The Digital Broadside

News You Can Use

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In Defense of Good Lecturing

I rediscovered an interesting 2009 article from NCSS about lecturing in the Social Studies classroom. So I thought I'd share it here for folks to read.

In a nutshell, the author admits that there is good and bad lecturing. He talks about 4 types of lectures:

  1. Interactive Lecture
  2. Problem Centered Lecture
  3. Comparison Lecture Method
  4. Thesis-Driven Lecture

National History Bee

The National History Bee is an academic competition for elementary and middle school students that tests knowledge of a wide range of historical topics. To participate, you must join by clicking here.

It does cost $150 for a school, so maybe the PTA can help. To see what it does, click the video below.

The National History Bee

Liberty in North Korea

If you're interested in having your students hear about life in North Korea, check out Liberty in North Korea. They are currently touring and have a 30 minute presentation that they can give your students. And... it just costs $100! The speakers are just barely out of high school. They also take questions from the crowd.

Check out the video below for what you might see. If interested, let me know. They will be in Richmond Oct. 9 and 10.

Senate Youth Program

The United States Senate Youth Program, established in 1962 by U.S. Senate Resolution, is a unique educational experience for outstanding high school students interested in pursuing careers in public service. The annual program will be held in Washington, D.C., from March 7 – 14, 2015. Two student leaders from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity will spend a week in Washington experiencing their national government in action. Student delegates will hear major policy addresses by Senators, cabinet members, officials from the Departments of State and Defense and directors of other federal agencies, as well as participate in a meeting with a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. All transportation, hotel and meal expenses will be provided by The Hearst Foundations. In addition, each delegate will also be awarded a $5,000 College Scholarship for undergraduate studies, with encouragement to pursue coursework in history and political science. For more info, click here. Applications are due:

VIRGINIA [September 26, 2014]

Ms. Christonya Brown
History, Social Sciences Specialist
Virginia Department of Education
P.O. Box 2120
Richmond, 23218
(804) 225-2893

Let's Stop Working!

Don't forget to send in your idea for the Un-initiative as Dr. Kinlaw explained in the Convocation video. You can use this form to send in your idea and earn $$$.

Old and New Requirements

Repeating what I said in my email over the weekend, if you want me to come help your department or one-on-one with Instructional Planners, please let me know.

As for Student Growth Measures, everything is ready for you in the Google Group to download and use. Please give these pre-tests ASAP! It helps you in the long run.

Also, please do not use tests that say 2013-2014 on them.

Please ask if you have any questions.

Google Plus/Notifications

So far there are 185 teachers in the Google Plus group. If you haven't joined, please do as soon as you can. Important information and downloadable material is located there. Joining the Google Plus group is just like joining any other social network. However, since it runs through an HCPS filter, you must:

  • Use your log in to join
  • Use Chrome, not Internet Explorer
  • Create a Google + account before joining the group

EASIER WAY to change NOTIFICATIONS: The little bell doesn't seem to be doing the trick. When you're in Google + , you'll notice on the left a HOME BUTTON. Click that. At the bottom is SETTINGS. Click that. Scroll a bit until you see RECEIVE NOTIFICATIONS. Change the settings from there.

Constitution Day, Sept 17

As we all know, Sept. 17 is Constitution Day. This means, by federal law, teachers need to teach about the Constitution to students. Here are some resources you can use:

Teacher Opportunities

First Freedom Center Essay Contest

The First Freedom Center is holding its annual essay contest for students. The First Freedom Student Competition is a first-semester national essay and video contest. It offers high-school students an opportunity to compete for $2,500 awards as they examine the history and current-day relevance of religious freedom, and then, by written essay or video production, present their evaluation. The competition is open to students in the United States and U.S. territories, and to American schools and American home-schooled students worldwide. We invite 9th — 12th grade students at all levels of academic placement to participate.

Students must register by November 17, 2014.

See Freedom Speak

High School Student Seminars (by online registration only, two students and one teacher per school) – Day-long instructional activity for students and teachers to gain accurate knowledge, discuss events and engage in conversations with people who were present at history changing events in America. Free.

October 17 (Friday) – Global War on Terrorism - Four Days at the Pentagon

Guest Speaker: Author Major Dan Pantaleo, USMC (Ret.)

(Click here for more information and to register)

February 4 (Wednesday) - Vietnam - Lessons Learned

Guest Speaker: BG John “Jack” W. Nicholson, USA (Ret.) – former Secretary of the American Battle Monuments Commission and Vietnam Silver Star Recipient

March 18 (Wednesday) - World War II Round table

Guest Speaker: Peter Bacque - Army veteran and Staff Writer for the Richmond Times Dispatch along with WW II veterans

More information here.

Virginia Social Studies Conference

This year's statewide Social Studies conference will be held in the Sheraton Hotel in Tyson's Corner. It will be October 24 and 25. To attend, check with your school building administration. Last year it was in Roanoke, so not a lot of people were able to attend. Hopefully, more people will this year.

Virginia Historical Society

The Virginia Historical Society enthusiastically announces its fall session of “Primarily Virginia”, an online teachers’ institute that highlights the collections of the VHS and the Library of Congress while emphasizing both primary source learning and historical inquiry.

Click here for more information.

Registration has started and the first class begins Sept. 24.

