Archive for August, 2010

The Answer Sheet: Week of August 21

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Did you take the Quiztory last week? Now it’s time to check your answers:

1.  During the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858, what controversial subject was Abraham Lincoln referring to when he said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand”? a national solution to slavery

2. Who wrote “The Confessions of Nat Turner”? a lawyer named Thomas R. Gray

3.  In 1814, between capturing and setting fire to the White House, what did the hungry British soldiers do? eat dinner

4.  In 1944, prior to Paris’ liberation, German Gen. Dietrich von Choltitz refused an order from Hitler. What was the order? destroy Paris

5.  What was the name of the slave who led a revolt against his captors on the Cuban slave ship Amistad? Sengbe Pieh, also referred to as “Cinque”

Related Link Resources
On This Day: First: Lincoln-Douglas Debate is Held
On This Day: Nat Turner Leads Slave Rebellion
On This Day: British Troops Burn White House and Capitol
On This Day: Paris Liberated from German Occupation
On This Day: Amistad Captured off Coast of Long Island

Quiztory: Week of August 21

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

Did you take the Quiztory last week? Now it’s time to check your answers:

1.  During the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858, what controversial subject was Abraham Lincoln referring to when he said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand”?

2. Who wrote “The Confessions of Nat Turner”?

3.  In 1814, between capturing and setting fire to the White House, what did the hungry British soldiers do?

4.  In 1944, prior to Paris’ liberation, German Gen. Dietrich von Choltitz refused an order from Hitler. What was the order?

5.  What was the name of the slave who led a revolt against his captors on the Cuban slave ship Amistad?

What’s Coming Up?

Next week, On This Day will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, the signing of the Treaty of Paris, and the confirmation of the United States’ first African-American supreme court justice. It will also examine Germany’s invasion of Poland and the end of the longest filibuster in senate history.

Related Link Resources:

On This Day Column

Educators That Rock!: Paula Naugle

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Paula Naugle with the ISTE blue bear.Paula Naugle, now in her 35th year as a teacher, recently became an active blogger and tech lecturer. Naugle teaches fourth graders math and social studies at Bissonet Plaza Elementary School in Metairie (a suburb of New Orleans), La.  A STAR member of the Discovery Educator Network (DEN), she was awarded a generous technology grant for her classroom last year.  She was also selected to attend the TEDxDenverEd Conference this past July.

In junior high, Naugle had an art teacher who let her express her artistic talent through knitting and sewing instead of drawing and painting. “I just remember thinking how relieved I was that I could take a class and do something that I really enjoyed doing.”

Paula Naugle with the ISTE blue bear.

Now that she’s the teacher, she says, “I’m always looking for more creative ways to do book reports, like making a sock puppet or bringing in a wrapped present and explaining why it would be the best present to give the main character in a novel.” In terms of technology, Naugle says, “If students want to turn in a handwritten report they can. But once they discover how much easier it is to correct mistakes, add pictures and make a very professional report with a word processor, they usually get on board pretty fast.”

fE: In 2009, you made a New Year’s resolution to expand your Personal Learning Network.  How did you do that, and were you successful?

PLN: Actually, it started in 2004, when I went to an educator conference in New Orleans. I spent three days asking myself, “What are they talking about? What is this Web 2.0?”  And then I started hearing this PLN acronym batted around.  And I thought, “What’s PLN, besides my initials?” I found a blog that Sue Waters wrote called PLN Yourself and I pretty much followed the steps.

My 2009 New Year’s resolution was to work more seriously on building my Personal Learning Network. In January, I created a Ning for the fourth grade teachers in my district.  And then in February, I joined Twitter. I learned how to follow people and to see who they were following.  Before I knew it, I actually had some people following me back. Now I have over 1900 followers and I’m on over 100 educator lists.

fE: Because of your PLN and Twitter, you were able to bring the Miller family to your school. Can you tell us about that experience?

PLN: I learned about The Millers through Twitter. This is a family that stepped up the homeschooling concept from just sitting at the kitchen table to actually going out and exploring the world.

