Civ Lab: The Road to Revolution

Using the game for the American Revolution is probably some of my favorite to utilize.  The game environment allows us to simulate almost everything that happened during the time right before The American Revolution.  The results are remarkable and normally I don’t have to do much to incite the uprising once we are done.  

Andrew Jackson: Student Blogs

This year I created a new project that required the students to research Andrew Jackson to create a dossier and we wrote blog posts instead of essays!  They vary in how much they finished because I had miscalculated the amount of time I could have the chromebooks before testing began.  I would love to use the chromebooks more often, but we only have a limited supply.  One day I hope to have one for every student, but unfortunately I think that is far off in the future...  Because I messed up and the students had to finish their posts by hand I promised them that I would feature some of them on my blog.  I hope you all enjoy the work they put into them!  I know I enjoyed seeing what they valued and pulled out of the material we researched.

-Mr Schwarten

Civ Lab: The Mother Country, Early Colonial Issues, and Mercantilism

For my next installment of Civ 4 as a Soc St tool, I figured I would talk about how to use the game to teach the early colonial issues.  When I learned about these topics we were usually directed to a few definitions and some notes that gave us examples of what the British did in real life.  The game allows us go even deeper to reenact in a virtual world how it all worked.  

When I start having my classes begin to build their nations they are all colonies that have a Mother Country, which allows them to exist and expand as they wish.  I always relate that they are all part of a larger empire that has a king or queen and if one of the largest alliances in the game.    When designing the game the Mother Country can be another class or you could be the Mother Country as a control country.  We do have control countries in the game, but the students do not know who which ones are a school and who is a control nation.  Having one class lord over another is always interesting to watch, since the controlling group always becomes arrogant and as the colonies buck up against the Mother Nation mistakes will be made by both parties.  But either way, when we start everyone is one large happy family.    

The Riches of Teaching

Negativity…  The world can seem saturated with it.  Sometimes when I open Facebook or Twitter I feel like I just dipped my hand in sludge and need to wipe it off.  If we let it the world can make us hate our lives.  But the key is if we let it.  

I lived a good part of my life looking forward to the next step or the next gain, until after I had gained my degrees and landed my job I had no more course left to run.  I also have struggled throughout my life in the month of March to stay sane and not allowing cabin fever to take hold of me.  I have a hard time when I do not see the sun as often on my skin, state testing is rearing its ugly head, and there are no holidays to look forward to.  March is just a month that I battle the Black Dog and hope to keep it at bay.