Independance Day— $1 Dollar Deals!!

Here’s are some great deals to celebrate one of the greatest days in American history!  I’ve got some great Independence Day Dollar Deals just for you!

Save big on one of my newest products, Reconstruction Stations.   This engaging 55-minute lesson contains 6 stations where they will gather information and analyze primary sources.  These no prep, print and go stations are:

  • Station 1: Notes on the three amendments, Freedman’s Bureau, and Compromise of 1877
  • Station 2: Group-work discussion and matching vocabulary
  • Station 3: Plessy vs Ferguson Supreme Court case
  • Station 4: Primary Documents and Questions
  • Station 5: Primary Documents on the KKK
  • Station 6: Political Cartoon on White Supremacy

You’ll get your students up and moving around and it’s completely editable to fit your needs!


The second dollar deal is on my Presidential Roles Project!  This weeklong project allows groups students to dive deep into one of the seven roles that make up the job of the President of the United States:

  • Chief Executive
  • Commander in Chief
  • Head of Political Party
  • Chief Legislator
  • Chief Diplomat
  • Head of State
  • Economic Guardian


Included are a comprehensive PowerPoint of Presidential Roles along with real life examples, a graphic organizer for note taking, and a Presidential Roles game that will allow students to gather information and develop a poster or infographic that details the role that they have been assigned.  A detailed rubric takes the guesswork out of grading and provides a great guideline as students collaborate to produce their final product!

Get this product for only $1 July 3rd and 4th!!!! Get it today before it goes up in prices.


fireworks sale

Causes of the Great Depression Lesson

This is a complete 50 minute lesson on the Causes of the Great Depression. It was designed in Word and PowerPoint. You can download and use this less or modify it for your classroom if you want. 

What’s Included:
1. two pages of six graphs to analyze the causes in groups
2. 12 slide PowerPoint
3. a two side handout to print the PowerPoint for a notes handout
4. a video clip on the causes of the Great Depression

For more info click here: 

Help your students study for finals with Quizlet

This weekend I started looking for ways to help my students on their final exams when I came across Quizlet.  Quizlet is a wonderful resource to help students study and review vocabulary.

I found vocab words for every unit of US history and AP Government, already organized and created on Quizlet. Rather than recreating the wheel, I used flash cards already on the the site and modified them to fit my students needs.

Another wonderful feature is that the flash cards can be sent to students digital devices, vocabulary games played on the computer, and even quizzes can be adapted for teachers. The website has a new feature of adding images to the vocabulary cards to all types of learners. The flashcards can be embedded into a blog, website, or wiki. The best part is that it is FREE.

According to Quizlet’s website, “Quizlet is a free flash cards and study games website. It was created by high school sophomore Andrew Sutherland in 2005 and now contains over 170 million flashcards. All of the material is user-generated.”


Make your own flashcards or search the millions already created. You can even share your flashcards with friends and classmates.

Study Modes

Next study your material study and track your progress.

Flashcard Mode—This mode is similar to traditional paper flash cards. Quickly review your material, make it full screen, shuffle/randomize, or listen with audio.

Learn Mode—A powerful study mode that tracks your correct/incorrect answers and retests you on what you’ve missed.

Test Mode—Generate a test based on your flashcards and pick the type of questions: write-in, multiple choice, matching, or true/false.

Game Modes

Have a little fun while you study and track your high scores.

Scatter—A matching game where you race against the clock. Your terms and definitions are randomly scattered on the page and you must drag and drop them.

Space Race—Terms scroll across the screen and you must enter in the correct definition before they reach the other side. The speed of the terms increases over time.


Quizlet’s advanced text-to-speech software lets you hear your flashcard content. We currently support English, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. More languages are coming soon.


Study your material anywhere. There are over 40 Quizlet-powered mobile apps available on iOS (iPhone, iPad), Android, Windows Phone, and HP webOS.


Make your classroom interactive! Create and share Quizlets with your students and host a group just for your class so students can study, share, and discuss their material.

Amazing “Freedom Riders” Images

I just discovered a great post from Larry Ferlazzo’s blog about the Denver Post’s AMAZING story on the Freedom Riders. The Post’s story entitled, 50th Anniversary of the Freedom Riders has stunning images and descriptions of the history event. The photos and words tell a story from 50 years ago celebrating the legacy of Civil Rights Activists.

The Freedom rides involved men and women who bravely rode buses deep into the heart of the South during the Civil Rights Movement of the 50’s and 60’s. These courageous individuals risked their lives to integrate the public buses and terminals to enforce laws against Jim Crow Segregation.

I took the images and words from the Denver Post and made a photopeach slideshow based on the legacy of the Freedom Riders. I put the slideshow together. The photos and powerful story is credited to the Denver Post.

50th Anniversary of the Freedom Riders on PhotoPeach

Vietnam Guest Speakers

Guest Speaker Richard Lorenz, said a “ a hero is someone who does something extraordinary.”  On Wednesday April 27th my classes at South Western High School had the privilege to have to local Heroes speak about the experiences in the Vietnam War.  William Fissel and Richard Lorenz presented to my 11th grade American History Classes.

