Friday, November 9, 2018

Keeping History Current with izzit.org by John Cummings


I came to teaching by following a nontraditional path.  My first career was with the United States Air Force where I served as an aviator and then an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Launch Officer for America’s nuclear land-based missiles.  From there, I worked in the high pressure sales environment of New York City.  So why tell you that?  Well, I was certain that my first day standing in front of high school juniors in an American History class would be far easier than what I had already accomplished in professional life.  As I looked at those young faces I thought: “I’m an experienced aviator, I held a top secret security clearance, and had worked with nukes; I’d thrived in one of America’s largest cities during the Great Recession…I’m completely overwhelmed.”

Enter izzit.org and the plethora of resources readily and easily available to teachers like me on their first day all the way to teachers in the last years of their careers.  These resources truly are an invaluable part of what I do with my limited time with my students.  Fast forward four years from that overwhelmed day and you’ll find me using izzit.org resources almost every day.  The one that I am most excited to talk about is their archive of current event articles and critical thinking questions.  One of my consistent goals is to make our history relevant to my students’ lives today.  izzit.org’s current event articles allow me to do this with very little prep time and afford me the opportunity to connect events of our past to events of our present in insightful ways that teach students not only reading comprehension, but critical thinking and writing skills.  These techniques are paramount to succeeding in my class and in life beyond the walls of our school.  

If I’m teaching a lesson on the Know Nothing Party and nativist attitudes towards immigrant waves of the 1800s, I know I can easily find a well-written article on the current immigration debate with attached questions. The information will not only create avenues for critical thought, but also allow my students to articulate their beliefs in a class discussion that parallels similar debates held in the past. Debates on the Constitution? No problem!  Military conflict and international relations? Check and check!  I know izzit.org’s current event lessons changed my approach to teaching for the better and gave me an invaluable resource I continue to use today!



Monday, October 22, 2018

Celebrating 50 econlife Lessons!


On October 24, 2018, izzit.org celebrates the 50th econlife current events article shared through our daily current events program.  Teacher and author Elaine Schwartz frames economics in a manner that middle and high school students can relate to as a means of encouraging them to think about economics in their daily lives.  izzit.org is proud to partner with Elaine to bring this valuable resource to our teachers & their students.


Articles from econlife began appearing on in izzit.org’s daily current events program in the fall of 2017.  Articles included such topics as why mac and cheese prices vary, how the market prices Taylor Swift tickets, an honor system in place for the sale of eggs, and a mysterious toilet paper shortage in Taiwan.  Links to econlife’s website and social medial are included, as well, so students and teachers may review additional content beyond the one article and activity provided each week.

Elaine Schwartz brings her vast knowledge of economics to students by employing a writing style that aligns with middle and high school student’s daily lives to connect ordinary events and items to market dynamics.  The writing level is typically around a 7.5 on the Readability Scale, with a range between 6 and 9.  The articles are rich in graphics, including tables, charts, and graphs that lend themselves to subject areas like science, humanities, critical thinking, and math.


Discussion questions and activities accompany each article, so teachers can plan an entire period around an article and activity or incorporate articles into other lessons.  With 50 articles to date, teachers can use a current article, search our archive of articles, and/or jump to econlife’s website to view other articles (although only izzit.org has articles and activities). 

We hope you’ve enjoyed econlife thus far and ask that you continue to use current events – ours and econlife’s – as part of your lesson plans.  We look forward to another 50 articles and more from econlife.

Want econlife every day? Subscribe to their email! Follow them on Twitter or Facebook.  


Ideal for the classroom, econlife.com reflects Elaine Schwartz’s work as a teacher and a writer. As a teacher at the Kent Place School in Summit, NJ, she’s been an Endowed Chair in Economics and chaired the history department. She’s developed curricula, was a featured teacher in the Annenberg/CPB video project “The Economics Classroom,” and has written several books including Econ 101 ½ (Avon Books/Harper Collins). You can get econlife on a daily basis! Head to econlife.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

AMLE 2018....Here We Come!!!

Who's going to the AMLE 45th Annual Conference for Middle Level Education this year? 

We will be at booth 206! Make sure you stop by and get a free DVD, say hi 👋 & play Plinko to win prizes!!

