Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Supreme Court Unit


The Justices:

Take a tour:

The Court, Past and Present:

Confirmation Process:
1.      Explain basics of confirmation process:
(a)    The President reviews potential candidates. Lobbyists and public interest groups are influential in this process—they focus media attention on perceived positive and negative characteristics of each potential candidate.
(b)   The President proposes a nominee.
(c)    The Senate then has the power to approve or disapprove the nominee.
(i)     Article II, Section II of the U.S. Constitution states that the president “shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint” the justices of the Supreme Court.
(d)   Confirmation Hearing:
(i)     The Senate comes to a decision of whether to approve or disapprove through a confirmation hearing. The Judiciary Committee is responsible for running the confirmation hearing and is made up of a roughly equal number of Republican and Democrat senators.
(ii)   Structure of a typical confirmation hearing:
a)      The Judiciary Committee gives an opening statement.
b)      The nominee gives an opening statement.
c)      Then there are two rounds. In round one, each member of the Judiciary Committee has 30 minutes to ask the nominee questions. In round two, each member has 20 minutes to ask the nominee questions. If the Committee wishes to question the nominee further, they may do so.
d)     The Committee then hears from several panels of witnesses both in favor of and in opposition to the nominee.
e)      Recommendation: The Committee then reports its findings back to the Senate. The Committee may report favorably, negatively, or make no recommendation as to whether the nominee should be confirmed.

f)       Confirmation: The senators then vote to confirm. A simple majority of senators must be present and voting.     Once confirmed, the nominee is a Supreme Court justice.

1.      The West Wing episodes “The Short List” (1st season) and/or “The Supremes” (5th season):  Have students watch the episode and discuss the following:

Using the examples from The West Wing episode, identify and describe ways in which politics influences the nomination process of Supreme Court justices.

  1. What do Presidents consider when appointing justices to the Supreme Court? Ask students to work with a partner and take on the roles of president and White House special counsel. The pair should brainstorm a list of characteristics the president thinks is important when considering a potential nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. After students share their lists with the rest of the class, project the overhead, Factors That Influence Presidential Nominations to the U.S. Supreme Court.  Ask students to compare and contrast the factors on the transparency with those discussed in class.
  • Experience — Most nominees have had substantial judicial or governmental experience, either on the state or federal level. Many have law degrees or some other form of higher education.
  • Political ideology — Presidents usually appoint judges who seem to have a similar political ideology to their own. In other words, a president with a liberal ideology will usually appoint liberals to the courts. Likewise, conservative presidents tend to appoint conservatives.
  • Party and personal loyalties — A remarkably high percentage of a resident's appointees belong to the president's political party. Although political favoritism is less common today than it was a few decades ago, presidents still appoint friends and loyal supporters to federal judgeships.
  • Ethnicity and gender — Until relatively recently, almost all federal judges were white males. Today, however, ethnicity and gender are important criteria for appointing judges. In 1967, Lyndon Johnson appointed the first African American Supreme Court justice, Thurgood Marshall. In 1981, Ronald Reagan appointed the first woman to the Supreme Court, Sandra Day O'Connor. All recent presidents have appointed African Americans, Latinos, members of other ethnic minority groups, and women to district courts and courts of appeal.

Depressive and Bipolar Disorders: Crash Course Psychology #30

Happy International Women's Day

Brain Hero

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

OCD & Anxiety Disorders: Crash Course Psychology #29

Life Skills
Exit Ticket- Anxiety Disorders
What makes a condition a “disorder”?

What is “OCD”?
What are “obsessions”?

What are compulsions?

How would you define an anxiety disorder? 

How is it different from standard anxiety?

What are some common myths about OCD?
What is GAD?

What are some symptoms of GAD?
Briefly describe the symptoms of a panic attack?

What are some examples of phobias discussed in this Crash Course episode?

How is a clinical phobia different from fear?

What are some common treatment methods for people suffering with anxiety disorders?

Life Skills - Mental Health Unit

Day One: Questionnaire and Brainstorming Activity

Day Two: Anxiety Disorders Mini-Lecture

Anxiety is common. Chronic, high-level anxiety might indicate a disorder.

Different types of anxiety disorders- some characterized by intrusive thoughts

Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Specific Phobia
Agoraphobia/Panic Disorder
Social Phobia
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Genetic Predisposition
Neurotransmitters- people who do not produce enough GABA may experience more anxiety
Problems with the functioning of certain brain circuits that regulate fear and other emotions.

Severe or long-term stress can affect brain circuits- "Toxic Stress"
Strong, unrelieved activation of body's stress management system (from strong, prolonged. frequent abuse, neglect and or caregiver substance abuse and/or mental illness, and/or prolonged significant economic hardship) in children who lack adequate adult support.

Learning- Conditioning
Observational learning

Environmental factors- exposure to trauma may trigger an anxiety disorder

Prevalence: Most common mental illness, affecting 18% of the population


High co-morbidity with mood disorders

Diagnosis: Looking for severity of symptoms and duration of symptoms. Are symptoms affecting daily functioning?

Symptoms lasting 6 months or longer


Day 2 and 3
Crash Courses in Psychology (Anxiety and OCD)
Exit Ticket

Screeners and Checklists


Interactive "game":

Day 3 Introduce Project

Days 4 and 5 work on projects.
Create a powerpoint or prezi on your topic. You must include the following information in your presentation:

Facts, Statistics, Quotes

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Crash Courses US History- The Roaring Twenties

Exit Ticket- Crash Courses "The Roaring Twenties"

Car companies consolidated into the "Big Three" that we know today:

What was the Harlem Renaissance?

Who were the flappers?

What did the government do to help struggling workers and farmers?

Who were some of the groups denounced by the KKK as being less than 100% American?

How did the government restrict immigration in the twenties?

What examples do we get from this  episode of impending economic crisis?

How was the Scopes trial a symbol of the contradictions of the 1920s?

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Laughing at My Nightmare Exit Ticket #2

English 510
Exit Ticket

What do you learn about Shane in chapter 2?

Define “prognosis”:
How is this book similar to Sherman Alexie’s, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian?

Define “atrophy”:

Give an example from chapter 2 of how Shane uses humor to describe a painful life event.

How much did Shane’s first wheelchair cost?
Briefly describe the setting of the story:

By the end of chapter 3, we are introduced to another family member. Who is it?
Chapter 4 was mostly about ____________.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Laughing at My Nightmare- Exit Ticket #1

English 510                                                 Name:
Exit Ticket

This book reminds me of this movie:


This book reminds me of this book:

The thing that I like most about  Shane is:
Shane’s life is similar to my life because:
Shane’s family life is similar to/different from my family because:
Two new vocabulary words I encountered from today’s reading are:


The definition to _______ is:

The definition to __________ is:
Five words that best describe the book so far are:

Monday, March 14, 2016

World War I Simulation Activity

What is the "objective" in this simulation? (How do you win?)

What did you learn about the topic after playing this game? Give three specific examples.

Were you able to successfully complete the game? If not, why not?