job history.  All of these experiences will be added in a one-page summary of what you will bring to the table for a future employer.  Other organizations will also need to see a resume. RESUME & COVER LETTER QUIZ TOMORROW!!

1. Resume (DEFINITION):


2 [rez-oo-mey, rez-oo-mey] Show IPA


[rez-oo-mey, rez-oo-mey] Show IPA
1.  a summing up; summary.
2. a brief written account of personal, educational, and professional qualifications and experience, as that prepared by an applicant for a job.
Also, resume, re·su·mé.

1795–1805;  < French,  noun use of past participle of résumer  to resume, sum up 

2. Why Do You Need One?


3. Resume Breakdown:

VIDEO 1 - Basic Resume

VIDEO 2 - "The Quick Resume & Cover Letter Video"

4. Resume Builder 


5. Cover Letter

Tailor IT!

6.  JOB SEARCH / / 

1.  Using one of the websites above (Or any other website you like), find a job you are interested in.
     Email the link for the job to the instructor. (Copy& Paste Link into body of email).
2.  You may create a resume for yourself using the Resume Builder on
3.  Re-Type or Cut&Paste your resume into MS WORD.  You may use any template you like as a

4.  Create a Cover Letter (Use the Letter of Recommendation format) for your RESUME for the job
     you have chosen.
5.  Save your Resume & Cover Letter as an MS Word file and email them to your instructor.
6.  Cover Letter and Resume must be Single Spaced, Formatted to match examples below, and Times New Roman (11 or 12 font size only!)


Grading Rubric:
10 pts - Emailed Link To Job to Instructor
60 pts - Resume (MS Word (docx/doc File) 
     05 pts - Title Block
     05 pts - Objective
     10 pts - Experience/Work History
     10 pts - Education
     10 pts - Other Skills / Additional Information
     10 pts - Grammar, Spelling, Layout
30 pts - Cover Letter (Proper Format, Layout, Grammar, Spelling)


This is one of the most important assignments you can learn to create.  Good Luck!!

- Mr. S

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

MS Word Letter of Recommendation Request

I want to apologize for my unexpected absence.  I need to handle a personal matter, and I will be back tomorrow.  Many of you are at different points of the introduction to MS Word.  To review you may use headphones and go to yesterday's post (MS WORD Basic Training - Click Here) to download and watch the MS Word Training Video's.  Once completed, you should have the following basic skills:
  • Open MS Word and Create a New Document
  • Select, Copy, Cut, and Paste Text
  • Change Font, Size, Bold, Italic, Underline
  • Change VIEW with Zoom, Add and Use Toolbars, Find and use a Toolbox
  • Resize the Window and Document
  • Indent Paragraphs, Change Justification of Text
  • Format Margins, Save Document and Create a PDF (Save or Print Document)
Congratulations, you are now ready to create documents in MS Word.  We will work on advanced features later in the year, but for now you are able to use the basics.

Today, once you have reviewed the following activities above, please follow the directions below:

