Humanities Happenings

October 2015

Departmental updates...

It's hard to believe we're already preparing to carve pumpkins and the first grading period is drawing to an end. The year is off to a great start, and it's time to communicate a few highlights and updates to the entire Humanities K-12 family. For ease of reading, we have organized this SMORE into K-5 and 6-12 sections as appropriate. However, I'd encourage you to review what your peers at different grade levels are doing if you have some time to peek into their world.

K-5 Humanities Updates

  • The K-5 Humanities curriculum revision process is underway. The steering committee met on 9/30 to design the architecture of our new curriculum. The campus/grade level reps will meet on 10/20 (K-2) and 10/22 (3-5) to begin collaborating and building. Look for professional learning opportunities to come in the spring/summer with a full implementation in fall of 2017.
  • The new K-5 Social Studies instructional materials are mostly in their proper new homes. We are trouble shooting a few classrooms that don't have all they need, but we've made progress. Additionally, on October 14 from 3:15-5:30 we'll have Pearson reps in the district to train teachers on how to use the new materials most effectively. The K-2 teachers will meet in the GES Learning Commons (register here in Eduphoria: The 3-5th grade AND K-5 Dual Langauge teachers will meet in the HES Learning Commons (register here in Eduphoria: This will be the last district-sponsored training on the new materials. It will be nearly identical to the training which was provided to our teachers in July.
  • Cornerstone Tasks - Please make sure someone from your team is submitting a sample of your favorite/s Cornerstone Tasks at the conclusion of each unit. Many of you submitted them last year, but we'd like to see this year's samples as well! Here is the link. Thanks!

6-12th grade Humanities Updates

  • The 6-12 ELA and SS departments are working their way through their first units and the new shared design templates. A few success stories of cross-district collaboration with same course/grade peers have started to emerge. As PLTs plan their next units with greater clarity around the expectations, the design process will grow stronger. The main point is for teams of teachers to design units intentionally with the end in mind. The templates are merely the vehicle on which this design work can take place. This is the link to ELA and SS templates.
  • The 6-12 Social Studies instructional materials online access kinks are being worked out as we speak. I am told that Tuesday (10/13) student and teacher accounts should be active in about 95% of cases. Please login to your teacher accounts and have students do the same to check the functionality of our online resources. If problems are found, please email to report by October 20.
  • Remember that 6-12 ELA has new curriculum website portal for you to be using. It contains tons of good info for each unit.
  • Social Studies Leadership Team - In order to develop a leadership team of secondary Social Studies teachers, we have recruited a group of folks who will engage in some "above and beyond" learning experiences. This group of teachers will have some influence district decisions and training related to new instructional materials, scope and sequence enhancements/adjustments, and training provided to SS teachers. Please congratulate the following new members of this group: Brooke Teeter, Jarrod Irick, Kim Lackey, Leeta Battle, Lisa Smith, Megan Duckworth, Mickie Dozier, Renee Sloan, Sarah Thompson, Sherry David, Tim Bressler, Trelawny Shepherd, Valerie Kreag.


In an attempt to provide the best services to students, teachers, and campus staff, our department wants to hear from you. Please complete the following link by October 30. It will take about 5 minutes and will help us to better focus our work.


More Humanities Goodies...

GCISD Book Challenge

Have you kicked off the Challenge in your class/school? How are your students doing? How many books have they read? How are you keeping the energy alive? Are you modeling a love for reading for your students? Do you let them read in class every now and then? How do you let students share book talks with each other? What have YOU read lately???