A Newsletter for the CCS K-12 Social Studies Community

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Volume 3, Issue 5, Spring 2017

Inside this edition:

  • PD Update: Google Galaxy - June 12-13, 2017
  • PD Update: Reimagine Conference for Middle & High School - June 14-15, 2017
  • Student Programs Update: YMCA Youth & Government
  • Student Programs Update: Ohio History Day State Competition
  • Curriculum Update: Ohio as America Grant for Grade 4 Teachers
  • Curriculum Update: New CCS Social Studies Course Sites Launching in July
  • Digital Resources: G-Suite Education and the New Google Sites


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PD Update: Google Galaxy - June 12-13, 2017

Come learn about all things Google! Google Classroom, Google Apps, G-Suite, Extensions, Add-ons and so much more! Door prizes such as HyperDoc Handbooks and The Google Apps Guidebook will be awarded. The school with the most teachers attending June 12th and the school with the most teachers attending June 13th will win a classroom set (30) of Google Cardboards! A teacher on June 12th and a teacher on June 13th will win a classroom set (30) of Google Cardboards! See the schedule by clicking on the above tabs.

See more information on the Google Galaxy website.

For June 12, you will need to sign-up on CiMS for a.m. and p.m. sessions (.3 CEUs each).

Search activity number: 1000025401(a.m.) and 1000025402 (p.m.).

For June 13, you will sign-up for the full day. (.6 CEus). Search activity number: 1000025408

Social Studies Coordinators Matt Doran and Lynda Ray will offer sessions on both days:

June 12

  • Google 101 - a.m. session with Lynda Ray
  • Google 102 - a.m. session with Matt Doran
  • Google 102 - p.m. session with Matt Doran
  • Google 102 - p.m. session with Lynda Ray

June 13

  • Create with Google: Free Technology Curriculum for 7-12 with Lynda Ray
  • Student Voice: Using Google Classroom to Facilitate Civil Discourse with Lynda Ray
  • Creating Interactive Lessons with Hypderdocs with Matt Doran
  • Building Timelines and Story Maps with Google Sheets and Knight Lab's Open Source Tools with Matt Doran

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PD Update: Reimagine Conference for Middle & High School Teachers - June 14-15, 2017

The Office of Teaching and Learning is hosting the Reimagine Conference 2017 on June 14-15. The conference is designed to spark secondary teachers to reimagine middle and high school instruction and learn innovative strategies on how to engage students at high levels through personalization, differentiation, and individualization to increase student achievement.

In addition to the general sessions on teaching and learning, the following sessions will be targeted toward social studies teachers:

  • DBQs: Evidence-Based Writing for All Students - Imali Kent, The DBQ Project
    This session will provide strategies for teaching with the DBQ Project's Mini-Q's in World History, American History, and Civics for Grades 7-12. A binder of DBQs will be included for each participant ($325 value). In addition, participants will learn about the new robust DBQ Online platform.

  • Project Citizen - Ryan Suskey, Ohio Center for Law-Related Education
    Project Citizen is an interdisciplinary curricular program for middle and high school students that promotes competent and responsible participation in local and state government. Students work cooperatively to identify a public policy problem in their community. They then research the problem, evaluate alternative solutions, develop their own solution in the form of a public policy, and create a political action plan. Project Citizen materials will be provided.

  • We the People - Ryan Suskey, Ohio Center for Law-Related Education
    We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution Program promotes civic competence and responsibility among middle and high school students. We the People's relevant content and the simulated congressional hearing make teaching and learning exciting for both students and teachers. We the People materials will be provided.

  • Developing Assessments with Edcite, Julia Sweeney, Edcite
    Edcite provides a free open-source platform that allows teachers to create and administer formative and summative assessments using dozens of different item types. Edcite's collections include hundreds of items aligned with Ohio's Social Studies Standards.

Registration is now available on CiMS (search activity number 1000025411). A stipend will be paid to attendees of $100 per day and the conference is limited to 400 people and slots are filling up fast. Registration ends May 22!

Call for Presenters

A major component of the conference is to hear from practicing teachers about ideas that work. If you have an idea or strategy that works, tied to a strand, and is innovative, we want to hear from you!

If interested in presenting, and earning a stipend of either $50 or $125, please review the conference outline and complete the application here. Applications are due by Friday, May 12, 2017. Applications will be reviewed by a committee and presenters will be selected based on alignment to conference outline expectations and topics of need.


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Student Programs Update: Youth & Government

The Ohio YMCA's Youth & Government Program enhances development of the American democratic process for young people through participatory training in the theory and practice of the Ohio state government. Teens in the program learn about the legislative process, how to write and research bills, and how to participate in elections. Their work culminates in serving as delegates at the state conference, debating bills on the floor of the legislature.

