Social Studies Insider

February 2020

Join the Google Community

Please continue to use the google classroom to seek answers to various content-based questions/concerns, gather and share content based resources, and receive updated news on various social studies initiatives. If you haven't joined your respective social studies Google Classroom, what are you waiting for? Join today!
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Interested in Co-Teaching? Need Help Planning?

In an effort to better support you, I'd love the opportunity to join you in your classroom and/or during your planning. Please feel free to request a classroom visit. I am here to help in any way possible. If interested, please complete the form below by clicking on the button or emailing me directly at phillip.sykes@cowetaschools.net.

Celebrate Culture and History

February is Black History Month. If you are looking for ways to incorporate historical literacy into your lessons surrounding the Civil Rights Movement, check out these grade-specific resources from ReadWorks.org about the incredible lives of African Americans who shaped the United States. Click on the image below for pre-selected articles grades K-12.

Engaging Digital Resources

Please continue to share digital resources you are using within your class lessons. If you click on the button below, you will be directed to the growing list of digital resources I have put together to help make lesson planning a little easier. Anytime you use one of the resources, please feel free to send me feedback! To assist with navigating the resources, recent additions will be listed at the end of the list. As a suggestion, always start at the bottom of this list and scroll to the top.


New to the List this Month: 5 Clue Challenge

Looking for a way to cover your geographic standards in a more interesting and inquiry-based manner? Consider integrating "Where in the world?" to add a new level of excitement and problem solving to cover key locations, events, and people from within your standards.


What is "Where in the world?" All over the world, people live in diverse regions, and climates with different animals, plants, and interesting nuances. As I have traveled the world working with teachers and students, I have tried to bring experiences back to my own classes. Below you'll find short videos where you will get 5 clues to guess a location, animal, or person. Some videos were created by me as I traveled. Others were submitted to me by teachers and children from around the globe. Your mission is to do research and figure out the answer to each challenge in as few clues as possible. Have fun!

5 Clue Challenge Example

UPDATE: Achievement Level Descriptors

The Georgia Department of Education has released the GSE updated ALDs for social studies teachers grades 5, 8, 11, 12. ALDs show a progression of knowledge and skills for which students must demonstrate competency across the achievement levels. It is important to understand that a student should demonstrate mastery of the knowledge and skills within his/her achievement level as well as all content and skills in any achievement levels that precede his/her own, if any. For example, a Proficient Learner should also possess the knowledge and skills of a Developing Learner and a Beginning Learner. Utilize the ALD's during your common planning sessions and help ensure your students' ability to succeed. Please click on the links below to access the newly updated ALD's.


5th Grade Social Studies

8th Grade Georgia Studies

11th Grade US History

12th Grade Economics

Invest in GCA and Watch Your Students Grow

Are you looking for ways to better expose your students to Milestone like questions? If so, consider using GCA to generate a class "Question of the Day."


Utilize the bank of questions to spiral information from your previous units of study. Select five questions per week and conduct a brief warm-up/concluding review with a daily assigned question. Take time to allow students to review their notes, discuss their understanding with a partner, and document their thoughts. Encourage them to mark out, highlight, underline segments of the question and option choices. Before reviewing the correct answer as a class, demonstrate how students should get to the correct answer by identifying what students know about the various distractors. Model for your students as you highlight key points, jot down reminders, and eliminate any incorrect options choices to solidify the correct answer.


If interested in more information about this strategy, reach out to Nessa McClure, Jeff Welch, or Phil Sykes. The examples pictured below were created by Nessa McClure and cover the 5th-Gade Social Studies Georgia Standards of Excellence. I have also linked middle school examples below.

Georgia Council for Economic Education Review Apps

If you are a teacher in grade 8 or 12, encourage your students to download the free GCEE Econ review App. GCEE has worked to develop a bank of Milestone's EOG/EOCT review questions pertaining to the economic standards you teach. The banks are constantly being updated. Additionally, there is an AP Econ review app; however, it is titled "Advanced" Econ Review. If you have any questions, please let me know.