  1. Open a NEW Document in MS Word
  2. Set the FONT to Times New Roman, Size 11
  3. Set your LINE SPACING to 1 with 0 Spacing Before and After.
  4. Rename the Document "(Your Last Name) Letter of Recommendation Request"
  5. Make the MARGINS 1-inch on all sides with 1/2-inch Header and Footer
  6. Type your Name and Your Address in the top Left corner.
  7. Press (Return) Twice
  8. Type the DATE
  9. Press (Return) Twice
  10. Type "Crossroads Accelerated Academy at Meade" (Press Return)
  11. Type "Attn: (The Full Name Of A Teacher at Crossroads)" (Press Return)
  12. Type the Address of Crossroads@Meade on the next two lines
  13. Press (Return) Twice
  14. Type "RE: Letter of Recommendation Request"
  15. Press (Return) Twice
  16. Type "Dear Mr./Mrs. (Last Name of Teacher Selected),"
  17. Press (Return) Twice
  18. Type a letter to the teacher you selected asking POLITELY for a Letter of Recommendation to the High School of your choice in Philadelphia.  Make sure to include at least 3 paragraphs.  The first paragraph should explain why you need the letter.  The second paragraph should explain why you are asking this particular teacher, and why you deserve it.  The final paragraph should explain who to send the letter too (Make sure to include the Principal's name and actual address of the school you want to attend.  You will have to use the Internet to find this information.)  Leave a space between each paragraph.
  19. Press (Return) Twice after last paragraph of the letter.
  20. Type "Sincerely Yours,"
  21. Press (Return) Four times
  22. Type "(Your Full Name)
  23. Press (Return) Once
  24. Type "(Your Title)"
  25. Press (Return)
  26. Type "Your Email Address/Phone Number"
You must save this letter to the file you created for your documents on the desktop.  You must attach your letter to an EMAIL (GMAIL) to me, as a MS Word Document NOT A PDF.  DO NOT USE GOOGLE DRIVE AND SHARE IT WITH ME.  I WANT TO MAKE SURE YOU KNOW HOW TO EMAIL (GMAIL) IT TO ME DIRECTLY FROM YOUR COMPUTER.

I will go over this in class tomorrow and we will begin to create your Resume and Cover Letters together.  This format is critical for you to know.  Any additional PERSONAL PROFESSIONAL LETTER you type should be Formatted this way.  Consider this a TEMPLATE for use anytime you need to Create a Letter in the future.


Seminar Class:  Continue to diligently work on whatever projects you have started!  Make sure you email me a Project Outline of what you are working on.  Just describe what you are doing and why you chose it as a project.

Good Luck!

- Mr. S

Sunday, January 5, 2014

MS Word Basic Training

Today we will begin our use of MS Word 2008.

The first thing you will do is open an email to me ( Please go to the following website and take the typing test (1 minute, any topic you like, send your results in an email to me):

Then sit back and get ready to learn all about MS Word 2008!!

Here are the training videos we will be using for MS Word:




We will be working through these basics together to create documents in MS Word.  If you have questions, please ask right away.  Try to keep up and Good Luck!

-Mr. S

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Tackk.Com KUDOS2014 Contest - Extra Credit Project

What did you do in 2013? You could win $250 cash for the best Tackk Webpage.  Open your browsers and create a page.  Follow the directions on the page listed below:

This is not an in-class assignment.  If you complete it, you can qualify for prizes from the people.  You can also get extra-credit for my class or seminar.  Add the keyword #caatech if you complete a page and email me the link for credit.

Good Luck!

- Mr. S

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


 Happy New Year to Everyone!!

Welcome back to Crossroads!  I hope your Holiday Break was relaxing and peaceful, and that you were able to spend some time with family and friends in harmony.  Today you will create a journal entry ( that will help you to explain how you are going to be a better overall person this year.  We all try to make resolutions and keep them, but rarely to they turn into habits that last longer than a few weeks.  Please read the following article "New Year's Resolutions for Teens"  and open a new Journal Entry (Weebly) describing (2-3 Sentences Each) how you might set and keep at least two new Resolutions. 

Today we will be working online with  This is a powerful website (CLICK HERE) to help you work with and manipulate digital photographs.  Please use the time today to explore this software using pictures from Google Images. We will eventually be learning to take pictures and create a photo project book for the entire school.  This will be an artistic project aimed at helping you to use photography, journalism, and Mac Pages.  We will be learning to use this software so you can create your own part of our Yearbook later this year.  Next week we start our section on Research and MS Word.

ASSIGMENT:  Find a picture online or take on (Ask Me To Use A Camera) and use PIXLR.Com to change it and make it your own.  Email me your finished picture and then put a copy of it on your Weebly.Com Front Page.  Make sure to label it appropriately.

I hope you enjoy this project as we start to think 2014.

