Archive for the ‘Social Studies’ Category

  • E-Sub Plans for Educators

    on Nov 17, 15 • in Current Events in Education, Educational Apps, From the Front Lines, High School, Instructional Strategies, Literacy, Social Studies, Technology • with Comments

    to live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong. (1)

    Writing sub plans is the task I dread most as a teacher. It is time-consuming and often the best-laid plans go awry. Substitutes misinterpret directions or students use that excuse to claim that they were led astray from a meaningful task. I have found a few digital applications that have changed the nature of the sub-plan to one that empowers the student with more opportunities for 1:1 engagement and more responsibility. No longer do I write a sub-plan for the sub alone. The paper copy left on the desk might contain a few private instructions

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  • Presenting Missing Histories

    on Nov 2, 15 • in High School, Instruction&Curriculum, Instructional Strategies, Social Studies • with Comments


    How do educators balance teaching in an area of expertise while knowing that what they know might not be enough?  Media scrutiny and traditional practice of being the “sage on stage” for determining necessary content coverage for standardized tests thwarts the better practice of modeling inquiry and discovery. Teachers worried about the uniformity of content focus more on the subjective argument of what information too cover instead of what is left out. Presenting content for United States history is rife with argument, which is fortunate. It led me to search out histories I had yet to uncover while modeling the questions

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  • Transformative Moments in Student Centered Learning

    on Oct 12, 15 • in Educational Apps, Instructional Strategies, Social Studies • with Comments

    DO YOU-2

    There is no one I know who wants to be made aware of faults on a daily basis. Intentions to provide students with good guidance often become part of a litany of continuous criticism for students moving through several classes each day. The growing list of changes, edits and scores less than satisfactory seldom diminish and frequently are left untouched. My goal this year is to use class time for more individual conversations that build on student assets – to create an environment of student centered learning. When students discuss their approach to an assignment and their understanding of what an assessment provides

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  • Recharging Your Teaching Battery

    on Jul 22, 15 • in Confessions of a Teacher, Opinion, Social Studies, The Traveling Teacher • with Comments

    To somewhere tropical

    I’m standing on the north rim of the Grand Canyon, far away from wifi and cell service and anything familiar at the start of my summer vacation. I’m fascinated with the lighting strikes and thunderstorm moving rapidly along the opposite rim. Amateur photographers snap images in 20 second intervals, trying to capture an unforgettable moment but are careless with their failure. They live in the moment, illegally sleeping and waking all night on the edge of the rim, young, 20 year olds with a sense of hubris and adventure.  Their enthusiasm and excitement for living

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  • Critical Thinking, Morality, and ‘Middle Passage’

    on Jun 30, 15 • in Current Events in Education, Featured, Instruction&Curriculum, Literacy, Middle School, Social Studies • with Comments


    The issue of slavery is a deeply rooted social foundation that has been toiled with for generations. Educators, particularly those teaching high school, are charged with helping their students understand how the existence of such a morally reprehensible institution was even possible. As adolescents, these young students struggle developmentally to decompartmentalize a happening such as slavery. They see it simply as “wrong” with little regard to the context in which the institution is occurring. This type of thinking narrows student understanding of the greater historical narrative and gives way to the creation of historical villains

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