The Social Studies Connection
More than a Newsletter for Secondary Social Studies Teachers
Welcome to 2023-2024!
In just a few weeks, the 2023-2024 school year will be starting—summer sure does fly by! I hope this newsletter finds everyone rejuvenated and excited for the start of another academic year.
In CCS Social Studies, we take great pride in delivering high-quality social studies that goes beyond textbooks and tests. Our social studies program is designed to nurture citizens who are not only knowledgeable but also critical thinkers, empathetic, and respectful of diverse perspectives. We look forward to partnering with you as we prepare students for success in college, career, and civic life.
As I enter my eighteenth year as social studies coordinator, I continue to highly value the collaboration among all of us. Your dedication and passion for teaching are the driving forces behind our students' success. Let's keep the lines of communication open, share ideas, and support each other.
In this back-to-school edition of the Social Studies Connection, you will read about some important updates in curriculum, assessment, and textbook adoption. If you have additional questions or comments, please contact me via CCS email.
Let's have a great year!
Curriculum for the 2023-2024 school year is available on the CCS Social Studies Curriculum page. These guides are provided in PDF format to allow for quick and convenient access on any device and easy printing options. The CCS website also autogenerates ADA-compliant alternative versions of the documents. As you navigate the PDF documents, note that internal links in the Scope and Sequence link to the relevant sections of the Curriculum and Instruction Guide. For external links in the Instructional Resources section, right click to open the sites in a new tab and keep your place in the document.
What's Changed in 2023-2024?
- Social Studies 6-8 now have deeper integration with the TCI programs. Subunits (e.g., 1.1, 2.2) have been removed and replaced with the corresponding TCI lessons in the Year-at-Glance and Scope and Sequence sections. Additionally, the strategies for each TCI lesson are now detailed in the Instructional Strategies section of each Learning Target. TCI lesson numbers indicate the lesson numbers in the digital programs for all courses (grade 8 digital and print are the same).
- Social Studies 6 TCI digital program continues as a combination of History Alive! The Ancient World and Geography Alive! This custom digital program is already in the order of the CCS curriculum, so no adjustments have been to the order of lessons in the Curriculum.
- Social Studies 7 and 8 curriculum unit titles now match those in the TCI program. Although not all TCI lessons are included in the curriculum, the lessons that are included in the curriculum can be taught in the order of the TCI program.
- Economics is now aligned with Ohio's Standards for Financial Literacy.
- African American Studies unit titles remain the same, however, subunits have been replaced by the corresponding chapters in the HMH African American History textbook.
- Psychology and Sociology unit titles remain the same, with some adjustment to the allocation of weeks. HMH textbook chapters are now aligned with each unit in the Year-at-Glance and Scope and sequence.
With the exception of corrections or fixed links, all other course curriculum documents remain the same as the previous year.
Points of Emphasis 2023-2024
Each year, CCS Social Studies defines Points of Emphasis to guide our work in curriculum, instructional and professional development. This year's Points of Emphasis is designed around the theme of Building Social Studies Skills.
These skills encompass the four disciplinary domains of social studies:
- Civic Participation,
- Historical Thinking,
- Economic Decision Making,
- and Geographic Reasoning.
Within and across those four domains are four cross-disciplinary inquiry practices:
- Constructing Questions,
- Evaluating Sources,
- Analyzing Data, and
- Using Evidence.
Check on the graphic below to see how these practices work together.
You will hear more about Building Social Studies Skills throughout the year during our Professional Development Days, HS Department Chair PD, the Social Studies Connection newsletter, and many more communication avenues.
TCI Implementation: Refinement
TCI is the adopted core program for social studies courses in grades 6-11. In this third year of adoption, we enter the Refinement stage. Over the past two years, we have offered extensive professional development on the TCI approach, including the training on the digital tools and immersion in the TCI engagement strategies. In the Refinement year, we will focus on building internal capacity. If you are an experienced TCI user and would like to begin sharing your insights and knowledge, please let Matt Doran know how you would be willing to help.
What's New in TCI for 2023-2024?
TCI has several new features this year.
- In-App Professional Development On-Demand - With these self-paced courses, you can start, pause, and repeat content anytime directly on TCI’s platform. You can earn certificates with documented hours at the end of each course.
