Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Podcast #185 - Review of Matthew Pinsker's "Lincoln's Sanctuary"

Hello. Today's podcast is a brief review of a great book for anyone who enjoys learning about Lincoln : Lincoln's Sanctuary, Abraham Lincoln and the Soldiers' Home by Matthew Pinsker. Two summers ago I was able to tour and visit the Lincoln Cottage in Washington DC just prior to the opening of the visitor center. The Soldiers' Home, or Lincoln Cottage, was the summer White House for President Lincoln. It has been estimated that Lincoln spent almost 25% of his presidency at the Lincoln Cottage.

This book sheds light on what Lincoln accomplished at this second home, how the location might have impacted his thought process during the war years and some personal details that make Lincoln appear more human than the stoic icon we view him as today.

I would suggest this book to anyone who enjoyed learning more about Lincoln and would recommend a visit to the Lincoln Cottage the next time you are in Washington DC. If you can't physically visit the next best thing would be a visit to their web site or blog.

If you have any additional thoughts on this subject please feel free to leave a comment to this blog post.

Direct link to Podcast #185 - Review of Lincoln's Sanctuary by Matthew Pinsker

Friday, March 20, 2009

Podcast #184 - Creating "Common Craft" Type Videos about Historical Terms for Class

Hello. This week we did a cool project in class - my students created short videos in the "Common Craft" style to describe a variety of historical terms and concepts we are currently studying. My students loved it and did a great job. I have included a couple of videos with this blog post below, the rest you can view at my You Tube channel.

I have included a couple of pictures of the set up we used to film the videos with a Flip camera. The podcast has more details on how we created the videos. If you have any questions or thoughts on this project please leave a comment on this blog post.
Thanks to Common Craft for the inspiration - we are all huge fans of your work!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Teacher Institute at Kansas City National Archives for Summer 2009

Sharing another great opportunity for social studies teachers in the Kansas City area from the National Archives.

The National Archives at Kansas City is pleased to announce that it is one of nine locations across the country to host "Primarily Teaching: Original Documents and Classroom Strategies." The week long institute will be held July 13-17, 2009, at the region's new facility located at 400 West Pershing Road, Kansas City, MO 64108.

"Primarily Teaching" is designed to provide access to the rich resources of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) for educators at the upper elementary, secondary, and college levels. Participants will learn how to research historical records, create classroom materials based on the records, and present documents in ways that sharpen students' skills and enthusiasm for history, government, and the other humanities.

Each participant will research the holdings of the National Archives at Kansas City for documents suitable for classroom use and develop strategies for using these documents in the classroom or design professional development activities to help classroom teachers use primary source documents effectively.

The cost of the institute, including all materials, is $100. Graduate credit is available for an additional fee. Space is limited; interested persons are encouraged to apply early. An application for the institute is available online at http://www.archives.gov/education/primarily-teaching/

For more information about Primarily Teaching, contact:

Lori Cox-Paul, Education Specialist
Phone: (816) 268-8017

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Ending the War Against Japan - new White House Decision Center scenario at the Truman Library

Today I'm passing along an excellent experience for you and your students if you are able to visit Independence, Missouri and the Truman Library.

Truman Library educators have developed a new historical decision for students in 8th grade and up. They take on the role of President Truman or one of his advisors in the summer of 1945 as they explore the options available for ending the war with Japan. In this open-ended experience, students practice historical thinking as they read once top-secret documents which include the MAGIC/Ultra intercepted Japanese messages. They give President Truman advice on a course of action to take and several briefing speeches are delivered. Several hundred students have gone through this latest decision this semester and it has received high evaluations from teachers. Teachers may also choose from three other decisions for their students: the Berlin Airlift, opening days of the Korean War, or Truman's order to desegregate the military. The WHDC experience takes place in a specially built West Wing environment with eight advisory rooms and a press room.

To view a 7 minute video of a typical high school group going through a WHDC session go to the education page of our website, www.trumanlibrary.org. The WHDC minicurriculum contains 4 previsit modules, a 4 hour on-site experience and one postvisit module. The cost is $12.00 per student with a minimum group rate of $360.00 if the group is under 30 students. The WHDC can accommodate up to 64 students per day. Since its opening in the Fall of 2001 over 40,000 students and thousands of adults have taken part in this experiential activity.

While many days are already reserved for the 2009-2010 school year, below is a list of remaining open dates. Teachers would need to come to a training session to be introduced to the materials and activities. Contact me if you are interested and I will mail out a reservation form.

The White House Decision Center is also available for adult groups as a problem solving/team building experience. Civic groups, churches, the military, corporations, hospitals, university staffs, Elderhostels, etc. have attended sessions.

Open 2008 - 2009 dates:

September - all days open except for Sept 18th
October - 16, 21, 26, 29
November - 2, 5, 9
December. - 8, 9, 14, 17, 18-22
January - 4, 5, 7, 8, 11, 12, 19, 20, 22
February - 1, 2, 3, 5, 11, 12
March - all taken
April - 22
May - 10, 13, 14, and 27 onward

Tell me, I forgetShow me, I rememberInvolve me, I understand

Tom Heuertz
Associate Education Coordinator
Harry S. Truman Library and Museum
500 West US Highway 24
Independence, MO 64050-1798
Tel: 816-268-8241
1-800-833-1225 x88241
Fax: 816-268-8297
E-mail: Tom.heuertz@nara.gov
Web: Trumanlibrary.org

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Secrets of Lincoln's Watch Revealed

Very cool news today about the discovery of a message inside Lincoln's watch. I saw it reported first via the Museum of American History's Twitter feed and then later saw the Washington Post story.

