Social Studies Insider

May 2019

It's the Final Count Down

It's hard to believe that the school year's end is only a few weeks away. I'd like to thank each of you for an awesome school year and all the work you have done for your students, school, and our district. Please read over this months newsletter for various news, updates, and summer events I'd love you to join. Have a relaxing summer and please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you prepare for August.
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Year-In-Review Recap Video

Please click on the image below to view this year's Year-In-Review Recap. You will find all of the great things our teachers and students took part in throughout this busy and productive school year. Great work by all!

Gallopade Feedback Needed

Attention teachers using Gallopade resources: Any teacher currently using Gallopade Clickbook, Expertrack, and/or the student workbook, please provide feedback on the resources overall value. If you believe the resource was helpful, I strongly urge you to speak with your administration about purchasing the resource for next year. Click on the image below to access the feedback form.


Teachers who did not use the resource, but would like to add their perspectives are encouraged to complete the survey as well. There are questions that you can respond to that may help demonstrate a need for a social studies resource of some type.


For any teachers interested in more information about Gallopade, feel free to contact me.

NBC Learn Feedback Needed

Teachers, I hope you enjoyed having access to NBC Learn this semester. I have heard from many across the district that NBC Learn has been a great resource. I would greatly appreciate all those who used the resource to complete the short survey form by clicking on the link below. If you would like to seek access for next school year, please let me know and I can send personal pricing to you and your school administrators. I truly feel this resource is a bang for your buck... All content areas and grade levels can be served from a single school license.

Digital Resource Update

As you guys rest and relax this summer, please send me any digital resources you come across that might benefit other teachers within the district. If you click on the button below, you will be directed to the growing list of digital resources I have put together to help make lesson planning a little easier. Anytime you use one of the resources, please feel free to send me feedback! To assist with navigating the resources, recent additions will be listed at the end of the list. As a suggestion, always start at the bottom of this list and scroll to the top.
New to the List this Month: Review Game Zone

As an educational website for students, the process of learning is important. The arcade games are set up so students have to answer a general knowledge question in the subject area they are learning in order to play. They provide a trivia question review game format where the more often they provide a correct answer, the longer play time they get. These act as incentives to keep the student engaged in learning the study material. The reward for practicing the classroom material is playing the arcade game and we know students love games. As an example, Mrs. Christie Thompson at ECMS has provided a sample game she created for her students to use. Click Here to Access

Important News, Updates, and Events

5th Grade Pacing Guide Revision Session:

Any 5th grade social studies teachers interested in working with our pacing guide committee should add their name to the list by clicking on this link. We will be meeting on May 8th at WERZ. We will begin at 2:45 pm and should end by 5 pm. If an additional session is needed, I will schedule that meeting accordingly.


Calling all 5th and 11th Grade Teachers:

Be on the lookout for more information including the registration link to WWI 360- Teach Like an Ace. This interactive, interdisciplinary WWI teacher workshop will be presented by the National WWI Museum and Memorial & the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Registration is Free and Breakfast and Lunch will be provided. This is an opportunity you won't want to miss!


Attention 8th and 11th Grade Teachers:

Looking for an interesting resource to supplement your Civil Rights unit? Check out WABE (Public Broadcasting/NPR's) new podcast series Buried Truth. Season 1 surrounds events involving the infamous Eugine Talmadge. As always, preview content to ensure it's completely suitable for your student audience.

Click the link to access audio links.

8th Grade Lesson Plans

11th Grade Lesson Plans


The Coweta Innovation Summit is an opportunity for Coweta educators to share their work with other Coweta Educators. Sessions cover different classroom topics like STEM/STEAM, Google Apps & Add-ons, PBIS, & more. Its a fun, safe environment to learn new things to help spark growth in your classroom or school. Door prizes include a 50 inch LCD TV, Yeti Coolers, and more "summer fun" items.

Date: Friday, May 31, 2019

Time: 8:30am-4:00pm -Lunch Provided- VARSITY FOOD TRUCK- 2 entrees, 1 side

Location: Nixon Centre for the Arts

Cost: $20 ($25 for non-Coweta attendees) Make check payable to "Coweta STEM Institute". Send via courier to Donald White at Werz by May 24 or pay at the door.

Register Here

Want to Present? Click Here.


Questions? Contact: donald.white@cowetaschools.net


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Teacher Spotlight

Laura Ritchie, 5th Grade Social Studies, Thomas Crossroads Elementary

Mrs. Richie is a long time educator in Coweta County. She has been teaching for 19 years and has a P-5 as well as 4-8(Social Science) endorsement. She has taught 4th, 5th and kindergarten and has been at Thomas Crossroads for the last 13 years. She is passionate about Social Studies and has been ever since she was little. She enjoys sharing her rich knowledge and experiences traveling the world.

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Wendy Weatherford, 5th Grade Social Studies, Canongate Elementary

Ms. Weatherford challenges herself to find new and innovative ways to teach the 5th Grade Social Studies curriculum. She continuously engages her students by making a real-life connection to learning. Recently, students were visited by Vietnam guest speaker, Mr. Jeff Ward. She incorporates technology and writing throughout the curriculum. She allows students to become active learners. When asked, students shared these comments about Ms. Weatherford, "She's really nice. She gives second chances, and sometimes even third chances. I like that we play Kahoot for review and we do projects that include written responses. Overall, she's a chill teacher!"


