Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Whiteboards Galore

It is the end of the school year for most and as we near that final day I take a look around my classroom to see what I can do more effectively to help students understand economics. Because I love economics and data I like to break down the amount of time I spend doing certain activities and figure out if there are trends that help students more than others. One thing I have found, the more "board" work I can give them in class, the better their grades on subjects such as supply and demand and GDP. Therefore, last year I put up homemade whiteboards all around my classroom and have them do board work almost every day. I have seen a major improvement in scores. Here is a video showing you how to make a nice board for your room.

You can also buy the board and have them cut it into 30 pieces and have individual boards. All up to you.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

60 Seconds Adventures in Economics

I just came across these videos. They are quick and well done. These videos are great for introducing a topic. They will keep students' attention and have to wealth of information to them. The link is for all of the videos, but each is done in segments. These would make great bell ringers.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Quizlet Live

I discovered the join of using Quizlet Live in my AP Government class. We were doing this while reviewing court cases. I think this can be used in any economics course. I tell students that economists have created a new language that only they can understand, so that they can continue to have jobs. The most difficult thing about economics is forgetting definitions of words you thought you knew and learning new ones, like aggerate, marginal, etc. Quizlet Live is a fun way to review terms. Other benefits include: 
1. Students are already familiar with it 
2. They can use a phone, iPad, or laptop
3. They must work as a team to complete the questions
4. You can use what others have created 

This took my students a question or two to get used to, but once they did, they had a blast. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Council for Economic Education

If you have not checked out the Council for Economic Education's website, it is full of great resources. One of my favorites is the book listed above. It is full of interactive lessons for economics. There are activities about supply and demand, to market structures, to PPF's and comparative advantage. I use these in my AP classes and regular classes and I always get great feedback on evaluations when I use them then. In my opinion, this is a must for anyone teaching economics.  

Monday, May 9, 2016

Google Certified Teacher

It's that time of the year when I start to think ahead to summer and what I want to do to better myself. I am going to try and become a Certified Trainer for Google. I think this going to be helpful to my students and peers. Our school has moved almost completely to Google for most everything and it seems that is the way many schools are going.

You can find the information of completing the different levels here. Whoever said teachers get months off in the summer?

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Big Picture with Kal Penn

I like to binge watch Netflix shows. One show that I have found that might be something I can bring an episode into my class is, "The Big Picture with Kal Penn." Students might find this interesting as they might recognize Kal Penn from shows like Scrubs, House, How I Met Your Mother, and other movies and TV shows. In one episode, the show looks at Te Iubesc, Romania, or also known as Hackerville. They look at the thigh number of hackers in that town, as well as undersea cables and how the world is connected. They use numbers to discover different aspects of human behavior. If anything else, it is very interesting.

Though there are some episodes, or even parts of episodes, that I would not show, the use of numbers and human behavior would make an economist smile.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Propose an AP Economic Class

I love teaching my AP Micro/Macro- economics class. It is my favorite class to teach and I always get students that major in economics because of it. I did not major in economics and had only taken a few courses in the subject before my first teaching assignment. It was because of books like: Freakonomics, Naked Economics, and New Ideas from Dead Economists, that I found a love for the subject. When I took a job at a new school, I proposed an AP economics course. It was the best career move I had ever made, mainly because of the subject. It keeps me interested and I get to meet some of the brightest students I have ever known. The teacher's guide from college board can be found here. I will post more materials to help get you started. In addition, there is a Facebook community of AP Economic Teachers that is wonderful.