Students from Mifflin HS, Northland, International, South, CAHS, and Whetstone participated in this year’s annual Youth Assembly March 30 - April 1. Mifflin Senior Ishmael Cody-Harvell had the distinguished role of elected Governor for the program. For many seniors, this was the fourth year participating in the Youth Assembly and they were honored with graduation cords. Several students also successfully guided their bills through committee and passage by the full assembly.

If you would like more information on YMCA Youth & Government, please contact Lynda Ray.

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Student Programs Update: Ohio History Day State Competition

Ohio History Day is an affiliate of National History Day (NHD), an exciting program that makes history come alive for students. Students learn history by doing history.

CCS students were recognized for their outstanding History Day projects at the State History Day competition held April 29 at Ohio Wesleyan University.

In the Senior Division, ten students from Whetstone HS competed in the state competition after advancing from the regional competition in March. Three students, Grace Djaodo, Lily Lu and Verich Luu, will advance to the national competition at the University of Maryland, June 11-15. Their group exhibit, the Impressionist Movement, captured second place. All first and second place winners qualify for the national contest. Congratulations to Grace, Lily, and Verich and their teachers, Kathy Arnold and Krista Buckley!

In the Youth Division, students from Columbus Gifted Academy, Weinland Park and Stewart Elementary competed. CCS had Medal and Honorable Mention winners in every category. The teacher advisors for Youth Division History Day are Lynda Ray and Maya Marlowe (Weinland Park), Deborah Ferrell (Columbus Gifted Academy), Christine Weatherholtz, Dorina Kramer, and Jennifer Guilliams (Stewart Elementary).

For more information on Youth Division History Day in CCS contact Christine Weatherholtz.

Pictured below: Group Exhibit Medal Winners from Stewart and Performance and Exhibit Medal winners from Weinland Park.

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Curriculum Update: Ohio as American Honda Grant for Grade 4 Teachers

Due to a generous contribution from Honda, the Ohio History Connection is able to offer a limited number of 4th grade social studies classrooms a free 1-year subscription to Ohio as America for the 2017-2018 school year and free admission to the Ohio as America Professional Development Institute on July 31 and August 1, 2017. To learn more about the Ohio as America Professional Development Institute, please visit our Professional Development page.

Schools located in Allen, Auglaize, Champaign, Clark, Drake, Delaware, Franklin, Hardin, Logan, Madison, Mercer, Miami, Shelby and Union counties are invited to apply. Applications for admittance to this program are due May 12, 2017. Schools will be selected by criteria including, but not limited to, location, enrollment, subscription status and capacity to successfully implement online textbooks.

The Honda Grant is for 4th grade social studies teachers ONLY.

In order to receive a free 1-year subscription to Ohio as America, applicants must be able to attend the full two-day Ohio as America Professional Development Institute on July 31st and August 1st.

Please direct all questions to Alexandria Halmbacher at


Curriculum Update: New Social Studies Course Sites Launching July 2017

For 2017-2018, the resources currently available on the Social Studies Teachers Hub on Blackboard and the Social Studies Instructional Resource Portal on the CCS website, will be migrated to new Course Sites, available through CCS Google Sites. Each grade level and high school course will have an individual website, linked from the main Social Studies Department website. To log-in to Course Sites, you will need to use your CCS Google sign-in (same as your email address and password).

The main curriculum documents--Curriculum Maps, Clear Learning Targets, and "I Can" Checklists will remain on the publicly accessible Social Studies Department website. Course Sites will launch in July 2017 and continue to be updated through the summer and school year.


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CCS G-Suite for Education and the New Google Sites

Did you know that your CCS email address works as a Google sign-in? CCS is a G-Suite for Education (formerly Google Apps for Education) site. Go to (not and sign-in with your CCS email address (including the and password. You have unlimited file storage in Google Drive. You also have access to a full suite of Google Apps including Docs, Forms, Slides, Sheets, Sites, Google Classroom, YouTube, and more.

Google Sites has recently released an updated version that provides a better web-design experience - visually appealing layouts and drag-and-drop editor. The New Google Sites is also integrated into the Google Drive storage system. To get started with the New Google Sites, go to:


Columbus City Schools Social Studies

Mission: Support, build capacity, and empower all members of the teaching and learning community to increase student achievement

Matt Doran, 6-12 Social Studies Coordinator

Lynda Ray, K-5 Social Studies Coordinator

Chris Weatherholtz, K-5 Science/Social Studies Coordinator