Archive for the ‘Social Studies’ Category

  • Avoiding Round Robin in All Subject Areas

    on Dec 15, 14 • in Elementary Classrooms, English Language Learners, Instruction&Curriculum, Literacy, Policy, Science, Social Studies • with Comments


    I am always amazed that Round Robin reading still exists. The empirical evidence has shown that it is an ineffective teaching method. Just being an observant teacher would make you realize the kids are bored and off task. Worst of all, it brings humiliation to students who struggle with reading or English. So how do we engage children in material that is new? How can we share text with a group? How do we build structure that encourages participation in the reading process? There are two areas that seem to fall into the Round Robin

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  • STEAM Inspired Spin on Social Studies

    on Dec 8, 14 • in Instructional Strategies, Policy, Social Studies, Technology • with Comments

    STEAM  +

    Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – the STEM subjects joined forces with Art (Design) to become STEAM, the acronym which stands for education that deliberately promotes 21st century transformations in thinking. Social studies is not included as a focus and I like to think it’s because it is at the root of of the original STEM.  As a social studies educator I’m struggling to make that more apparent so I attended the November, Vermont State Technology Conference hosted by  The makerspaces and new tools were exciting and innovative but I wanted something that would not change

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  • Teaching Strategy: Adding Primary Sources to Elementary Social Studies

    on Nov 10, 14 • in Common Core, Elementary Classrooms, Featured, Instruction&Curriculum, Social Studies • with Comments

    social studies

    I don’t care which television news channel you select – I hate them all. Why? There are a variety of reasons. For one, they are all emotion, little fact. They focus on sound bites instead of the whole speech. They care way too much about celebrity and not about the common person. Most of all, they completely feel like they have to do the thinking for you. Teaching social studies can’t be the same as television news. We have to ensure that we are training students to question and comment on what is actually happening. Instead,

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  • 21st Century Classroom Management is… Fun?

    on Nov 6, 14 • in Management, Policy, Social Studies, Technology • with Comments


    Recently a veteran colleague and a teacher in training posed questions concerning classroom management and power struggles with students. Years ago the approach to dealing with students who test the boundaries of rules was quick and strict reprimand.  Students were graded on neatness, orderly and timely manners, for being quiet unless called upon. While there is value in forming these habits most current grading practices tend towards skills and content mastery only. Educators know that students do not necessarily sit still to learn. Research, experience and parents would that teachers spend more time teaching and

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  • Teaching Columbus and the Truth of History

    on Oct 13, 14 • in Current Events in Education, Featured, Instruction&Curriculum, Social Studies • with Comments


    Once again, Columbus Day has rolled around and teachers, especially History teachers, have an opportunity to set the record straight. A great article by TER’s Mike Dunn today talks about how to teach Columbus and is rich with ideas and resources. I am writing today not about how to teach it, but why it is important that we teachers be at the forefront of telling the truth of history. You have probably seen the news the last few weeks about the Colorado Board of Education and its attempts to “exceptionalize” AP US History and other history

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