- Assessment Library - You can now find all of your program’s assessments in one place through the new Assessment Library. The filters allow you to search for post-tests and pre-tests quickly. Through the library, you can still customize a TCI test to fit your lesson plans or build one from scratch.
- Customize Vocabulary Cards -TCI’s vocabulary cards help students practice key terms in every lesson. You can customize the vocabulary cards to edit existing definitions, provide examples of how to use each term, and add images. You can even add and remove vocabulary card terms and share them with your students.
- Expanded Slide Editing - Customize and make TCI slideshows your own with our enhanced editing features. Add images, edit text, create new slides, and take notes with the new slideshow builder. Simply go to the edit icon, make changes, and go to “My Slideshows” to find your customized slideshow.
To get started using TCI, log in to TCI via CCS Clever. Once the school year begins, your classes and rosters will automatically sync from Infinite Campus. If you are new to teaching social studies, and do not yet have access to TCI via Clever, please contact Matt Doran via CCS email.
2023 TCI Summit: High School Social Studies Session
2023 TCI Summit: Middle School Social Studies Session
African American Studies and Psychology/Sociology Textbook Adoption
The District has entered a four year adoption for new textbooks and digital platforms for African American Studies, Psychology, and Sociology:
- HMH African American History;
- HMH Psychology; and
- HMH Sociology.
African American History includes a consumable student textbook along with an interactive student platform. Teachers will also have a teachers' edition and ancillary materials in the digital platform. This adoption also includes the Confronting Racism digital platform. Since these are consumable workbooks that are not barcoded, they will be distributed directly from the Curriculum Department based on enrollment in the course.
Psychology and Sociology includes hard copy textbooks along with an interactive student platform. Teachers will also have a teachers' edition and ancillary materials in the digital platform. These are barcoded textbooks that will be distributed by the Book Processing Department through the designated book person at each building.
Both adoptions include teacher and student access to the HMH Writable® platform. Writable® features a writing-feedback loop that works—helping teachers motivate students to become proficient writers through personalized feedback and revision.
The digital platforms are available through CCS Clever, using the "HMH Ed Platform" icon. Programs are automatically loaded to teacher and student accounts based on Infinite Campus enrollment. Once you have logged in as a teacher, you will add the correct program to your sections through a pull down menu.
If you want an on-demand walkthrough of the program, click on the "Professional Development" button on the top right. Then, select "Teacher Pathway" on the left and scroll to your program. You will also find options for registering for live webinars on this page.
Full implementation training will take place during the September 20 district-led professional development day.
Revised Economics Curriculum for Financial Literacy
Ohio law states the study and instruction of financial literacy shall align with Ohio’s Financial Literacy Standards and Model Curriculum adopted by the State Board of Education in 2018 and 2019.
To comply with this requirement, CCS Social Studies has revised our Economics curriculum to align with Ohio's Financial Literacy Standards. Access the new Curriculum from the CCS Social Studies Curriculum page.
Schools using the Economics course to meet financial literacy should plan to have students take this course at the grade level when they would typically take the other .5 of their Academic Elective requirement.
Financial Literacy PD Opportunities
- NextGen Personal Finance PD is available on-demand through the NGPF Academy. Create a free account and take as many self-paced courses as you would like.
Click on the graphic to enlarge.
New Assessments with Evidence-Based Sets & Performance Tasks for Core HS Courses
CCS Social Studies has developed new assessments for HS core classes, American History, World History, and American Government. Each assessment include 13-17 test items from the MasteryConnect banks (multiple choice, drag and drop, cloze reading, table), and an Evidence-Based Set with open-ended performance tasks.
Developed by collaborative teams of HS Department Chairs, these performance tasks consist of 2-4 source excerpts and 3-4 open-ended questions (short answer and extended response). The assessments measure a range of knowledge, skills, and reasoning, with emphasis DOK Levels 2 and 3. The tasks are organized according to the following themes:
American History - Justice & Injustice
- Quarter 1 - Westward Expansion and Native Americans
- Quarter 2 - American Imperialism
- Quarter 3 - Japanese-American Internment
World History - Justice & Injustice
- Quarter 1 - Enlightenment and Revolutions
- Quarter 2 - Imperialism
- Quarter 3 - Genocide
American Government - Functions & Dysfunctions of American Democracy
- Quarter 1 - The Two-Party System
- Quarter 2 - Collaboration and Conflict among Branches
- Quarter 3 - 14th Amendment, Incorporation and Civil Liberties
Assessments are optional may be administered with teacher's discretion on timing. The assessments are available on MasteryConnect via the District Curriculum Maps. Log into MasteryConnect through Clever, Canvas, or Google, and access the maps below:
Released State Test Items for American History and American Government
The Ohio Department of Education has released a portion of the test items from the Spring 2023 administration of Ohio's State Tests. The PDF files of Item Release Scoring Guides are available on the Cambium Test portal. Each of the scoring guides contains associated learning standards, answer keys, scoring rubrics, sample student responses, and notes on scoring with rationales that describe why response options are correct or incorrect.
