Friday, July 31, 2015

APUSH Rubrics have changed

The AP training in Austin, TX was incredible, and so inspiring!  These are all the people I went with above!  I adore all these teachers!  We got one afternoon when we just sat in a circle and shared great teaching ideas!  And we got to go with our new assistant principal Mr. Sykes!  He is awesome I cannot wait to see what he does!

The Conference was opened by the president and CEO of College Board!  In that moment I knew this was legit!  Our key note speaker was Sir Ken Robinson!  I was so excited!  I just smiled the whole time!  I could not believe I was listening to him speak!  He is most known for his TED Talk, and it is posted below!

This trip was such an amazing experience!  I had the unbelievable opportunity to meet the Chief Reader for the  APUSH exam!  I got to ask questions!  One thing he mentioned is the rubrics are changing.  They were released yesterday, and here they  are!

Thesis - 1 point
Document Analysis - 2 points
Use 6 document and discuss the 4 things (POV, Purpose, Audience, and Context) in at least 4 documents
Using evidence beyond the documents - 2  points
Contextualization and Outside Knowledge
Synthesis - 1 point

Long Essay
Thesis - 1 point
Argument developed using targeted thinking skill - 2 points
Evidence -  2 points
Synthesis - 1 point

Monday, July 27, 2015

French and Indian War

One cannot discuss the American Revolution until you mention the French and Indian War, or the Seven Years War from 1754 to 1763.  This moment leads to the unfair taxes (the colonists thought) that England enacts.  England protects her colonists from the French and her Native American allies.  

Under mercantilism the British colonies got free protection from England the mother country.  Which ends up being a great thing because the colonists had no military experience.  Up to this point they never had to protect themselves. So when competition and conflict arises over the Ohio River Valley the colonists were not prepared for what was about to happen.

In an AP history class you do not have to focus on military history.  So you do not need to know about specific battles.  Just what led to the conflict, and the outcome and impact.  In the New World Europeans competed and fought over land.  There was dispute over the Ohio River Valley between England and France.  So England took charge.

They sent a young militia commander by the name of George Washington to tell the French the Ohio River Valley belonged to them!  What is interesting about the French and Indian War is the appearance of our Founding Fathers.  We will also meet Benjamin Franklin.  When Washington arrived with  the message from the British the French were not happy!  They did not lay down and let the British take it.  The French fought back!  The Ohio River Valley was very fertile land, and provided land that could grow crops!  That is why both countries wanted it.

Luckily no one was hurt when the French fired at the British, but both sides went back to their headquarters and told them they were at the war!  The title of this war is confusing!  It was not the French against the Indians.  It was the French and Indians against the British.  Historically the French were kinder to the Native Americans.  So when this war erupted the Native Americans sided with the French!

The problem early on was the colonists, and their ability to unite.  So the Albany Plan was called to help unite the colonies!  Benjamin Franklin presented the Join or Die cartoon, and it did what it was intended to do.  It united the colonies, and England won!  Franklin represented the colonies as a snake.  And divided it up.  Each piece of the snaked represents a colony.  And basically says if we do not come together we will die and be defeated.  This image has made an impact and is still being used.  In 2008 P Diddy tried to get young people to vote.  His slogan was Vote or Die.

At  the end England acquired new land and war debt.  They needed a way to help pay back the deb t and be prepared for future conflicts.  This will lead directly to the Road to Revolution.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

TED Talk

This is a GREAT talk!  You get real life wisdom!  Tai Lopez  has learned so much about the business world, and has so much to share!  Watch, and you will learn!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

TED Talk

This is a great TED Talk that talks about success, and how to achieve it!  You will learn so much, and it also addresses fear.  How fear controls us, and how to get over it!  You can be successful!  Your thoughts create your world! 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

What Makes Us Civilized?

This is always fun to discuss in class!  Especially World History and Oklahoma History.  The other classes it is already established and really does not need to be discussed.  What makes us civilized?  Are we civilized?  It is a fun question to ponder!  And I love what answers you the students come up with!  The obvious answers always come up.

A civilized person is someone who dresses, has personal hygiene  and is articulate.  We all have different ideas of what it means to be civilized, and it is fun to discuss.  After teaching this I notice it comes up in society.  One day my class was looking at ISIS, and a student said they are not civilized!  I found that response fascinating!  What makes them uncivilized?  I agree with that statement, but I want my students to be able to articulate their positions.

