Monday, March 22, 2010

Highlights of the Almost Health Care Law
Tomorrw Obama will sign his health care legislation. Here are the highlights. While I doubt reconciliation is a term most of us would use on a test (or even the AP one), there are certainly a lot of terms that have been highlighted: lack of a conference bill, Senate majority leader, Speaker of the House, party line vote, impact on midterm elections, executive order, bill to law steps (and the reality behind those steps, hyperpluralism (since Theo Roosevelt was the first to suggest universal health care). Heck with the Republicans now suggesting that part of this bill (err almost law) are unconstitutional, you could almost write an entire year end project around Obama's health care.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Rules Committee At Work
Granted, the Rules Committee is usually an easy concept to teach, but how often is it something you can discuss for something that a lot of people are talking about. Here is a summary of what the Rules Committee decided last night for today's House vote on Health Care. Here is the entire CSPAN coverage of the committee. If you prefer, here are highlights.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Another View of the Dems Vote on Health Care

This link also has the Dems, as in the post below. But it also has the $ each legislator has received from the health care industry as well as the percent of uninsured people in their districts.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Whip That Vote
Here is a nice way to show your students a vote count sheet of sorts. This morning it had 41 Dems on it and now it is down to 38. It is great as it shows how they are on other key issues. I can imagine "Rambo" in his office with a similar one complete with expletives!

CSPAN's new video library & tools

CSPAN's new video archive and tools allows you to create your own clips and embed them to another site, like this one. It's so easy to use and all of the CSPAN archives are online. Have fun! I made this one of the Clinton impeachment. Here, Graham is explainin what he thinks is 'high crime and misdemeaner."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

C-Span Puts Entire Library Online
C-Span has put its entire library (160,000 hours over 23 years) online here. What an amazing library for you to use in the classroom.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Textbook and Video
My fellow collaborator, Frank Franz, just asked me if there was a textbook online that was done orally. Well, yes there is! First off if you look on the right side under links, you will see a link for a complete textbook line and another for an online course which has both outlines and study questions. Here is a link for Hippo Campus which has both text and audio for the entire course.

What is Reconciliation
With health care coming to a close (I think) in the next few weeks, a fair question is "What is reconciliation?" Be warned the above video is put put by the Democrats, but it does explain the process pretty well.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Twitter Contact List for Educators
Now that I have become a Twitter Disciple, I have been asked a lot, whom I follow. My simple answer is to look at my "kenhalla" feeds, but here is a link that I got today from which has given me a long list of ed tech people to choose from. It feeds from my list and multiples it many times. It allows you to looks the Twitter Profile and then at several recent tweets to see if you like them. If you are new to Twitter, be assured that I like to follow people who can give me great links that will help me in the classsroom as opposed to knowing what people are doing.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Political Book Blog
This is a new WashPost blog that goes through anything related to political books. So it includes the best of lists as well as intereviews, reviews, etc. It may be a great place for you to find a new book to read or one to find something for your AP students to read over the summer.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Do You Want Obama To Be Your Commencement Speaker
Obama is asking for schools to put together two minute videos saying why your school has improved and why he should be your commencement speaker. Here are the details and above is his promo on it.
More on Polls - Rasmussen
Rasmussen has everything you could ever want for your class. Here, for example, is a presidential tracking poll. It also offers a weekly update and on the economy, people's view of Congress and a host of other topics. They also have twitter feed so you don't have to keep checking the site. Speaking of that, you can sign up for my twitter feed ("kenhalla") and not have to come to this site as I put all of the updates on it in addition to technological innovations for teachers.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Great Uses for Google Apps
You can find more from the author of this site by here. What I like is that there are links to how to videos, you can see the teacher's Google Site and some examples of what he does in his classroom.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Twenty Questions to Ask About a Poll
This came from a comment on my "How a poll is contructed" entry. It is 20 questions that a journalist asks about a poll, but I think you could substitute "government teacher" in there when you discuss polling. Here are some of the questions: Who did the poll? Who paid for the poll and why was it done? How many people were interviewed for the survey? How were those people chosen? What area (nation, state, or region) or what group (teachers,lawyers, Democratic voters, etc.) were these people chosen from? Are the results based on the answers of all the people interviewed? Who should have been interviewed and was not? Or do response rates matter?
When was the poll done? and more on the website.
Paper Rater
Some of the teachers in my department are using this year which is a good way to catch students who have copied from other sources. However it works well AFTER the paper has been turned in. This site, however, allows students to turn in their papers BEFORE the teacher sees it. Number one, it tells the kids who has plagiarized. This is imporant for the kids who like to change just a few words rather than putting the information in their own words. But the site also tells a student about spelling and grammar mistakes (and yes so does Word and Google Docs) as well as telling them the level of their vocabulary and even if they should use different word choices. So I tried the site with some of my student's work and one nice thing it quickly showed was that the student had used the word "elite" three times in three sentences. When the student clicked on the word, it gave suggestions for new words. Finally the analysis ended up giving the level of vocabulary (average, above average, etc.). Thanks to FreeTech4Teachers for the tip.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Spark Notes
I wrote about Spark Notes about a year ago, but it has changed since then. It is a decent way for your students to quickly review before a test. It has a quick overview of every topic and review questions (some better than others).
Regents' Tests
If you ever want to supplement your own tests with good questions or give your students practice, here are the old New York Regents tests which are their cumulative exams given in June.