Going Meta: Cataloguing My Past Two Years of Blogging

As my blog turned two this past week, I felt it would be a good time to look back at one of the things I have worked on in my spare time these past few years. Over the past two years I have written 50 posts and, while it took a while, it was interesting to see how I have developed in my first few years as an educator. During the spring, I plan on going back and updating a few of my earlier posts.

I drew this as I thought it would be a fun addition to my masthead...sadly, it is neither the right size nor shape.

I drew this as I thought it would be a fun addition to my masthead…sadly, it is neither the right size nor shape.

For those considering blogging, I highly recommend it. For me, blogging has always been about developing as an educator by putting my ideas “out there” and discussing ways to improve. Since I began, I have had colleagues and those I met through blogging put their own twist on some lessons I developed. Looking at various ways to do something pushes me to reflect and continue to develop. In addition to personal growth, I have also had some neat opportunities through blogging – I’ve co-written a journal article  (with Dan Krutka) for the Ohio Social Studies Review and I’ve gotten to work with other educators consulting on a US Senate simulation at the Edward M Kennedy Institute. I’m quite happy that I made the leap into it two year ago.

As my readership has grown over the past two years, I thought it would be beneficial to have a table of contents to make searching my site easier!

So without further ado…

Table of Contents

  1. A Bit About This Blog – This simply introduces the blog and explains its purpose.
  2. Macbeth Murder Mystery Party Introduction – Inspired by a murder mystery that I never attended, this post from my days as a History/English teacher was used to introduce Macbeth and get students to  make predictions.
  3. Macbeth and Agency: Rethinking the Blame Game – As I didn’t want Lady Macbeth to get all of the blame, I designed this lesson to think about agency.
  4. The (Industrial) Revolution Will be Twitterized – Incorporating Twitter in the classroom, my World History students were the mouthpieces for industrializing countries.
  5. The Enlightenment Meets Social Media – Students used Twitter and Blogger to bring the Enlightenment to life. This lesson is one of my favorites and it was mention in BloombergBusinessweek.
  6. The West Wing Model: A Reflection on Teaching and the Role of the Teacher in the Classroom – A reflection the shifting role of the teacher in the classroom (removing scaffolding).
  7. Book Review- World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War – I absolutely enjoy this book and think you should probably read it.
  8. Personalizing History: The Industrial Revolution – An activity asking students to put a person in history and telling their story.
  9. Connecting Lessons to the Common Core: A Missed Opportunity – This was the first in what became a series. It discussing having students rewrite the textbook to input more bias to promote an outlook we were discussing. In this case, it was rewriting a section of the textbook from an 18th century liberal, radical and conservative.
  10. Connecting Lessons to the Common Core: Enlightenment – Declaration of Independence – Looking at the Enlightenment motives in the Declaration of Independence.
  11. My Idea: Making Teacher Prep More Like Scrubs – One of my favorites, a reflection on doing “education rounds” in teacher prep programs – similar to the ones seen on the TV show Scrubs.
  12. Why I Teach: The Importance of Teaching and the Zombie Apocalypse – My Why I Teach essay!
  13. Connecting Lessons to the Common Core: Personal Journals During the French Revolution – In an effort to put students within history, my students wrote diaries reacting to events during the French Revolution.
  14. Connecting Lessons to the Common Core: Your Own Personal Latin American Revolution – As we had learned about revolutions in Latin American, students created their own revolutions using the others as a model.
  15. The Enlightenment: A Glam Rock Musical – My proposal for an Enlightenment musical!
  16. Teacher Trading Cards: Collect Them All – A reflection on teaching which naturally led to my creating a few trading cards for myself and my colleagues.
  17. We’re Not In Kansas Anymore: A Tale of the Modern Classroom – A story set inside a school about a group of students who realized they had the capacity all along.
  18. Connecting Lessons to the Common Core: Bill and Ted’s Excellent Assignment – Oddly, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure was an amazing Common Core aligned project!
  19. Teacher Trading Cards: Make Your Own – As many enjoyed the teacher trading cards, here is a template on making your own.
  20. I’m No Guitar Hero and I’m Ok With That (Now) – A look back upon one of my greatest failure and what it has to do with setting expectations.
  21. Connecting Lessons to the Common Core: Extra! Extra! Primary Sources Turned Into News Articles – An activity where students read first hand articles from World War I and turned them into news articles.
  22. The Muppets Guide to Project-Based Learning – To better understand project-based learning (PBL) I related The Muppets to the steps involved in PBL.
  23. Connecting Lessons to the Common Core: Star Wars Episode 5.5: The Empire Strikes Endor – I was challenged to connect Star Wars to the Common Core and this was I came up with! A lesson where student create primary sources for the Empire takng over the forest moon of Endor based on the motives of imperialism.
  24. Connecting Lessons to the Common Core: Nationalistic Travel Brochures – An activity where students created travel brochures appealing to those interested in how nations were unified or broke away from an imperial power.
  25. Close Reading and the Magic Eye – To better understand the concept of close reading, I look at the 90s craze Magic Eye and close reading.
  26. Klout, Parenting, and Expectations: The Four Stages of an Unwarranted +K ing – My bewilderment over being acknowledged for parenting as I am not a parent.
  27. Call to Action! Social Media in the Classroom – Andy Marcinek and I once had dreams of creating a searchable database of tech-integrated lesson plans.
  28. How I Found a Job: Episode 1 – Unhumble Beginnings – From an unfinished series of my search for an education job years ago. These were taken from Facebook notes that I wrote while I was trying to get a job teaching. One day I will finish the series.
  29. #MaycombProbs: Building Community Through Twitter – This post highlights one day where students and teachers at my school played on a hashtag devoted to To Kill a Mockingbird.
  30. How I Found a Job: Episode 2 “A Highly Qualified Applicant” – If you ever applied your a job, you might have been called this as they rejected you. So have I!
  31. How I Found a Job: Episode 3 – Advice from Mom – My mother had great advice for me when I was on the job search…most of them involved people I knew tangentially.
  32. How I found a Job: Episode 4 – Tales from the Road – Some more rather upsetting episodes from my search for employment.
  33. My Season Finale: The Ending of the School Year as a TV Show – As I was nearing the end of my first year teaching, I imagined my life as a television show with the end of the school year as a season finale.
  34. A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the 1:1 Classroom: Lessons Learned from My Year One – A post reflecting on triumphs and areas of opportunity that I learned in my first year in a 1:1 classroom (all students had iPads).
  35. Lessons from Superhero Movies: Teachers Edition – Adapting lessons learned from superhero movies to the classroom.
  36. Technology, Social Studies, and the Common Core: Part II – The second of a series written with my colleague Todd Whitten.
  37. Primary Documents, Social Studies, and the Common Core: The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen – Different ways to break down the epic French document using the Common Core.
  38. Common Core State Standard Rubric for History/Social Studies 11 – 12 – Exactly what it says! For the 9-10, see Todd Whitten’ s blog.
  39. Absolute Monarch’s Ultimate Playlist: Pairing Music with History – I occasionally pair a song to the ongoings of my classroom and this discusses a time I did it for a few units.
  40. Social Media and the Enlightenment: Year 2 – My yearly plea for educators to join me in the Social Media and the Enlightenment project.
  41. The Be More Interesting Pledge – My quest to battle cell phone use with being more interesting. I began taking improv classes around the same time.
  42. History Labs: A Template – This year, my freshmen are doing history labs where in partners they build a hypothesis and explore primary documents. This explains the concept.
  43. Snap Debates: Using Evidence to Support Opinions – This is a fun way to do debates in the classroom and include snapping! I was inspired by Stanford’s Reading Like a Historian when I did this in the classroom.
  44. Social Media and the Enlightenment: Year 3 – This time I expanded my network involved in this project with a politician and an author!
  45. Teaching the Constitution: Superheroes and the Branches of Government – Developed with another teacher, this lesson has students create superheroes for the three branches of government using powers given to them by the Constitution.
  46. Teaching the Constitution: Bill of Rights Marketing Campaign – This activity inspired by an improv game, has students create an ad campaign for the individual amendments in the Bill of Rights.
  47. Law and Order: French Revolution [The Importance of Using Evidence] – Students decided which of the Rights of Man that Robespierre was violating and finding evidence of him doing so.
  48. American Vision Dating Game: Hamilton, Jefferson, and the Importance of Sharing – I once had an amusing idea of Hamilton and Jefferson on a dating game show attempting to woo America. While I did this as an assignment, someone else made it brilliant. This discusses the idea, why I share, and a link to how it was one brilliantly.
  49. The Perfect Match: Primary Document Pairing – Imagine having students pair primary documents to popular music to demonstrate their understanding? This discusses that concept and an app that makes it possible.
  50. Going Meta: Cataloguing My Past Two Years of Blogging – You are reading this right now!

About Michael K. Milton

I teach students Social Studies at Burlington High School. When I became a teacher, I believed that students would frequently give me apples. This has not happened (not even a Red Delicious ~ a name which is a misnomer). However, my school has given me a MacBook Pro and an iPad in an effort to right this wrong (I assume). I'm very lucky to work in a 1:1 school.
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