Our current state standards have been around since 2013. Centered on five Big Ideas and a balance between content and process, the document is unlike previous standards documents. And after five years, most Kansas teachers are at least aware that we’re asking them and students to approach teaching and learning differently.
That we want students to have both foundational knowledge and historical / critical thinking skills. That social studies classrooms need to be more than drill and kill, lecture, worksheet, quiz on Friday. And that creating engaged, informed, and knowledgable citizens requires more than rote memorization and low level thinking.
While our standards look and feel differently than most other state level documents, teachers across the country – like their colleagues here in Kansas – are also being asked to concentrate on training kids to do social studies. Sam Wineburg is a household name. The teaching of historical thinking skills such as Sourcing, Contextualizing, and Corroborating is becoming commonplace. Bruce Lesh and his History Labs are being duplicated by teachers in all sorts of classrooms. The National Council for the Social Studies has also been a huge part of this pendulum shift with its College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) standards.
Good things are happening.
But . . .
Yup. There’s always a but.
During every standards training I do, every historical thinking conversation I have with teachers, there’s always a but. Read more
I really like Flipgrid. It’s easy to use. It’s collaborative. It’s visual. It works across all platforms.
Now it’s free.
Yup. It’s free. And not in the lower tier, fewer options, not as powerful or cool, I can’t afford the Paid version so I’m using the crappy version kind of free. Free as in . . . totally free to access all of the cool, up until a week ago it used to cost money features.
So now I really like Flipgrid.
Here’s the deal. There used to be several versions of Flipgrid. A free version and two expensive versions. And while you could do some really cool stuff with the free, less featured version, the paid versions were so much cooler. As in: you got unlimited grids, unlimited topics, more choices on video length, responses to videos, and replies to those responses. You could move and duplicate grid structure and content. Embed fully-functional grids into other environments such as an LMS or class websites. Assess, document, and provide quantitative and qualitative feedback to individual students in a private, simple way.
You know . . . all the cool stuff. But it cost money.
But several weeks ago, Read more
Last May, I pushed this out. It still seems relevant. So . . . today? A #mondaymemory post. Enjoy!
Need a brain break? Ready for some current event / world culture / global literacy questions?
Here ya go. Six basic questions covering events of the day and an awareness of the world around you. (Check your work at the bottom of the post.)
1. In which of these countries is a majority of the population Muslim?
a. South Africa
2. Which language is spoken by the most people in the world as their primary language?
b. Mandarin Chinese
3. Which country is the largest trading partner of the United States, based on the total dollar value of goods and services?
d. Saudi Arabia
4. Approximately what percentage of the United States federal budget is spent on foreign aid?
a. 1 percent
b. 5 percent
c. 12 percent
d. 30 percent
e. 40 percent
5. Which countries is the United States bound by treaty to protect if they are attacked? (select all that apply)
e. North Korea
g. South Korea
6. True or False
Over the past five years, the number of Mexicans leaving the United States and returning to Mexico has been greater than the number of Mexicans entering the United States. Read more
I know that many of you are just trying to survive the next few weeks so something short and sweet. Browse through this quick list of lessons and activities that might make your life a little easier:
Good luck and have fun!
If you haven’t been over to the Barat Education Foundation and their Primary Sources Nexus site . . . well, you need to. Cause they’ve been doing awesome stuff since 2000 supporting education and social justice that empower teachers and students.
And now, thanks to a grant from the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources program, BEF is focused on integrating civics across the curriculum. Collaborating with the Constitutional Rights Foundation and DePaul University, BEF created the Citizen U curriculum. These grades 3-12 inquiry-based lessons are designed to encourage and instill skills vital for civic literacy and success in the 21st century, including collaboration, communication, creativity, critical thinking, information literacy, problem-solving, leadership, and social responsibility.
They’re all aligned to standards, use primary sources from the Library of Congress, and are designed to develop and activate students’ civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions.
What they need is you. They’re looking for Read more
I love Twitter. And I love Google.
So when Dr. Joe Harmon posted his idea on Twitter for a collaborative Social Studies resource Google folder, it was the perfect day. Taking advantage of my Twitter PLN and the awesome #sschat hashtag. Using Google Drive to share, view, and use teaching and learning resources. The only way it could have gotten any better was if Roy’s Pit BBQ had delivered some ribs and toast while I sat there getting smarter.
This is what the Internet was designed to do and what we should be using it for – connecting people and ideas in ways that make the world a better place. What does this look like in this specific case? Read more