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Posts tagged ‘ncss’

What would you say to your Senator?

I get the chance this week to spend time with some pretty amazing people. Michelle Herczog. Peggy Jackson. Kim O’Neil. All leaders of the National Council for the Social Studies Board of Directors. And almost 30 other social studies educators from around the country representing state level councils.

We’re meeting in Washington D.C. to discuss ways to support classroom teachers and to advocate for the Social Studies at the local, state, and federal level. Good times. Seriously. I mean, how often does someone like me get the chance to hang out with the movers and shakers of the social studies world? These are all excellent classroom teachers, committed to social studies, and history geeks like me. So I’m loving it.

We’ve had formal and informal conversations about all sorts of stuff and will continue those conversations through tomorrow. But one of the main reasons we’re here is to chat with representatives from the House and Senate, urging continued support for the teaching of high-quality social studies across the country.

Later today, 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

History Nerd Fest 2013 – Oliver Stone, film-making, and history

Okay. I did not know that Oliver Stone served in Vietnam as an infantryman, was wounded, and earned medals for valor. He was also a teacher in Vietnam before becoming a film-maker.

I’m trying to figure out how that impacts my impression of his work. I like his films as entertainment but not as history. His latest? A 10-episode Showtime series, The Untold History of the United States. My past experience with JFK makes me a bit skeptical. He does have a history guy – Peter Kuznick – helping write the companion book. So . . . does he care about historical accuracy? What is his version of history? Is it just trying to make entertaining movies? Should it matter?

Read more

History Nerd Fest 2013 – Primary sources and emerging technology

Can we use primary sources and technology to promote civic engagement? Richard Hartshorne and Scott Waring of University of Central Florida say yes.

They shared a great set of resources to help you structure your use of technology in the classroom.  They didn’t really share specific examples about civic engagement activities with these tools – mostly a review of the different tools – but they do have one lesson idea online.

All of the tech tools are free and easy to use: Read more

History Nerd Fest 2013 – Minecraft EDU and geography

Yes. It’s that time of year. National Council for the Social Studies conference time. This year? Saint Louis.

History Nerd Fest. Thousands of social studies teachers all in one place, having a great time learning as much as possible in two and half days.

I’ll be trying as best I can to live blog all of the sessions I attend. I’ll also try to align each of the sessions to my C4 Framework. Keep your fingers crossed! I’m usually pretty good for the first day or so but start dragging by Sunday.

And we’re off!

Minecraft to teach geography. Read more

Teaching Reading with the Social Studies Standards and other NCSS awesomeness

The National Council for the Social Studies is a no-brainer. If you teach social studies, you should be a member.

It’s simple. You join. You get great professional development goodies, online lesson plans, cheaper access to books, materials and the national conference, and a super online support system. The end. Everyone’s happy.

One of the benefits that I enjoy the most is the semi-annual Bulletins that the NCSS publishes and sends to members. Bulletins are focused, topical books that provide awesome and practical suggestions for incorporating high-quality instruction into your social studies classroom.

Their latest?

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