Thursday, July 31, 2014
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
This is a very descriptive video describing the connection between Russia and the EU sanctions. While the Ukraine crisis will not make next year's AP Comparative exam (which was finished in April) this is a good way to study the connection between what is in the news and the governing bodies of the European Union and two other AP Comp countries, Russia and the UK - whose connections are mentioned in the video. It also shows the reason why the EU has such problems which you could tie into other countries such as austerity issues.
Here is a great summary of both why Russia wants the Ukraine and the new sanctions from Vox.
DBQ from the Bill of Rights Institute with excerpts from the cases and the rulings of the two cases as well as Bakke v. Univ. of CA. If you do it, you might want to add the Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action Resources which was a 2014 Supreme Court ruling this spring allowing colleges to end affirmative action in college admittance.
Sunday, July 27, 2014
Friday, July 25, 2014
I am working on a new video on flipping and ran into a Screencastomatic YouTube channel. For example, above is a video on how to write on a Screencastomatic video. For those of you who make lots of flipped class videos, Sreencastomatic is the way to go. Below is my video on how to make a simple screencast using it.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Dan Larsen is one of the people I hang out with at the AP Government reading. He and Andrew Conneen has a series of short videos here. Dan is a question leader (meaning he is one of 8 in the country) for the US government exam while Andrew does the same for the AP Comparative exam. Their video above has some great tips on how to take the AP government exam. Below is Frank Franz' video describing how to take the free response part of the exam.
Monday, July 21, 2014
Do you remember when Romney said that 47% of American pay no income tax? Well, yes and no. In 2010, according to this video, 47% of American paid no federal income taxes, but paid other taxes like payroll tax (which most see as a tax) FICA and state and local taxes. But having said that Romney probably wouldn't have wanted his audience to see this entire video, but you might want your students to see it as it starts by looking at what taxes are used for and then goes into all the different ways to people are paying taxes. I learned, for example, that most people pay more in FICA than federal income taxes. The video also talks about how people get out of paying taxes.
I learned about this video from a WashingtonPost article on Gene Simmons who recently stated that 1% of the population created all of the jobs in the US.
Learning and Leading in a Digital Classroom: A Teacher’s Guide to Pacing the 21st Century Learner and the manuscript is now done as are all the graphics and we are soon going to production. As you will see while I have a ton of research it is a hands on book meant to be used over and over again while you teach as, from the start, I wanted a practical book. But for now I have started a Twitter hashtag (and yes the book explains how to create and use one of your own with your students) at "#pacingdigitallearner" which is where I would like to create a depository of lesson plans and ideas to build on my book. So for the moment, if you have any lesson plans or ideas on differentiating, working with peers, using instruction, just go to Twitter, and Tweet a comment or link and include the hashtag.
Saturday, July 19, 2014
I found this video on Greg Mankiw's blog which I look at occasionally for economics' ideas. The video above is a nice graphical view of the Gini coefficient (without really mentioning the name). You can get the idea in the first four minutes. Gini is something that is both in AP Comparative Government as well as AP Microeconomics.
One of the reasons I really like Google Drive is that I do not have to wait to purchase a new suite such as with Microsoft (although to be fair, Microsoft's OneDrive does automatically update as well). At any rate, Google Drive has some new changes which are highlighted in the video above.
written a short tutorial on how he did it last year and how you can as well, complete with lots of links. For example he discussed
- setting objectives
- proficiency scoring - which he based on formative tests.
- summative tests
- re-takes of summative tests which are only given on the portion of the objective that was not proficient and were not given unless students could show proficiency in a topic
- what goes into the gradebook (hint - only summative which he explains)
Friday, July 18, 2014
Thursday, July 17, 2014
this article looking at why Xi should envy Putin so much. Obviously both China and Russia are on the test and it really covers so many topics in AP Comparative: Russia's annexation Crimea, Cold War, geography, regional groups, trade between the two countries and economic reforms. This article could be used as an assignment in of itself or be a take off point for a classroom assignment.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Monkey Cage takeover of the US Senate this fall. If you click on the individual states you can see the percentage chance of that state going the color predicted.
Monday, July 14, 2014
I just saw this on FreeTech4Teachers from Keith Hughes' growing library of mostly content videos. I wish I had had it my first couple of years of teaching when I played the "who wants to go to the office game!" Now I can proudly say it has been something like two decades since I sent a student to the office. But that fact has been because of three of the key items in the list above of ten rules - namely 1) keep engaging the kids in work that is meaningful and connected 2) don't make bad behavior a big deal (I have lightly tapped numerous kids over the years as I have walked around or worked their names into my talking) 3) be fun. I like to tell young teachers that if you are bored in the classroom then imagine how awful it is for the kids. If you aren't checking the clock then they probably aren't either. But Keith has other great tips so enjoy.
Friday, July 11, 2014
Thanks to Rich Hoppock for this great video from one of my new favorite news sources, Vox. It has many of the actual steps, such as the role of the press, bureaucrats, riders and on and one and all in less than 100 seconds.
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
This is an interesting blog that I was just emailed about. I was intrigued as the first post talked about a stroll made by Obama recently and since I had blogged on the same thing (albeit, a different walk), I was immediately drawn in. But there is another recent one on Reagan's famous "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall" speech and many other behind the scenes stories of historical events related to the White House.
Sunday, July 6, 2014
While Microsoft's OneLive is improving, when you look at the video above, you realize how quickly Microsoft is losing the future. Assuming more and more kids are learning with Google Drive, then, one might assume they will continue with it in their own post school lives.
The short film above shows teachers how they can easily assign assignments to their classes, or individualize them for certain students, as well as quickly see who has turned in assignments, set an assignment date and all of this is coming to anyone who has Google Apps for Education very soon.
Thursday, July 3, 2014
Recently I finished Think Like a Freak which tries to get people to think differently. It briefly discusses education and says that if we are ever going to narrow the achievement gap and/or improve individual student performance we cannot do it all in school. So one think I do a lot of is schedule individual parent-student-teacher conferences (15 out of 60 standard kids had one last year) where, in part, I go over the tips in this video. Usually kids who are not achieving their realistic success level are ones not following the guidelines in the video.
What I have above is nothing earth shattering, but I think it helps to remind parents, nicely, that even if they are tired in the evening, so are there kids and the parents' job (yes I am bolder as I get older) is to keep their kids on their homework. So this year I will be sending this video out early and then again to the students whom (no matter the grade) I believe are not up to their ability level. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.