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Posts from the ‘ncss2013’ Category

History Nerd Fest 2013 – Mary Beth Tinker and your 1st Amendment rights

It was the best of the times. It was the worst of times.

The last session of the weekend. Good? Because I’m tired. Bad? Because . . . duh, no more hanging out with, and learning from, other social studies nerds.

But I am looking forward to this session. The focus is on First Amendment rights, Mary Beth Tinker, and citizenship in the 21st century educational world. Mary Beth is one of the Tinkers in Tinker vs. Des Moines, the landmark Supreme Court case that outlines the First Amendment rights of students.

She’s here. (How cool is that?) And she’s talking about how her case is being defined and how it should be defined in the current world of social media and technology. (how cool would it be to be able to say “my Supreme Court case?) Need a more in-depth review of the case? Head to Oyez site.

Mary Beth is working with the Newseum and the Student Press Law Center to educate kids about their rights. And perhaps more importantly, educators. The question they are focusing on?

What is the schoolhouse gate in the 21st century? Read more

History Nerd Fest 2013 – Fritz Fischer saves the world

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to spend five days with Fritz Fischer at a Gilder Lehrman Summer Seminar. It was awesome. Fritz has been involved in history / social studies issues at the national level for years. He helped write the Colorado state social studies standards and now he’s come out with a great book titled The Memory Hole: The US History Curriculum Under Siege. It’s basically Fritz saving the world. Trust me on this.

The basic premise?

I am afraid that the discipline of social studies is being hijacked.

He calls them anti-historians. Working to insert their own sanitized versions of past events, they misunderstand the purpose of history, and are afraid of the process of history. He suggests that we are moving towards a 1984 Orwellian reality that “reinscribes” events “exactly as often is necessary.” That lives by the phrase “who controls the past controls the future.”

He suggests that

the past is disappearing because many people don’t care about the past but do care about creating a past that supports their view of the present.

The way to prevent this sort of Orwellian possibility is to Read more

History Nerd Fest 2013 – Energize your elementary social studies classroom

I need some energy here. Caffeine is wearing off. But Barb Knighton is on fire. Barb is the NCSS 2013 elementary teacher of the year and rocking it. So I should be good.

barb knighton

She will not be sharing lessons but strategies that can be adapted to just about  any grade level or content. She’s got six: Read more

History Nerd Fest 2013 – Historical thinking in ancient times

Seriously. If I start dozing off, somebody should nudge me. It’s after lunch Day Two and it’s gonna be a struggle. But I am in a decent sounding session – thinking historically with world history documents. So I’m sure I’m gonna be okay.

I’m constantly hearing from 6th grade teachers who are struggling to find and use primary sources with ancient history content and am hoping Matt Elms and Doug Behse are going to help.

Matt and Doug, from a middle school in Singapore, are sharing their strategies for historical thinking with ancient world history. Much of what they do is based on the work of Sam Wineburg and his stuff at the Stanford History Education Group. They also use a scaffolding tool they call SCAN. They noticed kids whipping through primary sources. And were concerned.

SCAN helps Read more

History Nerd Fest 2013 – Notable tradebooks that engage and teach

The National Council for the Social Studies has been creating a yearly list of new tradebooks since . . . I don’t know, forever? I think it’s actually been 2000 but it seems like I’ve been using their lists forever.

Because for K-8 teachers especially, using fiction and non-fiction as part of social studies instruction is key. But it can be difficult trying to figure out what books are out there and how to best use them. So I always look forward to this session because the tradebook people share not just the books but lesson plans that are aligned to standards.

This morning they talked about seven different books: Read more

History Nerd Fest 2013 – Maps that startle

I love maps.

Especially fun and cool maps. So any session that is titled “Maps That Startle. Perplex, and Engage” has got my name written all over it.

We’re learning about a site called Patchwork Nation. It is legen . . .  wait for it . . . dary. Legendary. How have I not heard of this place before?

Patchwork Nation basically says that generalizations such as red vs. blue, South vs. North, blue collar vs. white collar is too simplistic. These stereotypes are inadequate and misleading.

Patchwork Nation is a demographic / geographic breakdown of the nation into 12 different kinds of communities. Using counties as building blocks, they have identified different kinds of places – everything from rural agricultural areas to the wealthy suburban places, which they use to examine how various kinds of communities experience culture, the economy and politics.

Patchwork Nation makes open data easy.  It delivers national data with local context while remaining visually intuitive for the reader.  The interactive map helps break down national data to analyze how it impacts communities.  We put data in the hands of the user, allowing him or her to compare different data sets and explore national data county-by-county.

Using the data gives you the chance to develop some very interesting questions: Read more