I think I am going to make this an extra credit opportunity for those who are brave enough to try... but its time to sign up!
Here's the gist...
Kids in pairs write an appellate brief. Due by 2.28.14...
Top briefs will in the affirmative or the negative will go to the oral argument rounds, to take place in March - April, with the top two teams arguing before the SCOTUS in May. Pretty cool. Why not?
These guys sometimes also run a FantasySCOTUS, but they have last term's
I've done it. I've shown the Frank Capra classic. It's wonderful. It's like the pink bunny onesie that Ralphie snuggles in... and much like that pink bunny onesie that Aunt Clara so lovingly built... it's also freakishly off the mark. For one, our VP hasn't had an office, let alone a regular stint, in the Senate since the 1960s.
So, according to reputable folks in my county, we should all be flocking to show the newest re-boot... Mr. Cao Goes to Washington. A little more colorful in every sense of the word. But for someone who wants to show how members of Congress are more than politicians, more than folks filling up the seats to keep quorum, this is the route to go.
If it was made up purely of WASPs.
Okay, to be fair, it is the most multi-culti it's ever been. Here, take a gander.
And what would it look like if it were more reflective of the nation?
Although a joke about Boy George and Karma Chameleon is kind of, well. Ironic.
But, I got pretty excited for a minute. Oooo. Insider feel of the hallowed halls of D.C. I am on it.
Cloture club... a bit more expansive into the entire culture of the Hill... (I had a friend who was a staffer once. She said it was awesome. She got paid a non-liveable wage to work ten hour days doing things like re-typing documents the legnth of the King James Bible before lunch. But the after hours parties were to die for. Remember... that's heresay.)
But with cool, glitzy infographics... fun games like Ask a Staffer, Member of the Week, and Lady K Street... what's not to love? Enjoy. It's sinful.
Coolest thing I've found in a while.
Can I get this in a poster size please?
I am preppin' for Congress... and I have run across this **beautiful** infographic quite a few times. So, I figure... why not?
This is kind of a variation of the Game of Life, and I am all about playing games for sequential processes like this. There are other great resources out there, too... If you want to do some Flipped Classroom stuff, and are all about using federal resources... try this nine video B2L extravaganza from Congress themselves
A few years ago, I found this game... and I took each individual square and typed it into a power point. At B2L time, I would print the powerpoint in slide view... find a vacant hallway, and spread the game out. The kids would be the game pieces, and I would hand each of them a die to help them role... First one to the end got something I would dig up in my classroom.
But I have since transitioned to a B2L project that takes place outside of my classroom... The kids are assigned to work in groups and write lyrics to an original or otherwise song... and perform it live or via video on youtube. I do this for a few reasons. 1.) I free up time to teach other stuff that is not a process and therefore (for the most part) memorize-able. (I frequently marvel at how I remember the state song even though i don't remember who forced me to learn or during what grade.) 2.) The kids (unless they're lying, which is possible.) actually get excited for this project... not all of them... but a lot of them... And my present Seniors will actually contact their graduated buddies to tease them for the videos they have made... 3.) It's allowing my more artistic kids an outlet. 4.) I love to see what they come up with... there are some pretty cool things I have gotten from this... including cameos from Congressman Frank Wolf... with recorded scenes in his CONGRESSIONAL OFFICE!!! 5.) It's another reason to torment my students, which is the real reason I teach. (j/k... that's what they think anyways.)
Look, I am not saying that notetaking and lectures don't work. I have peers who do it, and do it well. I, however, cannot. So, here is some inspiration to stop procrastinating and help your students help themselves.
Edutopia had a great summation of how different kinds of kids can do notes in your class in a way that suits their needs. Got a kid who is out of town? Let them record the class. Got a kid who is a doodler? Find them an app like Evernote, Penulitmate, or PaperPort Notes. Want to stress communal learning? Have the kids make a shared notebook, like Cynthia McClelland. Want to link sound and notes in real time? Try AudioNote or SoundNote.
And finally... if you want to have the kids look for learning in the real world when you're not there, try Field Trip... which gives kids (and adults) a chance to do some authentic exploring on their own. And have them take notes! And share it with you! :)
Photo via Flickr/Ted Eytan