Social Studies Update

February 2016

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2016 Accountability

New passing rates have been set by TEA.

8th Grade: 54%

They need to correctly answer two more questions than last year.

High School US History: 44%

They need to correctly answer two more questions than last year.

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Spring Professional Development

Register now for STAAR and EOC Reviews- spots are filling up fast!

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Social Studies Workshops

Secession, Slavery, the Civil War and Reconstruction

Brought to you by Humanities Texas

February 18th

Session ID Number: 362083

Register NOW!

8th Grade American History STAAR Review

March 1st

Session ID Number: 366476

High School U.S. History EOC Review

March 2nd

Session ID Number: 366482

Instructional Technology Tools for the Social Studies Classroom

May 31st

Session ID Number: 367195

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Professional Development in Your Pajamas!

Social Studies Socials on Twitter

If you would you like to get professional development while wearing your pajamas, then this workshop series is for you! Each session is worth 2 hour of PD credit. If you participate in each session, you will be able to receive 8 hours of CPE credit!

Start following me on Twitter now!


February 10th: Formative Assessment

Session ID Number: 367502

Register NOW!

March 24th: Instructional Technology Tools

Session ID Number: 367504

Register NOW!

April 21st: Grading and Assessment

Session ID Number: 367507

Register NOW!

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Online Workshops

These courses are self-paced. They MUST be completed by April 29th in order to receive the 6 to 12 hours of CPE credit. You may register at any time throughout the Spring.

Conceptual Planning in Social Studies

Session ID Number: 43244

Register NOW!

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

Session ID Number: 367423

Register NOW!

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Guest Speakers Coming to Region 17!

The Institute for the Study of Western Civilization out of Texas Tech University is providing opportunities for students to listen to professors from across the nation. Schools will be able to schedule a half-day with these guest speakers and provide their students with a great learning experience.

If you are interested or have any questions, please contact Jenny Gaona at


Dr. Robert Lawson, Jerome M. Fullinwider Endowed Centennial Chair in Economic Freedom, Southern Methodist University

Monday, February 29th and Tuesday, March 1st.

If you would like for Professor Lawson to visit your school and speak to your students please email Jenny Gaona


Dr. Gerard Bradley, Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame

Wednesday, May 4th and Thursday, May 5th.

If you would like for Professor Bradley to visit your school and speak to your students please email Jenny Gaona

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Attention 8th Grade American History Teachers!

Pulse Checks

A pulse check will include:

  • STAAR released test items packaged by units (units are be based on the TEKS Resource System YAG)
  • Standard Alignment
  • 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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Opportunities for Learning at Region 17

Alex Kajitani is Coming March 8th, 9th, and 10th!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

You Got This! Six Keys to Success for Middle/JH School Students (middle school)
Alex will be working with middle school students on this day. Teachers need to register for the workshop and then email students’ names and grades to Margo Knox at

Wednesday, March 9, 2016
You Got This! Six Keys to Success for High School Students (high school)
Alex will be working with high school students on this day. Teachers need to register for the workshop and then email students’ names and grades to Margo Knox at

Wednesday, March 9, 2016
6:00-8:00 pm
How to Help Your Child Succeed & Be Happy (parent night)
Alex will share his own personal stories with parents this evening.

Thursday, March 10, 2016
Owning It: How to Be Highly Effective & Love What You Do (teachers)
This is a whole day event for paraprofessionals and teachers. Alex will present a keynote in the morning and repeat it in the afternoon. (9:00-11:45) (1:00-3:45)
Participants will attend one keynote address and for the other half of the day participants will choose 2 breakout sessions. You will have 6 breakout sessions to choose from. All six sessions will be repeated for all four time slots.

Paula Kluth is coming to Region 17!

April 12: Joyful Learning Session #41820
Too often a “one-size-fits-all” approach is used to design lessons leaving some learners struggling to participate and leaving teachers feeling they have not reached all of their students. In this interactive session, participants will apply principles of differentiation by exploring a number of collaborative, active, and brain-compatible learning techniques aimed at engaging students and making learning joyful.

April 13: Just Give Him the Whale Session #376203
Do you know someone who loves whales? Or ceiling fans? Or elevators? Most of us do know learners with specific interests. Often, however, these favorites of students with autism are not celebrated but seen as annoying, problematic or in need of “extinction”. In this presentation, Dr. Kluth will explore alternative perspectives and will focus specifically on how they can serve as supports, teaching tools, inspirations, and hobbies.
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Funding, Grants and Contests

The Ann Rogers Scholarship for Student Teachers

The Ann Rogers scholarship is funded by the Texas Social Studies Supervisors Association, a non-profit, tax-exempt entity chartered under the laws of the State of Texas. The scholarship was created to provide scholarship funds for student teachers completing his/her student teaching in social studies in the state of Texas. This $1000.00 scholarship will be paid directly to the student teacher after official proof of registration is shown.

Ann Rogers was the Director of Social Studies for the Texas Education Agency for ten years. She spent her years in that position championing the needs of social studies teachers across the state of Texas. She has encouraged and enabled the excellence of social studies instruction in the state of Texas and has guided the writing and implementation of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. This scholarship was created to honor Ann Rogers and her vision in the teaching of social studies in Texas.

Click here for the application form.

Texas Social Studies Supervisors Association District Improvement Grant Application

TSSSA approved a $2000 DIGrant fund amount for 2016. Applications for this competitive grant will be evaluated based on purpose, goals, and impacts. Grant applications may range from $500 to $2000. Awardees will be announced at the Spring conference in Austin Feb. 25/26th.

Click here for the grant application.

Click here to view the grant application rubric.

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.

Summer Institute for Current and Future K-12 Teachers

"Rethinking the Gilded Age and Progressivisms:

Race, Capitalism, and Democracy, 1877 to 1920”

A Summer Institute for Current and Future K-12 Teachers

June 26– July 22, 2016

Chicago, Illinois

The Chicago Metro History Education Center, University of Illinois at Chicago, and Loyola University Chicago invite K-12 teachers to apply for “Rethinking the Gilded Age and Progressivisms: Race, Capitalism, and Democracy, 1877 to 1920.” Participants in this National Endowment for the Humanities-sponsored program will spend four weeks in Chicago, a center of Progressive Era reform, engaging in vigorous discussions about this critical time period in American history and creating materials to use in their classrooms. Award-winning historian Robert Johnston (University of Illinois at Chicago) will guide the institute’s academic content, with the help of renowned experts in history, art, and architecture. Charles Tocci (Loyola University Chicago) will direct teaching application discussions, along with master teacher Michael Biondo (Maine South High School). For more information, contact Rachel Allmen, CMHEC,

Benefits include:

Stimulating readings and discussions with scholars and peers

Time to explore and create practical applications for your classroom

A $3,300 stipend to defray travel, lodging, and study expenses

A chance to personally experience Chicago’s Gilded Age and Progressive Era history and culture

For full details, visit

Applications are due March 1, 2016.

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TCEA 2016 Take Aways

For more, yes there was more, check out my twitter handle for all of my TCEA tweets! @jgaonaR17SS

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Technology Tips, Tricks, and Tools from Facebook this Month

Click Like!

Recommended Facebook Pages

Texas Council for the Social Studies

Texas General Land Office

Great Resource for US History EOC Reviews

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Stay connected with Region 17 Social Studies news and updates:

Follow me on Twitter- @jgaonaR17SS

Like my Facebook page- Region 17 Social Studies