Archive for the ‘Social Studies’ Category

  • Teaching Columbus and the Truth of History

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

    columbus-day-picture

    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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  • Reconsidering Columbus: A day worthy of an alternative

    on Oct 13, 14 • in Educational Reform, Instruction&Curriculum, Policy, Social Studies • with Comments

    columbus-day-picture

    For decades, students in elementary school classes have admired portraits and sang songs telling the tale of America’s hero, Christopher Columbus. In his well-documented 1492 journey, Columbus — enroute to India — stumbled upon what would become the Americas; Hispaniola to be exact. The rest of his journey is…history. Somewhere in the depths of our history books, we overlooked a slew of key facts surrounding Columbus’ journey, actions, and subsequent celebration. We failed to note the abundance of native people already inhabiting the island — Tainos, Arawaks, and Lucayans whose modern kin barely exist. We

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  • Latest and Greatest Apps: Green Screen & Open Gallery

    on Oct 1, 14 • in Educational Apps, Featured, Fine Arts, Social Studies, Technology • with Comments

    ipad

    Year 2 of 1:1 iPad classroom is in full swing. Students have their Apple I.D.s, their workhorse apps and access to the Haiku Learning Management Platform for online class resources. It has been a slow to transition back into work flow even though they are excited to game or text chat any moment a teacher leaves them with out direction.  I decided to manage a balance  of incentives with a high bar for product and performance. I want students to want to explore learning with as much interest in the text about as they are have in who is dating who

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  • Where Are You From? Connecting Students to the World

    on Sep 30, 14 • in Featured, Instruction&Curriculum, Instructional Strategies, Social Studies • with Comments

    Globe

    Our students often have a difficult time connecting to the big world outside their everyday lives.  I had a rich and in-depth activity that I loved to do with my students to allow them the opportunity to connect themselves to a bigger world and to each other. It often resulted in comments like these: “My parents came to Chicago from Kosovo in 2000 because of a war.” “My great-great-great-great, or something, Valentin Schwartz, came from Prussia in 1871 to help rebuild Chicago after the Great Fire.” “My grandparents came to Chicago in 1968 from Mexico

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  • Paper in a Paperless classroom

    on Sep 10, 14 • in Educational Apps, Policy, Social Studies, Technology • with Comments

    ipad

    You may know me as a proponent of 1:1 digital technology in the classroom. But I begin my year with two traditional forms of learning: face to face communication and lots and lots of paper. Earlier in the summer I retweeted this comment found through an #edchat: “I teach critical thinking not apps.” This is true in a sense. It simultaneously gave me both frustration and an “aha” moment.  True, teachers should focus on skills and not the latest gizmo or exciting novelty for their classroom, but let us not make the mistake of thinking that apps are

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