When my friend Chris Johnston tweeted that they were going to be in New Orleans, I got in touch with Jennifer Miller and invited her to the school. She said, “Sure. We’d love to come.” They gave a really great presentation about the family’s travels in Northern Africa and parts of the Mediterranean. (Read more about The Millers’ visit on Mrs. Naugle’s Classroom Blog. )

fE: You’ve done several joint projects with a partner school in Kansas. Can you tell me about how those got started?

PLN: Jen Wagner out in California has a blog called Jenuine Tech, where she outlines a couple of project ideas and teachers sign up to do them. I began talking with Jan Wells in Kansas who was already planning to read, “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” with her class because the movie was coming out. But she wanted to do a collaborative project. So, we decided to do a choral reading (reading aloud in small groups or pairs) of the book over Skype. Her kids would read one page and mine would read the next.

Then, we created a Google form that we sent out via Twitter, which asked people to share the weather in their town. We got close to 250 responses, even some from New Zealand, Australia, and Africa.  It was so cool!  Jan’s class and my class also did a collaborative choral reading and Voice Thread recording of The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, where we had kids draw pictures to go with each stanza.

fE: Have you planned any interactive lessons with any other schools?

PLN: Last year, three schools interviewed my students about hurricanes, and of course they wanted to know about their Hurricane Katrina experiences.  But my students were four and five when Katrina hit, so I knew they might not remember a lot. So, we talked about it and they talked to their parents. And we discussed where people went and for how long.  Then I had two or three students sit in front of the camera—so no one would get stage fright— and do the interview over Skype. At first, I wasn’t sure this was something we wanted to drag up, but it was a learning experience.  And my students grew increasingly confident with practice. I’ve seen such a difference between the mannerisms of other students compared with my students who now feel totally comfortable in front of the camera.

fE: What is the OREO Project?

PLN: This is one of Jen Wagner’s projects. You have to place one cookie on top of the other and see who can build the highest stacks. You have to do the math, such as finding what the class average is. We also built a ramp and actually rolled our cookies down it, and adjusted the size of the ramp, and then took measurements to see how far our cookies traveled.  Over Skype, my students and Jan Wells’ students battled to see who could build a taller stack.  And of course they all got to eat the cookies at the end.

fE: You attended TEDxDenverEd this summer. What an honor!  Besides the Polyvision Eno Whiteboard that you won in the raffle, what were your favorite parts of the conference?

PLN:  I was so surprised when they announced that I won the Eno.  But because I was awarded a technology classroom grant last year, which includes a new Promethean board and ancillary equipment, I’m giving the Eno to a first grade teacher that I work well with. She will love it!

As for the speakers, Brian Crosby was my favorite. He teaches fourth grade in a poor area of Nevada, where there are a lot of transient workers. He started a project called High Hopes High Altitude Balloon project,  which involved a hot air balloon and a video camera, and a payload the students built themselves. Around the country people submitted their “high hopes,” to put in the balloon.

When his students started fourth grade, some of them didn’t even know which city they lived in. Now, as sixth graders, they’re blogging and skyping and corresponding with students around the world.

Dafna Michaelson was my other favorite speaker. She decided last year to visit a different state every week for 52 weeks and to talk to people about different social change projects they started in their communities. Now she’s writing a book.

fE:  Do you have any advice for newbies to the Web 2.0 world?

PLN: Get out there and really give it a chance. Do as much reading as you can. Establish a very good digital footprint.  You’ll be amazed at the response you’ll get.

Find a mentor.  There were two people who helped me the most: Beth Still in Nebraska, who helped me learn about Twitter, and Sue Waters in Australia, who helped me establish my PLN. I actually stayed up until 2 am to attend one of her sessions online.

When I went to a conference in San Antonio in 2008, I went by myself. I went to my sessions, went to my hotel, went to dinner, and then did the same thing the next day. When I went to a conference in Washington D.C. in 2009, it was such a different experience. I got to meet people face to face that I’d been chatting with on Twitter for six months.  I got to meet Beth Still and Sue Waters. And what’s your reaction? You go up and you hug each other like you’re old friends, because you feel so connected to each other and you feel so passionate about the same things, even though you’ve never met in person before.

