Social Studies Scoop

A Monthly Bulletin for 6-12 Social Studies Teachers in CCS

Preparing students for success in college, career, and civic life

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March 2018

In this edition:

  • Curriculum & Instruction: Important Changes to Ohio's State Tests
  • Curriculum & Instruction: Achieve 3000 Alignment to Middle School Social Studies
  • Curriculum & Instruction: Women's History Month
  • Professional Development: Test Prep Tuesday Google Hangouts
  • Professional Development: Middle School Content Experts
  • Professional Development: Share My Lesson Virtual Conference


Curriculum & Instruction

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Important Changes to Ohio's State Tests in American History and American Government

In February, the Ohio Department of Education released new information regarding item types on state tests. Beginning with the spring administration, state tests will measure the learning standards using machine-scored (technology-enhanced) item types only. This will allow results to be returned earlier to districts.

There will be no human-scored items on the state tests in American History and American Government, beginning this spring. According to ODE's social studies consultant, human-scored items are those constructed-response questions in the released items with a scoring rubric (short and extended response). Note that according to the state test specs, there are some text-entry short answer questions that may be scored by machine.

Sample machine-scored items are available on the AIR Portal:

While extended response items have been eliminated from the assessment, it is important to continue the practice of writing in the social studies classroom. Writing for understanding is an important strategy to facilitate learning. In addition to helping students master key social studies concepts, writing activities help build strong expository skills that will serve students in college, career, and civic life. As summarized by Bring Learning Alive, writing for understanding:

  • challenges students to clarify, organize, and express what they have learned;
  • requires students to analyze and synthesize;
  • enables students to reach deeper understanding as they draw on previous learning for supporting details;
  • compels students to refine their ideas; and
  • gives students ownership of products that motivates them to excel.


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Achieve 3000 Alignment to Middle School Social Studies

Achieve 3000 is the district-adopted reading intervention program for middle and high school. All teachers have access to locate and print articles and questions from the Achieve 3000 database. Teachers can log-in to Achieve through Clever using their CCS username and password.

Social Studies teachers will find many articles in Achieve 3000 that align with topics in the social studies curriculum. These articles can help students build literacy skills and learn social studies concepts. To access and print relevant articles, use the search box and enter relevant keywords or article titles. The documents below include aligned articles for grades 6, 7, and 8 social studies for each grading period.


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Women's History Month

In 1987, the U.S. Congress designated March as National Women’s History Month. This month highlights the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society.

Here are some instructional resources to assist teachers with the integration of women's history into the curriculum:


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Test Prep Tuesday Google Hangouts

Our Test Prep Tuesday webinars will continue in March. This series of 20-minute Google Hangout webinars provide strategies and resources for preparing for Ohio's State Tests in American History and American Government.

You do not need to pre-register for these events; simply go to the following URL: and log in with your CCS Google username and password. You do not need a microphone or camera to participate, just a device with audio output.

Remaining sessions will be held from 3:00 - 3:20 p.m. on the following dates:

  • March 6 - Vocabulary Exercises and Quick Review
  • March 13 - Historical Exercises and Evidence-Based Text Sets


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Middle School Content Experts PD 2018

The Middle School Content Experts program has completed two meetings this year, January 30 and February 20 at Linmoor Education Center. The purpose of the Content Experts program is to provide sustained professional development in the area of Pedagogical Content Knowledge.

The Social Studies Content Experts program is focused on the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework. Using the Inquiry Design Model from C3, participating teachers are working in teams to develop an original inquiry and field test the inquiry in their classrooms.

In March, we will continue to build C3 inquiries by looking at Dimension 3 (Evaluating Sources and Using Evidence). Don't forget to read Chapter 2 of Why Won't You Just Tell Us the Answer? by Bruce Lesh for this month's leaderboard activity!

The remaining Content Expert meetings will be held at Linmoor Education Center, 4:00-6:00 p.m. on the following Tuesdays: March 20, April 17, and May 15, 2018.


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Congratulations to Amy, no, me and the riddeler for taking home the top prizes in the MS Content Experts Kahoot Leaderboard activity in January.


External Professional Development

Matthew I. Doran

6-12 Social Studies Curriculum Coordinator

Office of Teaching & Learning

Secondary Curriculum Division