Social Studies Department Updates

Beginning of the Semester Reminders January 11, 2016

Your SS Leadership Team is Available to Support You!

Check for New Students Daily

Continue to check for new students in Thesis daily (export and sort roster by date). You may have students drop and add your course in the same day so it is important to check your rosters for new enrollments.
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Welcome 16 Week Students

Please remember to welcome 16 week students. Remember any 16 week student who has completed Student Orientation is granted early access to class this week. Their official course start date is January 19, 2016, but those with access may begin working early.

Suggested Timeline for Contacting Students:

•16 week – January 4 - 8

•14 week – January 25 - 29

•12 week – February 8 - 12

Please Check Your Exam Settings!

Please check your course quiz settings carefully. Per department guidelines all multiple choice questions should have a timing of between 1.5-2 minutes per question. The Final Exam should not exceed 90 minutes total with time of 1.5-2 minutes per question. You may need to edit some of your quiz settings.

Beginning of Semester Daily Checklist

Please click on the link below to access the Beginning of Semester Daily Checklist for teachers. You will need to sign into your O365 account.

Course NEWS

Do post at least one new course item weekly. Your weekly course news may include due date reminders, differentiated resources, course content updates, motivational messages, exemplary work, and other items. You can create these items ahead of time and either save them as a draft or select a start date and end date.

Please be sure to keep your old NEWS items. Mark them as expired, not deleted. QAS will be checking to see that you are updating your NEWS items weekly.
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Select "any condition must be met" if you have created multiple conditions for a course news item.

Discussion Rubric

Join the Social Studied Edmodo Group

If you haven't already done so take a moment to join the Social Studies Edmodo group. This is a great place for us to share ideas and help one another. If you are doing something great with your classes or have a great resource please share it! We are better when we work together!

SS Edmodo group Code: oprk7g


  • Communicate student accommodations promptly to stakeholders.
  • See this video for how to use groups when you have multiple students needing accommodations. Brightspace has gone through several updates so you may find that you need to adjust the instructions slightly. Adding Accommodations for Multiple Students
  • Email accommodations you make to stakeholder from Thesis so that there is a record in the communication log. Include Home and Facilitator in the email. Include your email signature.
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Suggestions for a Smooth Semester

Enable turnitin on assignments that require students to complete a lot of writing. It will check essays, journals, charts/graphs, power points, etc.

How to Enable Turnitin

Under discussion options require users to post a thread first. This will create more original initial posts.

How to Edit Discussions

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Student Email Signature

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Encourage your students to set up their email signature. Having information about students course and session enrollment enables you to answer emails without researching this information for every email you receive.

Using Grading Rubrics

Please review the rubrics under the assessment tab and try one out. The rubrics in your courses are specific to Social Studies. You can attach them in the grade area or the dropbox area. They are easy to use and give students specific feedback. You can create your own rubrics too. For example, you might want to use a rubric for specific FRQ's or DBQ's in AP courses. Please click this link for tutorials on using rubrics in your courses.
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Everything You Want to Know about Brightspace, Thesis, and GAVS but are Afraid to Ask!

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Are your students asking for help navigating Brightspace, Adobe, and O365?

Please read the Weekly GAVS Updates Carefully!

Directions for viewing the weekly notes:

  1. Be sure to bookmark the GaVS Instruction Site.

  2. Click on "Instruction Notebook" located in the left column.

  3. Select January 2016, and then click on the January 6 tab. This link takes you directly to the Instruction Notebook where ILT notes are housed, which are always available for you to reference.