Ally in front of KohlsMy baby girl has a big girl job!!

Ally interned this summer for Kohl’s and loved her experience.  She had worked part-time during high school and college at Kohl’s.  When her former store manager in Noblesville recommended her for the internship Ally embraced the chance.  It is rewarding to watch your children find their place in the world.  Ally and Matt Engagement Picture

Ally is a business major, but was unsure of her path.  Kohl’s fed into her two strengths: (1) working with people and (2) completing projects.  Kohl’s allowed her to feed those passions.  So 2019A and M - Sleeping - 1998 will the year of transitions for my baby girl.  She graduates May 4th, marries Matt on June 1st, and starts her career on June 10th.  I am so proud of her, but most importantly I love that she has finished what she start, found someone to share her life, and her place in the workplace. .

School has started!

I could not wait.  Having first period prep meant having to wait an hour and a half for my first students.  I am sure that my poor period 2 students could feel my energy release.  I have never been a huge fan of the beginning of the year, because I miss my students from the previous year.  There is also that transition of my students into historical thinking that can be painful to teach.  The payoff starts in October when they start to understanding, buying in, and show their growth.   My introduction to the year finished on Friday and the teaching begins on Monday.

Make it so!!

Star Trek Twitter Announcement of Jean Luc Picard

This was so unexpected, but it makes me so happy.  I love Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Captain Jean-Luc Picard.  He is my favorite captain.  The Star Trek Discovery series was great despite the fandom’s criticisms (I don’t listen, because group-think is not my thing).  My love of Star Trek started with its original series in prime time and continued through all of its generations.

New Weoples are in the house!

The corner has found lots of my new crew…punishment for raising their hand during discussion.  We have worked on writing unit constitutions to establish the social contract between the individuals.  On Friday we started with fictional scenarios to establish ideas about the role of government.  Monday we start the hard work with introductions to Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu, and Rousseau.    Transitioning for me from one year to the next is hardest with my 8th graders; I get close with these kids because we go through so much together over the course of the year and in the case of a third of them, two years.

Matt Deitsch Twitter Feed about 2A exchangeOne of the many reasons that I teach We the People is to try and create a body of students that know how to enter into discourse without succumbing to the rancor in politics today.  I came across this Twitter thread about an exchange between one of the Parkland students and 2A supporters.

Speaking of the Parkland students who reacted “civicly” after a tragedy struck their school.  They have set an example for a generation of the power of civic education and involvement.  That is one of the biggest reasons that I started teaching a We the People class.  I wanted to change the discourse into thoughtful discussion based in fact and knowledge.  I also want my Weoples to become involved in civics by running for office, giving back to the community, acting when confronted with challenges, and becoming members of the community.  I would also like one of them to become governor and president some day.

Reading Links:

Watch “John Hattie on the Educator Mindframe and Why It Matters” on YouTube   John Hattie’s work helps weave through the clutter of Educational initiatives.  The 52 minute video pinpoints what actually works in education.

  1. An EXTREMELY Detailed Map of 2016 Presidential Election  Wow this map is so cool.  You see the results in every voting precinct in the country.  This really appeals to my love of maps and numbers.  Spent too much time going over this map.
  2. How the 14th Amendment’s Promise of Birthright Citizenship Redefined America
  3. 10 Supreme Court cases about the 14th Amendment.  This is a Unit 4, 5 and 6 link.  Of course it features The Slaughter-House Cases that are so hard to explain to students.  I love the National Constitution Center’s Constitution Daily.

National History Day’s 100 Leaders in World History This is a great site to research influential leaders from around the world.  Cannot wait to use this site!

The obscure religion that shaped the West  A great article from BBC Culture about Zoroastrianism and its influence on the Abrahamic religions and, even, Star Wars.

The Guardian’s The Story of Cities The Guardian completed a 50 part series on the history of cities.  It is a terrific resource with a lot of possibilities for the classroom.

The Pulitzer Center’s Education Resource Site  This site is filled with resources for building global awareness.

Ken Burns’ Unum from PBS History is the accumulation of stories and few are better at telling stories than Ken Burns.  This is a site of primary sources from American history collected by theme and time.

Civics Renewal Network’s Resource Clearinghouse  This is a pretty good resource of 200 Civics lesson plans and resources.

Ranked Choice Voting – As Australia and the Oscar go, So Goes Maine  Maine has gone to ranked choice voting for candidates where they rank the choices on the ballots with multiple rounds until a candidate wins a majority.

Zinn Education Project – McCarthyism There is a slant, but that does not make the history invisible.  There are some little known stories to be found.