Saturday, August 30, 2014

Historical Thinking Skills

There are many historical thinking skills we will use in class.  One you will need to know is continuity and change over time.  It is important to see in history what has stayed the same and what has changed.  Here are two great examples:

This Red Hot Chilli Pepper's video is GREAT because it shows continuity and change over time in a fun way.  They go through the decades of music starting with the 1950s and go to the 1990s.  It's funny to watch especially if you know the Red Hot Chilli Peppers this awesome Rock Band.
The questions to ask is what has stayed the same, and what has changed?  I am going to challenge you to do that.  Can you find similarities and differences?
My second example is phones throughout the years.  Boy they have changed a lot!  I remember being in 7th grade my mom got a cell phone.  It looked like the third one.  It was big and clunky, but it was exciting!  You did not have to use your land line.  And this will sound crazy to students today, but I did not get a cell phone till I was 22.  But I love this photo above because you can really see the evolution of phones.
So this is what you have to do in history.  Look at what has stayed the same and what has changed.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Battle of Theropylae

One historical event I have heard about my whole life was The Battle of Thermopylae, or the Hot Gates!  When 300 Spartans go up against 1 million Persians!  And it is fitting I do this post today because I know this event because of my Dad.  Today is his birthday, and I won the lottery with him.  I have the BEST Dad in the world!
He loves this Battle, and always told us about it!  He found inspiration in the Spartans.  He was inspired by their discipline.  Spartans had incredible discipline.  Whatever he does he always says he has discipline like the Spartans.  This is one thing I love about history!  You can learn lessons, and be inspired and motivated!
So when I became a World History teacher I knew I had to teach about the Spartans and the Persians.  One year after I finished teaching this a student raised his hand, and asked if I knew about the movie they are making?  I said no, and he said they are making a movie about this very event.  I got excited!  And the movie was 300!
This movie caught on, and BTW students could not stop talking about it.  One day I walked up to a group of students talking about 300, and said Wow you LOVE history!  They looked at me confused, and said no we love 300!  I said no History!  This movie was inspired this historical event!
The story of the Spartans is amazing!  The Persians decided to take over Ancient Greece.  Ancient Greece was organized by city-states.  The two most famous city states was Sparta and Athens.  They were drastically different.  Night and Day.  Athens was philosophical and full of culture.  Where Sparta was driven by war.  So much everything and everyone did their part to help with being the BEST soldiers!  They had no culture.  They did not have time for that!
The city states also did not like each other, and battled all the time.  But when someone like The Persians threatens Greece they band together.  It is like siblings.  You can make fun of your sister, but if some one else does those are fighting words!  Of course everyone wanted the Spartans to fight!  They were the BEST! 
The Spartans came up with a plan.  They were going to hold off the Persians while the rest of the city states mobilized to defeat the Persians.  This was a suicide mission, and it was understood whoever went would die fighting.  Sparta's 300 best went to go fight a million Persians!  That is hard to imagine!  300 v. 1,000,000.  The best part of the movie is it enables us to show the magnitude of that!  Here is my favorite scene to show the magnitude:
Now you think they would be decimated in a few days, but they last for a week!  They last because of geography, and where they stand their ground.  They do it at the Hot Gates.  A passage through a mountain.  And good news the city states defeat the Persians!  Sparta's sacrifice was worth it!
A great book about Sparta and this moment is Gates of Fire!  It is a great read, and they explain so much!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Pay Attention Listening To A Speaker

My sister told me about a great life lesson.  When she was in college her speech professor told the class there is a way to give a speech, but there is also a way to listen.  When you pay attention , make eye contact, smile, nod, and laugh you make the speaker feel comfortable.  Then you are noticed, and stand out. 
So if it is an important speaker - it could help you!  You want to be noticed by someone important.  Abbey took this to heart while she was in Taiwan.  Through Fulbright they had to go hear a speech, and Abbey did all that she was taught.  She made eye contact, nodded, and paid attention.  It was an important speaker, and at the end the speaker sought her out.  The speaker thanked her for paying attention. 
In a small way it can help you with teachers.  If you pay attention you will stand out in a positive way.  So next time you hear a speaker pay attention!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Don't Be Discouraged!

This last week I reported to school, and had to do Professional Development.  During the PD I became very present to something!  So much I want to share!  It was about the learning process, and I think the above image says it all.  In our society today we want the quick fix.  We want to take the elevator, but we have to take the stairs sometimes.  I heard a teacher say, "in the struggle learning happens"!
That really spoke to me!  So next time you are frustrated in a class because you are not getting it don't give up!  You are in the learning process.  Stay with it!  Keep working with it, and study!  One day you will get it!  I always love when the A Ha moment happens!  Maybe that is why I am a teacher!You can do it!  Just keep with it, and trust the process!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Rosa Parks

This summer I got the most unbelievable opportunity to travel the East Coast and see historical sites through a grant.  I saw and experienced so many amazing things!  I will be sharing, and the first thing I want to share is the Henry Ford Museum.

I actually thought it would be boring, but it completely surprised me!  It was the coolest car museum that had historical automobiles.  I was walking, turned a corner, and there it was!  The bus where Rosa Parks was sitting, and refused to get up.  I asked if it was the actual bus, and they said yes.  They bought it for $500,000.

When I saw the bus - I wanted to jump for pure excitement.  I travel the world because I love to experience historical sites.  It makes history come to life for me!  So to be standing in
front of this bus was almost to much!  The worker standing there I think could see my excitement.  I immediately asked if I could take a picture?  He said yes, and the most exciting thing!   He said I could sit in her seat!  Are you serious?  That was to much!

Then he told me to sit in the seat across the aisle because last year President Obama came, and sat there.  So of course I did!

This was such an important moment in American History.  This decision sparked s revolution.  I am so happy I got to sit where this brave woman made a decision that changed the country!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Review Your Notes

This summer I did AP training, and my instructor told us a great story.  Last year the first week of school she had her students 1st day just read an article. Then she had them re read the article and highlight it the 2nd day.
For the next 3 days she added to the reading of the article.  Then on the 6th Day she quizzed them on the article.  And to the surprise of the students they all aced the quiz! 
The teacher was not surprised, and took the opportunity to talk to the students.  I think it is a good message for you to hear.  She reminded them when you work with notes, readings, and etc you will remember it.  You just cannot read something one time.  You have to go back to it, and re visit it.  You cannot read something one time, and expect to know it frontwards and backwards.  You must STUDY! 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

TED Talk

When I saw the title of this TED Talk I was confused.  I had no idea what it would be about, but I hit play anyway.  I was pleasantly surprised!  I always start with Citizenship in US Government.  One sad thing is countries can persecute their citizens.  A sad example in America is the Japanese Internment Camps during WWII.  Here is one survivor's story.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

A Kite Cannot Fly Without Air

This year the biggest song hands down has to be "Happy!"  The song has captivated the world, but the singer has advice for all.  Pharrel Williams was on CBS Sunday Morning, and had brilliant things to say!
First he thanks his teachers.  He said he has to because where would he be without them?  He said not where he is now.  He would be struggling because he struggled as a student, and made bad grades.
This is where you are so lucky!  BTW has GREAT teachers that want to help you, and see you succeed!  Take advantage of this!
Second success is not all you.  You are successful because of other people, and other factors.  You must recognize that, and be grateful!  He says the best example of a Kite.  A Kite cannot fly on it's own.  It needs air.  Who is your air?