Thursday, July 30, 2015

Countdown Timers

Richard Byrne and I were teaching our third of three technology for the Social Studies classroom today when a teacher asked me how I keep my students on task in a flipped room.  One trick I mentioned is countdown timers projected on the front of the classroom.  Believe it not the kids sense the time restraints.  Like anything it isn't good to do it every day, but can be one trick in your hate. Here are several types and the one above is what Richard suggested.

Partisanship in Congress in Two Neat Diagrams

Just look at this image from Vox which shows polarization in Congress from 1949 to the present. Political scientists Poole and Roosenthal and the two given credit for the research on Congressional polarization.  In fact if you know how to do multivariate regressions, they have a data set for every single Congress.  Below is there image (a little better than Vox). You can find a larger image and lots of others here.

I found the Vox diagram on the Facebook page for AP US Government teachers.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Understanding Iran: Terrific Summary

This comes from George Coe and his World Religion blog.

Why does the Iranian government continue to criticize the United States after signing the nuclear accord that would unfreeze their assets? In short, it's because of centuries of European and American exploitation.

According to Annie Tracy Samuel in the current issue of Origins, Current Events in Historical Perspective, "the past is very much part of the present in Iran."

Called "Viewpoint Iran: The Past and Present of the U.S.-Iran Standoff", the essay is one of the best and most readable summaries of Iranian and US relations.

The exploitation began in the late 19th century, when Britain secured "monopolies over almost all of Persia’s financial and economic resources." And it continued in the 20th century, when Britain and the United States overthrew the nationalist leader, Mohammad Mosaddeq, and "restored control of the shah." After the Iranian revolution in 1979,   distrust of the West continued when America supported Iraq in the eight year war between Iran and Iraq.

This is the exploitation that colors Iran's view of the United States. According to Samuel,
While Iranians saw the United States’ active involvement in the Gulf as proof of U.S. hostility, they viewed its latent support for Iraq—the refusal to name Iraq as the aggressor or to condemn its use of chemical weapons in the war—as particularly caustic evidence of American malevolence. Iranian statements after the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq tend to point out the hypocrisy of the United States in supporting and then ousting Saddam Hussein.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Freedom of Religion w Crash Course

This Crash Course video goes into free exercise, the establishment clause, Lemon v. Kurtzman and Engel Vitale, 

Federalism in a Nutshell

I have spent the last couple of weeks working with several others putting together an online AP US Government course.  One of the videos that fellow builder Frank Franz found is above.  It has both great visuals as well as good coverage of federalism.  

Saturday, July 18, 2015

A Little Fun - Campaign Ad

I found this on the AP US Government Facebook page.  It is a fun snarky view of campaign ads. You might use it to compare to the real ones as the presidential season begins. 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Remind to Text Students

Students live on their smartphones.  Use Remind to reach them.  The video above explains all of it in four minutes. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

TodaysMeet as an Alternative for Twitter

Richard Byrne and I started teaching a class together online tonight.  One of the things we spoke about what using Twitter in your classroom.  Several of the middle school teachers were understandably hesitant.  So I suggested something we also use at Hayfield called TodaysMeet.  The beauty about this site is that there is no login or password required for the kids.  You can also set the time paramaters and share the link only with your students.  It is can be used to have a discussion.  You could use it if you want the students to watch something at home and have a live chat. Alternatively you could use it so students could carry on a conversation during a portion of a movie giving them some active participation skills.  Believe me they are used to using two devices at once and will find this easy to do.

Above is a great tutorial about it. 

Iron Triangles Explained

This is a great overview of iron triangles complete with examples.  But be aware that it (like the College Board) has incorrectly assumed that issue networks are the same as iron triangles, which they aren't.

Start at 6 minutes to see the same person doing issue networks

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Everything You Need to Know About the Iran Deal

You can build part of your AP Comparative course from the Iran deal alone.  First off Russia, China and Iran were involved as well as the EU, comprising 4/7ths of the class.  You can discuss the president of Iran and the Supreme Leader, for example, as well as use it to highlight the Dept of State, Sec of State, House and Senate, presidential veto threat and so much more.  Here is an Economist article summing it up and below is a WashPost video for your class. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Hip Hughes' Videos

So I just used the video above in a course that I am helping to develop so I need to give Hip (Keith) Hughes) a shout out as he has an extensive array of videos for your government courses which you can find here.  All of them are under fifteen minutes. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Norton Ancillaries

I am working on creating an AP US Government online course and one resource we have is Norton's ancillaries.  It is worth poking as they have some nice higher level thinking skills (here is one on Congress) in there in addition to quizzes, goals and flashcards. 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Google Chrome Split Screen Extension

I am slowly gearing up for having Chromebooks in my classroom this fall and will also be testing (since I haven't felt it was good enough until now) Google Classroom.  In that endeavor I found Alice Keeler's Chrome extension (her blog is also very helpful) to let you split your window so you can have your gradebook on one side and the student work on the other.  Of course if you don't want her extension, just watch my video video below on how to do it by opening up two windows.  

How Gerrymandered is Your Congressional District?

This extremely interesting WashPost article has an interactive piece that lets you see how gerrymandered your House seat is.  But it goes further discussing that some of the most gerrymandered districts are done by opposing parties because the oppositions wants to contain the party in as few places as possible.  It also argues that Maryland and North Carolina are the two most gerrymandered states while Nevada and Indiana are the least.  

Diigo for Bookmarking & Group Projects

Long ago I stopped putting my bookmarks on Explorer, Chrome, etc. as I didn't not want to be married to one laptop.  Think about it.  Your school laptop is re-imaged probably once a year and each time you have your bookmarks deleted.  There is a way you can suck in your Chrome, Mozilla or Explorer So Diigo is a great way to save your bookmarks on the cloud.  You can set up your own account or login using Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo.

Below this is a video explaining how to sign up and above is one showing how you can use groups in a class.   If you use it with your students they do not have to have a Diigo account nor even share their email (although that allow them to be updated with alerts). 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Entire AP Government Course

Frank Franz shared his link with me on his entire contents (minus the assessments) for his AP US Government course.  Go on the left side to "chapter menus" for the links to all the assignments (vocabulary, many higher level Bloom's) and a flip video for each section going all the way down the left side (one of which is below).

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Crash Course Supreme Court

While you are hopefully enjoying your summer (mine ends next week when summer school begins!), Crash Course US Government keeps on being made.  The one above is particularly good and is definitely going in my class line up this coming fall.