License Plate Design Contest for 9-12

Virginia License Plate Design Contest: Take Action Against Distraction

take action against distractionIn 2016, thirteen Virginians were killed and more than 800 injured in automobile crashes involving a distracted teen driver. For this reason, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is launching a statewide license plate design contest for high school students. The Take Action Against Distraction Plate Design Contest aims to start the conversation and raise awareness about distracted driving. Also, it provides an opportunity for students to share their visual arts skills for a worthy cause and potentially save a life.

All 9-12 students enrolled in a Virginia school are invited to design a license plate depicting distraction-free driving. Design entries must be submitted online between November 1 and December 15, 2017, through the official contest website at: This link takes you out of the Virginia Department of Education website. Eight finalist designs will be selected by February 20, 2018, and will be placed online for public voting in the Spring of 2018. Finalists will be awarded cash prizes. The winner will be announced in April 2018.

InstaGrok – Concept Map Search Results

Why use Wikipedia or a common web browser to search for content relevant to a topic you’ve been assigned for a research paper? InstaGrok it instead!

InstaGrok produces an interactive concept map based on your keyword search. The example here shows the results from a search on MacBeth.  Results are interactive and may include video, images, and other website sources. macbeth1Students can save notes to a journal about key facts. When ready to write a paper all material can then be referenced from one place.  This visual interface makes searching fun and effective.

Check it out.  It’s free for student use at:
Teacher accounts are available for an annual cost after a 90 day free trial but what you can do with this as a class is pretty amazing not to mention it’s 21st century skills based.


Grading Policy for 9-12 IKAA-R

It shall be the responsibility of all teachers and administrators to insure the following regulations are followed:

Summative Assessments – 70%
possible items for evaluation to determine a student’s grade and thus their level of achievement:

  • Tests*
  • Quizzes
  • Special Projects—if designed for students to be able to demonstrate learning and achievement.
  • Lab Work— if designed for students to be able to demonstrate learning and achievement.
  • Writing Assignments

*State SOL assessments will be the final exam for EOC courses, except in the case of advanced/honors classes.

Formative Assessments – 30%
possible items for evaluation can be graded; however, as they do not reflect a student’s level of achievement, they should not be a major part of the student’s grade

  • Class Work
  • Notebooks
  • Homework – cannot count more than 10% of a student’s grade in a grading period
  • Participation – not to be counted in a student’s grade, unless it is a stated part of the learning goal as in a fine arts or physical education course

Semester examinations for year-long courses and mid-term examinations for semester courses may not count more than 20% in grades 6-12.

Frequency of Evaluation for Grades 9-12
Formative evaluations must be ongoing through the many different methods available, i.e. questions to check for understanding, homework, class work, etc.
There must be a minimum of eight evaluations per grading period, averaging 2 per week.

Grading Policy 9-12 and Gradebook Setup

Please see me if you need help with setting up your gradebook.