Google probably doesn’t need my help selling any of its products. But I usually end up sounding like an intern from the marketing department at least once a week. I love their stuff.
I especially love Google Earth.
And the more I travel around, the more I discover that many social studies teachers are not fully aware of the different ways Google Earth can save their bacon. As in, engaging and useful teaching strategies that are aligned to Common Core Literacy and College, Career, and Civic Life standards.
So today? Five awesome ways to use Google Earth in your classroom: Read more
I’m sitting in the Wichita airport, waiting on a delayed flight to Houston. With the rain pouring down, I start looking for things to do. Read the paper. Watch a little video. Catch up on email. Clean out my backpack.
I usually try and make some decisions about what to put into the backpack before I leave. I ran out out of time before this trip. And I’m realizing now why it’s a good idea to re-pack after every trip. I got some stuff in there I really don’t need this time.
It’s always difficult trying to decide what to take on a trip and what to leave behind. I really, really hate carrying too much stuff. Seriously. Hate it. But I also worry about all of those times when I needed some little tech gadget on a trip and I had left it behind.
So. What to pack? Read more
Mmm . . . I get this a lot. Especially over the last few months as we’ve rolled out the new proposed social studies standards document for Kansas.
The current document is all about content – with specific indicators that must be taught because they will be on the state-level multiple choice test. And we’ve done a great job over the last decade or so of training our teachers to only worry about whether or not their kids have memorized the tested indicators. The pendulum swung way over to foundational knowledge at the expense of critical thinking.
Since beginning its work, the writing committee for the proposed standards has concentrated on creating a document that balances out the need for foundational knowledge with the need for historical thinking skills. You can’t have one without the other.
But because the system has been so focused on specific historical data points, many teachers – especially the ones that have entered the classroom in the last five or six years – are struggling with the idea of what this historical thinking stuff looks like.
I’ve shared some ideas about this before but the pendulum is swinging back. There are more and more very good resources springing up around the Interwebs that can help. So to help anyone who is looking for some examples of what historical thinking looks like, check out these sweet resources: