Social Studies Insider

October 2019

Don't Forget to Check Google Classroom!

Continue to check Google Classroom for news and updates. In addition, feel free to share resources, ideas, photos, and lesson victories when possible. I appreciate all teachers who have joined, contributed, and communicated via the Social Studies Google Classrooms. Please continue to use the google classroom to seek answers to various content-based questions/concerns, gather and share content based resources, and receive updated news on various social studies initiatives.
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Social Studies Content Specialist Request Form

In an effort to better support you, I'd love the opportunity to join you in your classroom and/or during your planning. Please feel free to request a classroom visit. I am here to help in any way possible. If interested, please complete the form below by clicking on the button.

Social Studies Digital Resource Tools

Attention all social studies teachers: If you know of a great digital resource that helps elevate your social studies lessons and should be added to the Digital Resource Tools List, please share that with phillip.sykes@cowetaschools.net or via your district social studies Google Classroom. Content Specialists are constantly looking for helpful "go-to" tools that will help increase 21st-century skills, created genuine engagement, and immerse students in opportunities that require critical thinking. To access the current list, please click the button below.
New to the List this Month: The Fiscal Ship Game

The Fiscal Ship challenges you to put the federal budget on a sustainable course. Measured as a share of gross domestic product, the federal debt is higher than at any time since the end of World War II and projected to climb to unprecedented levels. America is looking at a permanent, growing mismatch between revenues and spending, and policymakers are faced with difficult decisions about how to reconcile important government priorities—including retirement and health benefits promised to the growing number of old folks—with the tax revenues that the current tax code will yield. Today’s tax code won’t yield enough revenue to pay for basic services of government plus the retirement and health benefits promised to the growing number of old folks. So your mission is to pick from a menu of tax and spending options to reduce the debt from projected levels over the next 25 years. Small changes to spending and taxes won’t suffice. The choices are difficult, but the goal is achievable. But budget decisions aren’t only about fiscal sustainability. They also shape the kind of country we live in. To win the game, you need to find a combination of policies that match your values and priorities AND set the budget on a sustainable course.

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Hands-On Resource: Index of Economic Freedom

Teachers looking to compare and contrast various aspects of freedom can utilize the Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom site to explore, manipulate, and analyze the way of life in various regions of the world. The site allows teachers and students to select GSE-based focus countries for comparison. Colorful maps and graphs are used to help present economic data to students in a way that is exciting, relevant, and easy to read for any learner. Click on the image below to access the Index of Economic Freedom.

GimKit 4.0 Debuting this Month

Click the image to find out the updates and improvements coming to GimKit. If you need assistance with GimKit, please reach out to me. I will be happy to help develop and demonstrate how to utilize this extremely engaging and exciting new review resource.
https://www.google.com/search?q=gimkit+4.0&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwifnbKKjfTkAhWldN8KHaO6DC8Q_AUIEygC&biw=1242&bih=539&safe=active&ssui=on#imgrc=AmaKoic2NBCa4M:

Clever Sign-In Access for Discovery Education is Coming

We are working to activate the Discovery Ed. app within Clever. Discovery Ed. has been significantly updated and provides an infinite number of lesson plans, activities, teaching strategies, virtual field trips, videos, and much more. We are hoping to have everything established by the end of the first week of October. An update will be sent out via the Google Classroom when this resource is established and ready for use by CCSS teachers.
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Scholarship Opportunity for Middle & High School Students

The VFW is dedicated to promoting patriotism and investing in our future generation. If you know of a democracy-loving high school student interested in a $30,000 college scholarship or a patriotic middle school student interested in winning $5,000, these scholarships spark interest in your students.


Voice of Democracy

Established in 1947, our Voice of Democracy audio-essay program provides high school students with the unique opportunity to express themselves in regards to a democratic and patriotic-themed recorded essay. Each year, nearly 40,000 9-12 grade students from across the country enter to win their share of $2.1 million in educational scholarships and incentives awarded through the program.


The national first-place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship paid directly to the recipient’s American university, college or vocational/technical school. A complete list of other national scholarships range from $1,000-$16,000, and the first-place winner from each VFW Department (state) wins a minimum scholarship of $1,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. Want to apply? Read the rules and eligibility requirements, then download and complete the 2019-20 entry form. All student entries must be submitted to a sponsoring local VFW Post by midnight, Oct. 31.

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Spotlighting Excellence

Tami Merry, Northside Elementary School, 2nd Grade:

Mrs. Merry has taught in Coweta since 2002. She currently serves as the science and social studies teacher for 2nd grade at Northside. She is also the 2nd grade team leader, and she led Camp Invention during the summer at Northside.Tami brings a strong passion for creating connections and relationships with her students and parents. She wants every student to succeed and to feel accomplished. She wants all of her students to believe in themselves and to know that she is an advocate for them. Tami constantly seeks to grow in her profession. She works diligently to lead her students in activities and strategies that will engage them and provide them with connections to their real life.