Paula Naugle’s favorite sites:

Twitter

Edmodo

Skype

Glogster

Google (everything Google)

Related Link Resources
PLN-Not Just My Initials
PLNaugle Class Wiki
PLN Yourself
Edventure Project
Mrs. Naugle's Classroom Blog
YouTube: TedxDenverEd: Brian Crosby
YouTube: TedxDenverEd: Dafna Michaelson
Jenuine Tech
Nebraska Change Agent

The Answer Sheet: Week of August 14

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Did you take the Quiztory last week? Now it’s time to check your answers:

1. When were the first amendments made to the Social Security Act? 1939

2. Why did Mohandas Gandhi miss India’s first Independence Day celebration? He was fasting to protest the partition of India and Pakistan

3. What was the first major league baseball team to mandate helmets for their players? The Pirates

4. What was the first U.S. state to grant women the right to vote? Wyoming

5. When was the USS Constitution first launched? Oct. 21, 1797

Related Link Resources
On This Day: Social Security Act Signed Into Law
On This Day: India Gains Independence from Britain
On This Day: Ray Chapman Fatally Injured by Pitch
On This Day: 19th Amendment Gives Women Right to Vote
On This Day: USS Constitution Earns Nickname “Old Ironsides”

Quiztory: Week of August 14

Friday, August 20th, 2010

Test your students’ knowledge of the notable events covered in findingDulcinea’s “On This Day” column this week with Quiztory. It makes a fun extra credit assignment.

1. When were the first amendments made to the Social Security Act?

2. Why did Mohandas Gandhi miss India’s first Independence Day celebration?

3. What was the first major league baseball team to mandate helmets for their players?

4. What was the first U.S. state to grant women the right to vote?

5. When was the USS Constitution first launched?

What’s Coming Up?

Next week, “On This Day” will examine the first Lincoln-Douglas debate, the burning of the White House in 1814 and the “Baltic Way.” We’ll also take a look at Nat Turner, the day Paris was liberated from German occupation, the Cuban slave ship Amistad and the Drake Well.

Related Link Resources
On This Day column

Schools Around the World: Finland

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

In 2006, Finland placed first overall out of 57 countries in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) rankings, which tests a random sample of 15-year-olds from each country. The 2006 exam emphasized science; the 2000 and 2003 PISA tests emphasized reading and math skills respectively, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

One of the primary differences between the education systems in the United States and Finland is that Finland distributes finances evenly among its schools.

“We take kids who have the least access to educational opportunities at home and we typically give them the least access to educational opportunities at school as well,” Linda Darling-Hammond, a Stanford University professor and lead education advisor during President Obama’s presidential campaign, told Newsweek in a 2008 interview. In addition, Darling-Hammond pointed out that 22 percent of children in the U.S. live in poverty—the “highest proportion of any industrialized country.”

(more…)

Related Link Resources
OECD
The CIA World Factbook
Newsweek
The Globe and Mail
PISA 2006 Finland
Learning First
This is Finland
Forbes

The Answer Sheet: Week of August 7

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Did you take the Quiztory last week? Now it’s time to check your answers:

1. How long did it take the House of Representatives to pass the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution? 40 minutes

2. What was FBI official Mark Felt’s codename? Deep Throat

3. Who voted to pass the Quit India Resolution in 1942? The All India Congress Committee

4. What were the first objects to enter the Smithsonian Institution? Scientific materials and books of art

5. How did California attempt to block the fair housing portion of the Civil Rights Act? The state created Proposition 14

Related Link Resources
On This Day: Smithsonian Institution Established
On This Day: Watts Riots Erupt in Los Angeles
On This Day: Gandhi's Arrest Sparks “Quit India” Movement

Quiztory: Week of August 7

Friday, August 13th, 2010

Test your students’ knowledge of the notable events covered in findingDulcinea’s “On This Day” column this week with Quiztory. It makes a fun extra credit assignment.

1. How long did it take the House of Representatives to pass the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution?

2. What was FBI official Mark Felt’s codename?

3. Who voted to pass the Quit India Resolution in 1942?

4. What were the first objects to enter the Smithsonian Institution?

5. How did California attempt to block the fair housing portion of the Civil Rights Act?

What’s Coming Up?

