Tuesday, April 28, 2015

What Causes Inflation

I am getting my students ready for their AP Macro (and micro) exams and found this nice video connecting inflation to demand, supply, the Federal Reserve and interest rates. 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Snow Day Reprise

In ten years of being a chair, tomorrow will be the second day I have missed a county wide meeting (so I can work with my AP Comp kids to better prepare for the AP exam).  I was going to present on how to teach students on a snow day.  But using my favorite technique, I can flip the presentation using the video above.  The video explains how you can use Blackboard Collaborate which is something we have in Fairfax County.  But there are other alternatives as you can see below.
  1. You could Google Plus Hangout live stream where you could send a link to your students and they could watch a live lecture (here's how).    You could then use Today's Meet to send a link to students and you could see their live questions.   You would be able to do this by splitting your screen
  2. If the day is cancelled tomorrow we will spend much of the period answering questions on review problem sets and then I will assign a few more so that we can have our quiz on Wed and our test on Friday without missing a beat.  
  3. But you don't always have to meet your students.  For example last year  I decided not to have an online session and instead made the video above as both an introduction and a continuation of our material.  Then my government kids watched this video to look up these court cases.  
  4. I communicate with the kids by using Remind, Blackboard and even using my grade book which has all of the kids' emails.  For the Remind message I used a shortened tinyurl (tinyurl.com/fcpscoldday) which linked to my normal homework e-sheet. so I didn't have to text the kids multiple times with the assignments.  
  5. So if you have a motivated bunch and you can't afford to miss a day of school you might want to try some of the techniques. 
The bottom line is that we had 12 snow days in my county and a number more late starts and my kids still got in all their work and are where we should have been should we not have missed school.

I should point out that this is one of the many techniques I go over in my book Deeper Learning Through Technology: Using the Cloud To Individualize Instruction.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Drawing Graphs for Economics' Class

I have written two posts on how to graph in economics (here and here), but while the former creates beautiful graphs, it takes too much time while the latter makes them poorly.  Well thanks to FreeTech4Teachers and John Stevens, I now have a much better way to have my students graph and thankfully I can now stop copying problem sets next year!   The video above shows you how to do it. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

How to Study for a Test

When I was growing up I was expected to "always do my best."  I translated this to studying for my midterm exams several weeks in advance over the winter break, always doing it two or three times prior to a normal exam and even arguing post test for every single point.  Thus when I started teaching I assumed my students would make their own study guides, and truly study.  But alas I have learned over the years that studying, for more than not means,

  • doing nothing at all and hoping for the best
  • reading one's notes and
  • for only a precious few, actually doing what my daughters are doing right now by quizzing each and helping each other make sure they have actually learned the material.
Two days ago I met a student in an AP US class who said she suffered from test anxiety.  She admitted that she never did more than review her notes to which I asked if she wasn't fulfilling her prophesy in that she was taking the easy way out by reading, but not studying and then blaming her low scores on the imagined anxiety.  I asked her if she had every varied her approach to prepare and the answer was, "Well sometimes I don't study."

This year I have made a conscious effort to discuss what is meant by studying - even modeling it repeatedly with my non AP classes.  But here is a list of 22 different ideas to think and perhaps even share some of them with your students such as
  • quizzing one's self (I love Quizlet)
  • studying for multiple days
  • studying in different parts of the house
  • using different memory devices such as songs and story telling
  • writing it out
  • taking breaks and more
The video above echoes many of the points above, but also how to reduce anxiety in a test.  

Complete Graphing Journal for Microeconomics

Thanks to David Szostak on the Facebook AP Economics page.  David put together all of the graphs, equations, etc that students will need during micro.  Even better is that he did it in Google Drive so you can make a copy.  I am actually adding it to my mirco review that my students have to work on tomorrow.  

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Win a Free Copy of My Book

So I want to give one of you a free book.  The person who can find me the best review (for US/world history, US/comparative government or economics) will get a free copy of my book.  The catch is that the resource has to be online and more sites are better than one.  My book, Deeper Learning Through Technology, is all about the personalization of your teaching so that each of your students can have more one on one time with you - the teacher.  It also looks at how you can find a professional learning community online so you can go beyond your classroom as well as using many online tools and how to flip your classroom.    Send me a note at kenhalla@gmail.com

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Problem Sets for Your Students

Economics University has a ton of flash problems that include labeling and math problems.  It would be great for your students to use it as you can have them look up a section they want to test and then practice before a test.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

My Newspaper Editorial

I have been seeing a lot of negative editorials recently on technology use in the classroom and, not being a shy person, I wrote one and with the help of the Smarter Schools Project it was published today in the Richmond Times Dispatch.  As with many states, Virginia (where I live) has been grappling, in our legislature (as has our Congress), to protect students, often at the cost of using technology.  While it is a fine balance, my thoughts are printed here in full.  About the only thing missing is that I wish a start-up would develop to vet our burgeoning ed tech needs.   

Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Economics of CA's Water Shortage

This is an interesting article on the impact of California's water shortage and how it impacts the US.  The video above looks at both the US as well as its impact on the world.  You could use this to discuss how this might shift supply down (to the left) or even how it might impact macroeconomics.  

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

More Review for End of the Year Test

Andrew Foos, who has some tremendous videos on micro and macro, put together a review exercise for macro and micro, which should be a big benefit for your students.