Austin ISD Social Studies News

Vol. 28, January 2018

New Year, New Opportunities

Happy New Years! We hope that everyone had a restful winter break and is ready to make 2018 the best year yet for our students. Discover new opportunities that are available for teachers and for students below!

US History MOY exam Information

Testing Window: January 8-26

Testing Time: up to 2 hours if needed

Last day to scan: January 26, 2018

The open response questions will not have score points assigned to them and will not be scored in Schoolnet. Teachers should evaluate student written responses to determine proficiency of the standards being tested. Please scan all answer documents by the window closing date.

The rubric for the open response questions will be available in Schoolnet.

Teacher Opportunities

Austin History Center Author Talk

Waterloo Press Author Monte Akers to speak at Austin History Center on his new book: The Grande Dame of Austin: A History of The Driskill Hotel

Where: Austin History Center, 810 Guadalupe

When: Tuesday, January 9 at 6:30pm

This event is free and open to the public.

Light refreshments will be served.

Parking is free on Tuesday evenings after 6 pm in the old library parking lot and on nearby streets.

NHC January Webinars

Register for these free webinars at:

Suckers and Swindlers: Business Fraud in the History of American Capitalism

Recommended for U.S. History, Economics

Date: Thursday, January 18, 2018, 6:00–7:30 pm
Leader: Edward Balleisen, Associate Professor of History and Public Policy, Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies, Duke University NHC Fellow 2009-10

This webinar will examine the American experience with business fraud since the early nineteenth century—the enduring difficulties of defining fraud; the characteristics of the worst fraud scandals; and the evolution of institutional attempts to contain its corrosive impacts. Join us to explore this important lens on American economic culture, as well as ways that you can bring team-based historical research into your classrooms.

Environmental History: Eating the City

Recommended for U.S. History, Geography

Date: Tuesday, January 23, 2018, 6:00–7:30 pm
Leader: Matthew Booker, Associate Professor of History, North Carolina State University NHC Fellow 2016–17
Teacher Leader: Kim Gilman, pre-AP and ESL social studies and geography teacher

While luxuries like coffee, tea, and sugar connected them to the global economy, refrigeration, transportation, and income forced most people to eat seasonal and regional foods. Farmers recycled human and animal waste. The rise of the industrial city, with its immigrant populations, networked economies, and steam-powered workplaces, profoundly challenged that older system. This webinar will use a forgotten staple, oysters, to explore the risks of industrialization and the consequences of environmental protections.

National Humanities Center Workshop

Location: The Julius Glickman Conference Center, located on the first floor of the University of Texas at Austin College of Liberal Arts Building off 23rd Street and the San Jacinto Circle.

Date and Time: Wednesday, February 7, 2018 from 3:00 to 4:30 pm

This workshop is free and open to educators at all levels. RSVP about your attendance no later than Friday, January 30, 2018. Space is limited so reserve your place soon!

The National Humanities Center (NHC) is celebrating forty years of supporting excellence in humanities research and pedagogy. Located in Durham, North Carolina, the NHC provides blended professional development opportunities and instructional materials for educators of all levels. These resources bridge the divide between scholarship and the classroom—and aim to create more effective environments for teaching and learning.

Join Andy Mink, NHC Vice President for Education Programs, for a professional development workshop titled Humanities in Class: Critical Inquiry and Classroom Practice in the Information Age to learn more about emerging trends in humanities education with a particular emphasis on the digital environment. This hands-on session will feature guides and resources in support of disciplinary practice—including U.S. and world history, English language and literature, music, art history, classics, geography, civics, and philosophy. Participants will receive new digital resources with classroom-ready materials as well as opportunities for new workshops and seminars.

After the workshop, a wine and beer reception at the Byrne-Reed House from 5-7 will feature the music of Austin native Matt Smith.

Register for your spot at

Humanities Texas Spring 2018 Teacher Workshops

All Humanities Texas workshops are free and Humanities Texas provides sub reimbursements (to schools) and travel reimbursements to participants.

Workshops for social studies teachers include:

The Civil War Era

-Corpus Christi, February 1

-San Antonio, February 2

-Lufkin, February 21

-Houston, February 22

-Austin, February 23

Landmark Supreme Court Cases

-Dallas, February 7

-San Antonio, February 8

Teachers at all workshops will receive books and other instructional materials. Content at all of our workshops will be aligned with the TEKS. For details on eligibility, substitute and travel reimbursements, and venues or to apply online, visit the Upcoming Institutes page on the Humanities Texas website.

Region 13 Social Studies Spring 2018 Workshops

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Teaching American History - Teacher programs would like to invite you to join other social studies and civics teachers for upcoming spring Texas teacher programs. These programs are offered to teachers at no cost, thanks to generous contributions from our supporters. We welcome you to enjoy a day of conversation and professional content development with like-minded colleagues and scholars.

Spring 2018 Programs Include:

  • Origins of the Cold War - February 7 (Houston)
  • Westward Expansion - February 25 (Austin)
  • Robber Barons or Captains of Industry? The Gilded Age Revisited - April 25 (Houston)

Click here to register for the programs.

If you have any questions regarding any of these programs, please contact Jeremy Gypton, our Teacher Program Manager at

Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission Seeks Applications For Outstanding Educator Award

The Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission (THGC) is now accepting applications for the Steinberger Outstanding Educator Award. The award seeks to recognize best practices in the classroom for teaching about the Holocaust and/or any of the genocides recognized by the United States; these genocides include those in Cambodia, Rwanda, the Balkans, Darfur, and the Middle East (Syria and Iraq). The award will go to one Texas classroom teacher, curriculum specialist, or librarian who works with any students in the 5th through 12th grades on Holocaust and/or modern genocides studies.

All application materials must be received electronically through the THGC website by 5:00 PM CST on February 1, 2018. Visit the THGC’s website at for an online application and instructions.

Student Opportunities


TexElects is a contest that invites Texas middle and high school students to design and create messages about the importance of voting.

Tex Elects uniquely integrates arts and civics to engage Texas youth in the electoral process and inspire commitment to democratic participation. Every presidential and midterm election year, the contest acts as a unique supplement to civics and government instruction in high schools around the state.

The arts-integrated curriculum teaches students about the upcoming presidential or midterm election, the mechanics of participation and asks them to consider why citizens should vote.

The students exercise their new perspectives and knowledge to create non-partisan voter messaging pieces through an arts medium.

30 State Finalists’ work will be chosen to be displayed in the fall State Civic Art Exhibit at the Contemporary Austin, Jones Center. Additionally, one winner's work from each category will be used to promote participation in the 2018 midterm election and will receive a monetary prize.

Registration opens February 26, 2018, and closes April 16, 2018.

TexElects work must communicate a non-partisan message that encourages democratic participation in the midterm elections and calls upon the audience to consider why they should vote. Messages may include but not limited to the following subject matter:

  • Mechanics of voting Texas
  • Impact of voting
  • The what and why of midterm elections
  • Personal stories, perspectives, and interpretations of voting in Texas
  • Answers the question, why one should consider voting.

Education resources available online.

Educators/facilitators register to participate here.

For more details about the competition visit the website!

If you find any resources that you'd like to share...

just email Melanie with a brief description and the link!
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Austin ISD Secondary Social Studies

High School Specialist - Melanie Kirchhof

If you have any questions or comments, please contact me by one of the means below.

Also, if you enjoy receiving resources more frequently than once a month, follow us on Twitter @AISDSoc !