Archive for the ‘Social Studies’ Category

  • The Traveling Teacher: Lewis and Clark in Missoula, Montana

    on Jul 31, 14 • in Educator Professionalism, Featured, Instruction&Curriculum, Series, Social Studies • with Comments

    A Montana landscape, photographed by the author. Courtesy Jake Miller.

    In my previous travels, I’ve visited both Philadelphia and Denver. After a 3-day respite at home, I headed back for the Mountain Time Zone to experience all that Big Sky Country has to offer. What took me west this time was a Gilder Lehrman Teacher Seminar on Lewis & Clark, led by Elliott West out of the University of Arkansas. This was, according to our master teacher, the most coveted of all the workshops this summer, and the room was filled with 30 excited and enthused teachers to obtain more resources from one of the

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  • Vampires, Honest Abe, and the Future of History Instruction

    on Jul 1, 14 • in Instruction&Curriculum, Literacy, Social Studies • with Comments

    Abe Lincoln Vampire Hunter Co

    America loves its heroes. From the earliest inspirational days of explorers sailing the ocean blue and “discovering” an unruly wilderness that would become the United States, to Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders, to the canonization of Steve Jobs (notably by Ashton Kutcher is this film). Without a doubt, many of these heroes deserve their limelight. They have shaped American culture, inspired ambition, and present possibility for folks of all ages. American heroes fulfill the essential qualities of Horatio Alger’s American Dream. Abraham Lincoln is the essence of this American hero. Born in a log cabin

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  • The Traveling Teacher: Philadelphia

    on Jun 25, 14 • in Featured, Social Studies • with Comments

    The Author, hanging out with a few Founding Fathers in Philadelphia

    Like you, I’ve done many things throughout the summers “off.” I’ve worked with kids. I’ve avoided them like I’m being inoculated during July. I’ve worked small jobs. I’ve worked big ones. But, in the end, I’ve always worked somehow, someway. Not this summer. I was selected for 2 different teacher study tours, will travel to the National Educators Association (NEA) elective counsel in Denver, and will go on plenty of trips with my wife in between. I plan on documenting many of these education-based travels this summer, beginning with a 5-day trip to one of

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  • Social Studies: The Not So Ugly Step Sister

    on Jun 23, 14 • in Common Core, Elementary Classrooms, Instruction&Curriculum, Social Studies • with Comments


    With implementation of the Common Core across the US, classrooms are seeing a shift in reading, writing, and math standards.  Science is also getting a spotlight with STEM and STEAM integration.  Social Studies, however, seems to get pushed into the corner.  There is an importance in learning from our past and thinking about changes in society that can be incorporated into all classrooms through social studies. Kansas adopted a new History, Government and Social Studies standards curriculum in April 2013.  These standards are set up to create students who are thoughtful, informed, engaged citizens.  The

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  • The Post Assessment Doldrums

    on May 29, 14 • in Educational Reform, Instruction&Curriculum, Policy, Social Studies • with Comments


    So the test is taken, now what?  National standardized tests are given all over the country within the same time frame, ending the school year for some regions, New England being an exception. Long winters extend our school year for a few weeks which provides the extra challenge of keeping staff and students motivated after the AP, IB and NECAP assessments. I wish I could say that our school has a unique, organized, master plan of helping students finish on a high note but we do not. Instead we fill the remaining weeks with a few

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