Saturday, November 30, 2013

Ideology Quizzes

Every year I have my students find some ideology quizzes, take them and report back to the class on their findings.  Not all the kids agree with the findings which is why we then discuss why - was it a flawed set of questions or is the students just thinking they know their ideology and when confronted with the issues, learning something new about themselves.

Here is the Pew Research quiz.
Here is one from PBS & Pew
Here is one I just discovered called Politopia

Monday, November 25, 2013

More AP Economics' Videos

Andrew Foos teaches AP Economics near me at my alma mater alm mater, Madison High School. He has put twenty six videos online ranging from 5 to 15 minutes.  Above is his first one.  The videos go with Krughman's AP Economics book, but could be used in any class.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Nuclear Option with Hip Hughes

Keith "Hip" Hughes is a one man flipping factory for US history and government.  Above is one he just wrote on "The Nuclear Option."  

QR Codes for Your Google Drive Documents

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. 

Caucuses and Primaries Explained

Thanks to my colleague Charity Fisher for the video above explaining caucuses and primaries in three short minutes. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Nuclear Option - Charts

Here is an image of how many filibusters there have been in the history of  the US Senate and you can see how it has grown exponentially in recent years.  Here is another one that shows it in the last thirty years.  More is coming soon. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Explaining Polls and Obama's Numbers

  • The video above shows how Obama's poll numbers have gone down recently.  
  • When a poll is constructed here are twenty questions that a person should ask when making the survey. 
  • Here is the Gallup poll comparison between all modern presidential polls
  • This explains how a poll is constructed. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

75 Google Play Apps for your Classroom

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. 

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

Janet Yellen Confirmation

We were just speaking about Janet Yellen in class and her confirmation so I will show this to my class tomorrow so they can see a bit of the confirmation hearing from an hour ago in the Senate Banking Committee. Here is an article on it. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Flipped AP Economics' Videos

Thanks to Rich Hoppock for telling me about the Jodicongirl Youtube site.  It has thirty videos for microeconomics and twenty four for macroeconomics. Thus those of you who are teaching AP economics will probably find the site very helpful.  All of the videos are less than ten minutes (unless you want her ones on solving problems).   Jodi also has a website here where you can sign up for her Twitter, Facebook and other accounts. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Flipped Videos for Economics

I have been teaching economics for the past year and so am looking all over for ancillaries to add to my classes.  Even though I have created a set of flipped videos, I found this set by Jason Welker which is quite good.  He teaches IB Ecomomics, but you could still use his for AP.  Jason also has a super website with his class PowerPoints, student wikis, flashcards and his blog.  The embedded video above tells you how to navigate his website. 

US Demographics

Thanks to Caitlin Kimak, one of our awesome new hires this year, for this fantastic link on 15 demographics to look at the US.  We used it in government class today today to try to decide how the role of government is changing and different depending on where  you live in the US.  You can also zoom in and out on the graphic. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

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 .

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Virginia and NJ Returns

There are only two states with gubernatorial elections this year and both were somewhat decided before election day.

To get the New Jersey results, go to the NY Times page and if you want to discuss state assembly results, there is also a link there to that.

The nicest place to share with your students for Virginia is the site which has set up an electoral returns page.  The page is especially nice because you can easily look at a county by county map and if you click on the locality it will take you to a precinct page or you can go to the state site here.

If you want to see how much the candidates in VA raised then go to VPAP's money page here.

Here is a great site from the WashPost showing how VA has changed in the last four years. Even if your students are not from VA, it is a great way to discuss the elements that make a state Democratic or Republican.

When your students ask you how news sites can call elections, tell them there is only one exit pollster group in the country and it is Edison Research.  What that means is that when television stations call an election, they have to decide based on the exit polls and where the votes have come in from the polling locations.  Then the first channels to call the election do so on a leap of faith  (based on the returns of key precincts) as everyone is getting the same results at the same time.  Here are the exit polls taken by Edison in VA and here they are for New Jersey

Results of All Ballot Initiatives Nationwide

If you want to discuss ballot initiatives across the US, here is the site to go to.  Tomorrow AM I will add to this post and put a summary of what I find.   Here is a summary of them. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

VA Campaign Debate & Election Returns

If your students missed the VA debate for governor, above is a recent debate that included all three candidates for governor.  

On Tuesday night, if you are in VA, you can get your election returns at VA Board of Elections.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Virginia Politics

VPAP is a tremendous site for those of us living in Virginia - or even those outside since we are one of only two states with statewide elections this year.  The site shows all the money raised by local and people running for the state legislature, or state and federal offices.  So for example we now know that Terry (best friend of Bill) McAuliffe has raised $35 million as of last week and Ken Cuccinelli has raised half that amount.  So if you look at who is giving to McAuliffe you see that all the interest groups are ponying up to get their influence when he becomes governor.  In fact if you look at the attorney general candidates you see how each has raise more money recently than Cuccinelli.

The site also has a great page on redistricting