Ms. Weatherford is a team player and supports her 5th-grade colleagues by incorporating language arts skills and writing tasks into her teaching to strengthen what is being taught during the ELA block. She also goes above and beyond to serve our school and county by being on our school-wide Writing Committee and Grade 5 Social Studies Curriculum Representative. She also helps to produce our weekly news program, CNN (Canongate News Network). Next year she is expanding her leadership role by assuming the position of 5th Grade Chairperson on our School Based Leadership Team (SBLT). Our students are so lucky to experience Social Studies through her!

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Michelle Gardiner, 5th Grade Social Studies, Will Road Elementary

Michelle Gardiner is a 5th-grade teacher who brings learning into the hands of her students through innovative projects and historical narratives and writing assignments. Students are engaged as they write and respond as historical characters at different points throughout the year. As projects are presented, students take pride in what they have discovered and are eager to share these projects with their classmates and others who visit the classroom. As one observes, it is easy to see that Mrs. Gardiner has developed trusting and genuine relationships with her students. She takes the time to get to know their interests, learning styles, and outside activities. As she teaches social studies, Mrs. Gardiner helps her students to make those connections to real-world events and figures, often times discussing current events in relation to what they are learning or have previously learned. Her students truly enjoy the hands-on learning activities she plans. Mrs. Gardiner shows that history is not just about dates but people just like us who had an impact. She helps children to take a “walk” through history, and it is a joy to see!

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Britteny Montgomery, 7th Grade Social Studies, Evans Middle

Evans Middle School is spotlighting one of our 7th grade Social Studies teacher, Mrs. Brittney Montgomery. Although Mrs. Montgomery is a first-year teacher, she has shown great leadership and curriculum development within her Social Studies classroom and department. She is very open to using technology in her classroom, including, FlipGrid, to keep her students engaged and sparking their curiosity to learn more about current topics. Her classroom is very interactive, and she has developed rigor through her incorporation of writing and cross-curricular literature projects. It is with great pleasure to showcase this innovative teacher.

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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

Economics in Children's Literature: Grade 3

Friday, May 3rd, 8:30am-3pm

Coweta County Schools- WERZ

This workshop focuses on strategies to help 3rd grade teachers incorporate effective literacy strategies into creative and engaging math, science, language arts, and social studies lessons through four children's books. All four books are provided to teachers along with lessons that are demoed at the workshop. There is no registration fee for this workshop, instructional materials are provided, substitute reimbursement is available, and lunch is provided.


Want to Register? Click Here

Lights, Camera, Econ- The Economic Impact of the Film and TV Industry in Georgia (Grades 8, 9-12)

Friday, May 10th, 8:30am-3pm

Coweta County Schools- WERZ

Register By: May 8

Georgia is now one of the largest hubs for television and film production in the c world. This one-day workshop for 8th - 12th grade teachers focuses on the various characteristics of Georgia that make this possible including Georgia's infrastructure, its location, crew-base and the all-important tax credit. There is no registration fee for this workshop, instructional materials are provided, substitute reimbursement is available, and lunch is included.


Want to Register? Click Here

Historical Thinking + Literacy = K-5 Social Studies Labs

Tuesday, May 14th, 9am-3pm

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

The Antidote for Feeling MEH in the Social Studies Classroom

Tuesday, May 14th, 9am-3pm

99 Brown School Drive

Grantville, GA

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

Grades 3-5: Utilizing Common Assessment Data and Developing Common Assessments with GCA / Common Resources within a Fingers Reach

Wednesday, June 12th, 8:30am-3pm

Coweta County Schools- WERZ

Join me for a professional learning session on common assessments. Here, we will discuss the current assessments available and develop our 2019-2020 3-5 grade benchmarks. To wrap up our session, teachers will begin looking over common resources the district has available and link various literacy resources to the pacing guide using Raz. Teachers who participate will receive a $100 stipend. (5th Grade teachers will attend a follow-up afternoon session focusing on vertically aligning curriculum with middle/high school teachers on June 13th. Please see the next event post for additional details.)


Interested in joining? Click Here

Grades 6-8: Utilizing Common Assessment Data and Developing Common Assessments with GCA / The Power of Vertical Planning

Thursday, June 13th, 8:30-10:30am

Coweta County Schools- WERZ

Join me for a professional learning session on common assessments and vertical alignment. Here, we will discuss the current assessments available and develop our 2019-2020 6-8th grade benchmarks. To wrap up our session, teachers will participate in a valuable conversation with fellow 5-high school teachers. During these conversations, teachers will discuss the necessary skills students must possess before arriving and leaving for the next grade level. Teachers who participate will receive a $100 stipend. (5th grade and high school teachers will attend this afternoon session beginning at 1 pm.)


Interested in joining? Click Here

Grades 9-12: The Power of Vertical Planning / Pacing Guide Review

Thursday, June 13th, 1pm to Tuesday, June 18th, 11:30am

Coweta County Schools- WERZ

After attending the afternoon session on June 13th with 5th and middle school teachers, high school teachers and department heads will wrap up their PL session on June 18th working on pacing guide revisions. Any additional comments or concerns will be addressed during this session. Teachers who participate in the afternoon session on June 13th and the morning session on June 18th will be compensated $100.


Interested in joining? Click Here

Picturing History: Using Great Children's Literature to Spark Inquiry in Social Studies K-12

Thursday, June 20th, 8am-5pm

6321 U.S. 76

Young Harris, GA

Save the date Thursday and Friday, June 20-21 2019! This read-aloud retreat will connect educators with professional authors and illustrators. Held at Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa, nestled in the beautiful mountains of North Georgia, we expect this retreat to fill quickly. There is limited space available, registration information coming soon!


Want to Register? Click Here

Comments, Concerns, Questions?

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