🗓️ Oct. 25-27, 2018
🗺️ Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center


Wednesday, October 3, 2018

NEW RELEASE - Outside the Box from izzit.org

NEW RELEASE

Don’t ask me what I am. Ask me who I am.

Imagine trying to register your child for school and being forced to reduce a complex racial ancestry to one checkbox… 

Eli Steele just wants to register his son Jack for kindergarten. He has no idea the journey this will begin, or the questions it will lead to. 

They have a complex family history. Son of slaves. Daughter of the revolution. Holocaust survivors. Interracial marriage pioneers in an era of segregation and discrimination. 

Jack and his younger sister June have an even more complicated ancestry when you consider their mother’s heritage – a Mormon settler and Mexican immigrant. 

So when Eli is required to reduce Jack to a single checkmark in front of a race box…it doesn’t sit well with him. 

Explore Eli, Jack, and June’s powerful story of individuality vs. group identity. 

Do you fit inside a box? 

Adapted from the award-winning documentary, How Jack Became Black.

Find out in Outside the Box here.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Outside the Box - Coming Soon to izzit.org!


"Don't ask me what  I am. Ask me who I am."

Eli Steele just wants to register his son Jack for kindergarten. He has no idea the journey this will begin, or the questions it will lead to.

They have a complex family history. Son of slaves. Daughter of the revolution. Holocaust survivors. Interracial marriage pioneers in an era of segregation and discrimination.

Explore Eli and Jack's powerful story of individuality vs. group identity, how to cope with bullies, and the resilience of the human spirit in our new release, Outside the Box.

Adapted from the award-winning documentary, How Jack Became Black.
www.HowJackBecameBlack.com







Tuesday, September 11, 2018

NEW RELEASE - Delaying World War II from izzit.org

NEW RELEASE


They thought appeasement could prevent another world war.

They were wrong.

Following World War I, many nations were understandably anxious to avoid another world war.

That’s why Great Britain celebrated the Munich Agreement, which gave Hitler a large section of Czechoslovakia – which hadn’t even been invited to the negotiating table, though they were the sacrificial lamb.

Appeasement seemed like the answer to the rest of the world’s prayers to avoid war.

Was it? Or had they merely kicked the can down the road a bit further? Who warned them that the Munich Agreement was likely a mistake?

What might have happened if the world had confronted Hitler earlier?

Find out in Delaying World War II here.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Yeti Cooler Giveaway


izzit.org YETI Cooler Giveaway: August 13, 2018 - September 30, 2018 

izzit.org will offer a drawing for the following prize, to be held on October 1, 2018.

How to Enter:  Participants must have an account with izzit.org. To be eligible, members must click the "Enter Now" button on the contest landing page www.izzit.org/contests/yeti. One entry per person, per household.

For official rules, click here.


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

That's a wrap on the izzit-Quizzit Contest....

WOW!!! You guys are awesome! 30,000 online quizzes taken for the izzit-Quizzit Contest!!🤩

Congratulations to all our winners! We hope you all have a fantastic summer and we'll see you next year!!!😎

Check out the winners here.

Friday, May 18, 2018

izzit-Quizzit Contest.....UPDATE


You guys are awesome! We can't believe that there have been over 28,000 izzit.org online quizzes taken so far! There is still time left to enter our izzit-Quizzit Contest and win some great prizes!

We are so close to being able to unlock the 35,000 prize tier and that prize is a brand new laptop computer! The bonus prizes are 2 Amazon Echo Dots!

Using our online quizzes is easier than ever, all you need to do is:

  • Get your class code
  • Watch our educational videos
  • Have your students take the online quizzes

The more quizzes you take, the closer we all get to unlocking more tiers and eventually unlocking the grand prize which is $4,000 or a set of 20 Chromebooks for your classroom. 

Learn more about the izzit-Quizzit Contest here.


Don't have an izzit.org account? Create one today, for FREE! Get started here.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

NEW RELEASE....The Bridge of No Return


How to "handle" North Korea seems like a contemporary question. In reality, it's an issue that's been on the minds of world leaders for many years.

Hear from two U.S. military vets about an incident that took place at The Bridge of No Return—one of the passages between North and South Korea—and teach your students about appeasement, deterrence, and how both are often necessary.

Click here to choose as your FAV (Free annual video). 

Click here to purchase. 

Click here to stream to your device.