Released Test Items are also available now in MasteryConnect, within the "COLUMBUS CITY SCHOOLS" (All Caps) Item Bank. These items are labeled as "OST - SS - AH - 23 - #" for American History and "OST - SS - AG - 23 - #" for American Government.
TCI In-App Professional Development On-Demand
TCI's new In-App On-Demand PD provides 3 leveled series for self-paced PD.
- Getting Started with TCI
- Assigning and Grading in TCI
- Integrating with Canvas
- Building a Cooperative Classroom
- Additional courses coming soon!
With these self-paced courses, you can start, pause, and repeat content anytime directly on TCI’s platform. You can earn certificates with documented hours at the end of each course. CCS has a district-level dashboard where we can track the completion of the in-app PD.
To access the PD, open any TCI program and locate the "Professional Development" link at the top of the left side purple menu.
OER Project Conference for Social Studies
OER Project Conference for Social Studies (OC for SS), America’s biggest social studies event for teachers, returns free and online!
August 3, 2023
11 to 5:30 p.m. ET
We see you and recognize the hard work you do to support your students—and that’s why this year’s conference is designed to help you revive and refresh for the school year to come. Reserve your slot now, and be the first to hear the latest conference announcements.
Meet the Speakers:
- Yohuru Williams, Distinguished University Chair, Professor of History and Founding Director of the Racial Justice Initiative at the University of St. Thomas.
- Abby Reisman, Associate Professor of Teacher Education in the Teaching, Learning, and Leadership Division at Penn Graduate School of Education.
- Trevor Getz, Professor of African History at San Francisco State University. His work focuses on history education as well as the social history of Africa.
Join us for a day full of engaging conversation, learning, games, and amazing giveaways, including a chance for your class to be immortalized in OER Project’s next graphic biography!
Echoes & Reflections
Echoes & Reflections offers professional development designed to empower educators with the necessary tools and knowledge to teach about the Holocaust effectively.
Echoes & Reflections offers a range of one-hour webinar offerings throughout the year. View the August offerings here.
Teachers can also participate in Echoes & Reflections online courses. Courses are asynchronous, with built-in opportunities for discussion and guidance with an expert facilitator, as well as other educator participants. Explore the course catalog here.
Council on Foreign Relations Education Ambassador Program
The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Education is excited to announce that our 2023-24 Ambassador Program applications are now open. The program is a nine-month engagement that connects educators across the United States with resources, professional development activities, and a network of like-minded professionals who are committed to equipping students with the knowledge, skills, and perspective to navigate today’s connected world.
CFR's World 101 website is an excellent online resource that offers valuable insights into global issues, international relations, and the complexities of our interconnected world. The website features a diverse array of multimedia resources, including interactive maps, informative videos, and expertly written articles.
Council for Economic Education August Webinars
The Council for Economic Education offers free professional development development, live and on-demand. Watch a webinar for a minimum of 45 minutes and you will receive a certificate of completion within 24 hours.
Erase the Space
Erase the Space connects students from differing parts of Franklin County/Columbus area to make connections and work on projects about their communities. Erase the Space has been working with teachers in CCS since 2016, starting at South High School.
Last year, students of Sarah Thornburg at Columbus Alternative High School connected with a class from Upper Arlington and another from Hilliard Bradley, and a group of seniors collaborated with MOSAIC. It was a great program and students got a lot out of it, including how this school and these students could live 20 minutes away and be living an entirely different life in Columbus. Students learned about redlining in a more real and in-depth way, and seniors got to lobby the Statehouse about fair school funding.
If you are interested in learning more about Erase the Space, they will be hosting a School Year Kickoff BBQ on August 9, 4-7 pm at Mayme Moore Park. Please complete this form if you are planning to attend.