Archive for August 11th, 2014

Welcome to AP US history

Cold War Reenactors

If you are accessing this site, it is likely that you are an AP US history student or teacher. Welcome!

I retired in 2014 after teaching APUSH for 14 years. I have maintained this site for several years now, and I am happy to keep this site available for APUSH students and teachers. I myself will now be attending graduate school, but I hope to continue to help those of you taking on the challenge of mastering this curriculum.

Here’s how to best utilize this site now that I am no longer actively teaching….

1. How to find posts on documents mentioned or on questions you may have:
If you look to the right, you will see several blocks to aid navigation of this site. Probably the one that allows you to control your access to what you need is the one entitled “Categories.” At PHS, we used The American Pageant, 14th edition, as our textbook. But you can still use this site even if you use a different text. Each post– and there are about 1,000 posts on this site– has several tags or categories assigned to it. For instance, if you want information about Christopher Columbus, you could look under “Exploration,” or “Native Americans,” as well as “Chapter 1.” You can also use the “Search this Blog” feature at the top right of the main page. Remember to use good searching skills.

2. How can I find some terms that might show up on tests, and/or build up a glossary of specific terms?
If you look along the top of the main page, you will see a list of terms for each chapter in the American Pageant, divided by “Semester 1” and “Semester 2.” These were terms I used before the American Pageant started boldfacing some important terms. Even after they started that, I noticed that sometimes they omitted some terms I thought useful. So there are two pages with these kinds of terms on them.

3. I was absent during a class. How can I get a audio or visual update?
If you look at the category entitled “Audiovisual and video,” it often has videos like “Crash Course” and other resources that you can use for both reinforcement or to recover if you missed class, or for review before tests. They are also cross-posted under the applicable categories.

4. I need help with study skills. Help!
—My handy-dandy tips of how to study and how to prepare for and take multiple choise tests can be found here: Part A: Preparing; Part B: Test-Taking Strategies; Part C: Tricks of the Test-Writing Demons. You can also download the whole thing, and you are welcome to use it as a teacher, but please attribute your source if you do.
—There are also several categories to help: “AP Review,” “MC practice,” “Study Skills,” and “Test Preparation,” among others.
—There are also several links to other resources under the “Blogroll” block on the right below the Categories block.


5. I just don’t understand something. Help!
—Once again, try the categories or the search bar at the top right.
—Then try the “Links for more information page” which is located via a tab at the top of the main page. There are links for nearly every chapter in the American Pageant, although you can certainly still use these with any book.
—Then, you can try the Blogroll to the right under the “Categories” block.
—If your textbook has a website, use it!
—The College Board has all kinds of helpful info on their site. Go there!
—Form a study group with your friends! Create a Quizlet site, or something similar.
Ask your teacher for help! Arrange a time to get help AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!
—If all else fails, get some test prep materials like “5 Steps to a 5,” etc.


—Seriously– READ the textbook with an open notebook next to you to write down questions you have, make sure you are concentrating on what you are doing and not distracting yourself. Make sure you write down questions, and then ASK about them in class or in study group! Use your computer to look up information rather than just give up if you can’t find it in the book or in your notes. Don’t put mental blockers into your head like “I’m not good at tests,” or “I don’t like reading.” You can change both of those things!

Have a great year!