Sunday, June 29, 2014 to Text Your Students is an alternative to Remind to texting your students.  You can choose between a restricted environment where only you see the texts or one where all students respond.  Either way it is an improvement since you can individually text your students, but the conversation is recorded to ensure proper school etiquette is followed.  The nice thing about this is that if your students have questions, you do not need to answer every question, but can rely on the students to help each other.  You can also also send out questions to your students and see an instant poll.  This is useful the night before a test first to make sure they are reminded to study as well as to gauge if they are ready for the test.  If there is a deficiency, then you can send a link to your students for the particular item that needs to be studied.

Above is a tutorial on how to use the basic elements of

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Can Boehner Sue the President?

If I know Keith Hughes, he will be creating videos all summer for US history and government, so follow him on Twitter to keep going.   

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Legacies of WWI

The Wall Street Journal created a great page showing legacies of World War I that continue to shape our lives today.

The page is series of pictures representing different categories like politics, culture, arms, tactics, etc. It's very cool and students might have fun clicking through it or, it might make for a good webquest.

Thanks to Liz Ramos for tweeting the link.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Changes in Google Drive

This gives you a quick overview of how to do the main items in Google Drive be it on your laptop or smartphone.  Later this summer I will post a five minute film on how to do everything you will need in Google Drive for your school year.  For now, this is a great start.  I found it on the Google Drive blog site

U.S. Census Bureau Population Comparison

The U.S. Census Bureau has a very useful infographic that compares the U.S. demographics from  1940 and 2010. This could be used in a variety of ways in the classroom a Do Now/Bell Ringer activity to a full lesson.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Learn Smarter: Tips from Memory Researchers

Memory researchers say that merely rereading notes or the textbook doesn't help you learn. According to this story in Vox, you have to do something with the information like making flashcards, or diagramming the information.

Aksing yourself questions is also important. "Say you're learning about world history, and how ancient Rome and Greece were trading partners. Stop and ask yourself why they became trading partners. Why did they become shipbuilders, and learn to navigate the seas?"

Researchers also say that spacing out your review helps more than cramming.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Poll Everywhere for Instant Response

Poll Everywhere keeps getting better.  In the old days I used to hand out clickers to students so we could get instant feedback on a question.  But the clickers were inconsistent and often were broken.  So for the past few years we have been using Poll Everywhere which allows you to create formative quizzes with either multiple choice or free response answers.  It can be used on smartphones or laptops or both simultaneously.  The best part is that if you have a LCD, you can project the responses up on a screen so you and your students can instantly see what percentage of the class has mastered the content.  Here is a video explaining how to create and use the polls and above is a short overview.  

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Theft of Native Americans' Land

Watch as Americans take over Native American land. Vox reprinted this gif which was made by University of Georgia historian Claudio Saunt. The red shows reservations and the blue Indian homelands (1776 to the present.)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Social Studies Chat (#sschat) Website

Social studies chat (#sschat) which meets every Monday at 7:00 pm, now has a website. It includes upcoming topics and, most importantly an archive of past chats. If, for example,  you want to find resources about project based learning, you can easily find it in the archives.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Nazi War Criminal Living in U.S. Since the 1950's

It was revealed today that an 89 year old man living in Philadelphia was arrested for war crimes in WWII for being a Nazi guard. My students often get into a discussion about what they feel should happen (if anything) to those who played a role in the Holocaust as we talk about the Nuremburg Trials.


Hello everyone! I wanted to tell you a bit about the new poster you may see on this blog. I'm Kelly Enders and I'll be starting my 17th year teaching in the fall. I currently teach AP U.S. Government and Politics and  also American History (Reconstruction-WWII) although I've also taught sociology, an intro to the U.S. Justice system, geography and Principles of Democracy.  I'm always looking for ideas for my classroom, particularly for those of us who are experiencing a school district budget crunch combined win the expectation of integrating more and more technology.

Thanks a great deal to Ken, who is a valuable resource on his blogs and twitter!  I'm  excited about contributing!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

21 Charts That Explain How America is Changing

One of my favorite assignments for my US kids is having them research a member of their family who came to the US even if they only know a rough time period.  They have to research what was going on in the home nation that might have made them leave, where and why they might have gone to a particular US city.  Well this collection of charts made me think of that assignment as one, for example, shows where people are still moving in the US (west and south).  There are a lot of other interesting items. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Bloom's Wheel With Technology

I am putting the finishing touches on my book (yes it has taken much longer than I thought) and came across Allan Carrington's Pedagogy Wheel which takes Bloom's taxonomy and gives you apps and websites that you can use for each level of learning.  Check it out here and then start thinking how you can use more technology to reach the upper levels of Bloom's.  

Friday, June 13, 2014

Become an AP Grader

Right now I am in Salt Lake City grading AP exams.  I have been grading for years and really enjoy it.  I started and continue to come because it does help you teach your students how to better master the free response questions on an AP exam.  But it is quite great when you get to meet a bunch of driven AP teachers who inspire me with new ideas and then become a year round resource.  Should I add that you are paid, get free room and board and a plane ticket to the grading.

Oh and the grading!  Yes you do have to grade a lot of essays and on the 4th or 5th day it can get a bit tough, but most people come back year after year so it isn't that bad.  I should add that it makes you a much more efficient grader for your own students' tests.

So if you are interested in applying go here

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Review of All US Presidential Biographies

My school colleague Doug Zywiol just told me about this site that has a review and ranking for every biography and every review of each of our presidents.  Doug is working his way through one biography of each presidents so if you are game for Doug's challenge, then here is the link

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Industrial Revolution

Above is a nice overview of the industrial revolution from the History Channel complete with an oral history, as well as video and pictures. Here is one on the transcontinental railroad. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Tutorial Video to Text Reminders to Students

If you want to text your students reminders for homework, this is the site to use.  You can set it up to be sent at a certain time, send it to just a few students or the entire class.  You can even send it with attachments or Tweet it out after it has been sent.  The video above explains it all. 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Immigration into the US

One of my favorite assignments for US history has been to have students research a member of their family who came to the US.  As part of the assignment they had to say why the person came here which many could not figure out because the person came too long ago.  But I made them research the time period and look at the originating country and the US and make some educated guesses just like any historian might do.

That is why this research from PEW is so interesting as it shows that most states' top immigrant population is from Mexico as opposed to Germany one hundred years ago.  It also shows the top immigrant nations in the intervening years. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Invasion of Normandy Footage

Later today I will post how you can win a free trip to Normandy.  Having been there twice as a kid, it is amazing to me that little has changed since 1944.  It is still an area of France with little quaint towns and a somewhat religious aura surrounding the cemeteries.  

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Commemorate the D Day Invasion

C-Span has some great video resources for us to use to commemorate D Day with students. In addition to the two clips below--an 18 minute tour of the Normandy cemetery and a 14 minute speech by President Obama at the 65th anniversary of D Day-- you'll also find a good 28 minute clip about the invasion itself.

Thanks to Pearson Social Studies for tweeting the link.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Live US History Review with Hip Hughes

Keith "Hip" Hughes will be doing a live review on June 16th at 7 pm EST.  Tell your students to tune in to Hip Hughes History.  

Monday, June 2, 2014

Interactive Site on Jamestown

This is a great interactive on Jamestown which my daughter showed me a few years ago. It is a great interactive site from National Geographic.  It includes a magnifying glass that you can move around the Jamestown site to get close-ups as well as videos, maps, etc.  and has information on the Powhatan.