Next week, “On This Day” will examine the Social Security Act, the opening of the Panama Canal, President Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky and the 19th Amendment. We’ll also take a look at the death of baseball player Ray Chapman, the USS Constitution and Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture.”

Related Link Resources
On This Day column

Web Sites for Researching History

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

These 10 trustworthy Web sites provide detailed accounts of historical events and figures, and collections of primary source material designed to help middle and high school students research U.S. and world history.

The Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is a great source to find historical documents, photos, art, maps, audio and video, artifacts and other items. The American Memory section organizes items based on topics, time periods and places of American history. The World Digital Library, a cooperative project with UNESCO, includes rare documents from around the world.

National Archives

The National Archives and Records Administration has a massive collection of material on U.S. history that can sometimes be overwhelming to search through. The Resources for National History Day Research page guides students on where to find material in the archives. In the Teaching With Documents section, assorted events are explained through primary documents in the archive’s collections.

Center for History and New Media

George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media has created a range of Web sites designed for the needs of students and teachers. It includes basic surveys of U.S. and world history, sites that teach students to use primary sources, and sites that provide lesson plans and ideas for teachers. It also features several Web sites of archives and exhibits.

PBS

PBS has a wide range of resources for students from its various programs. The most useful is likely the companion Web sites for the American Experience documentary series examining important events and people in American history. Each site includes resources such as descriptions of the events, biographies of key figures, primary source documents, interactive maps and transcripts of the film. Also visit the American Masters series for biographies of historical figures.

Digital History

Digital History is an online textbook that provides a chronological overview of American history. It also includes primary sources and detailed features on topics such as ethnic America, Abraham Lincoln, Reconstruction and controversial topics of today.

The Avalon Project

Yale Law School’s Avalon Project provides a database of documents such as laws, treaties, declarations, constitutions, speeches and statements from ancient history to the 21st century. Documents are organized by time period and by topic.

HistoryNet

HistoryNet is home to more than 5,000 articles published in Weider History Group magazines, which include American History, Military History, Wild West and World War II.

Country Studies

The Country Studies/Area Handbook Series is a compilation of books written between 1986 and 1998 that details the history of more than 110 countries, dating back to the earliest settlements. It was created by U.S. Department of the Army and printed by the Library of Congress.

EyeWitness to History

EyeWitness to History features first-person accounts of prominent events in U.S. and world history, along with a simple explanation of the event’s importance.

UMKC School of Law

University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law professor Douglas Linder has compiled research pages for more than 50 of the most famous trials in history, dating back to the trial of Socrates 399 B.C. Each page includes a detailed account of the events of and leading up to the trial, court documents such as witness testimony and trial excerpts, and other primary documents such as newspaper accounts and letters.

Related Link Resources
The Library of Congress
The Library of Congress: World Digital Library
Library of Congress
The National Archives
The National Archives: Resources for National History Day Research
The National Archives
Center for History and New Media
PBS: American Experience
American Masters
Digital History
Yale Law School: Avalon Project
HistoryNet
Country Studies
Eyewitness to History
University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law: Famous Trials

The Answer Sheet: Week of July 31

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Did you take the Quiztory last week? Now it’s time to check your answers:

1. Why did the Iraqi army take the passengers of British Airways Flight 149 as hostages in 1990? To use them as “human shields

2. Why were Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney, civil rights workers in Mississippi, arrested on June 21, 1964? For speeding

3. What did The New York Times call “a victory for organized labor” in 1993? President Bill Clinton’s lifting of the ban on federal reemployment of workers who strike against the government

4. Which Supreme Court case ruled that an income tax was unconstitutional? Pollock v. Farm Loan and Trust Co.

5. What was the nickname for the bomb dropped on Nagasaki? Fat Man

Related Link Resources
On This Day: Iraq Invades Kuwait, Leading to Persian Gulf War
On This Day: Bodies of Three Civil Rights Workers Discovered in ...
On This Day: US Air Traffic Controllers Go On Strike
On This Day: Congress Passes Act Creating First Income Tax
On This Day: US Drops Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima