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Posts tagged ‘common core’

Tip of the Week: Poly Sci Nerd Goodness

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

Social Studies close reading vs. ELA close reading. It’s both/and not either/or

Okay. I’m going to have to be careful here. But I’m gonna start with this:

“Social studies teachers should not worry about having kids do ELA close reading activities. Social studies teachers should not be asked to do ELA literacy activities.”

Let the throwing of things and gnashing of teeth begin.

Because I’ve seen it happen. Because when I say that in front of people, they get cranky. The Common Core says we need to integrate the language arts / literacy standards into our social studies instruction. And when I say we shouldn’t do the bidding of the English department just so that they can check off their Common Core standards responsibilities, it’s like I’m saying we should be drowning puppies.

So before things get too out of hand, let me explain.

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Now You See It: Your brain is an iPad

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

Tip of the Week: Reality TV Show Pitch

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

Is She Ready? How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Liberal Arts

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

46 free history lessons aligned to Common Core

Free. Aligned to reading, writing, and communicating skills. Written by Gilder Lehrman teachers of the year so you know they’re quality.

What’s not to like?

Gilder Lehrman always has good stuff. If you haven’t already created a free teacher’s account over there, you really need to get on it. The list below is just a sample of the 46 lessons and units you can get on their Teaching Literacy Through History page: Read more

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