One of the best things about working with social studies teachers is that I get the chance to see all sorts of great ideas and strategies. Several weeks ago, I watched a teacher use something called a SAC or Structured Academic Conversation.
It’s a discussion / debate strategy that I haven’t seen used before. And it worked great so I figured I would share it with you.
History and social studies classes are perfect places for debate. And we’ve all used debates as part of what we do. I’m a big supporter of the idea of having kids research and use that research to create persuasive arguments. I especially like the Fence Sitter idea.
But with these types of class activities, it’s easy for students to lose sight of the objective and get very competitive, focusing more on winning the argument rather than about what they should be learning. And I admit, I’m probably the worst. I love a good social studies argument. And I love to win.
Cause I’m right.
The Structured Academic Conversation can help with this problem. Read more
You’ve heard about iCivics before.
If you haven’t, quick overview. Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor help created a very cool civics website with video games, teaching resources, and other standards aligned materials.
And it just got better. They’ve added Drafting Board.
Okay. I know that it’s 7:45 am on a Saturday morning but perhaps the best session of the day is ready to go and there’s maybe 20 people here.
Joel Breakstone and Mark Smith from the Stanford History Education Group are here to talk about their awesome new assessment tool called Beyond the Bubble. (SHEG is the group started and led by the history superhero, Sam Wineburg.) I know that it’s new and maybe people haven’t heard enough about it yet. But seriously. This is what assessment should look like in the world of the Common Core, C3 national standards, and the new Kansas state standards.
I was wrong. 8:00 am and it’s standing room only. Which is a good thing. Because Beyond the Bubble is perhaps the best place I’ve found for really measuring historical thinking.