Some worthy (but maybe not beach-worthy) summer read suggestions for teachers of social studies

Looking for something to fill all the time you have left over after fixing up the yard and resealing the deck? Here are some summer read suggestions for teachers of social studies:

  • The College, Career & Civic Life (C3) Framework. It’s available online for free.
    The state has adopted this as an “instructional framework”  for social studies that is informing the revision of the state SS standards. It’s definitely not a “beach read” but it is free and informative. It’s focus is on the inquiry arc of learning.

 

  • For teachers of US History who feel the need to brush up on content knowledge, Don’t Know Much About American History by Kenneth Davis is pretty good (and a light and entertaining read more appropriate for the beach but still probably less so than a Dan Brown novel.

 

  • Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts by Sam Wineburg or Why Don’t You Just Tell Me the Answer: Teaching Historical Thinking in Grades 7-12 by Bruce Lesh skew to teachers of older students (which I know is obvious by the subtitle of the second one) but I think they could still be relevant to intermediate teachers who want to explore the important skills beneath the learning of historical content.

 

  • Lastly, here are three books that are very relevant to teaching social studies but are not written with social studies specifically in mind so if you have teachers who don’t want to commit summer reading time to something that is exclusive to the content of social studies, try these:
    • Dive Into Inquiry: Amplify Learning and Empower Student Voice by Trevor Mackenzie
    • Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions by Dan Rothstein and Luz Santana
    • 17,000 Classrooms Can’t Be Wrong: Strategies That Engage Students, Promote Active Learning, and Boost Achievement

 

Fake Fake News

Earlier this month I offered some resources that teachers could use to help fight fake news (see below for the original post). I realized recently that it may (unfortunately) be necessary to define exactly what “fake news” means since it can readily be seen and heard in at least two very different contexts.

The first way to interpret “fake news” is the way I intended it to be interpreted in my post. Let’s call this “real fake news” (I know that is a bit awkward). This would be something published (in print, on-line, on TV, etc.) that is created purposefully to mislead. An example of this kind of “fake news” you may have heard about in the real real news (confused yet?) about Macedonian teens who made lots of money by fabricating fake news designed to get clicks (clicks can equal $$ on the internet).

Adding to the confusion is the President who had done his best to redefine the term fake news by using it to describe legitimate media outlets who happen to report something unflattering to his administration such as this tweet from April 25:

“Don’t let the fake media tell you that I have changed my position on the WALL. It will get built and help stop drugs, human trafficking etc.” 

Politics aside, this re-branding of this term very likely has created even more confusion for young people trying to figure out their world (and trying to figure out who to trust).

 

Here is the original post with resources for addressing fake news:

Fighting Fake News? Try these Online Resources

One of the key pieces of life-long learning that teachers can instill is the ability to question and evaluate information. For help teaching students about how to fight fake news, check out these free online resources:

Take the Challenge

reading-without-walls-logoExpand your reading horizons and take the Reading Without Walls challenge! National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Gene Luen Yang, calls us all to read without walls, exploring books promoting diverse understandings and opening readers’ eyes to new ideas and experiences.   To take the challenge:

  1. Read a book about a character who doesn’t look like you or live like you.
  2. Read a book about a topic you don’t know much about.
  3. Read a book in a format that you don’t normally read for fun.
  4. Invite  others to do the same!

EPS Integrated Scope and Sequence Site

It’s here! We’ve been working on the new integrated scope and sequence for elementary writing, reading, social studies, and science for over a year now. Thank you to the teachers, coaches, and principals who have provided feedback throughout the process.

You can access the site through the links provided here, using the Evergreen Bookmarks folder in Chrome, or through ClassLink.

At the site, you’ll find information specific to the content areas of  ELA, social studies, and science with images and links to resources. On the grade level pages, all 36 units for grades K through 5 are included, with unit themes, standards, resource suggestions, and integrated literacy task ideas.

We’ll continue to improve the format, add more details, and link more resources to make this resource as valuable and accessible as we can, but we continue to need your help. If there’s something that we can do to make the site better, please let us know! Your ideas and feedback will help us prioritize the ongoing work.

Linking the Known to the New

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I have a confession to make. Despite working in the curriculum department, despite quite a few years in this education field, and despite reading, researching, and hours of discussions with colleagues…I’m still trying to figure out what personalized learning is.

Good news, though, if you’re sitting next to me on the same gently rocking boat–it’s OK. We still have time. In my case, things became clearer when I listened to students.

Last Monday night I drove my two boys to Covington Middle School for their 6th grade orientation/showcase night. Wearing both my educator and dad hats, we toured familiar hallways (to me, at least; my 5th grader’s eyes bulged a bit at the rows of lockers and the open staircase in the entry, “Is this school really TWO WHOLE STORIES?”). I slyly introduced him to some 6th grade teachers, and embarrassed him in front of Mr. Gourde, the principal (“I can text him anytime, you know.”). Continue reading “Linking the Known to the New”

Fighting Fake News? Try these Online Resources

One of the key pieces of life-long learning that teachers can instill is the ability to question and evaluate information. For help teaching students about how to fight fake news, check out these free online resources:

How PBL can enhance global-education goals

Here is an interesting article about how PBL (project/problem-based learning) can be implemented to help create global citizens. It includes a discussion (and a handy table) that shows how the Buck Institute’s elements of “Gold Standard PBL” relate to the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework which Washington (and several other states) have adopted as an instructional framework for social studies education.