Saturday, November 30, 2013

Another Civil War Site

If you are looking to have your students go on a webquest for the Civil War, this is a good site to use as it has all the battles, leaders, causes and even food and music. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

US History Interactive Site

Mr Nusbaum has created a very nice site for US history teachers.  He is an elementary teacher, but don't be mislead by that as there is plenty for you to use especially if you have ESOL or special education teams.  It has pictures, interactive maps, summaries, etc.  Here for example is a great site on the cause and effects of the Civil War. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

QR Generator for Google Drive

You can use a QR code generator for any of your Google Drive documents to use in your classroom, but if you want to keep a list of them, then you need to go to the Google site that will shrink your link and give you a QR code which it will keep for you as long as you want. 

Kennedy's Last Days: Presidential Library & Musuem

Here are four clips about the last days of President Kennedy from the Kennedy Presidential library.

They include“Special Release: President Assassinated” by Universal Newsreel; “The World Mourns: John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 1917-1963” by Universal Newsreel; “The Last Two Days” covering President Kennedy’s trip to Texas; and the funeral services of President John F. Kennedy.

My thanks to my colleague Jeff Feinstein for sending me the link.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Everything You Wanted to Know About Thanksgiving

For those of you who are planning out next week the video above is what I play for my students the last day I see them before Thanksgiving.  It talks about the first real Thanksgiving, how it because a holiday and how it landed on its current day.  It is a "feast" of facts in 150 seconds!  I hope you have a great Thanksgiving next week. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Gettysburg Address

Thanks to my colleague Doug Zywiol for this rendition of the Gettysburg Address.  Forty years ago I learned it as part of my 4th grade US history class and proudly this year my almost ten year old son recited it on his school television news this morning. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

More on JFK & Primary Resources

The picture you see above was taken the moment JFK was first shot and includes the "grassy knoll" that has been the fodder of conspiracy theorists for so many years.  This three minute clip is good for many reasons 1) it shows how close people used to be able to get to a president 2) why the picture was every taken 3) how primary documents (a picture in this case and an interview) can color our history 4) a very interesting interview on the 50th anniversary of JFK's death.   I follow PBS on Google+ which is where I found the video.  Also, here is another interesting (for a history geek, perhaps not for your students) NYTimes story on where Jackie's pink dress now is being stored. 

75 Google Play Apps for Your Class

A few years ago I met Jaime Casap whose job it is to promote Google's Chromebooks.   I found this PowerPoint from his Google+ account.  I will be mining it over the next few months, but wanted to share it right away as it has too many amazing apps for those of you who like to jump into these things right away.   All of the apps can be used on Chromebooks and with Google Driveand are found in Google Play. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Lincoln at Gettysburg in Three Minutes

This is a nice summary of the setting and the speech itself of Lincoln at Gettysburg by PBS.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Using Rubrics in Google Drive

So have you ever wanted to use a rubric with student work in Google Drive?  Sure you have.  You can create a rubric and then link it into Google Drive and have it connect to a Google Drive spreadsheet so that you can have the grades recorded and the students can see their rubric.  Above is the how to tutorial.  You can find more easy scripting on youpd

Doctopus to Manage Student Work Flow in Google Drive

One of the problem with Google Drive is that while you may want to keep all of your students' work, it becomes almost unmanageable in the shared column.  BUT Doctopus is a script that will allow you to create folders to put your students' work inside AND you will not have anything to show in your shared list.  Think about it.  You can then keep all assignments all year and check on cheating between different teachers (copy the curious language and then send a snippet to your fellow teachers and you can have them use their Google Drive search box to see if kids have copied between classes.

To use Doctopus, open up a Google Drive speadsheet and to to "Tools" and then "Script gallery"
and then use the search box to type "Doctopus' ." (steps are here). 

Next watch the video below to see how to use it. 

If you like this, there are many other items found here

Kennedy on the Morning of His Last Day

This is amazing color video of JFK on the morning of his last day from the new National Geographic special.  Here is video of the actual assassination.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Andrew Jackson Crash Course

I just noticed this on the Crash Course site.  If you want a short summary of Jacksoninan America, you could use John Green's Crash Course.  He has forty-six videos for US history on the site that you can use in your course.  

Sunday, November 10, 2013

101 Objects that Made America

The Smithsonian Museum has a new exhibit, 101 Objects that Made America. As the  website says, the exhibit pulled resources from all its museums and objects "range millennia from prehistoric dinosaurs to the very first super computer."

You can see some of the objects here at Open Culture which give you a good overview of the exhibit.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Kennedy - Oswald - National Geographic

The National Geographic Society has a new movie coming out called "Killing Kennedy."  For your classes you might want to see the quite well done interactive web page showing Lee Harvey Oswald and John F. Kennedy's lives side by side.  It includes many pictures, maps, oral histories and even music.  It would make for quite a web quest on a unit. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Voice Comments in Google Drive documents

First off a clarification.  Google documents are one item in the Google Drive suite that includes things like Google forms and Google presentations, but now allow a lot of apps.  A new app is Kaizena allows you to add links (which you can already do), but also voice comments to a document so you don't even have to write anything anymore.  Above is the tutorial which I found from a Tweet from .

The Washington Post's Civil War Pages

The Washington Post has been running a series of articles on the Civil War complete with pictures and incredibly interesting articles.

The Post also has an interactive map where you can see the number of causalities over time or at any one point in history (see picture above).

Finally the Post has a blog that updates every few days on the Civil War. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Ninth Amendment Explained

Perhaps the hardest amendment to understand by just looking at the word's is the ninth amendment.  Essentially it says that not all rights could possibly be put in the US Constitution so not writing everything down doesn't mean we can deny the right.  "Hip" Hughes does a very good job of explaining it here and tying it into our modern world.  

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Daylight Savings Explanation

In a few hours most Americans will set their clocks back thanks to a 1918 law which suggests, but does not require the change.  In fact not all states, nor countries are on daylight savings time.  It is a concept that harkens back to Ben Franklin, but did not come into use here for nearly two hundred years to give us more time and conserve energy.  This is a fascinating article from National Geographic which gives you more details.

Above is a very good video explaining the phenomena which it does in the first two minutes before going into more discussion which you may or may not want to use in the classroom - although it will promote great discussion. 

Hermitage & Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson always returned to his Tennessee home, the Hermitage, no matter how far he roamed.  The Hermitage site has a lot to offer from an interactive view of the grounds to an extensive write-up of Jackson's life.  The bio would be great as part of a webquest as it has lots of sub titles so items (esp. if you have ESOL kids) are easy to find.  

POTUS Website has a lot of very quick information for those times when you are asking your students to give brief bios.  Among the items are the election results, cabinet members, a bio, notable events, historical documents and more.  Here for example, is the one for Andrew Jackson.