Thursday, October 31, 2013

Educators' Guide to Twitter

Here is the best clip I have seen on how to use twitter in education.  You can find out more about Twitter and education here. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Follow Me on Twitter and Google Plus

As always thanks for coming to this site to find information and ideas for your classroom (and if you have good ones, please e-mail me).  But if you also want to have my posts go to your Twitter or Google+ feeds then you can follow me on Twitter or Google plus by clicking on the links

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Flipped Learning and Differentiation

Believe it or not the NYTimes has an opinion piece advocating the Flipped Classroom.  But it is the quasi flipped classroom which I use a lot as well which means that while my kids do a lot fo flipping at home some of it is done right in class (I recently bought ten ear phones for $5 each for the kids without ear buds.   As you can see in the video above what flipping allows (in class or at home) is for the teacher to individually work with ALL the students by moving around the room constantly and to allow for individualized student pacing which is nicely incapsulated in the video above.

The creator of the video above, Tom Driscoll, has a number of great videos on his Youtube account which are broken into flipped learning, tech tutorials and World History flips.   You can also follow him on Twitter. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Alexander Hamilton Rap at the White House

Thanks to Emily Gregory for this great rap/song Lin-Manuel Miranda done at the White House in 2009.  It is a rap about Alexander Hamilton.  

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Chromebook Tutorials

Fakebook Tutorial

I have been using Russell Tarr's Fakebook for several years with my students.  It allows the kids to create a Facebook like page where they can have friends, put up posts and make comments.  It is not real in that the students are not sharing with others, but rather creating their own world.  They also are given their own unique url and allowed to set a password of their own.  BUT they do not have to sign up, or give a e-mail or anything else that will identify themselves.  It is a great way to have students create a conversation between historical figures or even current politicians to show that they have learned the material successfully and can apply it.

Since Russell has not yet created a new tutorial to match his newly improved Fakebook site, I have my own above. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

John Green's Civil War

If you follow this blog you know I have a number of posts on John Green's US history videos.  But I just found these from a tweet by Kevin Levin.   Green has the Civil War in two videos totaling twenty minutes.   Green now has thirty five videos in his US history collection and is up to the New Deal. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Video Notes for the Flipped Classroom

One of the apps you can add to Google Drive is  As you can see on the image above it allows you to watch a Youtube video on the left while taking notes on the right.  The e-sheet allows you to tap right beside where you are writing and it will take you to the same place on the video.  When you are done it shows up in your Google Drive suite.   One drawback is that it does not allow for bullets or numbers, but can you can copy the notes and put them into a regular document. 

Creating a New Nation

Emily Gregory took my teacher integration course two years ago and we were lucky enough to have her join our social studies department this fall.  She create the great Prezi above on the post American Revolution US with coverage of the Articles of Confederation and the current US Constitution.  You can click on it to use it in your class or make a copy and modify it to make it your own if you sign up for Prezi.  

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Who Drew the Boston Massacre?

I like to point out to my students that history is not really as neat as it appears in history textbooks.  For example I am reading Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin (Ben's sister).  Halfway into the book it mentions Henry Pelham, stepbrother of John Singleton Copley, who painted the scene of the Boston Massacre BEFORE Paul Revere painted his (below).  The difference is that Revere was a much better businessman and put an ad in a Boston paper and sold lots of copies of his version which was a close copy of Pelham's.  So we remember the copier and not the originator.  For that matter, as many of  you know, three riders rode on the night of Paul Revere (Prescott and Dawes) and only Revere was unable to elude capture by the regulars (which is the word they yelled when they said "the British regulars were coming"). Here is the entire story. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

50 Core Documents That Tell America's Story has put up a list of 50 core documents that they say "provides an essential starting point for students, teachers, and citizens to think more deeply about what it means to be an American." 

Thanks to my colleague, Jeff Feinstein, for sending me the link.

