it’s the first morning of the Presidential Timeline’s Ford Institute and I am pumped! There are 20 of us here in Ann Arbor, Michigan at the Gerald Ford Presidential Library. Our task for the next four days? Working to share ideas and strategies to improve the teaching of social studies.
A few goals during the institute:
- gaining historical content knowledge
- strengthening our pedagogical skills
- getting better at the use of technology
And we started with a couple of basic overarching questions:
- How is knowledge constructed in social studies?
- What strategies work?
So . . . as I’m working to create curriculum and learning more about how to use it, I’ll also try and share what us history geeks come up with.
Head over to the institute’s resource page. We’ll be adding to this as we go along. So be sure to refresh the page often. Let the fun begin!
We started with a simple knowledge activation exercise using Prezi. Ryan Crowley, part of the Presidential Timeline team, created a shared Prezi and asked us to add content to it. His guiding questions? 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
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