Wednesday, November 25, 2015

What type of learner are you? Who cares?

This is a question you should ask yourself and then realize that your preference doesn't really matter.

Um, except we have a whole classroom of learners, right?

Monday, September 28, 2015

Thursday, September 24, 2015

God's Will? Puritan Ideas of Predestination

Key to understanding the behavior of Puritans in New England is understanding their religious beliefs, and one of the key elements of their religion was the concept of predestination.

What is the meaning of this thing you call "predestination"?
Well, unfortunately, it means most Puritans believed they were going to burn in hell unless they were God's "chosen elect".

Monday, September 14, 2015

Colonial Trade & the Evolution of American Slavery

This blog post is part of an experiment in "flipped classroom" instruction. As homework, students are tasked with reading this blog post and watching the linked video lecture while taking notes on a "lecture note template." This will prepare them for activities on mercantilism in class.

Mercantilismthe economic theory that trade generates wealth and is stimulated by the accumulation of profitable balances, which a government should encourage by means of protectionism.

Friday, September 11, 2015

We the People - Yeah, but who are we?

One of the changes made to the APUSH learning objectives from 2014 to 2015 was that they got rid of the theme "Identity" and replaced it with "National Identity." While I understand that this shift was likely intended to narrow and clarify, I am disappointed that AP shifted their American identity focus away from pre-Constitution influences. Therefore, this post is in recognition of how African, Native American, and female peoples of the Americas fought to gain or retain their autonomy and identities in the pre-Constitution period.
Yeah, but who are we?
This covers the period 1491 to 1787 and focuses on the diversity of our early American heritage. 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Colonial American Labor Systems

Life in colonial America involved so much work! 

Source: Public Domain Image - Tobacco farming led to the growth of
indentured servitude and African slavery in North America.
But who was doing the hard labor? And who was gaining the profits?

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Colonial Women were Boss

Obviously, they weren't "the boss" because they were totally oppressed by a patriarchal system that regarded them as little more than property. What I mean is that they were AWESOME!
In case someone reading this wants to be a Pilgrim lady for Halloween, the costume above is available here. (I am not advertising, just providing a public service).

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A Nation of Immigrants and Migrants - What's the difference?

The July 2015 revision of the APUSH curriculum condensed the seven Peopling (PEO) objectives into two Migration (MIG) objectives. In general, I approve of this change as it simplifies the intent of the objectives and allows teachers to choose their own examples to align with the key concepts. 

If Native Americans had enacted immigration laws, do you think Europeans would have honored them?
Our new objectives require that students:

MIG-1: Explain the causes of migration to colonial North America and, later the United States, and analyze immigration's effects on U.S. society.

MIG-2: Analyze the causes of internal migration and patterns of settlement in what would become the United States, and explain how migration has affected American life. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

How did Columbus Day become a U.S. Holiday?

In preparing a lesson on the Columbian Exchange, and starting with the question "Should Americans celebrate Columbus Day?, I discovered some interesting tidbits regarding why Columbus Day became a holiday.

Did you know that Catholic-Americans lobbied for official recognition of Columbus?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Joys of Educational Technology

So, it is the first day back at school and we are jumping right in with a quiz on Blackboard.

 But wait! Student accounts have been reset and I am now getting a flood of emails from my very responsible student population telling me they cannot log in!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

History Doesn't Change - FALSE

While the events that happened in the past do not change, our understanding of history changes all the time.

There are a few reasons why this happens:

Monday, August 10, 2015

My Teacher Mission

When I went through my teacher certification program in New Mexico, I was asked to prepare a mission statement for my classroom. I have used it ever since:

I will foster a positive and caring learning environment that promotes high expectations and skills development to empower students and challenge them to become their own best teacher. 

It is not always easy to fulfill, but it is what I truly believe and it does guide my thoughts and actions in the classroom. I believe wholeheartedly that what students do is ten times more important than what I do in the classroom, and that the earlier they recognize this, the better learners they will become.