Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Huffington Post has a cool site called Fundrace, where you and your students can search for campaign donations.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Well this won't be on any tests, even the AP exam, BUT it since I have had several posts on pork, it is interesting to see that there is a way around that for those who claim to be against it.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pork Personified

Not sure how to define pork spending for your students.  Well look no further than Sen. Tom Coburn's "Wastebook" which has tons of vivid examples.  If you want the short list, go here.

More on Census Changes

This article on 538 details that most of the top gains to House seats in terms of population are in Republican districts and most of the losses are in Democratic seats.  Here is an analysis why even though Republicans will pick up in the House, redistricting won't be as much a gain as one would think.  What is also interesting is that under the new Electoral College changes which begin in 2012, there would be no change in the outcome of all previous elections for the past 100 years had they been in effect then.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Shift in House Membership by State

Here (which means it won't last long), there is an interactive graphic where you can see how many seats (if any) that your state is going to lose or gain based on the 2010 census in the House of Representatives.  Here is the accompanying article and here is a second one.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Youtube Blocked At Your School?

I have been using to quickly show only the portion of a youtube video I want in class. It is great for schools where youtube is blocked.  But two others that you can use are ViewPure and which also give you a new url which will get you around the block your school may have.  I found these last two at a new blog I follow called "The Pursuit of Education Technology Happiness."

Friday, December 17, 2010

Senate Conviction of Federal Judge

Not sure how I missed this, but for the eighth time in US history, a judge has been impeached and convicted.  The Senate voted on Dec 8th.

Edublog Winners

Every year I go here to see the Edublog Winners.  If you haven't done it, you will find some amazing new resources both in blog form as well as Twitter to add to your daily RSS feeds.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


First off, I have always had a hard time defining "pork" which this resource does.  Secondly it gives what it considers the pork in the federal budget year by year since 1991.  Here is an article on recent pork spending in Congress. Finally you can find a number of other "goodies" including videos, "awards," and more at the Citizens Against Government Waste website.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Facing History and Ourselves

This site has a number of resources to add to your US history class.  This video, for example, is a video of one of the African-American students who went to Little Rock High School when it was trying to integrate.

Great Summary of Online Resources

Super Book Of Web Tools For Educators -
If you are a high school teacher skip to page 36.  There is also a section on ESOL teaching as well as online teaching. It is very definitely worth your time to go through this and see what you can find that is new to you.  Even with my great use of technology, I found it helpful.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Vote IQ

I found out about this new site called Vote IQ today.  It has profiles of 700,000 politicians, but more importantly it allows students and teachers to communicate in a social platform that looks somewhat like Facebook and so will be easy for your students to be able to use.  Best of all, it's free.  There are also a number of quizzes such as this one which helps students see if they are liberal or conservative.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

US Budget Process

Next week I will begin the budget process with my students. In case you haven't done so here are some links.  First off Obama today signed a continuing resolution to keep our government open by continuing last year's spending levels for the next two weeks.  The Congress must pass thirteen spending bills by September 30th and has yet to pass one.  The rest of the budget process may be found here. As I tell my students if they worked liked the US Congress, they would simply put off their tests until the week before the AP exam - and then they would move that too and pay for it using next year's tax dollars (see US debt above)!

Before Charlie Rangel there was...

Jimmy Traficant who was kicked out of the House for violating House ethics rules.

The Future of Computers

Okay, this is just pure fun - but for those I certainly hope it shows the future of our phones/computers (will there be a difference) and ipads.

Republicans Presidential Candidates Money Stats

My students always seem surprised when I saw that most presidential candidates run for four years and like crazy for the last two (Obama, for ex. slept in his own home just two nights the last year of the 2008 campaign). Here and here are updates on the fundraising already going on among Republicans and what they are already (mostly on other Republican candidates) their money on. Here is a chart that shows their polling.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Google Translate Goes Audio

I have been using Google Translate to e-mail students' parents who do not speak English.  They usually write me back in their native language and then I tranlate it back to English.  Well now, if you want, you can listen to what was written.  I'm not sure the language teachers will like it, but it is still fairly cool.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

GAO & Natural Gas Emissions by Companies

Our students certainly need to know about the GAO, but much of their research can be a bit far fetched for our students.  Well I heard this story on the way to school today on how companies are needlessly emitting enough natural gas each year to run 700,000 homes a year.  So I want to the GAO website and had my kids look at this page which has a video showing the gas and a summary of the report.