Archive for the ‘Social Studies’ Category

  • Paper in a Paperless classroom

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


    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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  • A Call for National History Day

    on Sep 10, 14 • in Current Events in Education, Featured, Social Studies • with Comments


    All teachers search for that moment when what you do in the classroom raises administrators’ eyebrows, students’ hopes, and the goosebumps on our own skin. These pivotal moments in our interconnected lives show us – emotionally – that our job is more than just worksheets and pencil sharpeners; it’s changing lives. One of the most remarkable changes I’ve seen come into place has been through the National History Day program. Since so many people, including social studies teachers, don’t know much about it, this article will hopefully spell out some of what it is and what

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  • The Traveling Teacher: Rochester, NY

    on Aug 6, 14 • in Educator Professionalism, Featured, Instruction&Curriculum, Social Studies • with Comments

    Rochester, NY - photo by author Jake Miller

    First Philly. Then Denver. Then Montana. And now Rochester, NY – home to the Erie Canal, The Underground Railroad, Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass, and the beacon of the mid-19th century reform movement of America. What brought me here? The National Endowment for the Humanities runs their own version of a teacher summer seminar called NEH Summer Programs in the Humanities. Some of these seminars are as advanced as 4-week long treks in Europe, while others are shorter and domestic. Regardless, if you’d like to begin your own traveling teacher tour next year, I’d start

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  • 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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