Would you like to take advantage of the upcoming Black Friday as a way to get your students to be financially literate? Use this two-day lesson with students to explore comparison shopping and credit card use. Groups of students prepare for a fictional news conference where they release resources both in print and digital formats to assist consumers to be savvy shoppers. This lesson incorporates the Econ Alive! The Power to Choose and the Applying Economics activities geared to financial literacy standards. If you like what you see, explore more with a 30-day trial of the program.
This is one of our favorite lessons for many reasons. It’s especially poignant as we approach Veteran’s Day.
Although the lesson is from our History Alive! Pursuing American Ideals program and centers around the Vietnam War, we think it’s appropriate for both middle and high school students. In order to tie the activity to Veteran’s Day, use the preview of the lesson only. In the preview, students “visit” the Vietnam Memorial. It’s really a whole lesson in itself and is a powerful way for students to connect with the upcoming Veteran’s Day holiday.
We’ve updated our list of great free technology sites and apps. Teachers don’t have to use technology to have powerful classrooms, but they can sure help! See how this guide, by the makers of History Alive, can create a spark of thought for educators just easing into using web 2.0 and mobile technology in their classrooms. One concrete idea is provided for each web site/app. You can learn more about how to create engaging classroom moments with TCI’s award-winning software by visiting us at www.teachtci.com.
How do you create more time for class? Meaningful time?
Teachers are always lookng for creative ways to create more time in class to do hands-on, student-centered lessons. Flipping your class might be a way to do just that. Flipping, essentially, is where you take typical content delivery (lectures, notes, readings) and move them out of class. Time in class can then be devoted to delve deeper into topics and make sure that students achieve mastery through higher-order thinking activities. There are many places you can go to learn much more about flipping. One place I recommend is the book authored by the two teachers responsible for it: Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student In Every Class Every Day by Jonathan Bergman and Aaron Sams.
TCI fits the flipped model extremely well! We have completed two popular webinars which you can view here and here. If you are planning on attending the National Council for Social Studies in St. Louis this year, you can also come to our pre-conference clinic where we will show how to flip your class with TCI and web 2.0 tools. The embedded document below are some of the resources we will use during that session.
Tell us about your experiences with flipping. What do you like? Not like? What works well? What challenges do you face?
1. Print slide 5 and make 10-15 copies. Cut apart.
2. Split the class into two teams. Tell the students that they will play a Halloween trivia game in ten minutes.
3. Pass out a set of trivia questions so that there are enough for two tothree students to share. Tell the students they have ten minutes to read the questions and answers before playing.
4. Have one of the teams begin (choosing questions at random) by answering the first question. If they are correct, click the remove button (ONLY ONCE). If the group is incorrect, allow the other team to answer. A correct response is worth one point.
5. Once there are three or fewer boxes remaining on the board, allow a team to try to guess the subject of the image beneath after they have responded to a question correctly.
The image is an oil painting by John Quidor entitled, “The Headless Horseman Pursuing Ichabod Crane” (1858).
When the game is over, you could give the students additional information regarding this wonderful Halloween story by Washington Irving and how Quidor used Irving’s vivid details when he painted the image. Visit this great website by the Smithsonian for more info: http://americanart.si.edu/education/insights/pictures/quidor/ . You might even consider reading portions of the book to students as you look at Quidor’s painting.
6. If a team correctly guesses the subject of the painting, award them two bonus points. Continue playing until all the boxes have been removed.
Are you a middle school or high school teacher that covers the Salem witchcraft trials? If so, we have a great seasonal activity to try out with your students. Following the idea from another TCI activity from the cold war era, we have adapted our popular Dot Game activity to be run to cover the suspicion-filled atmosphere surrounding the Salem colonies in 1692.
Download this slide share (above) as well as the activity directions (below) to conduct this 45 minute activity with your students. This lesson strategy uses an Experiential Exercise to create a strong emotional response to content. Make sure you save enough time to debrief the simulation and make a connection to the historical content.
Enjoy this thrilling activity with your students and examine an important part of history for the New England colonies at the same time. For more great lessons from TCI, stop over and visit our social studies programs across grade levels.
