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New interactives from the Library of Congress! November 17, 2017

Posted by Wendy Wolfe in Games & Simulations, US Government, US History.
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Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 1.51.05 PMI love being able to teach with interactives and simulations. They give students a new way to explore material and help it “stick.” Today the Library of Congress announced  three new interactive projects funded by LOC grants and they look really cool! Eagle Eye Citizen is for middle and high school students focusing on US History, civics and government and promotes civic understanding and historical thinking skills. Engaging Congress has several game-based interactives looking at representative government, and KidCitizen allows K-5 learners to explore history. All three interactive programs utilize primary sources from the Library of Congress. Love it!

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I miss teaching about the US Supreme Court November 15, 2017

Posted by Wendy Wolfe in US Government, Video, Web resources.
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Last spring, after 21 years at Totino-Grace High School,  I decided it was time to make a change in primary employment. I now drive across the Twin Cities every day and work with the Upper School faculty at Breck School as an Academic Technology Coordinator. The position is evolving, and I enjoy working with faculty on ways to leverage technology to support teaching and learning and designing quality research-informed learning activities for any classroom. That being said, I do miss teaching about the US Supreme Court. I must miss it a lot as I am waking up my blog after years of dormancy, and offer the following.

 

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If you’re ever in Washington DC, I cannot strongly enough encourage you to check out the US Supreme Court, located just East of the Capitol building. Oral arguments and decisions are open to the public, and even the open self-guided walking tour is impressive. Until the opportunity to visit presents itself, here is a quality short background piece from CNN on the US Supreme Court, this Crash Course walks through the Supreme Court procedures.  As there are only 9 sitting justices, I often found that students would be intrigued when they could hear the justices speak and share their stories. With that in mind, here are two playlists, one from YouTube and one mostly from C-SPAN,  with collections of videos showcasing available interviews with or talks by the sitting justices.

 

Paperless: Two weeks in September 8, 2014

Posted by Wendy Wolfe in 1:1.
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Well, we’ve been at it for about two weeks now, and I have yet to hand out a piece of paper for students to keep and photothey have submitted everything digitally so far.  We did use some scrap pieces of paper and laminated placards to create a Constitutional Museum on our classroom wall, but after each pair of students created their museum “captions,” they took pictures of their creations with their phones, emailed the pictures to themselves, and as a class we created this virtual museum that each student now has access to for review – better than trying to review from a wall! 🙂

 

Going Paperless August 29, 2014

Posted by Wendy Wolfe in 1:1.
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So last year our school went 1:1. All of our students were issued a MacBook Air, and I saw my teaching change drastically. One very visible way was in handouts and notes. I used to have my students use a 1″ 3-ring binder…and we filled it, every class, every semester. Last year, I saw the need for the 1: binder disappear as they had a paper folder and, by the end of the semester, about 1/4″ of paper was in it. This year, while getting things going, our new school president shared that some schools pay for their 1:1 initiatives by going paperless, and while we aren’t in that place as an institution, it inspired me to revisit my 1/4″ stack of handouts from last year. I was casually talking about this with some of my students and they said, “Paperless? I think we’re ready for that.”  I think they are right.

I decided to go paperless.

My biggest mental block about it was followsheets for videos, but I got over it and we’re giving it a shot. My goal is to share some of this journey here. We’ll see how both of those goals, paperless and regular blogging, go. Cheers!