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Melissa Houghton, Maggie Brown Middle School, Social Studies 6-8:

Ms. Houghton has served faithfully the middle school students of Coweta through the alternative school for 15 years. She has a passion for working with the students that often get overlooked or seen as problems in the traditional classroom. Her personal philosophy is that every student has the potential to find success through perseverance. She has high expectations for all of her students and refuses to let them give up themselves. Ms. Houghton works diligently to plan lessons for each student from 6th grade to 8th grade that meets each child at their own level and also challenges them to go beyond what they thought they could do. Teaching at Maggie Brown requires a bit of thinking outside the box. As technology has become more accessible across the county, Ms. Houghton has been a major player in helping the students and teachers at Maggie Brown become comfortable with the new resources available. She is a team player and is always willing to assist her fellow staff members in any way that she can. Ms. Houghton is always eager to participate in the professional learning opportunities through her school and across the county and state. She sees these opportunities as ways to enrich her lessons and improve the learning experiences of her students. Over the years, she has served on the county’s Professional Learning Advisory Committee and serves as the chair for the school’s Charitable Giving Campaign.

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Angela Dettmering, Winston Dowdell Academy, Social Studies 9-12:

Mrs. Dettmering is in her second year of teaching social studies classes at Winston Dowdell Academy. At the current time, Ms. Dettmering teachers grades 9 - 12 in both the morning and afternoon sessions. She is extremely organized, prepared, and hard working. When you walk in her room it is evident that her students are being challenged on a daily basis. She has rapidly become a valuable part of the Winston Dowdell Academy family. She is an excellent teacher who goes above and beyond to serve her students and the staff at Winston Dowdell Academy.

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Attention Elementary School Teachers:

Additional professional development opportunities are located within the section titled Professional Development for All.


Follow Up From First Curriculum Meeting:

If you missed the first Social Studies Curriculum Meeting and would like to view the presentation, click the following link: https://app.nearpod.com/?pin=vftyu&_branch_match_id=706150861436566085


Kindergarten Teachers:

Looking for great resources to help teach the holidays to your students? Need additional resources and teaching strategies to provide engaging social studies lessons to students? Give Georgia Public Broadcasting's & PBS Learning's educational resources a look. Click on the following link to access the "All About the Holidays"


Grades 3-5 Gallopade Translate Feature:

Do you have students who need translation assistance? Click on the following link to access specific instruction that will guide you to translating the Clickbook into various languages for students. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1L2DLp5jVnCoaPNBanuMdgEw1aCgixZoJGm-KSdE4v_I/edit


Grades 3-5 Accessing Your Students' Gallopade Written Responses within Clickbook:

Looking for a refresher on how to access your students' written responses within the Clickbook platform? Click on the following link for a video tutorial: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vw8HzfWllZ5nE2GJNoA7oVhcwukVSCro/view


Elementary Curriculum Meeting Info:

Below are the current dates. I may change the grade levels based on feedback from September's Curriculum meeting. Be on the look out for the updated schedule.

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Attention Middle School Teachers:

Additional professional development opportunities are located within the section titled Professional Development for All.


PBS Learning:

This free resource will allow you a treasure trove of resources. Check out the 60-Second President resource that can help provide students the background information behind the presidents who served during the various time periods being taught. Please view the other resources provided as well! For site access, click on the following link:

http://www.gpb.org/education/resources/subject/social-studies


Gallopade Translate Feature:

Do you have students who need translation assistance? Click on the following link to access specific instruction that will guide you to translating the Clickbook into various languages for students. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1L2DLp5jVnCoaPNBanuMdgEw1aCgixZoJGm-KSdE4v_I/edit


Accessing Your Students' Gallopade Written Responses within Clickbook:

Looking for a refresher on how to access your students' written responses within the Clickbook platform? Click on the following link for a video tutorial: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vw8HzfWllZ5nE2GJNoA7oVhcwukVSCro/view


Middle School Meetings Info:

Please look at your calendars and plan to join fellow district middle school social studies teachers each month for "middle grades tailored" professional learning. This is a great opportunity to communicate, collaborate, and create consistency across the district. Meeting locations will be held at WERZ, Central Office and begin around 4 pm. Our next meeting will be held October 23rd, see you then!

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Attention High School Teachers:

Additional professional development opportunities are located within the section titled Professional Development for All.


Active Classroom: Potential High School Digital Resource

Are you looking for predeveloped resources, activities, and assessments? If so, consider signing up for Active Classroom's FREE 30-day trial. The platform will give all social studies content areas access to predeveloped powerpoints, primary resources, images, maps, activities, and assessments that can be used to supplement your classroom instruction. If you sign up for the FREE trial, please contact me and let me know your thoughts. I am actively looking for a digital resource that can be acquired by the district to support the needs of all high school teachers and students. If interested in registering for a FREE 30-day trial, click the link below.

https://go.socialstudies.com/active-classroom-30-day-free-trial-1


Civic Engagement Diploma Seal Program

Please begin advertising this program to students. Last year, East Coweta High School honored several seniors who accomplished the criteria required in order to gain diploma endorsement. I would love to see more Coweta students gain this recognition.

