The Digital Broadside
News You Can Use
Congratulations to Freeman and Glen Allen for We The People
This year, we had two schools get more training on We The People, so hopefully we will have our first middle school team next year and more high school competitors.
But in April, all teachers will have access and from then, you'll see how things are being organized.
This is the analogy I'm using with this tool:
I want folks to think of Schoology as a place like Starbucks, where you can go for an hour, join up with folks, talk, and get work done. I don’t want Schoology to be a soda machine. See the difference?
I asked a group of Social Studies teachers from across the country who use Schoology about their thoughts on it as an instructional tool, and I got 63 responses. Of those, 48 said it, "has greatly improved my social studies classroom."
Elementary and Secondary Education Act
As you may remember, all designated funding for the social studies was eliminated five years ago when the ban on Congressional earmarks was enacted. A small grant awarded to the Center for Civic Education through the Supporting Effective Educator Development program this year and represents the entire federal contribution to effective instruction in the social studies in five years. But with Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), that can change.
Specifically, ESSA creates:
- a competitive grant program for nonprofit organizations to run intensive, 2 to 6 week long academies in American history, civics and government for high school students and for teachers;
- a competitive grant program for non-profit organizations to develop and disseminate innovative approaches to offering high quality instruction in American history, civics, government and geography for underserved students;
- local education agencies (ie, school districts) are required to use a certain percentage of their federal money on coursework that supports a well-rounded education. LEAs can choose from a list of subjects that includes history, civics, economics and geography as well as foreign languages, the arts, and other subjects; and
- a new research and innovation fund is created that allows LEAs, in conjunction with nonprofit organizations, to apply for funding to create, implement, replicate, or take to scale entrepreneurial, evidence-based, field-initiated innovations to improve student achievement and attainment for high-need students. Innovations in teaching social studies are eligible for grants.
What Happened to Joy
The "N" is key
Free Christmas/Historical Tours
Check it out here.... December 13, 2016.
2015 Curriculum Framework
On November 19, 2015, the Virginia Board of Education accepted for first review the proposed revised 2015 History and Social Science Standards of Learning Curriculum Framework. This document is being reviewed and revised to reflect the new 2015 History and Social Science Standards of Learning adopted by the Virginia Board of Education on March 26, 2015.
The Virginia Board of Education is now seeking public comment on the proposed revised 2015 Standards of Learning Curriculum Framework. The Standards of Learning at the top of each page have already been approved by the Board of Education, with changes indicated by text that has been underlined or stricken. The proposed changes to the curriculum framework are indicated with underlines for additions and strikethroughs for deletions. The proposed revised 2015 History and Social Science Standards of Learning Curriculum Framework can be accessed on the Department of Education’s Web site. Public comment will be taken until December 21, 2015.
Click here for instructions on where to leave comments.
Student Writing Contest for the Library of Virginia
Virginia students in grades 6–12 are invited to honor outstanding women in Virginia history by participating in the Library of Virginia's Virginia Women in History student writing contest. Four winning essays will be chosen, two from students in grades 6–8, and two from students in grades 9–12.
“My passion for dance and culture focuses on serving the community and making our world a better place to live.”
I asked the LVA for clarification on the prompt, for those who don't dance, and they said, "The quote itself is from Ana King, and dance is her medium, so we didn’t change that. However, reading further into the prompt you will find references to serving the community through educational initiatives and being a cultural ambassador. Also, the ultimate questions we are looking to get answered, as stated in the prompt are based on what the student is passionate about and identifying someone in their own community who uses his or her interests and enthusiasm to make the community a better place.
So while Ana King’s example is focused on dance, the later language of the prompt moves pretty quickly to community service."
The National History Club (NHC) has a Fall Newsletter, which features more than 20+ interesting Chapter accounts from the past few months. The front-page article is written by long-time History Club Advisor Tom Siefring, from the United Nations International School in New York. Additionally, there is information on the 3rd annual "Lessons of Leadership" contest, which is being co-sponsored once again by The HBE Foundation and the NHC.
Freedom Foundation/Summer 2016 Opportunities
It does cost money. Click here for info.
National History Bee
The National History Bee is an exciting social studies competition for students who love learning, competing, and having fun! Participating students progress from the school level to the regional level and finally to the National Finals where one student is crowned the National History Bee Champion!
