I miss teaching about the US Supreme Court

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.

 

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A New Look at the War of 1812

The USS Constitution Museum published a new website which has an interactive experience for K-12 students focusing on 19th century naval life and the War of 1812. From an interactive exploration of Old Ironsides to a role-playing game which puts the player in the position of a sailor, to an exploration of those who served on board the USS Constitution, this is a fun and engaging web-resource. Lesson plans, ideas for classroom integration, and activities for families are also offered on the site.

Learning from others: Wondersay/Wondersaid

As I shared in the last post, I love learning about tools that are new to me from the learners taking our Classroom Technology course.  This is another of those times. Wondersay is a very cool little app that animates text. Pick a quote or statement, and let it animate your work.  Click here to see an example in action (WordPress left something to be desired in the area of embedding…).

This tool would be great for a set to project and grab students’ attention when entering a classroom or to animate a website. A Wondersay could also be created by students of any age and then shared by a link as no account is required to create one.

The quote you’ll see, I like it so it is here too.  Happy Friday!

Ideal teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross, then having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create bridges of their own.  ~ Nikos Kazantzakis, Greek writer/philosopher