One of my favorite movies is Argo!  It is about when Iran took the Americans hostage in the 1970s, and 6 got out.  So the C.I.A. sends in Tony Mendez to save them!  It is SO GOOD, and I watch the trailer periodically, and I noticed something one time when I watched it.  President Carter says Iran has shocked a civilized world.  I thought that was an interesting set of words!  I do think we have expectations of people,  groups, and countries.

No matter what you think makes people civilized - history has a definitions  They say a group is civilized if they have these things:
A Belief System

Do you notice it is not defined.  History just says a Belief System and Government.  History does not say which is the right one!  That I believe is hard for us because we are attached to our government, belief system, and etc.  But that is what is great about the world!  There are so many options!  And one is not better than the other!

When you see conflict of this ide of what is civilized and not civilized - it is when two cultures collide!  The best example of that is when the Europeans and Native Americans met.  They did not understand each other!  The Native Americans were curious about the Europeans and the strange tools they had, but the Europeans wrote them off.  They  said they were uncivilized savages!  They said that because their life and society was completely different than theirs.  They did not understand them!  And because of that they said they were uncivilized.

But accordfng to the historical definition they were civilized because they had everything on the list.  Sadly for them the European technology was better, and it allowed them to overpower the Native American population.   So I end my lesson with a throwback to childhood.  Pocahontas Colors of the Wind.  Everything she sings in that song to John Smith is perfect!


Friday, July 3, 2015

AP Essay Writing

Essay writing is over half of the APUSH test.  You cannot pass the exam without passing the writing portions.  Below is a description of each writing and portion, and some tips!  In my class you will be practicing essay writing.  You will be writing an essay every two weeks plus write a short answer every week!  You must practice, practice, practice!  I do not want you to be surprised on test day!  The most important thing when writing an APUSH essay is answer the prompt!  Many in the APUSH world say AP does not stand for Advanced Placement, but Answer the Prompt!  That is so important I put it on my wall by the thinking skills!
I will go in order of what you will see on the Exam.  First is the Multiple Choice section then Short Answer (part B).  Remember College Board knows your phone and computer can tell you any answer!  So they want you to be a historian!  That is why there is a large emphasis on writing, and they have added this part - Short Answers.
You will have 4 questions to answer with 3 parts.  You must answer ALL parts.  You do not have to develop a thesis.  You may write in bullet points, but in complete sentences.  You will also have limited space.  You will have 23 lines, and 45 minutes.  Again each question may or may not come with a stimuli (chart, image, or graph).  Here is an example of a short answer:
Answer a,b, and c:
a. Briefly explain ONE example of how contact between Native Americans and Europeans brought changes to Native American societies in the period 1492 to 1700.
and etc.
Section 2 - Part A is the Document Based Question or D.B.Q
Now you really have to use AP - Answer the Prompt, and have a good thesis!  Having a good thesis is everything!  Your thesis tells the reader where you are going!  For your thesis you must use the exact words from the prompt!  There is no reason to think of new words for the American Civil War.  Use those words, but it is not restating the prompt because the other part of thesis writing is answer the question.  The essay prompt will ask a question, and you must answer it, and include your groupings.
A fun activity to do in class is divide the class into groups.  Give each group a bag of random candy, and tell them to put the candy into 3 groups.  The obvious groups are decided.  List all the groups on the board, Then tell the groups to come up with new groupings, but you cannot use any of the groups listed on the board.  That is when groups become very creative!  This is what you must do for your essay!  Look at all the information, and come up with at least 2 groupings.  Try to be generic so you can be more detailed in your essay.  If this seems overwhelming - don't worry we'll practice in class!
When writing your D.B.Q. brainstorm first!  See what you know about the topic before you read the documents.  Most students like the D.B.Q most of all because College Board gives you enough information in the documents to answer the prompt.  But they know that - so with the D.B.Q  the College Board will be looking at Outside Information.  That is why it is smart to brainstorm first!
The D.B.Q will have one of the following Historical Thinking Skills as their focus causation, continuity and change over time, comparison, interpretation, and periodization.  You will have 55 minutes to write your D.B.Q.  Many say you should plan for 15 minutes and write for 40 minutes.
The rubrics are core rubrics!  There is very specific things they are looking for!  Here is the rubric.  If you have these things - they have to give you the points!  Max points 7 points.  I am going to tell you the highest points possible because that is what you should be shooting for.  You will also be getting a copy of these rubrics! 
1. Thesis - 1 point
2. Analysis of historical evidence and the support of arguments - 4 points
a. Analysis of ALL the documents and relate back to your thesis and discuss one of the following for ALL documents:
1. Intended Audience
2. Author's Point of View
3. Purpose
4. Historical Context
We will do these four things every time we analyze documents!
b. Include Outside Information Analysis - 1 point 
3. Contextualization - 1 point
4. Synthesis - 1 point
a. Conclusion - restate your thesis
This is a GREAT video!
Section 2 Part B: Long Essay
When you see your prompt, and the great thing about the Long Essay is you WILL have choice!  You will choose between 2 prompts.  One will be early American History, and the other will be later American History.  When you choose your prompt you need to read it 3 TIMES!  Why 3?  That way you answer the whole prompt!  An APUSH essay prompt will most likely be very detailed and complex!  You need to Answer the Whole Prompt!
Do everything we discussed in the D.B.Q - write a Thesis Statement, Brainstorm, and Groupings.  When we write a long essay in class it will be great to brainstorm because it will be a great review!  The Long Essay Rubric will really depend on what Historical Skill you are using!  You must know them!  Max Points - 6 points.  Here is the Long Essay Rubric:
1. Thesis - 1 point
2. Support for the argument/thesis - 2 points
a. Must use adequate amount of historical evidence
3. Application of targeted historical thinking skills - 2 points
a. Continuity and Change Over Time - Must do BOTH and have analysis
This is a great video showing change over time!
b. Comparison - MUST show similarity and difference and have analysis
c. Causation - Shows BOTH Cause and Effect and Analysis
d. Periodization - Show how it was similar and different before and after the period stated and analysis
4. Synthesis - 1 Point
a. Again your Conclusion with a restated thesis
With all the essays there is NO DOUBLE DIPPING!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Strict vs. Loose Construction

