Friday, May 22, 2015

Student Videos for Review

Today, my students reviewed some important events in different periods of history between 1500 and the present by creating short documentaries with their phones. I assigned groups of students an important event from one of the time periods and gave them these instructions:
  • choose a reader
  • draw symbols or images that will appear on the screen
  • rehearse moving  the images on and off while your passage is read
Next, I showed students a couple of samples of other student-created video using the same techinques I wanted my students to use.

Once completed, students uploaded their videos to You Tube and submitted the link to a Goolge Form I created.

Although the clips lack polish and sometimes the images don't flow with the documentary, I was pleased with the clips and think that they are a great way for students to process content.

Monday, May 18, 2015

How Feudal Lords Fought in Armour

Ever wonder how feudal lords fought each other in so much armour?

Take a look at this cool clip from The National Museum of the Middle Ages in Geneva in which actors demonstrate some of the movements and techniques of the fighters.

You can read more about them at Open Culture where I saw the clip, which is in French.

Search for Ideas on my Blogs

I was on a Facebook page for teachers the other day and one of the educators mentioned using my site to search for lesson plans and ideas.  It made me smile as that is exactly one of the uses for this page.  Consider that between my four blogs (US history, World history, US and Comparative Government, Economics) I now have over 6000 posts since 2008.  Even the "baby" among my blogs, econ, has 250 posts in the last year!  So if you are looking for content, technology or pedagogy, hopefully I have it.  If not, write me and I'll look into it.   Otherwise look in the upper left side of this page and put what you are looking for in the search box.

Next up will be summer assignments (which you can already search for and see what I posted for last year).  

Friday, May 15, 2015

Join Me in EdChat on Tuesday, 3 PM EST

I am going to be presenting on EdChat on May 19th from 3 to 4 pm EST.  I will be focusing on individualizing instruction in the classroom using technology (yes, focusing on some key concepts from my book).   You can sign up for the class for free by going here.   You will then be sent a link for our online platform where we will meet.  At the appointed time, you'll just need to sign in and then I will make a short presentations, we'll break into groups and then I'll also take your questions.

All three of my preps this year are being flipped so I am really getting into it which is good after four years of practicing the "craft."  If you joined me for the #edchat, then the eight minute video above detailing all of the steps and what to do in the classroom after you have done your flipped lecture might be of help to you.

Here is an example of a flipped video, the actual Google form we used and the interactive assignment that followed in class.  Below is the PowerPoint I am using for my presentation. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Ken Halla's Summer In-Services (so far)

If you want to take a summer in-service with me this summer, there are a number to choose from below.  Click on the links to sign up and email me at if you want me to help you with one.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

@trevorpacker for AP Updates

Most people who teach and AP course know that Trevor Packer is the head honcho for all AP subjects.  If you follow him on Twitter he will Tweet when the College Board has released the FRQs for your subject.  Laster in the summer (late July) he will release the statistics on each exam such as passing percentage, percentage of 5s, 4s and more. 

Quizlet Flash Cards for Last Minute Review on AP World

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Learnerator for Last Minute Review

For those who want more studying for your students before the AP exams next week, Learnerator has lots of questions for AP World, Micro, Macro, Comp and US Government (among others).  

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Join Me on EdChat

I am going to be presenting on EdChat on May 19th from 3 to 4 pm EST.  I will be focusing on individualizing instruction in the classroom using technology (yes, focusing on some key concepts from my book).   You can sign up for the class for free by going here.   You will then be sent a link for our online platform where we will meet.  On the appointed time, you'll just need to sign in and we can chat.  

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Which Great Philosopher Are You?

This website will tell you which great philosopher you are most like after you answer a few questions.  It's pretty cool and a great learning tool.

The website, The History of the Ancient World, lets you play other historical games like "Which ancient civilization would you rule?"

You can also see how much you know about ancient Egypt with this quiz.

It's a great website and worth exploring if you teach world history.

By the way, I turned out to be most like Aristotle!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Follow a T-Shirt Around the World

Studying Globalism. Here, NPR's Planet Money makes a T shirt and follows it around the world as its made. And in the process, they tell a fascinating story.

Indian Influence in Afro-Eurasia

William Dalrymple, the Indian historian and travel writer, wrote a fascinating review of two new books about exhibitions of Buddhist art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2013 and 2014.

Dalrymple argues that between 400 and 1200 Indian culture and technology spread through Afro-Eurasia much the way Greece influenced Aegean Turkey and Rome.

For example, he notes: 

But for at least seven hundred years before then, from about 400 AD to 1200 AD, India was a large-scale and confident exporter of its own diverse civilization in all its forms, and the rest of Asia was the willing and eager recipient of a startlingly comprehensive mass transfer of Indian culture, religion, art, music, technology, astronomy, mythology, language, and literature. Out of India came not just artists, sculptors, traders, scientists, astronomers, and the occasional fleets of warships, but also missionaries of three Indic forms of religion: Buddhism and two rival branches of Hinduism: Shaivism, in which Lord Shiva is revered as the Supreme Being; and Vaishnavism, which venerates Lord Vishnu.

Dalrymple suggests that "the scale and breadth of this extraordinary cultural diffusion is not as well known as it should be" and notes that the influence of India was especially "striking" in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia.

He points to Angkor Wat as the "most spectacular" example of this influence.

This is a fascinating story written by one of the best historians of India and he writes with a style that is colorful and readable.

AP Score Calculator

Every year I tell my kids that they have to get a 60% on my tests and the final to be in the 3 range and slightly more than half on the FRQs.  Well this AP score calculator by AP Haven does a pretty good job of proving me correct, except that it actually uses released tests you might be using to show your students their score.  It has everything on there except for AP US (since there are no tests to correlate to it).  Thanks to Doug Zywiol for the heads up on this one. 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Korean War

Here's good short (less than 4 minutes) review of the Korean War.

And here, from the Boston Globe, are some great images from that war on the occasion of it its 60th anniversary in 2010.

The PBS Newshour recently looked at the Armenian genocide. The first clip above explains the history of the Armenian genocide which occurred in 1915 as the Ottoman Empire was disintegrating.
In the second clip, historians explain what led to the genocide and why Turkey refuses to call the Armenian deaths a genocide.