SS Instructional Leaders Academy

November 18, 2015 1-4pm

Today's Agenda

  • TEA Update from TSSSA
  • Upcoming Teacher Awards opportunities: TCSS Teacher of the Year, Ann Roger Scholarship for Student Teachers, Humanities Texas Teacher of the Year
  • LRE Conceptual Connections in US History Preview
  • s3 Strategies Revving Review: More Strategies Preview
  • Austin ISD 2015-2020 Strategic Plan - Impact on High School Social Studies classes

TEA Update from TSSSA Fall 2015 Conference

Transition to ETS

  • All items currently in database are eligible for use on all future tests
  • # of Field Test items (8) will not change
  • Paper tests will change very little
  • Online tests will have a new testing platform to be known as the STAAR Online Testing Platform starting in Spring 2016
  • Online tutorial will become available in early spring
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Teacher Recognition Opportunities

Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award


  • Nominees must be full-time English and language arts, foreign languages, history, and social studies teachers in Texas public or private schools.
  • Nominees for the Award for Outstanding Early-Career Teaching must be full-time humanities teachers in Texas public or private schools who have three or fewer years of classroom experience.
  • Nominees should be skillful and dedicated teachers who possess an expansive and profound knowledge of the humanities subject(s) they teach.
  • Nominees should also have a record of active involvement in community activities and professional organizations, particularly those that promote the humanities.
  • Previous award winners are ineligible to apply.

Online Nomination Form

Ann Rogers Scholarship for Student Teachers

The Texas Social Studies Supervisors Association (TSSSA) Ann Rogers Scholarship was created to provide scholarship funds for a student teacher doing his/her student teaching in social studies in the state of Texas. This $1,000.00 scholarship is paid directly to the student.

LRE Conceptual Connections in US History - Preview

Learning Objectives: The student will understand and trace concepts through different units of study.

TEKS: See specific topics below.

Materials Needed: A set of concept cards and era placards for groups of 3 students, class set of era reading, and graphic timeline organizer(s) for each student.

Teacher background Information:

What is looking at U.S. History conceptually?

Providing students and teachers the opportunity to make conceptual connections between the various units of study in U.S. History, and see history as more of a story and not simply a march through units of study.

How did Law Related Education choose to approach it?

LRE recognized that while teaching conceptually helps students move beyond just recall of facts to higher order thinking, it can be difficult for those that have not had a lot of experience in the content. Our own experience has taught us that it is easier to make these connections once you see the big picture, which is usually at the end of the course. Additionally, we never had a resource that allowed our students to preview content so that they could connect it with what we were currently studying since most textbooks don’t organize content this way. To make conceptual teaching a possibility in U.S. History, we looked at the standards and content that lent themselves to a conceptual approach. Once identified, we researched the content in these standards, how the state has previously tested these areas, and created the concept cards that can be used in this approach.

Where and when can you teach conceptually?

In addition to wanting to explore concepts in greater detail, we also didn’t want to wait until the end of the year (prior to STAAR) to start this conceptual approach. So after determining the concepts we wanted to explore, we looked for places in the scope of the curriculum where we felt it might be possible to “drop in” to the course at selected times and explore a concept.

Are you ready for a preview?

Preview - s3Strategies Revving Review - Day 2!


The Day's Highlights--

  • Learn how to build a language rich environment to deal with difficult Tier II language found on the STAAR exam
  • Consider how to review all year long by implementing powerful reviews for each historical era
  • Use "Quiz, Quiz, Trade" to review and create conversation around critical content
  • Empower students with test-taking strategies to maximize their efforts and peak performance
  • Experience student-centered, fast-paced lessons to improve students' mastery of content.

Are you ready for a preview?

Austin ISD Strategic Plan: Impact on HS Social Studies

You can find the Austin ISD 2015-2020 Strategic Plan here.

According to the Strategic Plan Framework, AISD has Three Core Beliefs:

  1. All students will graduate college-, career-, and life-ready.
  2. We will create an effective, agile, and responsive organization.
  3. We will create vibrant relationships critical for successful students and schools.

The district has identified certain commitments for each core belief. For example, for core belief one:

  1. Achieve excellence by delivering a high-quality education to every student.
  2. Implement the transformative use of technology.
  3. Ensure all students perform at or above grade level in math and reading.
  4. Prepare all students to graduate on time.
  5. Develop civically-engaged students.

There are strategies that the district has identified to achieve each commitment. And for each strategy there are key action steps.

We are going to look at 5 of the key action steps from 4 strategies identified under 3 of the commitments from Core Belief One.

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