Instructional Ideas

Click here to go to the HCPS SOL Resources WikiPage

Digital resources for SOL courses including state guidelines, online textbooks, and other resources to use in the classroom.

More APUSH Redesign and AP Gov Videos

Ryan Burgess at Freeman High School shared another video site with her students to help them prepare for the new APUSH redesign. Adam Norris has set up a spot on YouTube to share his videos with all APUSH teachers for free. It would also work with any US History class should you want to use videos as homework.

He also has videos for AP Government. Check out the videos below.

APUSH Review, Key Concept 1.1 (Period 1)
AP Gov Review: Government in America, Chapter 1

APUSH and Gilder Lehrman

Gilder Lehrman is helping out APUSH teachers. They have a new resource coming out very soon to help you and students with the new curriculum. The video below explains it. It's not ready yet, but click here, and you can sign up for more updates.
An introduction to the AP US History Study Guide

Making YouTube Better

Using YouTube has become even better. With Zaption, you can take any video on YouTube, or one you make, and insert interactive tools for students to use. You can insert commentary to help reiterate a point made in the video or add multiple choice questions to make sure they are paying attention.

Zaption also keeps student data so you can see how well your students did on the questions.

This can probably be a tool students use for class projects. Here's an example of one I made for Constitution Day.

Create Critical Readers #rigor

Getting students to read Social Studies material is critical. Hopefully, you're doing this with your students every day in a critical thinking way. Actively Learn is a great tool to help with this. Schuyler V. at Glen Allen showed me this tool he plans on using daily. Here's an example of a reading assignment I created for Constitution Day.

To access the one I created, sign up as a student, and then use class code eea03 to sign in. That's how kids would join your class. Once you're in, you'll see the reading assignment. Just answer the questions while you read.

Blending Your Class

Ed Knapp from Deep Run posted a link to the Documents of Freedom website teachers and students can learn more about the founding period online. It's free with easy links for students. If you want to flip or blend your government class, this could be the tool for you.

I forgot to mention: This website also have activities in it that you can use right away. Super easy....

If you teach government, you want to use this site.

Student Growth Measures Chart

Here is the link to the SGM chart we used last year. It's the same chart, no changes. Below is a video that shows you how to import your student names into the spreadsheet. It's much easier than last year.

Copying and pasting into Excel or Word is pretty easy from Power School, so you may find a whole bunch of ways to save yourself time with rosters by doing this trick.

Adding Names to SGM from Power School

Trivia and Other Balderdash

Exam View

With the new image, you will not immediately see Exam View. You have to download it from the Software Center. Just search for SOFTWARE CENTER and it will show up. If you're having problems from there, check with your ITRT.

Trivia 2014 - 2015: Teachers- 2 and Me- 0

This week: Which member of a current day basketball team helped defeat the Soviet Union?

Last week: Who is this:

  • Abolitionist
  • Mysterious Death
  • Spoke alongside Frederick Douglass

Answered by William Berry at Moody, the answer was Solomon Northrup.

History in the News

Below are current event stories, or the issue it raises, that most likely will end up in a textbook one day. My narrative will link to stories and give you an idea on how to approach the subject in class. If you have a current event that I've missed, let me know.

  • Things are definitely heating up around the world. Between the crisis in Ukraine and ISIS/ISIL, President Obama has his hands full. I think it would be important for teachers to talk about these events in class, especially in anyway that related to the content. Geography is often an early topic in class, so one can discuss the problems of shifting borders or ethnic differences, and how politics plays a part in this. Here is a CNN article on who ISIS is, and a primer on Ukraine.

TestTube: A Daily News Channel for Students


Untrammeled: Americans and the Wilderness by BackStory


There are many ways to view "fitness." It can be exercise, diet, mental health, general health, and problem some other categories. No matter which one it is, I've found that the best way to succeed with a plan is by making it fun and making it work.

So let's take my journey. I decided on running. Why? I could start for free... basically. Since I had shoes, shirts, and shorts, I could run. Anywhere. Since then, I've dropped a few Benjamins on my running gear, but it's been worth it.

So here's how you can start running, stay motivated, and make it fun:

  • If you've never run, go for a walk. Today. Really... it's nice outside.
  • You can start with just about anything in your house, but you'll probably want to get a nice pair of running shoes. I'd suggest going to a running store and have them measure your foot and look at your stride. Seriously, you'll be amazed at the information they can tell you about how you run, the width of your foot, etc...
  • Find a support group. You can join training teams, but you can also find groups on Facebook and Pinterest to help you get started. There are 1000s of people out there who get very excited when someone starts running.... Tell me! I'll be just as excited for you.
  • Here's a training program that works very well. It's called "Couch to 5k." It builds you up so you can run a 5k.
  • Enter into a 5k! Once you drop $30 on a race, you'll be more motivated to keep going out there. Most 5ks are charitable, so you're bound to find one that you'd like to donate to.
  • Brag about running. Most people will think you're crazy for running more than a mile, and once someone calls you crazy for that, you'll want to run 2 miles.
  • It's flexible. You don't have to wait for a gym to open, or drive to a gym. Just open your front door whenever you're awake.
  • Keep data! It's fun to see your growth over time and helps get other people motivating you. There are apps like Nike+, Runtastic, and others.

I should probably give the typical disclaimer: please seek input from your doctor before trying anything new in life.