What makes the National History Bee unique? Unlike other activities, participants in the National History Bee compete head-to-head to be the first to “buzz-in” with the correct answer. What results is a competition that tests a student’s knowledge in a fun and exciting way! For more information about the specific stages of the National History Bee, click here.
This year, the regional competition will be at Fairfield Middle School.
Let me know if you create a team!
NEH Summer Programs in the Humanities for School and College Educators
The Chinese Exclusion Act and Immigration in America
Deadline: March 1, 2016
Dates: July 10 – July 22, 2016 (2 weeks)
Project Director(s): Jack (John Kuo Wei) Tchen and Joy Liu
Location: New York, NY
Gilder Lehrman Summer Institutes
Deadline to submit your application: February 29, 2016.
Digital resources for SOL courses including state guidelines, online textbooks, and other resources to use in the classroom.
They are free and in PDF format. Download them and see how you can use them in class.
Bill of Rights Resources
Within the half-billion pages of records in the care of the Center for Legislative Archives, there are some special treasures from the First Congress that show how the ratification of the Constitution necessitated the creation of the Bill of Rights, and how the creation of the Bill of Rights, in turn, completed the Constitution. The remarkable story of the relationship between two of our Charters of Freedom is told in Congress Creates the Bill of Rights.
Congress Creates the Bill of Rights consists of three elements: an eBook, a mobile app for tablets, and online resources for teachers and students. Each provides a distinct way of exploring how the First Congress proposed amendments to the Constitution in 1789.
"Republicans contend that the 2016 election will be about Americans’ desire for change after eight years of a Democratic president. Democrats hope the election will tell a different story of change: a continued march toward a more diverse electorate that is ever more hostile to the GOP’s Electoral College fortunes.
We’ve built an interactive tool to help you draw your own conclusions about whether, as is often said, demographics truly are destiny. You can use it to see how changes in turnout and partisanship within five demographic groups would affect the outcome of the 2016 election. Paying homage to the BBC’s iconic tracker of vote swings in British parliamentary elections, we’re calling it the 2016 Swing-O-Matic. Check it out:"
Which Came First
Students would read both letters and write why they think one comes first. These forces them to justify an opinion.
You can use these letters or find your own, they aren't difficult to find. This can be done as a classroom activity or an alternative assessment.
I recently went to a session about teaching vocabulary, and the presenter gave the following tips:
- Find 10-15 words you really want to focus on for the unit. They can be general words related to social studies, e.g. boycott, or content specific like Declaration of Independence.
- Create Essential Understandings based on these words, e.g., "the colonists started a boycott against British goods as a tool for protest." These Essential Understandings can contain more than one of the words you chose. Also, teach these Essential Understandings in an order that makes sense for the unit you are teaching.
- Create essential questions that use these words, "How did boycotts affect colonial life?"
- Use the vocabulary words in one of three ways: definition, example, or contrast. For example, you can simply define "boycott." Or, give an example for students of a boycott. Last, you can contrast it, e.g. patriots boycotted while Loyalists did not. It's best if you do all three. Students need to be exposed to these words 8 - 10 times in the unit.
- Find primary sources that use these words.
- Use flash cards, online flash cards, crossword puzzles, graphic organizers. Students need different types of contact with these words.
Trivia and Other Balderdash
Trivia 2015 - 2016: Teachers- 6 and Me- 5
Which battle did General Washington win by using part of a pine tree?
No one got this... this is William Washington, a cousin of George. He defeated the Loyalist Colonel Rowland Rugeley and his followers in Rugeley’s house and barn near Camden, South Carolina, on this day in 1780 by using a fake log that looked like a giant cannon.
But to be fair, I'm not going to count it. I typed "General" when it should have been "Colonel."
A mystery from history:
- Originally, it was Amazon
- It's not about pizza
- It could have been a Sherlock Holmes case
Podcasting and Learning
Podcasting is transforming to an amazing venue for storytelling. While podcasts range on many topics, many historical, some are fictitious or investigative.
Last year, Serial hit the Internet in a big way investigating the murder of Hae Min Lee and Adnan Syed, who was imprisoned for her murder.
This year, it's about Bowe Bergdahl and started on Dec. 10 with one episode a week to learn more about this case.
Click here for the Podcast.