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Just a brief entry for consideration. Economics is not theory; it is laws. There is no talk of the "Theory of Supply"; there is the "Law of Supply", for example. The easiest way to handle economics at any level of education is to try and associate it with something everyday in your experience. Economics is always surrounding you. Try to associate rent, mortgage, buying clothing, buying groceries, getting gas for your car, and so forth. They all pivot on the laws of economics, somehow, some way. Cognitively, it will enable you to connect and abstract economic law with a concrete everyday occurrence, and help you to make sense of it all. Along with daily review, it is the easiest way to get something into your long-term memory. Lastly, economics touches every aspect of a person's life; you couldn't escape it even if you wanted to. Even people who barter services for another person's expertise in something are using the oldest model of economics: the... read more

Chunking Information Together.

I will be the first to admit that Government and Politics can be dry stuff, especially in the abstract, and equally so because many times students don't see the relevance of it in their lives, since they can't vote, for the most part, and therefore have no stake in the process. For me, as a teacher of government,politics, and economics, the easiest way for students to retain knowledge is to chunk the information together. When students are learning the qualifications for national office, learn all of them at one time and take them in numerical sequence (Representative-25, 2, 7 years a citizen; Senator-30, 6, 9 years a citizen; President-35, 2 terms of 4 years each, cannot be a naturalized citizen, must have lived in the U.S. 14 years, etc.) Same with amendments (1-10, the Bill of Rights; 13-15, the "Civil War" amendments, etc.) Even Supreme Court rulings: Plessy v. Ferguson, 1896, Brown v. Board of Education, 1954, 1955. Keep it simple, and group likes with... read more

Howard's Blog-Testing and Preparation

Hello! Just a tip or two about test-taking skills. The first rule to remember is that it is only a test. Some measure aptitude SAT), some measure achievement (ACT). Neither are a reflection of who you are, and the end of the day, you will be the same person. So, be positive, regardless of the test. You own the test; the test does not own you. First, they are called standardized tests for a reason. The test you take is the same as the one being taken in Illinois, Utah, or Oregon, and if you wish to look at test-taking as a competitive event, that is your competition, not the people sitting in the the testing center with you. That is why test results come back in percentiles, quartiles, and even quintiles. There may be variations on a theme to prevent cheating, so do not do so. The testing permutations are selected by computer; you as the test-taker do not have a chance, even allowing for the law of probability, of guessing correctly which one you will receive. Second,... read more

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