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Posts tagged ‘civics’

#NCSS14: Session Two – Connecting Your Government Class and the Real World

Presented by the Constitutional Rights Foundation, my #NCSS14 session two focused on ways to engage students directly with actual issues in their communities through direct civic action.

They suggest that you can turn your government classroom into a hands-on civics lab to teach the workings of government by empowering students.

They shared about their Civics Action Project, a  Read more

I Voted: Voting Information Project

If you haven’t already figured it out, I can be a bit of a cynic. And becoming more so as the last ads of the campaign cycle through. (I’m looking at you Kansas Governor Brownback. Seriously? You’re running this ad?)

But I’m a firm believer that one of the most important duties we have as US citizens is to vote. In every election. Dogcatcher to president. So next Tuesday is already on my calendar. The sad thing is that many of us won’t be voting next week. Typical turnout for midterm elections is around 40%. And I thing that at least some of that has to do with a lack of information.

Where do I vote? When are voting hours? Sad to say but I still hear questions such Who’s running?

To help solve some of the confusion the Voting Information Project (VIP), developed by The Pew Charitable Trusts, Google, and election officials nationwide, is offering tools that give voters access to the customized information they need to cast a ballot on or before Election Day.

The widget below comes from the VIP. Get your own embed code here. Get the WordPress code here.

And help get people to where they belong next Tuesday.

(Need a few more election tools? Head here for a quick list.)

2014 Mid-Term election resources

Many of you have asked for specific resources that focus on the upcoming mid-term elections. Hopefully this quick list of tools will help:

Democratic Party
Republican Party

Politifact
“Sorting out the truth in politics”
Access. Analyze. Act
Discover the power of social media while promoting your students’ civic engagement
CNN Election Center
FactCheck

Monitoring the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players
FactCheckED
FactCheck’s educator’s page
OpenSecrets
Who’s buying your politician?
FiveThirtyEight
Originally designed for the 2008 election, this site does a great job breaking down election data
Electoral Vote
T
racks political polls for U.S. federal elections
Yahoo Political Dashboard
Same thing, just from Yahoo
HuffPost Election Center
HuffPost Pollster
Great charts and graphs
Talking Points Memo Poll Tracker
All Sides Election Center
Sweet site that provides news / commentary from left, center, right perspectives
RealClearPolitics

VoteSmart / VoteEasy
How to vote and who you should vote for

C-Span’s Election Classroom
Center for Action Civics
Student News Daily

Tip of the Week: Poly Sci Nerd Goodness

Yes. I am a poly sci nerd. Love elections. Love debates. Love the data. So meeting in DC this last week was . . . awesome.

And this morning, I ran across LegEx. A great way to close out a Poly Sci nerd week.

Short for Legislative Explorer and maintained by the University of Washington Center for American Politics and Public Policy, the site is a interactive visualization that allows you and your students to explore actual patterns of lawmaking in Congress. The graph provides a great way to get the big picture while providing opportunities to dig deeper. Compare the bills and resolutions introduced by Senators and Representatives and follow their progress from the beginning to the end of a two year Congress. Go back in time and compare / contrast different years, bi-partisan vs. partisan, parties, or House vs. Senate.

You can Read more

What would you say to your Senator?

I get the chance this week to spend time with some pretty amazing people. Michelle Herczog. Peggy Jackson. Kim O’Neil. All leaders of the National Council for the Social Studies Board of Directors. And almost 30 other social studies educators from around the country representing state level councils.

We’re meeting in Washington D.C. to discuss ways to support classroom teachers and to advocate for the Social Studies at the local, state, and federal level. Good times. Seriously. I mean, how often does someone like me get the chance to hang out with the movers and shakers of the social studies world? These are all excellent classroom teachers, committed to social studies, and history geeks like me. So I’m loving it.

We’ve had formal and informal conversations about all sorts of stuff and will continue those conversations through tomorrow. But one of the main reasons we’re here is to chat with representatives from the House and Senate, urging continued support for the teaching of high-quality social studies across the country.

Later today, Read more

Things that suck and your social studies classroom

It’s not what you think. Though I suppose that it is possible that a social studies class could, well . . . be not very good. I’m not talking about history classrooms where learning goes to die. I’m talking about a class that encourages high levels of thinking, connects emotion with content, allows for physical movement, and forces kids to make choices.

I’m talking about Things That Suck. Read more

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