The Palmetto Focus

South Carolina Council for the Social Studies

South Carolina Council for the Social Studies

The South Carolina Council for the Social Studies (SCCSS) is a professional organization for persons interested in any aspect of social studies instruction. Affiliated with the National Council for the Social Studies, SCCSS offers its members the opportunity to share in the development of ideas and programs with educators from the state, southeastern region and the nation.

The goals of the SCCSS are to promote higher standards in social studies curriculum and instruction for the schools of South Carolina; to promote a closer professional relationship among the teachers of social studies in the state; and to represent the social studies profession in South Carolina.


Welcome to the Palmetto Focus. Each month we will be sending you information about the latest professional development opportunities, lesson resources, vendor spotlights, and member spotlights. This is YOUR newsletter and we want to make it worthwhile for YOU! Please let us know about lesson ideas, field studies, and SS tidbits! Also make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
Big image

Call for Officer Nominations

The following positions are up for election in 2016:

1. President-Elect (6 year Commitment)

  • The President-Elect shall act as President in the absence of the President or in the temporary inability of the President to serve.
  • The President-Elect shall assume the presidency in case of the removal or resignation of the President
  • The President-Elect shall oversee the planning and implementation of the Annual Meeting(s)
  • The President-Elect shall assume the office of Presidency upon completion of the term of the President

2. Vice-President (2 year Commitment)

  • The Vice President shall chair the membership committee and perform any other duties prescribed by the Executive Committee.

3. Secretary (2 Year Commitment)

  • The Secretary shall keep an accurate account of all organization proceedings including Executive Committee meetings and shall make the minutes available to the body at its next regular meeting.
  • The Secretary shall oversee elections, including nominations, distribution of ballots, and verification of eligibility, and certification of results.

If you are interested in nominating someone or submitting a self-nomination for any of these positions fill out this form or email Jeff Eargle.

High School - AP Workshop Recap

This last Saturday, May 21st, the South Carolina Council hosted the 3rd annual AP Conference at Spring Hill High School in South Carolina. We had over 50 attendees who attended the two sessions, Third Annual A.P. History Workshop: Human Geography: Program Building and Best Practices, and A.P. History Workshop: A Focus on the AP World History Redesign.

The Human Geography attendees received a plethora of best practice information and engaged in meaningful discussions such as “Dr. Snow’s Cholera Map: Using Inquiry Based Strategies to Build GeoSpatial Thinking Skills”, “Bridging the Middle School to High School Gap: Day-to-Day Strategies and Resources for APHG Success”, “Integrating ESRI's ArcGIS Online Software into the Classroom”, “Class Discussion and Books in the APHG Classroom”, and “Sovereignty Project: Building Your Own Country – A Year-Long Cross-Curricular Inquiry Project”. The attendees engaged in several meaningful discussions designed to facilitate collaboration and curricular improvement.

The World History attendees were treated to The South Carolina Council for the Social Studies is pleased to welcome Dr. Tim Keirn as our keynote speaker. Dr. Keirn is the Chief Reader for the AP World History Exam and is a member of the College Board’s AP World History Redesign Committee. A professor at the California State University, Dr. Keirn is the Social Science Subject Coordinator in the College of Education. Dr. Keirn reviewed the piloted test and give insights to the grading process. The subsequent sessions introducing, exploring, and discussing the rubrics in addition to best practices in the classroom were designed around Dr. Keirn’s presentation and led by Steve Cox, Master Teacher from Dutch Fork High School. The attendees raved about the helpfulness of Dr. Keirn’s presentation!

The conference’s smashing success was only made possible from the generous support of our sponsors: Bedford St. Martins, McGraw Hill, and Pearson. We cannot express our gratitude enough for their continual support of all the Social Studies, and in the particular case, Advanced Placement curriculum and instruction. If you teach high school and weren’t able to attend the sessions, we missed you, but be on the lookout next year for our next 9-12 AP Spring Institute; we are looking forward to eclipsing the success of this year! We can’t do it without our amazing teachers!!!

Matt Rose, High School Representative

Middle School Teachers We Need Your Input!

If you teach Middle School please fill out the link below to help guide our professional development focused on Middle School teachers:

SCCSS Middle School Teachers Survey

Big image

Resources for the Elementary School Teacher

Notable Social Studies Trade Books For Young People

The books that appear in these annotated book lists were evaluated and selected by a Book Review Committee appointed by National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) and assembled in cooperation with the Children's Book Council (CBC). NCSS and CBC have cooperated on this annual bibliography since 1972.

Books selected for this bibliography are written primarily for children in grades K-8. The selection committee looks for books that emphasize human relations, represent a diversity of groups and are sensitive to a broad range of cultural experiences, present an original theme or a fresh slant on a traditional topic, are easily readable and of high literary quality, and have a pleasing format and, when appropriate, illustrations that enrich the text. Each book is read by several reviewers, and books are included on the list by committee assent; annotations do not necessarily reflect the judgment of the entire committee.

Publishers' names appear in abbreviated form; complete names and addresses are available in such standard reference works as Literary Market Place (Bowker) and from the Children's Book Council (CBC). Titles are arranged by broad subject categories and subthemes. Although many are appropriate for more than one subject category, they have been placed where their usefulness in social studies education appears greatest. Annotators have also indicated the thematic strand of National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies to which the book relates. Although many titles have multistrand applications, space restraints dictate including a maximum of three strands per title.

The Notable Trade Books for Young People list is published each year as an insert to the May/June issue of Social Education.

Click this link to find more information from the National Council for the Social Studies!

Big image

2016 Awards - Due July 1, 2016!

Do you know an outstanding teacher? Nomintate them for the "Tom" Buckland Memorial Teacher of Excellence Award at the link below:

Thomas Lowell "Tom" Buckland Memorial Teacher of Excellence Award

Do you have a fantastic lesson or unit plan that could be award-winning? Apply for one of our new awards linked below!

Outstanding Lesson or Unit: Civic Engagement and Taking Actions

Outstanding Lesson or Unit: Inquiry in the Social Studies

Outstanding Lesson or Unit: Engagement through Technology

Outstanding Lesson or Unit: Best Practices in Social Studies

Awards Chair: Albert Robertson

Big image

Geographers in the Field

Sunday, June 19th, 8am to Friday, June 24th, 11pm

University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, United States

Columbia, SC

The Geographers in the Field institute is a field-trip based experience designed to help K-12 teachers acquire geographic concepts and content knowledge and the geospatial technology skills needed to enhance student learning of important physical, cultural, political, and economic systems.

Institute participants will receive: 

  • 30 CEU contact hours 
  • geography content instruction by USC faculty
  • most meals and on-campus housing (as needed)
  • textbooks, software, and other relevant teaching materials
  • hands-on instruction with GPS units, online GIS, and Google Earth

2016 Conference

2016 SC Council for the Social Studies Conference

Thursday, Oct. 6th, 5pm to Saturday, Oct. 8th, 12pm

1200 Hampton Street

Columbia, SC

The 2016 Conference will take place in Columbia, SC at the Downtown Marriott.


2016 Call for proposals now available. Presentations should include one or more of the following themes:

  • Engagement through Technology
  • Civic Engagement and Taking Action
  • Inquiry into Social Studies
  • Best Practice in Social Studies

Link to Submit a Proposal:

Information for the Newsletter?

If you have information you would like published in the newsletter please email Leslie Carter, President or Brea Amick, Secretary.