As soon as the US Constitution was written the men who wrote it were divided over how to interpret it!  Even now there is much disagreement on how to interpret the Constitution.  Now we have a Supreme Court that gets the awesome power of interpreting the Constitution.  Americans must accept what the Supreme Court declares even if we do not like what they rule.  This is called Judicial Review!
In the beginning of our country the principle of Judicial Review had not been established.  It was not till 1803 with the Supreme Court Case of Marbury v. Madison that this principle was established.  So till that year our Founding Fathers were divided over the meaning of the Constitution.
Many had different ideas of how to interpret the Constitution.  Should it be a loose or strict interpretation or construction?  One good thing I believe is the Founding Father wrote the Constitution with vague words.  But it made it hard to interpret the Constitution   The language was not clear.  Here are two things that happened because of the division.
One political parties were created.  The division became so fierce that many took sides.  Those sides became the first political parties.  The Republican party was headed up by Thomas Jefferson, and the Federalist party was headed up by Alexander Hamilton.  Hamilton and Jefferson despised each other.  Jefferson believed it should be a strict interpretation while Hamilton believed it should be a loose interpretation.  President Washington tried to stay away from this division.  He hated the idea of political parties.
He even warned Americans in his Farewell Address.  He said, The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism."
Ultimately he favored Hamilton and the loose construction of the US Constitution.  That is the second thing that happened.  The loose interpretation wins!  Surprisingly Jefferson switched sides and made the loose interpretation the American way. It happened because of the Louisiana Purchase.
I like that you can see what North America looked like in 1803.
Jefferson is now President, and gets the opportunity to buy the Louisiana Purchase from Napoleon. He was broke, and needed money.  Napoleon sold it for 15 million dollars!  That was a steal!  As my Mother says you cannot beat that with a stick!  Historians called it the real estate deal of the century!  Jefferson knew that, and wanted to act!  But he could not!  He was strict construction.  Jefferson believed you followed the U.S. Constitution to a tee.  No where in the Constitution does it say a President can buy land from another head of state.
Jefferson wrote in a private journal, and it is great for historians!  We know his inner dialogue!  Ultimately he switched positions.  It was too good of a deal to pass up!  So now America has a loose interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.