Criteria and Application Information


Attention Government and Economics Teachers- Give the "Fiscal Ship" a Try:

The Fiscal Ship challenges you to put the federal budget on a sustainable course. Measured as a share of gross domestic product, the federal debt is higher than at any time since the end of World War II and projected to climb to unprecedented levels. America is looking at a permanent, growing mismatch between revenues and spending, and policymakers are faced with difficult decisions about how to reconcile important government priorities—including retirement and health benefits promised to the growing number of old folks—with the tax revenues that the current tax code will yield. Today’s tax code won’t yield enough revenue to pay for basic services of government plus the retirement and health benefits promised to the growing number of old folks. So your mission is to pick from a menu of tax and spending options to reduce the debt from projected levels over the next 25 years. Small changes to spending and taxes won’t suffice. The choices are difficult, but the goal is achievable.

But budget decisions aren’t only about fiscal sustainability. They also shape the kind of country we live in. To win the game, you need to find a combination of policies that match your values and priorities AND set the budget on a sustainable course.

http://fiscalship.org/

Network Connectors

Looking to connect with others in the Social Studies field? Utilize the links below to connect with various organizations that may provide expertise and resources to better your professional networks.


Connect with Georgia's virtual learning community for Social Studies

Georgia Council for the Social Studies

Georgia Council on Economic Education

Georgia Historical Society

Georgia WWI Commission

National Council for History Education

Newnan-Coweta Historical Society

Professional Learning for All

S3Strategies Presents: Revving Review U.S. History EOCT Prep

Wednesday, Oct. 2nd, 8:30am-3:30pm

Werz Industrial Boulevard

Newnan, GA

Maximize student achievement on the Georgia Milestone Assessments in U.S. History through the use of learner-centered strategies designed to not only review but also diagnose student knowledge gaps. Activate higher-ordered thinking and require students to make applications and connections. Challenge students to understand the significance of the events and identified individuals in the Georgia Standards of Excellence. Experience and receive intensive review materials designed to support student retention of the critical content and necessary skills to build student comfort and confidence. These materials energize teachers to equip their students to peak their test scores.


Want to Register? Click Here

Georgia Council for the Social Studies Conference

Thursday, Oct. 10th, 8am to Friday, Oct. 11th, 2pm

300 North Thomas Street

Athens, GA

Register today! Don't miss this professional learning opportunity that provides insight and resources focusing around the Georgia Standards of Excellence in Social Studies.


You may register online by visiting www.gcss.net.

Historical Thinking + Literacy = K-5 Social Studies Labs

Wednesday, Oct. 16th, 9am-3:30pm

99 Brown School Drive

Grantville, GA

Join West Georgia RESA as they host JoAnn Wood from the DOE explore historical thinking and literacy. During this interactive workshop, teachers will learn how to dissect a good history lab​ for primary grades to examine its anatomy. Teachers will experiment with a sample lab and then cook up their own, making sure to mix their history activities thoroughly with literacy skills.​


Want to register? Click Here

Bringing Excitement Back to Your Middle and High School Social Studies Classes (Grades 6-12)

Thursday, Sep. 26th, 9pm

99 Brown School Drive

Grantville, GA

ATTENTION: 5 Seats Remaining


Join teachers from our region at West Georgia RESA for an exciting workshop that will leave you energized and ready to teach social studies. In this interactive session, teachers will work with Joy Hatcher, GaDOE Social Studies Program Manager, to meet your daily required dose of inquiry and keep students on their mental toes. Ideas and resources for infusing inquiry and banishing apathy in grades 6-12 will be shared; bring your own and take home some new ones.


Want to Register? Click Here

GCEE Financial Literacy for Middle Grades

Thursday, Nov. 7th, 8:30-10:30am

Werz Industrial Boulevard

Newnan, GA

While only a small portion of the middle school Georgia Standards of Excellence, personal financial literacy is a lifelong skill-set that can – and should – be taught at multiple ages. This workshop delivers content and new lesson plans written by Georgia teachers designed to engage middle school students and help them understand personal financial literacy from a variety of angles.


FYI: Substitute Costs will be reimbursed and lunch will be provided.


Want to register? Click Here

GCEE Decostar Factory Tour and Workshop (Grades 6-12)

Monday, Nov. 18th, 8:30am-3:30pm

Carrollton, GA, USA

Carrollton, GA

Decostar, is a division of Canadian-based Magna, a diversified automotive supplier. In the Carrollton facility, Decostar manufactures and paints automotive front and rear fascia and bumpers for Mercedes, BMW, Nissan and Volkswagen. This workshop will feature a tour of the facility in addition to demos of lessons from GCEE’s popular American Made series of lessons.


FYI: Substitute Costs will be reimbursed and lunch will be provided.


Want to register? Click Here

Comments, Concerns, Questions?

Please contact Phil Sykes, Social Studies Content Specialist, with any questions, comments, or concerns.