Social Studies Update

November and December 2015

November and December Professional Development

Quality Questioning

December 8th

Session ID Number: 41638

Register NOW!


Worth 2 hours of PD credit for each session you participate in!

November 17th: Twitter PD Focus-Instructional Technology Tools

Session ID Number: 43199

Register NOW!

December 10th: Twitter PD Focus- Questioning in the Classroom

Session ID Number: 43023

Register NOW!

Professional Development in Your Pajamas!

Social Studies Socials on Twitter

I will be hosting twitter chats throughout the year for professional development credit. Each chat will have a different focus. In order to receive your 1 hour of CPE credit you must answer 5 questions and respond to a peer on each question (10 responses total).

Start following me on Twitter now!


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Online Workshops

These courses are self-paced. They MUST be completed by December 1st in order to receive the 6 hours of CPE credit. You may register at any time throughout the Fall.

Conceptual Planning in Social Studies

Session ID Number: 43244

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Formative Assessment in a Nutshell

Session ID Number: 43248

Register NOW!


Online Book Study: “Why Won’t You Just Tell Us the Answer?” Teaching Historical Thinking in Grades 7-12

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Attention 8th Grade American History Teachers! Unit 4 is uploaded and ready! Unit 5 will be ready by December 1st.

Pulse Checks

A pulse check will include:

  • STAAR released test items packaged by units (units are be based on the TEKS Resource System YAG)
  • Answer Key with Standards
  • Tutoring and RTI resources for each question on the assessment

This is a GREAT resource to see if your students are STAAR ready at the end of each unit!

Click on the link to access this resource: Pulse Checks

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Released 2015 STAAR and EOC Assessments for US History

Click Here and download the released tests!

Link go to the TEA website for you to access all of the released tests and answer keys.

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New Social Studies Resources in TEKS Resource System

Social Studies in TEKS Resource System has undergone some exciting changes! The following courses have been re-worked and the 2015-16 updated documents are posted now:
1) 6th grade Contemporary World Cultures,
2) 8th Grade US History,
3) 9th Grade World Geography-Conceptual Draft,
4) 10th Grade World History, and
5) 11th grade US History.

Please take a look at two new resources that have been developed for Social Studies, the K-12 Concept Tree and Backwards Design documents. The Backwards Design documents (one document for each of the re-worked courses) is organized by unit and shows the connections between the Overarching Understandings and Questions, the Unit Understandings and Questions, the Concepts (from the Concept Tree) and the Performance Assessments. Pair these documents with the K-12 Concept Tree, and you have great resources to assist with planning and instructing around the essential understandings and big picture concepts! Great to use as part of planning “with the end in mind” and for helping students make high level connections in the content.

Conceptual World Geography Regional Correlation

This resource is designed to assist World Geography teachers who would like to use the DRAFT Conceptual World Geography YAGs and IFDs this year. This document will provide guidance for teachers in selecting resources and instructional materials from their textbooks or other classroom resources by providing “Regional Examples or Case Studies” aligned to the conceptual units. This document is found in the system under "Resources" and as a link in the "System Resources" section of the World Geography IFD.

NEW Resource ! Catalog of Social Studies Performance Assessments (K-HS)

Social Studies teachers now have a new resource to help them understand the products associated with TEKS Resource System Performance Assessments. The "Catalog of Performance Assessments" lists the various products included in the Performance Assessments on the unit IFDs and provides a short description of what that product is. This document is found in the system under "Resources."

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TEKS Bank in Eduphoria

1) TEKS Resource System Items are updated and "keyworded" through the First Semester! Remember, our Keyword is "2015Unit1". We hope to be completely finished with the Second Semester by Thanksgiving, pending the posting of the HS Math tests by TEKS Resource System.

2) The final 2nd Grade Social Studies Items have all been published.

3) The 2015 STAAR Released items have all been published. These are keyworded to "STAAR 2015".

Updated Items in TEKSbank- click on the link below!