Here is the blog entry about the watch from the Museum of American History's blog and includes some great pictures.

There is also some audio from NPR and the NBC video below.

Once again it's cool to know that not everything has been discovered in relation to our nation's history.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Zune in the Classroom - FREE Webinar on March 10th

I have received e-mails in the past about how we have incorporated the Zune MP3 player in my 8th grade American History classroom. I will be discussing our use of the Zune in my classroom on March 10th online at a FREE webinar hosted by Microsoft in Education. This webinar is part of the Tech Teacher Tuesday series.

The webinar will take place on Tuesday, March 10th from 3:00 PM Central Time until 4:00 PM Central Time. The webinar is also recorded and will be available for viewing later as well.

I did a similar webinar in January and really enjoyed interacting with the audience. Please drop in and I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have about using Zunes in the classroom.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Using Google Maps in Class to Connect Liberty with the Gold Rush

Check out the following screen cast, created with Jing, to learn more about using Google Maps in class and hear a cool story that connects Liberty, Missouri to the California Gold Rush.

Liberty Gold Rush Tree location in Google Maps

Friday, March 06, 2009

Podcast #183 - Using the Daughters of the American Revolution Magazine "American Spirit" in Class

Hello. Today's podcast is a suggested resource for anyone who teaches, or enjoys reading about, the American Revolution. For the past couple of years I have used articles from a magazine produced by the Daughters of the American Revolution - "American Spirit". The articles are well written and engaging. One of my favorite articles describes "Colonial Junk Food". I receive my own copy at home and a subscription can be ordered online for only $18 a year. Check out the podcast for some examples of the articles available and how we've used them in my 8th grade classroom.

If you have any comments, suggestions for other history magazines you use in class or ideas you would like to share please leave a comment on this blog. Thanks for listening.

Direct link to Podcast #183 - Using the Daughters of the American Revolution Magazine "American Spirit" in Class?

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Podcast #182 - Back to School, Starting My Doctorate Work

Hello. This week I'm starting my work on a doctorate degree from Walden University -a Doctor of Education with a program in Teacher Leadership. It will be a three year process and I'm looking forward to the challenge. In today's podcast I discuss the first step in my journey.

I welcome any suggestions or tips from those of you have earned your doctorate, especially if you did so in an online program. Please leave a comment on this blog post. Thanks for listening.

Direct link to Podcast #182 - Back to School, Starting my Doctorate Work

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Podcast #181 - Teaching the Donner Party as a Debate

Hello. We recently finished one of my favorite units to cover in our 8th grade American History curriculum - Manifest Destiny and Western Expansion. As we study the Oregon Trail we discuss the fate of the Donner Party. The Donner Party captures the attention of my students and allows us to discuss a variety of topics. For years I have shown my students "The Donner Party" from PBS, part of The American Experience series. Several years ago I used the role of Lansford Hastings in the tragedy and have a debate to try and decide if he or the Donner Party are more to blame for the loss of life. My students then do a short debate, which this year we taped with a Flip video camera. Listen to the podcast to learn about how we use this resource in our classroom.

PDF copy of the worksheet we use while watching the video "The Donner Party" from PBS and the American Experience

If you have any ideas or thoughts on teaching about The Donner Party please leave a comment on this blog. I would enjoy learning how other classes teach about this interesting historical event.

Direct link to Podcast #181 - Teaching the Donner Party as a Debate

Podcast #180 - Speech on "Opportunity" for Parents and Students at Platte County Schools

Hello. Today's podcast is the audio recording of a speech I recently gave at an academic banquet for students and parents at Platte County Schools in Platte City, Missouri. I typically give presentations on technology, history or education so this speech was a little different for me. I tried to explain how others create opportunity for you and then you need to make the best of your own opportunities by telling some stories and sharing examples. The podcast is the audio of the presentation and I have included the presentation below if you are interested in the images the audience saw that night.

If you have any questions or thoughts please feel free to leave a comment on this blog post. Thanks for listening.

Direct link to Podcast #180 - Speech on "Opportunity" For Platte County Schools

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

National Churchill Museum - Summer 2009 Teacher Workshop

Passing along another great professional development opportunity:

Attention Educators!

2nd Annual Summer Teacher Workshop
Thursday, June 25, 2009 - Saturday, June 27, 2009

The National Churchill Museum wants to bring together Missouri educators to study the life of Winston Churchill and to develop strategies for applying historical content in the classroom. Our second year running, this three-day teacher workshop will have more speakers and more opportunities to learn about Churchill and how to use his life to teach history, language arts, speech, cultural studies, and even art/architecture.

You can check out our website
www.churchillmemorial.org, click on School Programs. We are also still looking for presenters, particularly educators that already use Churchill in their classroom!

Please don't hesitate to call or email me with questions. We can only accept a maximum of 30 educators.Register early!

Mandy Crump
Education & Public Programs Coordinator
National Churchill Museum
Westminster College
501 Westminster Ave
Fulton, MO 65251-1299

Phone: (573) 592-6242
Fax: (573) 592-5222