From dissecting flowers to making drums out of tin cans, we at TCI have had a lot of fun dipping our hands (sometimes quite literally) into science. We’ve been testing labs and developing science activities that incorporate the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and we cannot wait for students to delve into them.
Exploring science has made me even more excited about NGSS and the curriculum that it’s supporting. So, to get you excited, too, I’ve decided to share some of my favorite science resources. But, these are meant for outside of the classroom. Explore these resources with friends, family, colleagues, or even a date. So, put on your goggles and lab coats because it’s time to experiment with science!
By far, one of my favorite earth science topics is astronomy, and it’s a topic that is accessible for anyone to explore. One way to get familiar with astronomy, even if you do not have a science background, is to visit a local observatory.
Often, observatories are open to the public a few nights a month. This means that you can look through a telescope that astronomers use to study objects in space. You might get to look at planets, such as Saturn, or at the surface of the moon. There are also astronomers at these events that teach you about the objects that you are looking at. Visiting an observatory will make you a science expert in no time!
You can see if there are any observatories near you by looking at this map. It lists observatories by state:
Since observatories are not in every area, there are other ways to explore our solar system that don’t require anything but a computer.
The Virtual Observatory Collections, located here, uses data from multiple telescopes and observatories to create a virtual tour of the solar system.
You can either move your mouse around the screen or search for a specific object. For instance, I searched “eagle” for the Eagle Nebula, and it took me to this spectacular image:
These are just a couple of the many science resources available. I’ll post more on physical science and life science over the coming weeks. If anyone has any other great resources, please share by commenting on this post.
Words and Images can be powerful together in word art.
How do people remember the events of 9/11?
As we approach the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we know that many teachers will undoubtedly want to cover this historic and emotional moment for our nation. In this free activity by TCI, teachers encourage students to record and/or research the words that people use as they recall the events and their reaction to that day. After compiling at least three different accounts, students create word art using a free website like http://tagxedo.com . In a debrief activity, students share their word art as part of a gallery walk that includes the work that all of their classmates. The teacher then leads a discussion on the words and how they tie into the meaning of the day.
This activity is designed for upper elementary through high school students and should take up to one hour of class as well as some time spent outside class researching and interviewing people.
1. Preview the activity by asking the students to share with a partner an old memory that is very clear. An example might be a memorable vacation that was several years ago. It might be a small memory like the first time they rode a roller coaster. After allowing pairs to talk, ask the class why some things are remembered so clearly. Take several responses.
2. Tell the students that the activity they complete today will be a moment in our nation’s history that stands out. Explain that they will be responsible for helping put into words the painful day of 9/11/2001.
4. Challenge students to collect three accounts of how people remember that day. They may choose to interview family, a community member, or do research on the web to find a recollection. They should be prepared to share their source (names, urls, etc.) as well as a copy of the individual recollection. Give the students at least a day or two to complete this task. Make sure that they save their copies in a digital format (so they can copy/paste later).
5. Print off the directions for making word art (attached to this blog post). Make a copy for each student.
6. Challenge the students to create word art using the directions you are giving them. Have them Google to find school-appropriate images that can be used as the source image.
7. When students are completed, have them print out one copy of their word art along with their name on the back. Place the word art for all the students around the room, or even lined up in the hall.
8. Allow students to visit and view others word art.
9. Conduct a class discussion that revolves around the essential question: How do people remember the events of 9/11? Encourage students to use concrete examples they discovered from the activity.
I want to sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused by our subscription outage today. We know how important a reliable online curriculum is to you and your students.
Why It Happened
We had more subscription users sign in at one time, than we anticipated. Simply put, we didn’t have enough servers.
When It Will Be Fixed
Tonight we finished adding new servers. As of 11 pm Pacific, our subscriptions are up and running. Our team will be closely monitoring the subscriptions today and will be in touch if there are any changes.
Preventing The Next Outage
No system is immune from a possible outage, but as educators our goal is 100% reliability. To this end, we added even more servers than required and will continue to add servers throughout the week. We’re also improving our communication process so that our customers have the latest information. We will always post updates on blog.teachtci.com and make sure every customer who emails or calls us about an outage will get an email when the system is back up.
Thank you for the overwhelming support and encouragement so many of you provided during this outage. Your kind words and messages of support are greatly appreciated. And we are more determined than ever to provide you with the best service possible.