Maps Gallery works like an interactive, digital atlas that lets you search for and find powerful, compelling maps. It’s much like the Gallery of tours you can find via the Google Earth tool. One of the biggest differences is that the Google Maps Gallery contains maps created by a variety of organizations, both public and private, and so you can find all sorts of maps, many mostly inaccessible to the public before now. Read more
Several years ago, I shared my feelings about homework. And textbooks. And best practice. All wrapped around the 20+ pound backpack my son was hauling around.
It’s now Round Two. Senior in high school daughter is experiencing her own problems with backpacks and bags. And I will admit, some of it’s her own fault. Part of what she needs to haul around is a bag for running gear. But the rest?
She’s not allowed to put her netbook into her backpack so she’s toting a computer bag along with her backpack. The morning this picture was taken, combined weight of backpack and computer goodies was just short of 20 pounds – not counting the running gear. The problem is exacerbated by having to lug around most of her stuff due to shorter periods between classes and the maze of hallways within her school building.
As social studies teachers, it’s easy to get caught up in textual evidence. And that’s not always a bad thing – there are all sorts of sweet primary and secondary sources that we should be using with our kids.
But sometimes we don’t do enough to train students to focus on visual evidence. Photographs, maps, video games, charts, infographics, movie clips. These types of resources can be powerful pieces of the puzzle. So today? Three easy to use strategies for training kids to close read visual evidence.
The goal in all three strategies is to move kids along the continuum from simply seeing something to creating deeper meaning. When I work with students – no matter what strategy we’re using or what kind of evidence we’re looking at – I want them to jam into their brain these basic questions:
- What do you see?
- How can you organize what you see into patterns?
- What do the patterns tell you?‘
So here ya go. Three strategies to help your kids see better. Read more
Four times a year, an awesome group of middle school teachers show up here and we talk social studies all day. And, yes, it is lots of fun. One of the things we’ve tried to do during our sessions is to bring in outside experts from the different social studies disciplines. And today we have Lisa and John from the Kansas Geographic Alliance, sharing some sweet ideas and resources. Get the goodies from today here. Get all of their stuff here.
They shared the prediction that geospatial jobs will be one of the fastest growing jobs over the next 20 years. There is a huge need for kids who understand geography and how it connects to everything. It’s not about the what anymore, it’s about the where.
Need a bit of a taste of their stuff? Read more
It’s been a fun couple of months since the holiday break. I’ve had the chance to spend time with a variety of folks doing all sorts of cool stuff. A group of us have been struggling to write questions for the social studies state assessment pilot due out this spring. (Spoiler alert: more on that later this week.)
I’ve spent time with teachers discussing social studies best practices that are aligned to the state’s recently adopted state standards. And I’ve had the opportunity to work with lots of teachers as we shared ideas and discussed ways to integrate technology into instruction.
It’s all part of what is perhaps the best job in the world. I mean, who wouldn’t enjoy themselves spending time with dedicated, amazing people who literally are changing the world?
But . . . Read more