Livebinders for the Social Studies – Part 3

Livebinders for the Social Studies – Part 3

Livebinders for the Social Studies – Part 3:  Collecting and organizing lesson plan resources 
Now that you have had a chance to see some excellent Social Studies Livebinders and see how they are used, let’s move on to the third Livebinders for the Social Studies post – collecting and organizing lesson plan resources.  I have also created a new Livebinder, Livebinders for the Social Studies, to show examples and work along side everyone as we go start going more in-depth into Livebinders:
Getting Organized
Livebinders provides a central location for all of your resources that you may have.  Regardless if you use Evernote, Dropbox, Google Docs or Microsoft programs such as Word or Excel, you can store those resources all in one Livebinder for quick and easy organization.  If you would like to add documents, pictures, etc to your binder, go to the “view” menu and click on “edit”.  From there, click on “Add Content” and choose the type of content you would like to add.
Livebinders also has a easy way to add documents from your Dropbox account and your Evernote account.
To add files from your Dropbox account, simply click on “Add Content” then click on “My Dropbox”.
For material from your Evernote account, you can add the link via the Livebinders app or get the URL to the note or notebook and insert it into the tab or subtab of your choice.  Click here to read the recent blog post from the Livebinders blog about the Evernote addition to the Ipad App.
Collecting Digital Resources
As educators, we run across multiple resources while searching the web.  Thanks to Livebinders, you can collect, save and share all of those resources.  To get started collecting your digital resources, the first thing you’ll want to do is install the “Livebinder It” bookmarklet tool, click here to go to that page at

Once you have installed the bookmarklet tool and found a website you would like to add to your binder, simply click on “Livebinder It” and a new window will pop-up allowing you to select which binder to add it to:
Need to see some of this in action?  Please feel free to visit the Livebinder at the beginning of this post, Livebinders for the Social Studies.  I will be working on it going forward with the next posts so stay tuned!


How To Pick The Right Business College For Your MBA written @dawnpapandrea

If you’re interested in pursuing your MBA, choosing the right business college is the first step toward success. The good news is that there are many excellent MBA programs to choose from; you just have to find the one that matches your needs, goals, and lifestyle. Here are some tips for doing just that…

Your first step is to make a list of all of your preferences so that you have a clear idea of the type of business college you wish to attend. Do you prefer a large university or smaller private institution? Can you commit to a full time MBA program, or do you need the flexibility of a part time or online course option? What is your personal situation (work, family, etc.), and how will that limit your options?


Once you have a sense of what your ideal MBA program will entail, you can look a bit deeper at some business colleges.

Do some online research. You shouldn’t be too much stock in college rankings, but scrolling through ones from US News & World Report and The Princeton Review can give your research a jump start and provide an idea as to what the so-called top business colleges have to offer. The other obvious places to look are right in your backyard (if you’re planning to attend a school in your area). Again, depending on your preferences, you can narrow your search by looking for “online MBA programs,” “MBA programs in Chicago,” etc.

Get some input from business brainiacs. Talk to everyone you know, from recent grads to executives, or ask a mentor at your current job about their thoughts on MBA programs. You could also take a look at the LinkedIn profiles of some businesspeople you admire to see where they did their business college studies. Hearing someone’s personal thoughts on a particular program can help you decide if it’s worth exploring; just keep in mind that everyone’s opinions can be different.

So, what’s your specialty? MBA is a general program of business study, but within that, there are many concentrations to pursue. What are you career aspirations? Is there a particular area of business you want to focus on? If so, try to find a program that aligns with your goals. For instance, someone who is entrepreneurial might follow a different track than someone interested in global finance. See what your potential schools have to offer as specializations.

Figure out if you make the grade. Every business college has its own set of admissions criteria, and naturally, some are more selective than others. It’s best to focus on schools that are within your reach based on your academic record, as well as how you performed on required exams (usually the GMAT or GRE).

When it doubt, go straight to the source. If there are only one or two schools that you’re interested in, reach out to them directly with any questions about their MBA programs. You can contact someone in admissions or financial aid if your concerns pertain to those areas. Or, you can even connect with students and staffers via social media pages if you’re hoping to get a sense of the school’s atmosphere, or an insider’s take on the coursework.

Lucky for you, there are a lot of options for researching business colleges. Take advantage of them, put in some research time, and find the one that’s right for you.


Dawn Papandrea is a Staten Island, NY-based writer specializing in education, careers, parenting, and personal finance. Her work has appeared in publications including Family Circle, Parents,,, and more. She has a master’s degree in journalism and mass communications from New York University. Connect with her on Twitter and Google+.

Count Down to the AP Government Exam

As February is coming to a close, I can not help but think about the looming AP Government and Politics Exam. I thought I would share some ways in which I help my students prepare for the exam.

One of the best review tools I use is CitizenU. The two teachers are amazing! They make studying for the AP Government and Politics Exam fun and engaging. I try to start each class period off with a video or vocabulary review from their CitizenU youtube channel.

