Have iPads? Getting iPads? Confused a bit about how to actually use iPads?
You’re not alone. Tons of schools are jumping on the mobile tablet bandwagon. But they often jump on without giving teachers a whole lot of training. The infographic below – created by Tony Vincent and posted on his awesome Learning in Hand site – can be a jumpstart to learning more about how the iPad can impact teaching and learning. (Head over there and get the large six page version or a huge 24 page version.)
It highlights seven ways that you can use iPads in the classroom: Read more
It’s the middle of June.
I’m guessing most of you are not missing your classroom yet. But if you’re like most teachers, eventually you’ll need a history fix. You’ll need to start planning for next fall. You’ll need to pick up a book or a journal to learn something new.
And when you do, come back here because here’s the link you need: Read more
I’ve had the privilege of working with 40 middle school social studies teachers this last week. It’s the last few days of a three year Teaching American History grant and, yes . . . some teared up a bit towards the end. It’s been a great ride. We’ve all learned a ton – both content and pedagogy.
This week, we had the incredible privilege of working with three history studs - Mark Fiege, Elliott West, and Thomas Andrews – while also learning more about the best ways to incorporate their history content into actual lessons.
Master Teacher Nathan McAlister walked us through a variety of learning activities including panning for gold, cutting up buffalo, and arguing pros/cons of fracking during a city council meeting.
One of the smaller activities we did was a bit simpler and much easier for you to drop directly into your instruction.
Called Fact Pyramid Because Box, Read more
Since the fall of 2010, I have had the incredible opportunity to work with 40 middle school teachers as part of a three-year Teaching American History project. Funded by the federal Department of Education, the TAH grant program was created to encourage and support the teaching of American history.
We’ve spent our time tracing historical events through the 1800s and talking about how best to teach those events to 8th graders. And it’s been awesome. Great conversation. Useful lesson plans. Teaching materials. Famous authors. Primary sources. But suddenly, it’s almost over. We’re in the last four days of the project.
The best of times. The worst of times.
So while I’m documenting the sweet learning going on this week, it will be with a bit of a sad heart.
This week’s focus? Environmental History in the West.
We’ve got some great scholars this week – Mark Fiege with his The Republic of Nature, Elliott West of The Contested Plains, and Thomas Andrews with Killing for Coal. All incredible environmental / western historians. These guys define the phrase “history stud.” Read more
I get the chance to work with all sorts of teachers, across the state and around the country. We’re all different. But when the conversation turns to teaching and learning social studies, I often hear the same thing:
“I have to lecture (or have students read their textbooks out loud, create outlines from the chapter, complete fill-in-the-blank worksheet packets, or watch a 30 year old video converted from 16 mm film) because the kids have to know their facts. It’s not fair asking them to think historically without the basic facts.”
I get it. And I don’t disagree. Kids do need the facts. But I think for too long we’ve just assumed that acquiring foundational knowledge and historical thinking are two distinct and different activities. We fill up their heads with facts and then, if we have time in the school year and after the state assessments are over, then . . . we can try some of that historical thinking stuff.
We need to stop doing that.
The brain is not a basket that we can just fill up with stuff. The brain is a bucket full of holes. The brain works very hard to find ways to forget things and if something is not important enough to be useful, it’s gonna find its way out one of the holes.
Our task is not to fill brains with facts. Our job is Read more