Positive Engagement for Challenging Students

I just learned about PBIS World at an in-service at our school.  Name the problem behavior; disorganized, hyperactive, anxious, not turning in work and on and on.  This is a great site that has lots of ways to deal with all kinds of challenging behavior.  

Monday, October 14, 2013

Presidential Timeline from the National Archives

Jeff Feinstein at West Potomac sent me this link from the National Archives on presidential history.  Click on a president and you will get a timeline of important events like this.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Election of 1800 in Their Own Words

Think our current presidential elections are bad, look at attacks made in 1800. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

American Revolution Rap

This is a nice student rap found by my teaching colleague, Emily Gregory, on the American Revolution.  Sometimes students are more motivated by more than just worksheets.  This one has a ton of facts which you can control given your rubric. 

Civil War Animated Timelines

This series of animated timelines is fantastic.  It has both audio as well as pictures and even reenactments for each of the major parts of the US Civil War.  At the bottom it has a timeline so you can see the date and the title of the animation.  It is put out by the Civil War Trust.  I found it on FreeTech4Techers

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists

This is a fascinating 4 minute overview of the Federalist and Anti-Federalists.  In a sense they are examples of early interest groups.  The Federalists were better known as nationalists or centralists and the Anti-Federalists were really the federalists.  But the Nationalists thought they would be better liked if they were the "Federalists" and their opponents were just "anti-."  Furthermore it is interesting to note that the Federalist were much better organized since, by definition, the Anti-Federalists just plain didn't want to work with one another 

Virtual Tour of Mt. Vernon

I teach at a school called Hayfield, so called because even though we are ten miles from Mt. Vernon, we were once one of George Washington's hayfields.  So in living so close, I have been to Mt. Vernon a number of times, but for those of you who live a long way from here, there is a virtual tour you can take of Washington's home. 

How to Make a Flipped Classroom

Today I am doing a short in-service for my school and since I only have ten minutes I am putting these items up there for our teachers to use later or for you to do use to make your own flipped classroom.

First off below is a PowerPoint with the main points of how and why to do flipped classrooms as well as additional resources.

Next is a video which shows you how to use Screencastomatic which is a free online resource which you can use to make screencasts.  If you go to my Youtube page you can see lots of my flipped videos.

Now once you have made the screencast you will want to share it with your students.  To do this you can create a Google form and add it right in the top.  The form will allow you to have students ask questions which you can start the next class by answering.  Then you can go to the interactive you want to use in class.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Making Maps in Google Drawings

If you want to have your student make their US history maps this year in Google Drive, above is a short video I made with the help of one my students!  If your students are 100% digital, this is a nice way to keep maps in their folders - but it won't work on iPads. 

Chromebooks for Your Classroom?

While I have been unsuccessful in convincing my school district (mostly since Pearson cannot yet run their end of the year state exams in the cloud - amazing for a company as big as they are) to let me buy Chromebooks, for our students, 22% of US school districts are now using them.  I am practicing what I preach as my wife and I have bought two of them for our kids and they love them for their school work and everything else they do (except for games that require Java downloads).  The best ones are only $250 which kills the price of the iPad and other laptops and the go from completely off to fully functional in 10 seconds.  Since they are cloud based they also keep updating themselves.

If you or your school district is thinking of purchasing them, the slideshow above is very balanced on the pros and cons (pro = cheap to purchase if your students use the cloud and your school district approves the use of Chrome apps; con = no Java and no Microsoft Word).

Here and here are two great pages on using Chromebooks and the slideshow above is a perfect place to start with lots of apps. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

GIldner Lehrman

Our school is a member of Gilder Lehrman which gives us free access to their items.  They have a collection at the New York Historical Society contains over 65,000 primary source documents (and is digitized).  In addition Gildner can provide dozens of lesson plans, podcasts, traveling exhibits and 40 summer seminars for teachers. member of Gilder Lehrman which gives us free access to their items.  They have a collection at the New York Historical Society contains over 65,000 primary source documents (and is digitized).