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This quick video condenses Pickett’s Charge from Gettysburg from 30 minutes to about 4. Plus it throws in some dramatic music to boot. Some ideas to fascinate your students: Pickett’s Charge was the literal high-water point of not only the Battle of Gettysburg, but the entire Confederate war effort. Remember, Gettysburg was deep in Northern territory. Not…

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The criminal, accused and convicted of maiming an infant, mounted the gallows. Dressed in a jacket and breeches, he had never looked finer. A rowdy and boisterous crowd had formed, heaping abuse on him. In 1356 many believed public executions provided a strong deterrent to future crime, and this rural town in Normandy was no different. He…

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Assessments need to be worthwhile and they need to have a purpose. While some students are naturally grade-driven, a number of students simply don’t give their best effort if the only person who will see their work is the teacher. And frankly, can you blame them? In life, our jobs always have an audience. As…

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I have an axiom that I try to repeat every day before school starts. On my best days I focus on the kids. On my good days I focus on the content. On my bad days I focus on myself. I know that sounds obvious. “Isn’t a teacher supposed to focus on kids!?” Yes. But…

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Times have changed. Students no longer rush home to play ball or ride their bikes with their friends. Okay, maybe a few do, but the majority of our students spend their afternoons and weekends glued to a screen. Whether it’s wrong or right, T.V. or tablet, it’s our students’ world and we are just living…

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As social studies teachers we are tasked with teaching a daunting scope of material. Planet Earth hosts more than 7 billion people at the moment, and no two of them are alike. It falls on us to explain just who these people are, and what they are doing here. Indeed, teaching how people interact with their…

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As a geography teacher, my students occasionally make maps. While I try to spice my map assignments up, the formula is the same: 1.) Find items  2.) Place on map.  Predictably, this results in a map. One more or less looks like the next, some are just prettier. Recently, I decided to change things up for my Europe…

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The other day while updating an old lesson on globalization, I started with reviewing the basic outline. It was nothing out of the ordinary: Frontload vocabulary Present the material  In class activity to “practice” the material. In this case, they would explore the school for the origin of various items Create a map showing where items…

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During a recent PD session my school screened Most Likely To Succeed for the middle school and high school staff. Unequivocally, this movie is a must see for any educator. The first third of the moving provides a fascinating insight into the origins of school as we know it (Prussia? Really?!).  Needless to say, our…