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they could still be relevant to intermediate teachers who want to explore the important skills beneath the learning of historical content.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

 

Fort Vancouver Regional Library Summer Reading Program

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Check out this opportunity for reading fun through the Fort Vancouver Regional Library!

Read, earn prizes, and visit the library for amazing performances and activities June 15 – August 15, 2017.

How it works:

  • Summer Reading is open to all ages.
  • Register online or at your library, then start logging time on June 15.
  • Make reading a daily habit. Set your own daily reading goal.
    • Log the days you meet your reading goal.
    • Log a day of reading if you attend a library program.
  • Youth aged 0-18 years, earn a prize when you reach 15, 30 and 45 days read — visit your library by August 15 to choose your prizes.
  • Everyone, when you reach 15, 30 and 45 days read you get an entry in the Grand Prize Drawing for one of these great prizes:
    • $200 Amazon gift card for each age group: 0-5 years old, 6-11 years old, and 12-18 years old
    • Two (2) nights at Skamania Lodge for adults

You can also:

  • Write and read reviews online.
  • Tell us a little about what you like to read and receive book recommendations via email.

Now Even More Great Courses in the One by One Line-up! Check it out!

Now there are even more great courses to choose from in the One by One line-up!

Did you know that our conference will be opened to the public on Monday, May 22nd? Be sure to register now to ensure that you have first chance at the courses that are best for you! Spread the word!

Library Girl Jennifer LaGarde brings us…

New Tricks for Old Dogs: a BreakoutEDU Experience

The interwebs are for more than just getting information.  There is a whole host of tools that can transform learning in your classroom – some of them have been around for decades.  In this session, we’ll teach some of those old dogs to do some new tricks while immersed in a BreakoutEDU experience that is a digital and physical hybrid. Strategies for introducing this type of activity to your students and the tools used to create it will be shared. (3-12)

An Act of Justice: The Roles of School Librarians in Breaking The Cycle of Poverty

If, as Nelson Mandela said, “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” school libraries represent a unique and powerful opportunity to impact our most vulnerable students.  In this session, Jennifer LaGarde explores ways in which we can build school library spaces and programs that both help students living in poverty envision a better life but that also, empower them with the skills and abilities necessary to achieving it. (K-12)

140 Character Love Story: Harnessing The Power of Twitter for Professional Learning.

When teachers connect, students win! Still, there are far too many educators who have yet to take advantage of Twitter as a tool for building professional relationships, growing a personal learning network (PLNs) and finding resources to improve teaching and learning for students. In this session, we’ll focus on why being connected matters and participants will leave with a vast array of resources to help make becoming a connected educator easy! (K-12)

Moving from Decoration to Documentation: Creating Library Spaces That Matter

First impressions matter. And in this session, participants will explore ways to create library spaces that not only cultivate learning, but that also reflect innovative practice.  With an emphasis on tips and suggestions from the field, that can be achieved on any budget, the focus of this session will be to help School Library Media Coordinators create spaces that leave every visitor (be they a student, parent, principal or school board member) absolutely convinced that the work happening in the library is both aligned to school-wide goals AND positively impacts student learning. (K-12)

Read. Tweet. Repeat.  Using Social Media To Cultivate Communities of Readers.

Instead of trying to compete with it, let’s harness the power of social media to generate excitement about reading, spark meaningful conversations and build the types of communities that support a life long love of reading. From #2jennsbookclub to #30secondbooktalks, this fun, interactive session is all about using the tools of today to keep our students and colleagues reading tomorrow. (3-12)

Katherine Livick, Professional Development Manager for Digital Learning, ESD 112 brings us…

Google My Maps in the Classroom

Did you know that your Google Apps for Education account includes the ability to create and edit customized Google maps? My Maps offers unique possibilities for fun, engaging, and student-centered learning across many content areas and grade levels. Come and check it out! (3-12)

Coding with Ozobot and Google Blockly

What can you do with a cute little robot that fits in the palm of your hand? Lots! This session will give you an overview and demonstration of how Ozobots can be used to teach coding, logic, and engineering concepts with students as young as third grade.

HEALTH WARNING: Please note that the Ozoblockly demo will involve rapidly flashing lights. Attendees who may be prone to seizures should use caution if attending this session. Please ask the presenter if you have any questions. (3-12)

David Jakes, expert in Personalized Learning Environments brings us…

Learning Space Design Challenge!

Great design starts with a sharpie, post-it notes, and trace paper.  In this session, begin developing the skills of an educator-designer that can help you to re-think and re-create learning spaces.  Work individually or in teams to create new designs that support new conditions for learning.  You’ll be challenged to sketch and draw like an architect, iterate your designs, and begin developing a design lens that helps you look at space differently.  You’ll have a chance to experience new furniture first-hand and incorporate it into your designs.

Our session goal will be to create a gallery of new spatial designs that can showcase the potential of educators to redesign their current spaces or create new spaces that dramatically impact teaching and learning. (K-12)

Beyond the Steel Frame Desk:  Why Furniture Matters

All educators can visualize the typical classroom and the traditional furniture that it contains.  But the vision of what the classroom is, and how it supports a contemporary learning experience, is rapidly changing.  For this to occur, there needs to be a fundamental change in how classrooms are designed to support student learning.  

In this session, you’ll have a chance to experience an essential element of that re-design process first hand – classroom furniture.  Learn what is available, the capabilities and the nuances of modern educational furniture, and how new furniture can directly support the design of new student learning experiences.  Join us to sit, stand, push and pull, swivel and rock, and learn what’s beyond the steel frame desk!

Workshop:  Understanding and Creating Next-Generation Learning Spaces

How people work, learn, and engage with others is dramatically changing.  New opportunities to connect with people, to resources, and to ideas emerge daily.  At the same time, new physical and digital spaces have emerged that support these new connections and opportunities.  As expected, these shifts have compelling implications for how school learning spaces are designed and how they function.  

In this workshop, learn about the trends and patterns that are impacting school learning space design.  We’ll examine classrooms, libraries, makerspaces, and digital spaces to see examples of best practice design and how these emergent trends are being incorporated into schools.  You’ll learn learning space basics, the language of learning spaces, and how to use a design process to create any type of learning space.  

This workshop is highly participatory and will provide you with the opportunity to evaluate your beliefs about the importance of learning spaces, how spaces impact teaching and learning, and how next-generation learning spaces are created and employed to provide students with the opportunity to engage and learn in new ways.

Tim Lauer, Director of Digital Learning for Evergreen Public Schools brings us…

Using Social Media to Tell Your Story

Schools can either tell their own story or let someone else tell it for them. They can highlight the work that exemplifies their mission, or they can put the power to choose in someone else’s hands, and then find themselves misconstrued or unfairly criticized. This session will explore a number of resources that allow schools to capitalize on the power of Social Media and ways to celebrate the best in your classroom, building, library, or district.(P-12)

Using Remind to Communicate with Families

What is Remind? Remind is a communication messaging service for teachers and administrators that allows them to reach parents and students via text messages. Parents opt in to receive announcements and other class/school communications. Many Evergreen teachers and administrators already utilize Remind to communicate with families and students. Learn how they use Remind to increase family and student engagement. (P-12)

Creating a Classroom or School Blog Using WordPress

Blogging is a great way for teachers to share the work taking place in their classrooms with parents, peers, and the larger school community. This session will introduce you to setting up a classroom blog. Participants will learn how to use WordPress to create and publish content. Participants will leave the session with a functioning classroom blog. (P-12)

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!

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: