College Board Code

Read More

I’m teaching an AP course this year: AP World History. (I reverse the title so that I can call it “WHAP” in all my materials.) It’s been some years since I’ve been so intimate with the College Board, and this is my first AP course since Gary and I finalized our Four Questions and started… Read more »

Read More

Student-Centered Storytelling

Read More

Students can’t intuit history. They can’t know what happened in other times and places unless someone shares that information with them. Once they’ve learned enough history, they can begin to make educated guesses. But even then, they need to check reliable sources in order to confirm or, more likely, correct their guesses. In any case,… Read more »

Read More

Why Stories Work

Read More

At our workshops, Jon and I typically tease the audience with imaginary swag. We don’t have any — no pens, no mugs, no stickers. If we did, our swag would be T shirts that said “Story First!” on the front, and each workshop participant would get one. Alas, no T shirts either… So we believe… Read more »

Read More

Natalie Wexler Says, “Story First!”

Read More

“The fact is, history is a series of stories. And kids love stories” (Wexler 28).   At the end of the summer Gary told me I should read Natalie Wexler’s book The Knowledge Gap, and since Gary gives very good advice, I did. Wexler writes about the failure of American schools to teach reading effectively,… Read more »

Read More

China, Japan, and Explanatory Turtles

Read More

About a month ago I wrote a post about China and Japan’s different responses to Western imperialism, and how that made a perfect Question Three puzzle. (You can read that post here.) Today I’m circling back to that topic because I recently had a conference about it with student, and I think the conference was… Read more »

Read More

What Are Final Exams For?

Read More

Our school gives collegiate-style final exams. At the end of June, when regular classes are done for the year, we schedule students for 90 minute exam blocks in each of the major academic subjects. All students, even the 9th graders, come in just for exams and otherwise study or sleep or wander where they will.… Read more »

Read More

If you’re a serious student of history and the social sciences you know that data presentations can be very powerful. (Think of national debt curves, or social class pyramids, just to name two.) But knowing that data presentations are powerful, and knowing how to actually make the kind of tables, charts, and graphs that make… Read more »

Read More

Taking Claims Seriously

Read More

We’re taking our 9th graders to a new building next year. It’s an old building, actually, but it’ll be new to them, and to the faculty team who will teach there for the next two years while our main campus undergoes renovations. We’re taking this opportunity to launch some new common practices. During a series… Read more »

Read More

China, Japan & The West: A Q3 Puzzle

Read More

Question Three (“Why Then And There?”) is the most difficult of the Four Questions. It’s the most abstract, and the thinking it requires is generally unfamiliar to those of us not rigorously trained in one of the social sciences. (As a history major, I know this struggle personally.) It helps to remember that Question Three… Read more »

Read More

Explaining Things

Read More

In my first or second year of high school teaching — my memory is hazy on timing — I had an exceptional sophomore named Anna. Anna was a political radical, or so she said. She was an articulate critic and, for an unskilled teacher, kind of a pain. She wasn’t loud or disruptive, but she… Read more »

Read More

Stay Up to Date

Like what you've read so far? Never miss a post. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to get updates, workshop dates and more.

Sign Up