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The last time I taught US History, I taught the second half of it (1900ish to presentish). I had not taught this course since my very first (very crummy) year teaching and I (and the world) had changed a lot in those 9 years. I used essential questions and flipped some of my units. My instruction was very tech heavy. I think I did a very good job of teaching in a new, interesting, engaging, manner.
Now it's this year. I'm teaching the FIRST half of US History (Foundings to 1900ish), and I'm struggling to make it into the course I want it to be. First, I taught this course much more recently (2009-10) and was already starting to be more innovative in my instruction. I still used lecture and the textbook.
My larger class load than that USII class has me struggling to be creative. I feel like I'm barely keeping my head above water, and the grading hasn't even really started yet. I also am finding that there seems to be way fewer resources for flipping USI; at least that I can find shared and for free. I just don't know where to start with flipping and what students would actually DO during class.
So I'm doing a lot of the same things I did then, and I feel sort of terrible about it. We're getting ready to assess the first unit of the course, and I'm looking fondly at the test I used way back when. I need to find some inspiration, some collaboration, and that spark that lit me up when I taught USII!
With all that said, I mentioned that we were working on a mock Mystery Skype here. A student wanted some comfort and asked if she could make a "screen" to simulate Skype better, to which I replied OF COURSE! Here's what she made! (She cut the frame out of cardboard; not sure why it looks so skewed here.