In June, I asked my graduating historians to give some words of wisdom to their successors.  Here are a few tidbits of advice from last year's students.

In order to succeed in 8th Grade American History ...

Don't slack off on the work.  It may seem like a lot (and normally it is), but it's harder if you procrastinate. Before a test or quiz, make sure that you can properly answer the essential questions covered.
Try to be funny. Don't be passive.
Enjoy history. You'll miss it tons come the last day of school. Get some culture.
Peach Jolly Ranchers Ask lots of questions.
Keep up with current events and read editorial cartoons, they sometimes have interesting historical references. Learn to love the Lions (or pretend to).
It's okay to goof around and have fun, but know when it's time to buckle down and get serious. Make sure that you know what you are talking about to make sure it makes sense.
Do all the work thoroughly, and you won't have to study as much. Never scramble in the morning or at recess to finish your homework.
Do not cheat. Watch the History Channel.
Take at least two or three days before a test to study - and make sure you do the review guides! Always come to history class with a positive attitude.
Don't say shut up. Try to take an interest in what you are studying - it will make the work more intriguing.
Don't get stressed out about tests.  Sure, they're bug, but most of them are pretty easy. Don't try to debate if you do not have facts to support your claims.
Start your projects as soon as they are introduced. Pay attention to what Mr. Taft says in class, and don't just copy the words in the blanks.
Keep organized. Always mention how much cooler history is than science.
Do extra credit.  It's mostly easy and almost always a little bit fun. Have fun! That's what history class is (partly) about!
You have to stay relaxed no matter how much homework Mr. Taft seems to give. Do not say that there are 52 states.
You must follow directions on all tests, assignments, projects, and from Mr. Taft. Take Taft's advice, he's been doing this for a long time.
Have fun! Get on the quotes sheet.
Participate!  You learn when you do and you will have fun! Do your work early!  It will save you stress.
When you miss something of don't understand, go in for help. Enjoy it while it lasts.
Make sure you do all of your homework thoroughly and with lots of effort. Organization is the key to success.  Always keep your binder updated.
Take American History Rules! pictures.  They are easy extra credit. Be prepared for everything Mr. Taft throws at you.
Always make sure your ISN is up to date.  Never fall behind. When you are in Washington, have fun, but alos relate the things to see to history class, and give the monuments and memorials the respect they deserve.

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