Monday, March 22, 2010

Pause, now Health Care


All of my classes stopped the usual instruction today and talked Health Care bills.  Yes, it was that important.  Jesus, after all the crap spewing from the House floor yesterday, from democratic utopias to neo-fascist states, I figured the kids could get a little real news.  Here’s how it went in all classes.

1.  Students walk in and take a quiz.  Yes, I assigned work during Spring Break, and for the most part students came through.  My APUSH (AP U.S. History) students had a huge quiz, and I offered them a “freebie” when they were done taking the quiz, meaning they chose one question in which they were unsure of the answer.  If wrong, it counted as correct.  I’m a softy.  Sue me.  Everyone else got the whole shebang.

2.  We briefly discuss two government funded health care programs; Medicare and Medicaid. 

3.  I show the CBS Sunday Morning clip “Bill of Health”.  The ten minute clip does a nice job not only introducing the debate, but also gives a brief history of health care legislation.

4.  I show a C-SPAN clip of the Representative of the First District of the State of California, Mike Thompson (our Congressman) speaking during General Debate of the health care bill (HR 3590).  It is less than one minute.

5.  I then show the question call and the vote on the bill.  The Government/Economics Seniors love it because it ends up being just like our Mock Congress.  A representative calls the question, the members yell “Aaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyeeeeeee!”, and “Nnnnnnooooooooooo!”, and then the Minority Leader calls for a “roll call vote”.  We don’t watch the whole 15 minute roll call thanks to the magic of Tivo.  Instead we watch the vote number 216 cross the screen, and then finish with the official tally announced.  Total time, about five or so minutes.

6.  We then break down the bill.  I have the main highlights on the board and we go through them one at a time.  Students ask questions, look at repercussions, Economics students lament on not buying Health Insurance stock on Friday, and the discussion lasts for a good 20 or so minutes. 

No, it will not assist in the AP tests (maybe U.S.), or the STAR tests, and I lost a day of instruction that I can’t get back.

But the entire class was interested, involved, and today good knowledge was shared.    

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