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TEKS Aligned Digital Resources for Social Studies

The Curriculum team here at Discovery Education has completed something exciting that is available only to TX users of Discovery Education Streaming - Curriculum Alignment of Social Studies Content with Social Studies TEKS in grades K-5, Grade 7 (TX History) and World History so that digital assets from Discovery Education are aligned with Social Studies TEKS within these grades. The digital assets have been aggregated from different Discovery Education services (such as Discovery Education Streaming PLUS) and are now all accessible with the alignments within Discovery Education Streaming base which is a unique benefit for Texas users.

Click on the link below to view an informational flyer on how to access these resources:

Click on the link below to view a flyer with information on upcoming webinars for Social Studies teachers:

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Funding, Grants and Contests

Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission: Video Contest

As part of our commemoration of Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month, each year the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission runs a video contest open to all Texas students in grades 6-12. Submitted videos must be one to two-and-a-half minutes long and focus on a theme. All entries due by February 15, 2016.

This year, students must submit a video styled as a news report on a genocide. Winners will receive scholarship awards and are invited to join the Commission to receive recognition at a state meeting. For further details, download the video contest flyer and guidelines. All submitted videos must also be accompanied by an application form/honesty agreement and parent permission form.

To view winners from pervious years, visit the THGC Video Contest playlist on our Youtube channel.

2016 Outstanding Teaching Award

Do you know an outstanding teacher in your school or community? Nominate him or her for one of our 2016 Outstanding Teaching Awards!

In 2016, Humanities Texas will present a total of fifteen awards to exceptional Texas K–12 humanities teachers in three different categories:

  • Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award
    (12 recipients). This award recognizes exemplary contributions of teachers in Texas elementary, middle, and high schools.

  • Linden Heck Howell Outstanding Teaching of Texas History Award (1 recipient). This award was established in memory of Ms. Howell, former chair of the Humanities Texas Board of Directors, as a lasting tribute to her service to the organization and her commitment to the study of Texas history.

  • Award for Outstanding Early-Career Teaching
    (2 recipients). This award recognizes exemplary contributions of early-career humanities teachers in Texas who have completed three or fewer years of teaching.

All award winners will receive a $5,000 prize, with an additional $500 for their schools to purchase humanities-based instructional materials.

For more information on the awards, including eligibility and a list of past recipients, please visit the Teaching Awards section of our website or email

To nominate a teacher, please complete the online nomination form.

Western Art Contest

The National Ranching Heritage Center and the Lubbock County Junior Livestock Show Association are pleased to announce the 2nd Annual Western Art Contest. The theme of the contest is Western Art, with subjects that reflect the spirit and semblance of the Lubbock County Junior Livestock Show and/or ranching in North America.
Any student in middle or high school interested should fill out the Entry Form/Participation Agreement and submit it along with their artwork to the National Ranching Heritage Center by Friday, December 4, 2015 before 5 p.m. to be eligible.
The entries will be exhibited in the main galleries of the NRHC starting Saturday, January 9, 2016 through Sunday, January 17, 2016. An awards ceremony will be held to recognize students with placing entries on Saturday, January 9, 2016 at the National Ranching Heritage Center. The Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion art entries will be displayed at the LCJLS Auction. Thank you for participating last year and we hope to see you all again this year! If you have any questions please feel free to contact Julie Hodges at or Scott White at
Entry Form:
Official Rules:
Western Art Examples:

Preserving Thanksgiving Memories with StoryCorps

Many of us are fans of StoryCorps, the NPR series that brings us all back to the love of storytelling through interviews. I was excited to learn of their campaign The Great Listen for Thanksgiving. They are asking for high school teachers and students to take this challenge and sign up for theirEducator’s Toolkit.

Anyone over the age of 13 can participate (with parental consent if you’re under 18). Simply download the StoryCorps app and use the built-in prompts to record and publish an interview over Thanksgiving weekend. There are resources here to help you get the most out of your interview experience.

Definitely take this opportunity to interview family and reminisce on old and new traditions this holiday season. This is real world inquiry learning that will last a lifetime for students and their family. Learning the art of interviewing and preservation of family memories is important to humanity and lies at the heart of all courses in social studies. Join me and others by participating in NPR’s Great Listen campaign.

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Technology Tips, Tricks, and Tools from Facebook this Month

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