James Loewen, author of Lies My Teacher Told Me and Teaching What Really Happened, had a huge influence on how I began to see my job as a teacher.
My college history professors were incredibly knowledgable but were also incredibly traditional. As in, required purchases from the book store included sets of Xeroxed class notes in outline format – all followed religiously during daily lectures. So I started my career as a middle school teacher without a ton of experience in what research-based learning looked like. And forced my kids to go through some of the same things I went through simply because I didn’t know any better.
With the help of some incredible mentors, I began to see the possibilities of things like inquiry-based learning, primary sources, hands on experiences and the use of tools like games and simulations. And Loewen was a part of that transformation. His books opened my eyes to a different kind of history and a different way to tell stories.
I also began to realize that sometimes the traditional methods and strategies aren’t always the best way to do things. And that we need to be willing to try something new, even if it makes us uncomfortable.
So . . . today? Something new. And it might seem a little strange.
But it comes at the perfect time. The year is wrapping up, your kids leave for the summer, and you’re gonna take a bit of a break. Then it’s back to prepping for next fall – books to read, lessons to preview, strategies to explore – looking for tools that can help your kids. Adding this to your summer research to-do list will change how your classroom looks next August.
Badges. Read more
How great is the Smithsonian? Seriously. Take a few minutes to think about all the teaching goodness that they provide. Learning Lab. History Explorer. Lesson plans. Podcasts. Webcasts. It goes on and on.
But there’s always been a bit of old school in me. So I still subscribe to the print version of the Smithsonian magazine. Yes. You can get many of the print articles at the online version but I like turning pages.
The problem, of course, is between online versions of things and print versions of things, I’m always playing catch-up with my reading schedule. The March Smithsonian just now just made it to the top of the pile and I was blown away by an article by Abigail Tucker.
Titled A 21st-Century Reimagining of Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms, the article focuses on the question: Read more
Kara Knight from Minnesota History Society and the Inquiry in the Upper Midwest has perhaps created one of the most intriguing conference session titles ever.
What’s not to like about Primary Source Speeding Dating? And her tagline is even better: Discover the Primary Source of your Dreams – Finding the Perfect Match.
I think we can all agree that finding and using primary sources as part of teaching and learning is a no-brainer. But the actual finding and using can be a pain in the butt. It takes time to find the right source and it takes time to figure out how best to use those sources. So during this #MCSS2018 session, we talked about ways to match classroom needs, brain research, and just the right primary source.
We ended the session with an activity Kara called Primary Source Speed Dating. It’s a bit like Read more
Scott Noet and Kim Gilman (my good buddy from Shawnee, Kansas) met as Goethe TOP Fellows several years ago. And now they’re partnering up to share some of their best ideas about how to move students from analysis to action using STEM activities.
Kim says that we spend a ton of time focusing on helping kids to perfect their analysis skills. Nothing wrong with that. But we can’t forget that we also need to be helping kids take action – to actually using their analysis skills to make the world a better place.
I especially love a couple of things they shared: Read more
I’m sure most of you are doing the same thing I’m doing right now. Spending time with family and friends, watching football, catching up on that book you’ve been dying to read, eating too much Chex Mix, and enjoying the occasional nap.
But if you need a break from all of the holiday cheer, we’ve got you covered. Between now and the first week in January, you’ll get a chance to re-read seven of the most popular History Tech posts from 2017. Enjoy the reruns. See you in a couple of weeks!
Jill Weber gets it. She’s a middle school teacher honing her craft in Cheney, Kansas and she is rocking it.
Finding the balance between foundational content and process. Problems to solve. Evidence to analyze. No obvious answers. Academic discomfort. Groups to work in. Hands on. Physical movement. Obvious passion for the subject.
She’s one of those teachers that I would have wanted for my own kids to have when they were in middle school. And I’ve had the opportunity to work with her for almost six years.
She jumped in feet first to our second Teaching American History project back in 2010 and then transitioned into the ESSDACK social studies PLC. She was awarded the Kansas Council for the Social Studies 2016 secondary mini-grant and is the 2016 Gilder Lehrman Kansas History Teacher of the Year. And she shares a ton of her stuff on A View of the Web.
One of her recent posts caught my eye and Read more