Every other day is a review game! 

1. Password GameClick here

The way I play this vocabulary game with my AP Government class is that I place students into heterogeneous groups. In groups, one pair at a time will come up to the front of the room to be in the “hot seat.” One student will be facing the board and the other student away from the board. They will need to describe an APGOV vocabulary word without saying the word in their description. The student facing away from the board will have 15 seconds to answer.

While the pair is playing, I have each group write one detail they know about the topic on the white boards (beyond the vocabulary word). This game is awesome and my students love it.

2. Quizlet Review- click here 

3. Review Application5 steps to the 5 review questions

4. Bingo Cards- Units 4-7  Units 3, 8 and 9

5. Infuse Learning Draw a Vocabulary word

6.  Jeopardy Gameclick here

7. Socrative Practice Questions


Useful Handouts and Study Tools 

1. AP Government 1 Page Chapter Summary: Last year I gave each chapter review page during the structure AP Government review time. This year I am giving these chapter summaries before every test and collecting them and placing them into a student file folder. At the end of April I will be giving the folders back to my students and they will already have the review sheets completed. The 11 chapter summaries are one page handouts that are very simple and graphically appealing, which include the most essential information in EVERY chapter in AP Government. This would be a great supplement to do for AP review or to include as you learn each unit to make a study guide for the AP exam in May.

2. Free Response Essay Packet:  This is a 12 page document of all the AP Government and Politics Free Response Questions (FRQ’s) from the past 14 years. The document contains all FRQ’s from 1999-2013. FRQ’s are subdivided in unit and historical order. This is a VERY useful tool to have for an AP Government student. I plan on reviewing previous FRQ’s with my students before each unit test and during the structured AP review time.

3. AP Government Vocabulary List: This is a list of over 300 vocabulary words that are essential when learning AP Government and Politics. The vocabulary words are organized by unit (9 units total). The vocabulary words and definition are organized in alphabetical order. I give this packet out at the beginning of the year to help my students study and learn the material. We also play bingo before every unit test. My students fill in the words for the chapter to the blank bingo card and I read the definitions from the vocabulary list.

4. Constitutional Clauses: This is a two page cheat sheet on all of the constitutional clauses of the Constitution with easy to understand translations. It would make a nice reference guide for students to keep in their binders.

5. 60 Practice Questions with a Key or Institutions of Government Practice questions: This is a handout of 60 practice questions from the AP Government exam. A key is included. I usually have my students circle the answer and write one detail next to it. They come to class the following day and review their extra detail as a class. They sort of make a review sheet next to every multiple choice question.


How are you preparing your students for the AP Government and Politics Exam? 

Earn Extra $ with Teachers Pay Teachers

You won’t get rich as a teacher, right? Think again, there are a small number of teacher’s who are making millions of dollars selling their lesson plans online on a website called TeachersPayTeachers (TPT). Teachers Pay Teachers is the first open marketplace where teachers can buy and sell original teaching lesson materials. I have uploaded several of my lessons to the website.

One Georgia kindergarten teacher Deanna Jump has earned more than $2 million selling lesson plans. The website was created in 2006 and since then more than Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 6.28.32 PM26 teacher’s have made more than a $100,000 on TPT. Please note the website takes 15% commission on most sales.

Teachers Pay Teachers is designed to reward teachers who work hard and deserve extra compensation for all those long hours lesson planning.   Ultimately teacher’s pay teacher’s creates a place where teacher’s can share their best practices and everyone benefits, especially students. If interested, Join Teachers Pay Teachers as a buyer or seller or both to make your teaching career even more rewarding.

View my profile on Kindergarten, First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Higher Education, Adult Education, Homeschooler, Staff -

Livebinders for the Social Studies – Part 2

Livebinders for the Social Studies – Part 2: 5 Excellent Social Studies Livebinders to see
On this second part of the Livebinders for the Social Studies series, I thought we should look at 5 excellent Social Studies Livebinders to get you familiar with how other educators and enthusiasts use Livebinders in the Social Studies field.
Social Studies Resources Central
This Livebinder from GValdez is full of resources to use.  It has everything from History resources, Economic resources, graphs and virtual field trips.
A House Divided
Andrew Weber has put together a excellent binder, which was voted as one of the top ten Livebinders in 2012.  If you need resources for the Civil War period in American history, this is the Livebinder for you.  It has everything from vocabulary, readings and online tools.
Ipad Apps for Social Studies
Looking for Social Studies Ipad apps?  Then this Livebinder from Angela Cunningham (@kyteacher) has you covered.  It has app categories from History, Civics and Government and Geography.
Black History Month
This is a wonderful Livebinder put together by kb…konnected.  It is full of lesson plans, printables and other resources regarding Black History month.
Lewis & Clark
This is a excellent Livebinder from wisermar covering resources over the Lewis & Clark Expedition.  If has everything you’ll need to cover this lesson in class – webquests, maps and clip art images.