The current buzz in the state of Kansas is the upcoming state level social studies assessment. It’s scheduled for full release during the 2015-2016 school year with a pilot release next spring.
It’ll be interesting.
Because we’re trying to do something that we haven’t done before. Measure historical thinking skills, not the ability to memorize foundational knowledge. We can’t just use simple multiple choice.
Obviously, part of the process is to encourage the teaching of these sorts of skills at the classroom level and to develop different types of assessment strategies that teachers can use.
Four online tools that you can use to measure the historical thinking skills of your kids: Read more
Yes. I am a poly sci nerd. Love elections. Love debates. Love the data. So meeting in DC this last week was . . . awesome.
And this morning, I ran across LegEx. A great way to close out a Poly Sci nerd week.
Short for Legislative Explorer and maintained by the University of Washington Center for American Politics and Public Policy, the site is a interactive visualization that allows you and your students to explore actual patterns of lawmaking in Congress. The graph provides a great way to get the big picture while providing opportunities to dig deeper. Compare the bills and resolutions introduced by Senators and Representatives and follow their progress from the beginning to the end of a two year Congress. Go back in time and compare / contrast different years, bi-partisan vs. partisan, parties, or House vs. Senate.
You can Read more
I just started the book and am not even halfway through it yet. So take everything I say today with a grain of salt because I’m might be completely off track. But for many of you, this is the first week without kids and I’m pretty sure no one’s reading this anyway.
And I am liking what she has to say so . . . why not?
The she is Cathy Davidson and the book is Now You See It: How Technology and Brain Science Will Transform Schools and Business for the 21st Century. The Amazon review says that the book Read more
The last regular season session of our Century of Progress Teaching American History grant was just over a year ago. I had the privilege to spend time with 40 middle school teachers over a period of three years sharing ideas about what a quality US history classroom should look like.
And just so you know . . . awesome.
We worked with scholars and other teachers. Software companies. Primary source documents. Technology. We all walked away smarter.
And one of the most practical things we always tried to work on when we were together was to develop possible lesson plan ideas. A year ago, one of the last ideas of the year was the Reality TV Show Pitch.
A reality show pitch is pretty simple. The task is to create a quick presentation which convinces a roomful of television producers to air your idea for a reality show. We adapted the concept to design a possible lesson focusing on Kansas history using the GRASP method as our design framework: Read more
The first thing you need to know is that today is Erin’s last day of high school. Yup. She graduates on Saturday. Yeah, I know. Where did the time go?
And it’s more than just a little weird.
She’s done pretty well. National Merit Finalist. Valedictorian. Art awards. Plays and musicals. She didn’t hurt herself running cross country, learned how to drive a manual transmission without serious structural damage to the vehicle, and rarely rolls her eyes when her parents ask her to do things. So fairly typical teenager. Read more