Spotlighting Excellence

Megan Weaver, Moreland Elementary, 5th Grade

Mrs. Weaver joined our 5th-grade team at Moreland 2 years ago. She, along with her husband and 3 beautiful children come to us from North Carolina where she had 13 years of experience in teaching. Most of her experience was at Thales Academy, a private school, where she taught 5th grade. At Moreland, Megan also teaches 5th grade Math, Science, and Social Studies. Mrs. Weaver has an energy and enthusiasm that is contagious to her students and team-mates; and which creates a classroom atmosphere where true learning can occur. She loves it when her students put forth genuine effort, express their creativity, and connect with their learning on a personal level. Megan and her team-mates work diligently along with our support staff to develop activities and strategies that assure all students in her collaborative classroom experience success. Mrs. Weaver is the co-sponsor of our Jr. Beta Club and one of our go-to teachers when it comes to technology. It is a joy to watch her work with her students and to see the interaction between student and teacher as they work together in a true teaching-learning partnership.

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Third Annual Coweta Innovation Summit

On Friday, May 29, Coweta County School System will host a Classroom Innovation Summit. The summit is designed to showcase innovative classroom practices and resources that any teacher could use to enhance their classroom. Session range from Google Classroom hacks to becoming a Gmail ninja to PBIS best practices to classroom data hacks and many more! If you have an idea for a presentation please submit a proposal here! Session are 50 minutes long. Presenters get free admission, lunch, and extra door prize tickets. Know someone who should present? Share this with them!
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Attention Elementary Teachers:

Benchmark Results are In:

Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help moving forward! I'd be happy to sit down and go through the results to identify students' strengths and weaknesses.


Integrating Social Studies into your ELA/Reading Lessons Made Easy

Located within the GA DOE Teacher Notes, teachers can find a list of standards connected books that can easily be integrated into your ELA/Reading lessons.

For Kindergarten access, Click Here.

For 1st Grade access, Click Here.

For 2nd Grade access, Click Here.

For 3rd Grade access, Click Here.

For 4th Grade access, Click Here.

For 5th Grade access, Click Here.


Student Friendly Biography on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

As we begin our celebrations of Black History Month, take a moment to check out this student-friendly resource on Dr. King.


2nd Grade Teachers:

Utilize the following link to help gather relevant information in regard to your Georgia Studies standards. Georgia


3rd Grade Teachers:

Check out National Geographic Kids. They have numerous resources on the American Indians and the regions in which they live(d).

Attention Middle School Teachers:

SGM Revisions:

If you are aware of an issue with your course's SGM, please contact your testing coordinator. We are in the process of establishing revision dates. Your testing coordinator will need to share your request with Dr. Jackson in order for the SGM to be added to our revision list.


7th Grade Teachers:

As you cover various conflicts across the Middle East and Asia, you may be interested in having your students explore the following game created by the United States Airforce. This game touches on many of the topics you may discuss within your classroom lessons.

Airman Challenge


Opportunity for Students in Grades 6-12:
The Georgia Commission on the Holocaust is looking for it's 2020 Student Community Service Award recipient. This award is given to honor students in middle and high school who are making significant contributions to their community through their time, actions, talents and dedication. Students applying for these awards will have consistently demonstrated qualities of compassion and service in their volunteer activities. Students may not receive any monetary or personal benefits from their involvement in these activities. Please encourage students to apply! We'd love to have a CCSS student recognized for the work they are doing to better our community. Click here for an application.


Benchmark Results are In:

Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help moving forward! I'd be happy to sit down and go through the results to identify students' strengths and weaknesses.


Monthly Social Studies Meeting:

This month's meeting will be held on January 29, 2020, at Werz. Mrs. Heather McMillan will be presenting information that you won't want to miss. We will also take some time to comb through our Mid Year Benchmark data.


GCSS Reading List:

Click on the following link to access a reading list connected to various social studies themes and topics. Click Here

Attention High School Teachers:

SGM Revisions:

If you are aware of an issue with your course's SGM, please contact your testing coordinator. We are in the process of establishing revision dates. Your testing coordinator will need to share your request with Dr. Jackson in order for the SGM to be added to our revision list.


What's Cooking Uncle Sam?

