Maybe you watch John Stossel on Fox Business Network. Perhaps you've come across Stossel in some of your school resources. Maybe, "Is America Number 1?" or "What's Good About America?"
John has a lot of resources that you can use in your classroom. A lot of it is free, like this 2014 Edition of Stossel in the Classroom, as well as a bunch of DVDs on Economics, streaming resources, (I like this one on the Federal Reserve) and Teacher's Guides that go along with the free DVDs.
There are a lot of easy to implement video clips that are fully supported. And a great outside resource page. Enjoy clicking!
The march towards flipped classrooms continues, and I have another fun resource for you and your educational peers. It's called Crash Course, but the Green brothers.
John Green does WAY MORE than history. He, together with his brother Hank, do lit, chem, ecology, etc. And the videos are fun and easy... a great intro to topics. Keep in mind, you are getting some bias and snarky, mature sarcasm... so you should PREVIEW before you VIEW. But, there are about 40 10 minute videos in US History alone that serve as a great foray into Constitutional underpinnings, politics, and economic theory.
They fact check with educators to make sure they're not getting history WRONG... and they've been picked up on YouTube for Schools, along with the Khan Academy and other vloggers who are ready to bounce into your virtual classroom.
In the spirit of the Tip and the Gipper (yep, still reading it.), I will give some credits where credits are due, even if it's not me who is creating these gorgeous sites. I am learning that competition is good for the soul. (Really?)
I was digging around while my kids are taking their quarter exams, and I ran across this great website that has the top 25 teaching blogs of 2012.
As the site suggested, I did indeed move on over to the post on teaching (government) thematically on Diana Laufenberg's Living the Dream blog.
While I don't teach history, government is really thematic. Our units weave history, current events, science, philosophy, math, data analysis, sociology, psychology, ehhh. Well. A lot of stuff together, right? So, I get this! I really do!
I then moved onto her learning visually post, primarily because I am developing a visual literacy unit with materials from the National Portrait Gallery this month, and I am trying to get some background before I roll my old bones down there. And, bam! Hello, beautiful! Here are some gems... resources, thoughts, approaches...
So, Diana is the kind of educator I want to be... ripping down what she does and reconstructing it in a way that kids get and *shockingly* retain.
And then, OMG, I read this post and saw about half the dudes and dudettes I work with embedded between the sweet prose of this stream of consciousness. So, I think I am a convert to teachbad, too. Now, I could wax philosophic about my career choice... (As one student of mine told me not twenty minutes ago, I am not rich because I chose this field and that was a risk I took. Thanks, citizen of the week. You know who ya are.) ...but I am not gonna do that. Not here. Not usually. It's cathartic, I know, but taking me away from what I set out to do. But, perchance you need a little cathartic exercise. It's Friday. Come on.
Now. Last coolio item for this post. Since I so love and advocate for tech in the classroom, here is a fun infographic that I may send out to the next parent who is totally skeptical of the BYOD policy in the school. Thanks, topmasters.
Flipping your classroom is all the rage these days.
Creating interesting, informative, concise, and accurate videos about all things gov. I wouldn't have time for a thing else!
I have been watching the boards on Edmodo (see below)... and a consistent contributor is Keith Hughes.
I am already a big fan of his newest jam on the <<Debt Ceiling>>. So, do you want him to jump into your class and explain the 10th Amendment? the Preamble? Electoral College? SCOTUS? Looking for a little video assignment so you can
FLIP FLIP FLIP your classroom? (painlessly?)
My man, HHH, is to the rescue.
... I shuffle over to my FCPS peer, Ken Halla's catchall website. He runs a blog for all of the VA state required Social Studies website... in his spare time. When he is taking a break, the other FCPS Gov rock star, Frank Franz, moonlights for him. (Another god among G-O-V men and (some) women... cause we're so few in number).
Ken is a **rock star** in the social studies community. I don't know if he knows that or not, but I didn't know that until last year. We had a fresh crop of student teachers in our building for a while, and I overheard one of them gushing over how he was going to meet Ken at some event, and he was sooo excited because he was going to talk tech shop with Ken.
So, Rock Star Ken... here is why you have so many fans. (As if you didn't know.) He collects TONS of multi-media material to use in the classroom. My favorites that I saw this morning were video tutorials on the concept of Obamacare for use in the classroom. Brilliant!
He also peppers in best practice tech apps for use in the classroom... like flipping your classroom, Quizlet, QR codes, etc. It does make class a lot of fun. I am down with it.
I shudder to mention YLI, because I know that this website is like manna to the Gov teacher's soul. But, whatever... Maybe you don't know... so here is the glittering goodness of this website.
When I don't know what to do, or need some where to start, I go here. They have really great lesson plans that you can use as is, or modify to the needs of your class. I have used many of the websites, particularly the one on Federalism, to give kids activities and discussion points that really get things moving. The dynamic duo that run this website do a great job of getting back to you when you are in need... And are totally enthusiastic about their craft.
There is a model Congress that you can either participate in solo or with a virtual community of schools nationwide. I use the model Congress AFTER we cover Congress, because it does a great job addressing the FUNDING of initiatives; how laws are crafted, etc. However, I have NOT done the nationwide activity because of time constraints.
I have used the virtual voting module, which you can tailor to your home district's ballot... (although I do have the kids visit Project Vote Smart's VoteEasy module to learn more about the candidates before they vote. WARNING: VoteEasy is updated for National Elections, only. Boo.) Anywho, there you have it. Where to do when in doubt.
Photo via Flickr/Ted Eytan