- Mr. S

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Integrity (13 Characteristics)

13 Characteristics of People Who Have Integrity

1. They Value Other People's Time: They value their own time so they also value the time of other people. They know you have plenty of other places you need to be and won’t hold you up. If you spend time with them, it is likely they will thank you for that as well.

2. They Give Credit Where It Is Due: They do not take credit for things they did not do. They will always credit those who deserve it. If you help this person with a project he or she will likely mention your name so you can take credit for your work.

3. They Are Authentic: They are their truest forms. You won’t catch them in a lie or being fake.

4. They Are Always Honest: They are honest people that feel no need to lie as it is important for them to get to where they need to get in life honestly.

5. They Never Take Advantage Of Others: They are not the kind of people who will take advantage of someone else. They love to build people up and help them get where they need to be. Taking too much from someone else will never be an issue with someone who has a lot of integrity.

6. The Do Not Argue Over Disagreements: They will talk through things in a civil manner or not talk at all. You cannot and will not force this person into arguing over something completely ridiculous. I find this to be a very respectable trait.

7. They Give Most People The Benefit Of The Doubt: They try to see the good in everyone. I think this is because they feel like maybe there are more people in this world that also have integrity. That being said, if you take advantage of them too much they will get rid of you.

8. They Know When Something Is Bothering Someone: They have a great intuition that lets them know when something is going on. If someone is down in the dumps they will notice. Chances are they will actually do what they can to cheer you up.

9. They Believe In Others: They accept your word as truth until it is dis-proven. That being said, they do not take lying well. And once you lie to them, it is unlikely that they will ever take your word again.

10. They Apologize First: If they have done something wrong they will come to you and apologize. This is just how they are. They own up to their mistake and try to make things right.

11. They Are Humble: They do not quite know their own worth. While they are very important and do so much good they don’t quite see it. You should remind them of it.

12. They Do Good When They Can: They are always helping other people. They love to know that they have improved someone’s life. It gives their lives meaning.

13. They Are Always Kind To Those Who Need It: Giving kindness can go a long way. When someone looks like they need a little pick me up these people deliver. They can brighten up almost anyone’s day.

If you are someone who has true integrity, thank you for being who you are and thank you for all that you do. You really do actually make a difference in society, please keep up the good work. If you feel no one else is proud of you, know that I am.

Journal Entries 2012-2013

1. Introduction (9/10/12 - Weebly Journal)
2. 9/11 Reflection (9/11/12 - Email Instructor)
3. Internet Safety (9/19/12 - Weebly Journal)
4. Violence (9/20/12 - Weebly Journal)
5. Taylor Mali Conviction (9/25/12 Email Instructor)
6. 12x12x12 (10/1/12 - Weebly Journal)
7. Habit #1 Reflection (10-9-12 - Weebly Journal)
8. Habit #2 Reflection (10-24-12 - Weebly Journal)
9. Habit #3 Reflection (11-9-12 - Weebly Journal)
10. Interview a Veteran (11-12-12 - Email Instructor)
11. Digital Photography Reflection (11-19-12 Weebly)
12. Habit #4 Reflection (11-27-12 - Weebly Journal)
13. New Years Resolutions (01-03-12 - Weebly Journal)
14. Habit #5 Reflection (1-9-13 - Weebly Journal)
15. College Inquiry Project Reflection (1-14-13 - Weebly)
16. Habit #6 Reflection (2-6-13 - Weebly)
17. Habit #7 Reflection (2-11-13 - Weebly)
18. Indian Talking Stick (Covey) (2-20-13 Weebly)
19. Historical Figure Reflection (3-4-13 Weebly)
20. Investing vs Gambling Reflection (4-8-13 Weebly)
21. Poverty On My Block (4-15-13 Weebly)
22. Apartment Utility Cost Summary (5-13-13 Weebly)
23. Memorial Day Reflection (5-24-13 Weebly)

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