Frequently Asked Questions
  Fasttrack to America's Past
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What is Fasttrack to America's Past?

    Fasttrack to America's Past is a 240 page learning guide / workbook for high school level U.S. history teachers and students, supported by a matching Internet site.  It was created by a veteran classroom teacher, and includes the topics found in most national and state U.S. history standards.  Over 70,000 copies have been used by students in the U.S., as well as in places as diverse as Switzerland and Sri Lanka!

 
Fasttrack to America's Past actively engages students by pulling them into the process of exploring and building their knowledge.  In its pages, students complete 20 historical maps.  They finish dozens of charts and graphs using actual historical data.  They search the Internet for new information.  They experience the powerful ideas and words of Americans who left us first-hand accounts of times past.

   Fasttrack to America's Past guides students as it helps them build a sense of confidence and ownership of the subject.  It has won the highest praise possible: Students often ask to keep their workbook when the last pages are done.
 

Tell me more -

   The video, photographic, and text resources now easily available online and on DVD can make history a much more engaging subject for today's students.  Students still need a clear, concise guide for their studies, however, or they end up wandering aimlessly.  We still need to help students find the most important paths.

    Fasttrack to America's Past was developed to help teachers and students stay on track to success.  It encourages students to explore topics widely, while still providing a common framework of essential historical knowledge.  For example:  
  • Key vocabulary terms, people, and events of each time period are explained in graphics-rich topic summary pages and timelines.
  • Students read and analyze brief selections from primary sources drawn from a diverse group of historical figures.
  • Students work with statistics to create charts and graphs of historical patterns, then draw conclusions based on their analysis of real data.
  • Students complete maps - 20 in all - to help them connect geography to historical events.


Classroom teaching can be a real challenge.  Involving students every day is the key to success.

The important lessons of history can't just be poured into students like filling bags with potatoes.

The good news: We can teach in ways that work, and students enjoy.

The good news: As students experience success, they continue to succeed.


Where can I see what's inside?

   All the pages are shown on this title's Internet support site - click here to go there now.  Just click on the link for any section.  Then look for the Teacher Key links to the pages in that section.  The pages, including the maps and charts, are shown as they will look when completed by students.  You can also find the links on our web site that students will use to complete the map pages and check their work on the charts and graphs, as well as links to many other resources.


What grade levels is this recommended for?
   
   Fasttrack to America's Past is most widely used in high school grades 9 - 11.  It has also been used in summer enrichment / college prep classes, and in high school level classes for adult learners.  Some middle school teachers have used selected sections in their classrooms as well.  The format makes it very adaptable to different grade levels, for the same reason a map or visitors guidebook is useful for both first-time tourists and for experienced travelers.

   The map below shows schools and programs around the country that have used Fasttrack to America's Past.


 

 - Over 70,000 copies sold in all editions -

Teacher feedback:

"Easy to understand and very well organized."

"Like a road map and tour guide for U.S. history!"

"Extremely useful"     "Very complete"     "I love the maps"

"My students felt successful using this book!"

"No one can work through this book and not come away a better person."

"Students often ask if they can keep their copy."



An invitation - free downloads to use with your students

   You can download and begin using right now the 35 historical reading selections from primary sources that are part of this book.  It is our gift to teachers and students everywhere, and an invitation to look further at all the resources in Fasttrack to America's Past.  Please see the link on the home page for this title.

   Thank you for all you do to teach America's story and its values to the next generation!


What support is available for teachers and students using this?

   The Fasttrack to America's Past Internet support site has a full Teacher Key, showing the maps, charts, and other pages as they should look when students complete them successfully.  The web site also has many additional resources for students, teachers, and parents to use with the workbook.  These include unit review questions, links to web pages for interesting historical places and topics, and more. 

Click here to see our brochure for teachers
"Getting Started with Fasttrack to America's Past"



What about the cost?

    Our goal is to make Fasttrack to America's Past widely available to schools at the lowest possible cost.  It is both very affordable and very engaging to students - that is the definition of a true "best buy" in education!
  • For schools purchasing the printed workbooks for their students, at the volume price of $9.95, the cost works out to about five cents per student per day.
  • For schools choosing the binder / site license to photocopy pages option, the annually renewable site license fee is based on enrollment.  For most schools, the fee is in the range of $300 - $575.  That typically works out to about two cents a day per student.  The fee supports maintaining and updating the matching Internet site, keeping its resources available for students, teachers, and parents 24/7.

   By providing an affordable and comprehensive set of teaching resources, this project is actually saving many schools thousands of dollars in curriculum development costs and textbook costs.

   Please see the Prices and Ordering section of the Information Page for this title for more details.


May our school buy just one copy and let our teachers photocopy pages for all the students in our school?

   If you prefer making photocopies to use as student handouts, rather than issuing printed workbooks, please contact us about obtaining a school site license and master binder of the Fasttrack to America's Past pages.  For more information about this option, see the Prices and Ordering section of the Information Page for this title.

  
Copying pages without permission is the same as shoplifting, plagiarism, or any other form of theft.  Do the right thing, and set an example for your students.  Copyright details are here.


How can I get more information?

   
Please contact our office in Springfield, Virginia, by phone at:  (703) 644 - 4612, or by email at:  ftm.contact@verizon.net