Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Changing Face of America

Atlantic Magazine has an awesome set of maps, two of which you can see below, which show the changing face of America  by race and ethnicity.  The top map shows percentages of immigrants since 1960 and the bottom map shows which immigrants were first generation and which were second since 1900.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Letter from a Young Castro to FDR

As part of my work with the College Board this past weekend, we unexpectedly found a letter from a 12 year old Fidel Castro written to FDR.  One can assume that FRD never saw the letter, but Castro put the White House response on his school's bulletin board.  In it Castro asked for $10 and told him that if FDR needed iron, his birthplace was the perfect place to get it.

Here is an interesting interpretation of the letter that argues that Castro did not need the money since he was going to a private Jesuit school, but posits that perhaps it was part of a class assignment.

Now how could you use this in the class.  My idea is many leaders grew up with normal backgrounds and made a decision to be different at some point.  What might this letter say about Castro and why would a future enemy of the US care, in 1940 about the re-election of one of our presidents? 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Changes in AP US History

I am on a College Board advisory panel for 6-12th grade changes and am sitting in a meeting right now and just found out about Advanced in AP which has the changes that are coming in AP US History.  Other changes in other subjects will be added to the site as they come about. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Civil Rights Act of 1964

In light of the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, above is a three minute primer on it from the History Channel showing period video. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Child Labor in America 1908-1911

Amazing photographs by Lewis W. Hine of child labor in America in the early 20th century at The History Place. Hine used his photographs to stimulate social reform.  This gallery of child labor photographs is quite moving.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Lyndon Johnson's Announcement not to Run for President

Thanks to Frank Franz for Tweeting this short video from the speech when Lyndon Johnson announced that he was not running for re-election for president.  Having only heard the most famous line from it, it is interesting to watch the entire speech. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

FDR and the Packing of the Court

Right about now I assume most of you are getting ready to teach the New Deal and will touch upon FDR's "packing of the court" where he tried to add six judges to the US Supreme Court.  To teach it you might want to use this Smithsonian article on the events. 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Editing in YouTube

Believe it or not, but a fellow chair asked what we are doing for our end of the year project.  Some of my students will be looking at an immigrant in their family and writing an original essay on that person, but they also need to have a narrated video on the person.  So I am toying with them using YouTube to edit it since they now have access to accounts in it.  Above is a video explaining how to use it. 

Saving Twitter & Other Websites on Storify

So I am sitting in a library trying to finish the third editing of my book and dealing with a peer review comment that asked how we can save Twitter.  So to show that I too can learn new tricks, Frank Franz mentioned Storify to me and instantly you can drag in the Tweets you want as well as any website and create a story you can refer to later.  I must admit I am the kind of teacher who goes to an in-servicest and immediately comes back to my classroom and sift through the notebooks taking out only what I want to keep.  These items I scan and put in my in-services' folder on Google Drive (yes I am a minimalist and my classroom only takes 30 minutes to pack up each summer!).  So what I like about Storify is that I can essentially do the same, but even better I can delete items I do not want later.  You can collect Twitter, YouTube, Google+, websites, etc. to your hearts desire and create a storybook that you can edit later.

Above is a how to video.  If you are like me and try lots of sites online, you might want to consider having a "trash" e-mail for everything.  If I need the site to email me I can easily go to the trash site, but that way any extra email I might get because of signing up for so many things goes to the aforementioned site.  

Friday, March 28, 2014

Remind101 Adds Attachments

If you follow this blog, you know I use Remind101 every day of the week to remind my students about their homework.  Simply put it is has greatly improved my students ability to complete homework, but also to communicate with them, especially this year when I had to put up with eleven snow days and ten delayed openings.

Above is a video giving you the highlights and below is one teaching you how to use it.  The latest addition to the service is that you can now text an attachment.  Of course you can use Tinyurl or to shrink a link to a Google Drive document which is what I often do. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The College Application Process

This post is a little different than normal as it deals with the college application process.  But all of us are involved in it whether it is in writing reference letters, giving grades, talking to our students, etc.  The video above and this WashPost article that goes in depth on the college admittance process is very revealing and might even help you counsel students in the future.  

Thursday, March 20, 2014

80 Ways to use Google Forms in Classroom

This is a great slideshow of ways to use Google Drive forms in the classroom and includes links to examples.  Thanks to @rroysden for the Tweet on it. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

PBS & The Great Depression

It is remarkable that so many PBS films can be found in their entirety on the PBS site.  With a LCD and cheap speakers there is no need to even get the films anymore.  If one of your students is out, you can always direct them to the portion of the film you want them to see.  Here, for example, is the Great Depression film from PBS.  But there is much more than that such as an overview of the depression. a timeline, and articles on the time period and key players.   

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Wizard of Oz as an Allegory

I have done a few posts on how the Wizard of Oz is a great allegory for the late 1800s in the US.  I use it for my students to help them remember such items as the silver and gold standard, Populism, industrialism, westward movement, William Jennings Bryan and much more from the era.  Here is the best explanation for the allegory of the Wizard of Oz.  

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Snagit & Screen Cast for Chrome

Google just released Snagit for Chrome and the really cool thing about it is that it has a screencasting feature. Although the feature is still in beta, it works very well and allows you publish you video to YouTube. The video clip above shows you how to enable, but first you want to install both the app and the extension, both of which you can get at the Chrome store.

Every time you capture a picture with Snagit, you can share it and Google deposits the picture in your Google drive.