One of the guest speakers was William Fissel, a South Western graduate, class of 1964.  He is a long time resident of Hanover whose children and grandchildren are proud Mustangs. He along with other SW classmates were drafted to fight in Vietnam in 1967. Mr. Fissel was part of the “Mekong Delta River Rats.” This was a joint venture with the Navy and the Army.  He provided critical aid and supplies to soldiers in the form of defense, c-rations, and military supplies.

The second guest speaker was Richard Lorenz, a grandfather of a current South Western junior.  Mr. Lorenz was on active duty in the USAF in October 1965 at the height of the build up in Vietnam.  He was selected to serve as an aircraft maintenance officer.  He was actively involved in two activities critical to the mission in Vietnam – the air rescue of downed pilots using a specially equipped C-130 and aerial delivery systems to deliver supplies to field army units.  His unit was apart of the “Blind Bat” mission.  This unit conducted night flare missions over the Ho Chi Minh trail over Laos and Cambodia in an effort to detect and stop North Vietnamese troops that were entering South Vietnam.

Both Mr. Fissel and Mr. Lorenz spoke about their phenomenal experiences of the trials and tribulations in the Vietnam. War.  Students learned about advanced Air Force technology, fighting during the war, and personal stories about local graduates killed in action, as well as the residual effects of the war that are still experienced today. Mrs. Seideman said “although we strive to provide the best instructional experiences we can for our students, we cannot replicate the experiences Mr. Fissel and Mr. Lorenz presented.”

There were many positive comments about the quality of their presentations. Junior Breanna Ruppert said, “I really appreciated the fact that you came and allowed us to learn from your first hand experiences instead of just learning from text books and etc.”  Junior Haley Brigs said, “It made the whole thing much more real and personal, seeing people who actually went through it and saw all we talked about. I think it’s terrible the ways some were treated when they came home, regardless of if us as Americans agree with war or not you did an incredible thing fighting over seas for us and for those you were told to help and protect.” Mr. Fissel and Mr. Lorenz are a true inspiration to all and their contributions are greatly appreciated! Thank you for serving our country and we are proud to call you a hero.

Teaching Post 9/11

September 11, 2001 was a defining moment in American history. It is so interesting that many of the children who were 8, 9, or 10 years old when the World Trade Center towers fell and the Pentagon burned are now in college.  According to CNN news article, The 9/11 Generation’s Bogeyman is Gone, the 9/11 generation is made up of two subgroups, one who were in high school and college and the other who were in elementary school.

t1larg.huot.irptThis generation has grown up in a world very different from our parents generation. We are familiar with increased security, terrorist threats, and an increased awareness of the world. We have  grown up accustomed to long lines at the airport and terror alerts. Since 9/11 this younger generation has feared names like Sadam and Bin Laden.

I as well as my students were forever effected by 9/11/01. I remember exactly where I was when the WTC was attacked.  I was sitting in my US government class in high school. I remember the silence of  the halls. I remember my friends getting called out of class to go home because their family members were unaccounted.This new generation of students are used to filtered news; many watched live television reports of the attacks in their living rooms and classrooms. I remember the  overwhelming sense of pride and love for our nation. I wore red, white, and blue and felt an urgency to plant a tree in honor of the victims of 9/11. These feelings will never leave me.

As a teacher, I think it is so important to educate our students about 9/11 and the residual effects. I used the capture and death of Bin Laden to talk about 9/11 and the War on Terror. I use letters, personal stories, interviews, and newspapers from the day to honor and pay tribute to the men and women who defend our freedom.

For more information on teaching resources visit:

Dipity Timeline Increases Enagement

I heard about Dipity Timelines from Richard Byrne at Free Technology for Teachers and thought you might like to hear about it. I had my students create online timelines today on the Civil Rights Movement. They turned out so much nicer than paper timelines from last semester. My students even embed videos and images into them.

Why use Dipity? My students were so engaged that I could have left the room while I was “teaching” and they would have been on task (I didn’t leave the room). It’s true like the induction presenter said last night- student choice and technology improves the classroom climate and student engagement.

How do students “turn in” their timelines? I read Lisa Nielsen‘s blog the Innovative Educator and she said that teacher’s of the 21st century Don’t Say, ‘Hand It In.’ They say, “Publish It!” That is exactly what my students did. They published, copied their link,  and pasted into an assignment on Edmodo. I not only saved paper but grading was a lot easier with my Google Docs Form rubric (see below).

Here are some sample student projects:

How did I grade them? Here is the rubric

Week in Rap

I am always searching for new ways to get my students engaged in the world. I started using Week in Rap this year and have found it to be a useful and educational way to motivate my students and make them more aware of the news. My students seem to enjoy the rap and are more informed about the world. We usually watch the rap on Monday’s, discuss it, add other current events throughout the week, and they take a ten question quiz on Friday’s. Do you feel more informed about current events with the Week in Rap?

The Week in Rap is a weekly summary of news headlines in the form of a short rap video. The site was created by Flocabulary, and the songs and videos are written by Flocabulary artists.

What’s Next for America?

Great video organized by CBS where they ask What’s Next in 2011? It asks a lot of great questions like what’s next for America? Are we no longer the dominant world power? Will America’s future be brighter?

Application to Education: I used this video in my class to introduce the idea of the American Dream and the idea of public policy with my Advanced Placement Class. It was an interesting conversation starter especially since the current recession has impacted so many of our families.