The National Archives Museum adapted our very popular printed exhibition catalog “What's Cooking, Uncle Sam?” to a fully interactive eBook with video, audio and additional content. The eCatalog is based on the “What's Cooking, Uncle Sam?” exhibition that debuted in 2011 at the National Archives Museum in Washington, DC. The records featured in “What's Cooking” were all produced in the course of Government efforts to ensure that Americans enjoy an ample, safe, and nutritious diet. Spanning the Revolutionary War to the late 1900s, the letters, photographs, pamphlets, posters, films, and radio programs echo many of our current concerns about Government’s role in the health and safety of our food supply. Click Here


Social Studies Civic Engagement Diploma Seal

Continue to advertise this opportunity to your students. As you finalize your review of capstone projects. Please keep me posted with the expected number of graduates receiving the diploma seal.


Opportunity for Students in Grades 6-12:

The Georgia Commission on the Holocaust is looking for it's 2020 Student Community Service Award recipient. This award is given to honor students in middle and high school who are making significant contributions to their community through their time, actions, talents and dedication. Students applying for these awards will have consistently demonstrated qualities of compassion and service in their volunteer activities. Students may not receive any monetary or personal benefits from their involvement in these activities. Please encourage students to apply! We'd love to have a CCSS student recognized for the work they are doing to better our community. Click here for an application.


Scholarship Opportunity for Seniors:

Newnan Coweta Historical Society Scholarship


For the third consecutive year, the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society (NCHS) will be awarding a $10,000 scholarship to a Coweta County student intending to pursue a college education with a history or history-related major or minor.


The Newnan-Coweta Historical Society is now beginning to take applications for its annual $10,000 scholarship awarded to a local student in good standing. The scholarship will be issued at a rate of $2,500 per year, paid in installments per semester or quarter depending on the institution’s’ system.


The NCHS scholarship is intended to promote the study of history and history-related fields. History helps us understand change, society, and community, and the study of it creates well-rounded, skillful citizens. This specific scholarship is an investment in the Newnan and Coweta community and its future and serves to promote the Historical Society’s goal of preserving and protecting local history.


To be eligible for the scholarship, students must be a Coweta County resident in their senior year of high school and in good standing to graduate. Students from public school, private school, home school, and virtual school are all eligible to apply. Applicants must intend to pursue history or a history-related field as an area of study. The mailing deadline for applications is February 28, 2020. Applications must include: a completed and signed application form, official transcripts and available aptitude test scores; letter of acceptance from college/university (if received); three letters of recommendation; and a one-page personal statement. A followup interview may be requested by the NCHS staff and Scholarship Committee.


For more information or questions concerning the application process, please call the NCHS offices at 770.251.0207 or email executivedirector@newnancowetahistoricalsociety.com

Network Connectors

Looking to connect with others in the Social Studies field? Utilize the links below to connect with various organizations that may provide expertise and resources to better your professional networks.


Connect with Georgia's virtual learning community for Social Studies

Georgia Council for the Social Studies

Georgia Council on Economic Education

Georgia Historical Society

Georgia WWI Commission

National Council for History Education

Newnan-Coweta Historical Society

Professional Learning for All

Monthly Middle School Meeting

Wednesday, Feb. 26th, 4-5pm

167 Werz Industrial Boulevard

Newnan, GA

We will be meeting in SD1.

High School Curriculum Meeting

Thursday, Feb. 27th, 4-5pm

167 Werz Industrial Boulevard

Newnan, GA

Join for a collaborative opportunity to meet with fellow high school social studies teachers from across the district. Mrs. Rachael Boyd will also be re-delivering some pretty interesting resources from the GCSS Social Studies Conference.

GCEE- Workshop 4th and 5th Grade Literature in Economics

Thursday, March 26th, 8:30am-3pm

167 Werz Industrial Boulevard

Newnan, GA

This workshop uses four unique children’s books to help fourth and fifth grade teachers incorporate effective literacy strategies into creative and engaging STEM, language arts, and social studies lessons. All four books are provided to teachers along with the lessons that are demonstrated at the workshop. There is no registration fee for this workshop, instructional materials are provided, substitute reimbursement is available, and lunch is provided.


Want to Register? Click Here.

Comments, Concerns, Questions?

Looking to connect with others in the Social Studies field? Utilize the links below to connect with various organizations that may provide expertise and resources to better your professional networks.