Austin ISD Social Studies News

Vol. 6, April 2015

Austin ISD Secondary Summer Learning Opportunities

History Alive! Putting Strategies into Practice

June 23-24, Anderson HS, Section#: SOS.77216


Totally Texas: Summer 2015 (7th grade only)

June 23-24, Bob Bullock Museum, Section# SOS.77231


Awesome America (8th grade only)

July 15-16, O. Henry MS, Section#: SOS.77233


Reading Like a Historian: Multiple Points of View

July 22, Small MS, Section#: SOS.77196


Social Studies SEL Integration (Middle School)

July 27, Science Health Resource Center(SHRC), Section# SOS.77218

Exploring our New Instructional Materials!

High School Sessions

June 25, Bowie High School

9-12 Section# SOS.77226

1-4 Section# SOS.77303


Middle School Sessions

June 25, Covington Middle School

9-12: Section#: SOS.77223

1-4: Section#: SOS.77301


July 7, O. Henry Middle School

9-12: Section# SOS.77224

1-4: Section# SOS.77304


July 28, Sadler Means YWLA

9-12: Section# SOS.77225

1-4: Section# SOS.77402

Additional Professional Learning Opportunities

Hemispheres: Autocrats, Despots, and Tyrants: Oh My! - Dictators of Eastern & Western Europe

UT / Austin, TX

Saturday, May 16, 2015

9:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

For Texas K-12 Teachers and Pre-Service Teachers, Registration for this event is required.


Hemispheres: Down the Rabbit Hole: Adventures in World Literature and Social Studies

UT / Austin, TX

June 9-12, 2015

Registration of $100 includes on-campus parking, continental breakfast, lunch most days, handouts and materials, and admission/tour fees.


FTE: Economics for Leaders

UT / Austin, TX ($150 commuter stipend!)

June 14-19, 2015

Refundable deposit of $200 due with application


I attended this training about 7 years ago, and it was one of the top 5 trainings I have been to. You get to see economics professors teaching rising high school seniors and then discuss how to incorporate the economics ideas into lessons with certified economics teachers. All lunches included. I strongly encourage any teacher who wishes to add more economics into his/her lessons to attend this training!


TCEE: Smarter Texas Economics Conference

Hotel Contessa / San Antonio, TX

June 18-19, 2015

Registration of $175 for four meals, reception, over $200 in materials including new and improved Virtual Economics v.4.5! with additional books, strategies and GB space.


ArcGIS: Online Mapping for Teachers

Texas State University / San Marcos, TX

June 24-26, 2015

If registration accepted, it's a $35 registration fee. Upon completion of the workshop you are eligible for a $125 stipend. Lunches, snacks, and parking are included for all 3 days.


Hands-on experience * Field trip * Instructional materials * CPE credits available

As part of the ConnectEd Initiative, Esri is donating ArcGIS Online Organization accounts, for instructional use, for free to any US K-12 school, http://connected.esri.com. In this workshop you will learn ways to use ArcGIS Online to integrate technology and support geography content in your classroom. This workshop will guide you through the creation and use of digital maps as a teaching tool relevant to the social studies content and skills in support of the TEKS.

Online Resources

Check out Hstry.co - a site where students can build and check out community timelines about a variety of topics - and April is Ancient Rome month


C-Span's Classroom Deliberations offers primary source clips and articles as well as lesson plans and activity ideas to support student deliberation on current issues, such as "Should the U.S. Government Approve the Building of the Keystone XL Pipeline?"


Texas Alliance for Geographic Education has online learning units that you can access which contain resources for all geographic topics. Spotlight: "A World Transformed: The Geography of Southeast Asia"

Instructional Resource Spotlight: Historical Scene Investigation (HSI)

The HSI instructional model consists of the following four steps:

  • Becoming a Detective
  • Investigating the Evidence
  • Searching for Clues
  • Cracking the Case


Students use primary sources as evidence, guiding questions to help them analyze "clues", and must present their final answer with rationale supported by evidence.


HSI is an example of PBL, in this case, "Problem"-Based Learning. Our district is moving toward PBL, and this is a good instructional resource to begin preparing our students for actual "Project"-Based learning.


The website has all of the resources for teachers and students for a variety of historical investigations including the Constitution Controversy, School Desegregation, Antonio a Slave, Bacon's Rebellion, and Dropping the Bomb.


The investigations curated on the site would best support 8th and 11th grade U.S. History teachers, but the instructional strategy should be used in all Social Studies classes.


If you'd like support from our office in using one of the investigations or in creating your own, please contact either Melanie or David.

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 !