Austin ISD Social Studies News

Vol. 10, November 2015

Welcome to 2015-2016 Austin ISD Social Studies!

We look forward to working with you throughout the school year to provide the highest-quality curriculum and instruction to our Austin ISD students! We are #AISDProud!


In this issue of our Austin ISD Social Studies Newsletter, we have included information about upcoming professional development opportunities inside Austin ISD as well as in the community, information about teacher and student opportunities such as the Great Thanksgiving Listen 2015, and highlighted online instructional materials. Also, please check out our updated social studies website!

Austin ISD Secondary Learning Opportunities

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Austin ISD Innovation Summit

Austin ISD hosts the inaugural Innovation Summit from 1–4 p.m. Nov. 14 at the AISD Performing Arts Center.


This summit features keynote speaker Will Richardson, a parent, educator, speaker, author and 12-year blogger passionate about transforming schools, classrooms, and learning.


This event will showcase innovative projects and transformative technology practices underway in Austin ISD.


Intended for teachers, leadership, students and community stakeholders, this event will highlight some of our most innovative early adopters, including Sarah Dille (Crockett High School), Adam Holman (Murchison Middle School) and Lana Stone (Govalle Elementary School).


You can register on HCP at this link.


For more information, please contact Technology Integration Specialist Amber Rinehart at 512-414-9514.

Learning Opportunities outside of AISD

2016 LRE Conference


The 2016 Law-Related Education Conference will be held January 29-30, 2016, at the Commons Learning Center at The University of Texas at Austin. This year’s theme is being developed in celebration of the 225th anniversary of the Bill of Rights.


Open to educators, supervisors, and regional service center personnel, the registration fee is $150.00 and includes breakfast and lunch, parking, and two days of fun and learning!


Register here.


Austin ISD Social Studies will cover the cost of substitutes for Austin ISD teachers to attend this 2-day event.

Upcoming Teacher Opportunities

NEH Summer Programs in the Humanities for Educators

Each year, National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) offers tuition-free opportunities for school, college, and university educators to study a variety of humanities topics. Stipends of $1,200-$3,900 help cover expenses for these one- to five-week programs.


To see the full list, check out this page.


For more information and application instructions, please visit the websites for individual programs.

Upcoming Student Opportunties

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Great Thanksgiving Listen

Open to everyone ages 13 and over, The Great Thanksgiving Listen is a national assignment to engage people of all ages in the act of listening. All that is needed to participate is a smartphone and the StoryCorps mobile app.

Recommended Online Resources

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Zoom In U.S. History Lessons

Zoom In is a free, Web-based platform that helps students build literacy and historical thinking skills through “deep dives” into primary and secondary sources.


Zoom In’s online learning environment features 18 content-rich U.S. history units that supplement your regular instruction and help you use technology to support students’ mastery of both content and skills required by the new, higher standards:


  • Reading documents closely and critically
  • Identifying author's point of view and purpose
  • Engaging in higher-order, text-based discussions
  • Writing explanatory and argumentative essays grounded in evidence


We would like to thank Laurie Beaman at Lanier High School for sharing this resource with us! If you come across any online resources that you think would benefit all students, please email me the link, tweet it to us, or share it on our Facebook page.

Austin ISD Secondary Social Studies

Middle School Specialist - David Levee

High School Specialist - Melanie Kirchhof


If you have any questions or comments, please contact us by one of the means below.


Also, if you enjoy receiving resources more frequently than once a month, follow us on Twitter @AISDSoc !