It is our job as teachers to make the world come alive.
Within, you will find a forum for sharing ideas on how to make that a reality.


Video Websites

It's been a long time since a post, but hopefully a few of you who still read will have some ideas.

My current high school has a block on nearly all online video sites (Youtube, Yahoo! video, Google video, etc) that even teachers cannot override. I have had to dance around trying to find good videos that are current (sorry library). A great source for my government class is PBS's Frontline series, which provides some fantastic, professional videos on a variety of subjects.

Any good recommendations for other programs that have video online? I have used some OPB programs as well as public radio, but any specific recommendations would be great. Thanks!



I don't plan on teaching psychology, so I was going to refrain from blogging about it. However, we are working on a project where the students create their own simple studies, conduct the study, and then analyze and present their results. The goal is to teach about scientific method by creating experiments. Now that we are about half way through the work I'm seeing all sorts of flaws with the assignment as well as many ways to improve things. Any thoughts on ways to make experiment creation a worthwhile project (I'm especially looking at you science teachers!)?

Oregon Map

Bend is an odd place, full of immigrants from California who do not share the unconditional love for Oregon that most Oregonians live and breathe every day. For that reason, I was not surprised when my government students had nearly no idea where things were in their state: major cities, rivers, physical landmarks, etc. To remedy that, we embarked upon a virtual field trip of Oregon. We started the trip by creating our own maps of the state and then watching videos produced by Oregon Field Guide that took us from place to place on their map: Rogue River Valley, Celilo Falls, Anthony Lakes, Deschutes River, etc. Their job was to connect the videos to their maps and write a short paragraph about each place. It was a success!


Health/PE Seminar Liveblogging

9am: Elizabeth arrives late. She needs to get her life together.

9:05 Finished opener. I've never used that type of opener before, I look forward to implementing it into my classroom.

9:10 Go over agenda. Looks like a lot is coming our way, though I'm not sure how applicable it will be for the social studies classroom. Let's be honest, though, for months the PE/Health people have been going through things that many can't apply to their classroom. I can do some of it for a couple days.

9:27 Why doesn't PE/health get as much attention? I thought, "Clearly it's because social studies is more important." That was not the correct answer. Apparently it's because there is no testing of that PE/health content and our administrators are all about test scores since NCLB.

9:33 Students can't learn if they aren't healthy (hungry/abuse/etc). Agreed.

9:42 Kimberly's baby is making cute sounds.

9:55 Our first group activity! We're reviewing a teaching strategy...

9:57 Whoops! They don't have the group activity, so we're moving on.

10:38 The social studies (and "I'm done" Chris) table in the back is dominating the discussion. Zam! Dakota is throwing out some wisdom nuggets, so he's in competition. Come on PE!!!!

10:40 Kimberly just thought of a great interdisciplinary activity: Push-up Reading Day! Students achieve physical fitness goals while learning about the assassination of President McKinley. Holllllller.

11:06 O'Brien's up front working hard, refining his South Park Gold Cohort character list. Example:

11:26 Peacing for lunch here very soon. Now!

12:30-1:41 Wow, they just talked about rubrics for the past hour. Wtf? We learned all of this in assessment and measurement a looooooong time ago. Props to Sharon, no props to these people. Redundant and boring.



I want to incorporate films into my curriculum, but not being a movie buff I do not have good ideas. Help!

1) What films could I use for government/civics class? Any level of government would be fine. I'm looking for anything that can legally be shown to high schoolers and does a good job of highlighting the role of government in daily lives, foreign affairs, the economy, law enforcement, etc. The list is long!

2) What films could I use for psychology? "A Beautiful Mind" has been mentioned to me, but what else? I'm sure there are MANY, but I don't know what they are. If you know a film that you think is great and could be the centerpiece of a unit, let me know!


Career Day

Hey crew, I'm down here in Bend thinking about you all beasting it at the job/career prep day. What's the consensus, was it good? Should I have driven my butt ten hours to be there?

Btw Who was the guinea pig for the mock interview?

Golden Bloggers

Don't forget that on the left side of my blog (about six inches down... can you measure in inches on a computer screen?!?) there is a list of all the blogs in the Gold Cohort. You can see who has updated recently (and how long ago) by looking at the time indicated below the blog name. Those blogs on top have been updated most recently. It's time for a serious commentfest!

PS For those of you just getting into blogging, this list is known as a "Blog Roll" or "Blogroll." Knowing the vernacular is 5/19th of the battle.

New Poll

Check out my new poll. I have a feeling that, because the options are limited, many of you will choose to leave your favorite student compliment in the comments of this post. I'll be very interested in hearing what makes you all feel good about your chosen profession.


New Grading Views

One week ago my gradebook had zeros. No work meant no credit, it just made sense. However, after reading the articles and participating in classroom discussion, my gradebook is a new man (can you feel it?!?!)

Though I'm a social studies teacher, I'm a math guy. Once the math was explained, zero grades just didn't add up; they do not accurately represent "no work." Instead, I will be implementing a policy that reads, "No late work, no missing assignments." Students must turn everything in, if it is late then they receive an "I" until the assignment is turned in for no more than an "F." Finally, they must turn in all assignments in order to receive a final grade.

Sure, some tinkering may need to be done in order to make it fit, but I'm in folks. The research says it's right and the math adds up.


Classroom LIVEBLOGGING!!!!

With Chris over my shoulder, we are liveblogging from class! Today has been focused on solving America's educational problems and, as Chris will attest, we have succeeded! Hooray! Back to class...

UPDATE: Classroom liveblogging failed miserably. Perhaps next week will go better. Stay tuned!