Category Archives: Project-Based Learning Assessment

Suffield Academy Students Present: WWI Homefront

Screen Shot 2018-04-22 at 9.52.40 PMWhen the American Studies class began its investigation in December with a trip to the Suffield Academy archives, students were very curious to find young students one hundred years ago were wearing military uniforms. After researching our local and national history, the students are ready to share insights about the preparedness movement in Suffield, the region, and nationwide to help explain how Suffield School (now Suffield Academy) was one of the first schools in the area to start such a military prep program that provided students military uniforms and training. While following the research methods of Connecticut Historian, Stacey K. Close, the American Studies students used his chapter in African American Connecticut Explored as a model to look for patterns of the Great Migration here in Suffield. Close’s chapter, titled “Black Southern Migration and the Transformation of Connecticut, 1917-1941,” centers around migration trends in Simsbury. Please join us to learn how the American Studies students discovered similar patterns in Suffield. The class will present during the Suffield Historical Society meeting, which is open to the public, on Tuesday night, April 24th, 7-8pm at the Suffield Senior Center on 145 Bridge St, Suffield, Ct. Finally, like everyone in Connecticut who is excited to learn about the story of Sargent Stubby and see the newly released film, Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero, find out about four of the WWI veterans from Suffield who served in the famous 102nd of the Yankee Division, alongside “Stubby,” the first service or therapy dog. For more on the movie that was just released, click here:



Using Twitter as a Critical Thinking Tool

Let’s pause in the research process to appreciate cross-referencing skills and harvest great sources, key players, and important narratives. Now let’s move forward with more research and curating. Onward #PBLResearch & #CrossReferencing!

Great #PBL Step: PQP Protocol for Peer Review

peerreviewOne of the most essential parts of building a productive atmosphere for learning in any classroom is sharing what you learn. Another is giving and receiving useful feedback. The most important thing is to do this in a positive spirit. With that in mind, we must give feedback on each other’s work in a useful and kind way (remember the class motto?). So, moving forward, please be an active agent in creating a more positive and productive learning environment.

We’ll follow these these PQP steps when we comment on each other’s blog posts. To start, let’s have everyone make at least one sentence for praising the post, one sentence for poising a question about the post, and one sentence for suggesting how to polish the ideas in the overall post (which include text and complementing media). Feel free to write more than this amount. Also be mindful that a good blog post has media the complements the prose and the proper categories and tags are selected (and “uncategorized” is de-selected). Most importantly, compose your comments in Standard English. Stay positive!

Some links for more learning on the topic:

What’s a HOT Log? A Great #PBL Assessment

Higher.order.thinkingSimply stated, a HOT Log (Higher Order Thinking Log [log = systematic record, journal]) explains what you have learned, what you want to learn next, and what skill(s) you will apply for your discovery. Because we will categorize each HOT Log on the blog, we will be able to access anyone’s discovery when we begin to sythesize our information before our final presentation. Teachers can have students create HOT Logs ritualistically (every 7 ro 10 days) or perhaps when the student discovers an interesting collection of sources, primary or secondary.

Another way to describe this Project Based Learning writing assignment is to think of this task as an intellectual reflection on your next step towards our goal of finding more information about members of the Connecticut 20th Regiment. You should explain what skill you will use to learn this next topic or research step.

In 500 words, make a claim about the necessity to explore one, specific resource (article, book, periodical, web site, historical society, historian (even better if we can Skype him/her}, historical library [I am a member of The Connecticut Historical Society), movie, technology or other research tool, learning lens, such as Place Based Learning, etc). Your short paper will evaluate the potential importance of this source for our investigation as well as building upon our research story.

In terms of skills, click here ( } to reflect on the possible skills you will need for your next steps.

Be sure to include an informative and pithy (concise and forcefully expressive) title and embed complementing media (video if possible, clear and interesting image, audio link, etc).

Citation standard. Let’s have a list of sources at the bottom. You can type “source:” with a colon after it. Then create a hyperlink to your actual source. If it is a book, create an interesting link associated with that book. You can be creative as long as the reader knows exactly what source you used. If it is an image, let’s type “photo credit” and then paste a hyperlink for the image.

A range: lucid, logical, sequential, includes a valuable source or resource. Well-written following rules of Standard English. 500 word range achieved in a concise and fluent manner. You also articulate well the skill you will require for your next intellectual step.

B range: there is a missing ingredient or prose contains issues of Standard English. Overall logic or sequence of ideas may need to be addressed.

C range: Length and other significant issues.

Caribbean Slave Movement


lg_ms2_bahamasstamp                      I wanted to explore the Suffield history society, as they cover many different sides of slavery and why they came to , in general, Connecticut. I wanted to find out what was the reason slaves landed in Connecticut, who sent them, why were they sent, and what did they do once they got here. This source gives me a lot of information and I have to read through to find what I want. This is troubling, however, the lack of organization of the source does not allow me to find my answer efficiently. It is necessary that I explore this site to dig out as much as I can. Through this site I was able to find different facts about slavery in Connecticut, and the site is composed of five different sources, where there is a detailed and organized list of, towns, names, and number of slaves, has a lot of information about the reason slaves landed in Connecticut and the times and date in which they arrived. is a similar site to Slave north where it gives you a lot of information, however this site focused more on the time and dates rather than the reason they came to Connecticut. focused on a single slave and everything she went through starting from where she was born to where she died. Lastly, the Connecticut magazine talks more about numbers, and the reasons they were brought over to Connecticut. Small ideas from all these sites where taken and added to the Suffield history society website, this gives me an advantage because I can see that there are more than one authors perspectives of slavery in Connecticut situation. I visited these sources to make sure they were credible and they prove to be. The information was taken out of these five sources was information specifically regarding slavery in Connecticut. The Suffield history society wrote this article in 2003 by Douglas Harper, who is a historian, author, lecture and journalist. He began researching Northern slavery around the year 2000 during the course of general Civil War research. Quickly reading through this site has a lot of detailed information, including dates, names, and towns. According to the Suffield history society, on the eve of revolution Connecticut as a whole had the largest number of slaves in New England (6,464). Families in Hartford, New Haven, and Norwich were said to only had owned one or two slaves during this time. Later on, come to find out, most ministers, lawyers, and public officials owned slaves. Early in the 1700s the direct import of slaves to Connecticut where considered to be too few to be worth the trouble of taxing. The Connecticut citizens did not directly participate in the slave trade. Through my research I find that there is a lot of opinions about the reason to why and how slaves ended up in Connecticut, Suffield History Society is written by a certified author and has a background of history when it comes to slavery and them being in Connecticut. Not only did I makes sure the site was credible I made sure the author was too so that I know that I am getting the most accurate information possible.  Viewing the slave motion from the Caribbean would bring the presentations together so that there are different views of the trade. Though there was not a large slave movement in Bahamas there were ships carrying slaves stopping there.

Slides From Our April 19th Presentation

Thank you to all the great questions from the Suffield Historical Society members as well as honored guests from out of town. We’re planning to post documents from Hanchett’s trials with Exeter in similar slide format so that others can view the materials with us. Thank you for filling out the paper evaluations. Please click here to fill out the online version of the evaluation.

As we move forward and begin to boil down our research and refine our discoveries into coherent narrative, please feel free to comment on specific blog posts. And follow us on Twitter, especially the #CTUtold!